Easy for Foreigners to Own in Mexico

Can I own property in Mexico?

The answer to that question is a resounding YES! The Mexican Government has made it very easy for a non-Mexican citizen to own land in Mexico with the same rights and entitlements you would have buying property in the US or Canada.


The Mexican Constitution was drafted and passed into law in 1917. In the Constitution, there is a provision that creates an area known as the Restricted Zone. The Zone is 100 km (62 miles) from the borders and 50 km (or 31 miles) from the coasts. In this Restricted Zone, only Mexicans could own land. After so many years of being a possession of someone else, this provision was done for their own protection and, at the time, it made sense.

However, in the 1960’s the Mexican Government realized that there was a lot more money outside of Mexico than inside. In 1970, in an effort to create foreign investment, a Bill was passed into law which created a legal and viable opportunity. The Bill stated that a trust, called a Fideicomiso could be set up, with the foreigner as the sole and exclusive beneficiary. Since a Mexican bank must administer the trust, it satisfies the requirements to purchase land in the restricted zone. The beneficiary (foreigner) could control the land. Because of the 1970 Bill, major foreign investment flowed into Mexico. Not only Cancun, but also Cozumel, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, and Cabo-San Lucas exploded.

The Process

Option .1 – Trust

One option is using the Trust system. The way it works is for each property you own, you needed a separate trust. The cost for each trust is about 1% to 1.5% (based on the purchase price of the land). In addition, there is an annual “administration” fee to the Bank of $600-700, for doing nothing more than holding the deed on your behalf. When the time comes to sell the land the bank must be solicited for the trust which can delay the sale up to 6 months.

The massive bonus with using this trust system is that as of recently the Mexican Government has passed new legislation that allows you a Capital Gains exemption, allowing you keep all the profits made on any property which you sell without being taxed on it.

Option .2 – Corporation

A second option is also available and involves creating a Corporation. In 1994 the newest Bill was passed pertaining to the Restricted Zone. This law states that a Mexican Corporation, which can be wholly owned by foreigners, can be a legal Mexican entity. Now you can own a corporation and hold all its assets. This Bill provided for a linear form of property ownership within the once restricted zone and gives you the right to rent it, improve it, sell it, pass it on to heirs, etc. Your corporation holds the deed, which means you have possession of the deed.


The government has made it very easy for foreigners to own land in Mexico. So much so, that in 1998, the revenues from the industry of foreign investment & tourism surpassed the revenues from the oil & gas industry. It should be noted that in Mexico the government owns the monopoly, PEMEX, which controls all oil & natural gas in Mexico. The revenue it collects is from the DIRECT sale to the public. However, the taxes from the industry of foreign investment and tourism exceed those of oil & natural gas. Foreign investment & tourism – is now their cash cow and the Mexican government welcomes your participation.

For more information please feel free to contact American Development Company and let our veteran team of Americans and Canadians give you all the information you need to consider purchasing property in Mexico.


Picture of Eduardo from All About Playa

Eduardo from All About Playa

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