How to research about buying property in Playa Del Carmen?

Playa Del Carmen condo rentals
This is actually one of the properties that Bric manages. We stayed here so we know the quality of rentals they offer.

How to research about buying property in Playa Del Carmen

Researching the process of buying property in Playa del Carmen, Mexico involves gathering information on legal requirements, market trends, and other essential aspects. Here’s a guide on how people typically conduct research for property purchases and personal tips we want to pass onto you.

First a huge tip for buying property

Below we mention many resources like talking to locals, looking over real estate websites and visiting areas. Here is the number one thing people do wrong when looking to buy property in the area. Most people don’t realize it, but each time you give your name, phone number or email to a website or person, they can register you as a client. That is fine but the problem comes when you find an agent you want to work with and then they see you have already been registered by another agent, the first person to register you can ask to split the commission on whatever you buy. Or you might have contacted several websites and projects and are registered many times. Agents have access to this and can see if someone is serious or not. If someone is a looky-loo, just taking time to look around, an agent will probably not give you their full attention. When someone is serious and educated about the market, it makes for a much better client/realtor relationship. Real estate agents will put much more effort into people that are prepared and know what they want. 

1. Online Research:

Real estate websites: Explore real estate websites that focus on the Mexican market. Platforms and local websites dedicated to Playa Del Carmen, or the Riviera Maya real estate, can provide listings and market insights, mainly information about prices and features and what is standard. Since there is no MLS (multiple listing service) in this part of Mexico yet, looking online at various platforms can give you an overall view of what there is for sale and general prices. 

Forums and communities: Join expat forums or online communities where individuals share their experiences and insights on buying property in Playa del Carmen. Facebook groups can be good for getting some general data. However, it should be noted that not all advice from online groups is good advice. Why? Because most people commenting online have purchased once or maybe twice. That is not a lot of experience. Online forms are good for asking lots of small questions like schools for children, cost of living from people in similar situations, and how easy was it to furnish the condo.  

2. Local Real Estate Agency:

Engage with a local agent: Once you know what real estate agent you want to work with in Playa del Carmen, reach out to them and start a dialog. Experienced agents can provide information on available properties, market trends, offer alternative markets, give history of developers, provide rental income for the area and guide you through the buying process and much more. There are many agents working in the area, but the difference between “just ok” and “really good” agents will have a big impact on your real estate purchase. 

We do have some recommended real estate agents on our website that we list because of the positive feedback from our readers and the agents reputation locally. 

Attending open houses: These are actually pretty rare in Playa Del Carmen. Why? For two main reasons you don’t find open houses in the Riviera Maya that much. One, many properties are sold presale (about 60%) so there is nothing to show except maybe a model unit. Second, it is hard to line up potential buyers at the same time to come see a property. Most people that are interested in real estate will have a plan before arriving in the area. Most real estate agents know this and know that one open house has a slim chance of finding a buyer in that same day as an open house. 

3. Legal Considerations:

Understand Mexican real estate laws: research Mexican real estate laws and regulations. Understanding the legal aspects of property ownership, foreign ownership restrictions, and other legalities is crucial. Consider consulting with a local lawyer who specializes in real estate.

Here are the basics:

  • For most, buying a condo as a home or rental is fairly easy with a bank trust or fideicomiso. Learn and understand how yearly fees will be paid and what is involved in setting this up. These costs need to be factored into your overall plan.
  • If you plan on buying more than one property, research how corporations work in Mexico and see if this is a good option for you under the current laws. 
  • For investors that want to rent out their property, understanding the rental laws and what is necessary even if you post your property on Airbnb or another similar platform. 
  • For aspects of becoming a resident of Mexico or permeant resident, it is good to consult with an immigration specialist, like this one. Most of the time you need to start the process in your home country. Having everything lined up and know what is required will make the process go much smoother. 

4. Financial Planning:

Currency exchange: Since property transactions involve currency exchange, be aware of exchange rates. Research local banking options and understand the financial implications of the transaction. Property transactions have recently gone through some changes that are affecting new buyers. New currency stipulations are changing how properties are advertised and how money is moved around. A good real estate agent can help you with this. 

Mortgage options and payment plans: If you plan to finance the purchase, explore mortgage options available for non-residents in Mexico if you need it. Most people are buying with cash (100% paid for) because this is the most common option. We will say that mortgages and loans often come at high interest rates in Mexico. For investors it often wipes out profit or makes it harder to finance property purchases in Mexico. Honestly, only if you plan to live in the house for some time, does the process of getting a loan seem worth it. 

However, there are a few developers that do payment plans (mostly like 30%, 20% when it is half completed and the other 50% at closing). Since preconstruction can take a year or more to build, this allows people to make payments over time. This is just some ideas of the payment plans you can find here in the Riviera Maya. A good agent will be able to go over all the options with you. 

5. Local Insights:

Networking: Connect with locals, expats, or others who have purchased property in Playa del Carmen. Their experiences and insights can be invaluable. Asking about how life is in certain communities or what benefits there are to certain developments. 

Visit Playa Del Carmen: If possible, visit the area to get a feel for the neighborhoods, local amenities, and the overall atmosphere. This firsthand experience can influence your decision. Most everyone will tell you to visit first and possible stay a while to get a feel for different areas. 

We are also locals and made this video about real estate in Playa Del Carmen. We show you around to four neighborhoods and talk to a local expert about the market now. 


6. Government Resources:

Check for information on property ownership regulations, legal requirements, and any advice they may provide. Here are several websites and what they can be good for. 

City Hall Playa Del Carmen
The website for the City of Playa Del Carmen and visiting in person can help you find information needed to purchase property.

7. Professional Advice:

Consult Professionals: Seek advice from professionals such as your real estate agent, lawyers, and financial advisors who specialize in Mexican real estate transactions.

  • Your number one place for expert advice is your real estate agent, so select wisely. A good agent is there before, during and after the purchase and is able to provide information on anything you need locally.
  • Lawyers are not necessary, but with certain property purchases (mostly presale and new construction), they are a good idea to review contracts.
  • A notaria publica is necessary in Mexico. This person is not a notary like the name suggest in English. A notaria is the government employee that oversees transactions and records them. They are responsible for everything they sign. You don’t get too much advice from notaria because they are at the final stage, but they are working for you in the process, and it is your right to choose which notaria you want to use. 

8. Market Trends:

Stay informed on market trends: monitor market trends in Playa del Carmen. Understand the factors influencing property values and whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. A good realtor will be able to talk at length about these things. Usually, public knowledge of trends is about 4 months behind what realtors/developers can see, so talking with a good agent is going be best for you. 

For example, how will the Tulum Airport and Tren Maya affect the real estate market? How has the current inflation changed the real estate market? One interesting trend we are seeing now is the resale properties are becoming more popular because they can offer a lower square meter/foot price. During the pandemic we had many digital nomads come and do long stays. So, the market is always changing, and staying on top of it will mean you can make better decisions for real estate purchases. 

Tulum Airport Control tower
This is what the control tower will look like at the new Tulum Airport. 


Remember that real estate laws and market conditions can change, so ongoing research and staying informed are essential throughout the property-buying process. Always work with reputable professionals to ensure a smooth and secure transaction. We constantly bring you updated articles to share with you current trends and real estate market conditions. Follow along with us under the tab ” Real Estate” where we discuss many real estate topics. 

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