Table of Contents
Own property in Playa del Carmen - featured image

How to Own a Property in Playa del Carmen? [2024 Guide]

If you’ve been wondering how to own a property in Playa del Carmen, you’re not alone. It’s a dream many share, and it’s more achievable than you might think.

I remember my first visit to this coastal paradise. The pristine beaches, the vibrant nightlife, and the warm, welcoming community left a lasting impression. It wasn’t long before I decided to make Playa del Carmen my home, and now, as a real estate agent with, I get to help others do the same.

Owning property in Playa del Carmen is not just about purchasing real estate; it’s about embracing a new lifestyle. From navigating the legalities to understanding the market, we’ve got you covered.

And trust me, once you get a taste of the Playa del Carmen life, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the move sooner.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive a free ebook “Things to Avoid When Investing in Mexican Real Estate.

    Owning a Property in Playa del Carmen: the Process

    Key points: Owning property in Playa del Carmen involves a few key steps. First, choose the right property and work with a knowledgeable real estate agent. As a foreigner, you can own property through a fideicomiso (bank trust) or a Mexican corporation. The buying process includes making an offer, paying a deposit, conducting due diligence, and finalizing the transaction with a notary public. Be prepared for acquisition tax, notary fees, and ongoing maintenance costs.

    Embarking on the journey to own a property in Playa del Carmen is an exciting adventure, but it does come with its share of steps and requirements.

    Let’s now dive into the details to ensure you’re well-prepared.

    Step 1: Research and Choose the Right Property

    Before diving into the paperwork, you need to find the perfect property that matches your needs and budget. Whether it’s a beachfront condo, a cozy villa, or a commercial property, Playa del Carmen offers a variety of options.

    Work with a reputable real estate agent who understands the local market. At, we pride ourselves on our deep knowledge of the area and our ability to match clients with their dream properties.

    Step 2: Understanding the Legalities for Foreigners

    As a foreigner, you might wonder how to own a property in Playa del Carmen. The good news is, it’s entirely possible, although there are specific legal routes to follow.

    The Mexican Constitution restricts direct ownership by foreigners within 50 kilometers of the coastline, which includes Playa del Carmen. However, you can still own property through a fideicomiso (bank trust) or a Mexican corporation.

    • Fideicomiso (Bank Trust): This is the most common method for foreigners. A Mexican bank acts as a trustee, holding the property title on your behalf. You retain all ownership rights and can sell, lease, or bequeath the property. The trust is established for 50 years and can be renewed.

    • Mexican Corporation: If you plan to purchase the property for commercial purposes, forming a Mexican corporation is another option. The corporation can hold the property title directly. However, this route involves more complexity and ongoing maintenance.

    Step 3: The Buying Process

    Once you’ve chosen your property and decided on the ownership structure, the buying process involves several steps:

    1. Offer and Agreement: Submit a written offer to the seller. Once accepted, both parties sign a sales agreement (Convenio de Compra/Venta), which outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

    2. Deposit: Typically, a deposit of 5-10% of the property’s value is required to secure the property. This deposit is held in escrow until the final transaction.

    3. Due Diligence: Your real estate agent and legal team will conduct due diligence to ensure the property is free of debts, liens, or other legal issues. This includes verifying the property’s title and ensuring all municipal and federal taxes are paid.

    4. Appraisal and Survey: An appraisal and survey of the property are conducted to confirm its value and boundaries. This step is crucial to avoid any future disputes.

    5. Notary Public: In Mexico, a notary public (Notario Público) is a legal official who oversees the transfer of real estate. They ensure all documents are in order and the transaction complies with Mexican law.

    6. Final Payment and Closing: Once all checks are complete, the final payment is made. The notary prepares the final deed (Escritura Pública), which is signed by both parties. This deed is then registered with the Public Registry of Property, officially transferring ownership.

    Step 4: Taxes and Fees

    When purchasing property in Playa del Carmen, several taxes and fees apply:

    • Acquisition Tax (Impuesto sobre Adquisición de Inmuebles): Typically 2% of the property’s purchase price.
    • Notary Fees: Usually 1-2% of the purchase price.
    • Trust Fees: If using a fideicomiso, expect annual fees ranging from $500 to $1,000.
    • Property Tax (Predial): An annual tax based on the property’s assessed value, generally low compared to other countries.
    • Closing Costs: Include legal fees, registration fees, and other administrative costs, often totaling 4-7% of the property’s value.

    Step 5: Post-Purchase Considerations

    After acquiring your property, there are a few ongoing responsibilities:

    • Maintenance and Utilities: Ensure the property is well-maintained. This includes regular upkeep and paying utility bills.
    • Homeowners Association (HOA) Fees: If your property is part of a community or condominium, there will be monthly or annual HOA fees.
    • Insurance: It’s wise to invest in property insurance to protect against natural disasters and other unforeseen events.

    Types of Properties You Can Own in Playa del Carmen

    There are many kinds of properties in Playa del Carmen, so you can easily find one that fits your needs and your budget.


    Many foreign investors opt for condos in Playa del Carmen. Together with a lot of features like gyms, pools, and security, they offer a great quality-price ratio when it comes to the standard of living.

    The collection of condos allows you to choose from cheap studios to luxurious penthouses with views of the Caribbean. One more benefit of apartment living is that you feel like you’re part of a community. This can be a great way to meet new people and attend community-hosted social events.


    Owning a house in Playa del Carmen is a great option for people who want more space and privacy. There are a lot of different kinds of houses in Playa del Carmen, from fancy beachfront homes to cute cabins in quiet neighborhoods.

    Houses come with their own space, parking, and sometimes even private pools. This kind of property is great for families or people who like having a little more freedom and room to grow.


    Villas are the pinnacle of high-class living in Playa del Carmen. These properties often have high-end features and are located in nice neighborhoods. They also offer fancy finishes, big floor plans, and lots of high-end amenities.

    Villas often come with private beaches, a lot of space for living, and beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea. They are perfect for people who want to live a luxurious life or invest in a high-end home that could bring in a lot of rental income.


    Buying land in Playa del Carmen gives you the chance to build your own home or a business from scratch.

    Lots come in a wide range of sizes and locations – they can be commercial or residential. When you buy land, you can build a house that fits your exact needs, but you have to be up to date with the local building rules and make sure to have all the permits you need.

    Commercial property

    There are many commercial properties in Playa del Carmen that can help you start your own business. The city’s tourism industry is growing quickly, which is great for the business real estate sector. This includes restaurants, hotels, shops, and office buildings.

    Buying a business property can be a good way to make money, especially in busy areas that both locals and tourists frequent.

    Final Word

    Conclusion to the article

    Owning a property in Playa del Carmen is more than just an investment; it’s a gateway to a vibrant, tropical lifestyle that many dream of.

    From the beginning steps of finding the right property to figuring out the legalities and learning about the different types of properties that are out there, the process can seem long but very rewarding.

    As a real estate agent at, I’ve helped a huge number of people make their dream of having a piece of paradise come true. Playa del Carmen has something for everyone, from a sleek condo with views of the ocean to a cozy house in a cute neighborhood to a luxurious villa to a business property with a lot of potential.

    Remember that the best way to make sure your buy goes smoothly is to work with professionals who know the local market and the law. You can easily get through the process with the right help, and soon you’ll be enjoying the sun, sand, and lively culture of Playa del Carmen.

    Get in touch with us at if you’re ready to start this exciting journey of how to own a property in Playa del Carmen.