Buying property in Quintana Roo, Mexico

What you need to know when buying in Quintana Roo

Land classifications for building a home

What are the land classifications in Tulum

Buying property Quintana Roo. In Quintana Roo there are broadly 3 categories of land. This applies for building your own home in Tulum, or buying an already built Tulum property

The general classifications of land in Tulum are Urbana, Rustica and Ejido. Consult our Lawyer in Tulum to learn more.

Urbana land for construction in Tulum

If you are considering building a home in Tulum Urbana land is land that comes under the control of the Municipality in Tulum. The designated use for construction is dictated by the urban plan.

Within Urbana you have Residential, Commercial and Industrial use.

Residential means you can build a home in Tulum. In addition build apartment blocks, or hotel/tourist developments. Build density is dictated by what is stipulated in the urban plan.

Density rules when buying property Quintana Roo should allow for most types of tourist or residential builds. However some areas may require an environmental impact study before any planning is agreed. Adherence to planning regulations is something Quintana Roo is tightening up on. Urbana planning applications for building a Tulum home are made to the Municipality. Plans will need to be in line with the current urban plan.

Rustica Land

Rustica land is outside the Urban plan. Therefore this will fall under State law. Any planning applications will need to meet State planning requirements. Licences need to be obtained from the State, not just the municipality. Because Rustica land falls under the jurisdiction of State Law, major infastructure works could affect the property. For this reason having local knowledge of future plans before buying property Quintana Roo is crucial.

Ejido Land

Ejido land falls under federal law. The situation with this is very complex.

 Ejido land under the Mexican constitution was designated for locals who then form a social group.

Members originally had the right to use and right to enjoy the land. In addition to build a Tulum home, but not the right to sell.

In recent years, sometimes  members have been granted the right to sell parts of the land. However if you are not a Mexican citizen you will only ever have the right to use and enjoy the land. You will never actually own it.

For more information on land classifications and buying and building in Tulum contact us today

Beautiful Tulum
Tulum where sea meets the jungle

Understanding land uses

Utilities when buying property Quintana Roo

When buying real estate in Tulum many people choose to build Eco friendly. Therefore using Solar energy and water from underground. No land is however actually designated as off grid. It will always be possible to gain main utilities like electric. The cost of getting the Tulum electric company to run cabling, and the construction costs may however be prohibitive.

Land usage

All plots and land have what is called the Uso de Suelo. There is a certificate called the Constancia de Suelo which dictates and defines, what can built in Tulum. Furthermore the density of build. A Real Estate Lawyer will be able to obtain this certificate for you.

When considering buying or building in Tulum its  advisable to understand fully the classification of land the property sits on. Investigating this should be done before before making any commitment to buy. This will in turn ensure your desired construction in Tulum be allowable. In Addition that it will be suitable for your future needs.

Whatever property you buy in Tulum should not infringe any current planning laws. The main reason for this is because they may retrospectively be enforced. Fines for illegal builds or cost of regularisation of property may become your responsibility as the owner.

For legal advice contact us

Can I buy safely and construct in Tulum

Risk can be minimised if you are buying a resale home in Tulum. This is either from a private seller or a developer. It remains  however wise to appoint a lawyer in Tulum to oversee the whole process. Whilst legally it is not a necessity it is still advisable.

Legal advice ensures you follow sensible steps, and do not allow yourself to be rushed into the purchase. Buying in Tulum is however safe if you follow the process. Purchasing with factual information from a qualified Lawyer ensures you make educated decisions.

Never assume when buying in Tulum, or any State of Mexico that you know the process. It will be different to your own Country.

The legal process of buying property Quintana Roo

In Mexico it is necessary to use the services of a Notoria  for a property purchase. It is important to understand the relationship between a Lawyer and a Notary and the difference between to two. When acquiring any property you are obligated to use a Notaria. It is however always best to contract the services of a Lawyer too.

Handmade craft
Authentic and Natural Tulum

Do I only need a Notaria when Buying a Home in Mexico?

The role of the Notaria

When buying property Quintana Roo the Notary is the upholder of the faith. This means they are required to ratify all contracts. Also to ensure the property deeds, transfer of ownership deeds, and the process is legal. A Notary will check the transaction meets Mexican transfer of property Laws. All Notarias are technically obliged to answer any questions you may ask. This can be anything about the legal situation of the land. The Notaria cannot however work on your behalf when buying property Quintana in Roo. No Notary can look after your specific well being. Notarias must remain independent and favour neither the buyer or seller.

Part of the Notarias role is to check all back taxes and debts to the property are paid and up to date. This therefore ensures you do not inherit the sellers obligations. In addition they must answer any questions you know to ask.

For a local Tulum Notaria contact us 

Why appoint a Lawyer when buying property Quintana Roo

When buying an already constructed Condo or a resale, you may be advised its not necessary to use Lawyer. This is because the legal sale process is managed by the Notaria. In reality, even if you are buying something already built there are steps you should take. Appointing a Lawyer to work on your behalf is one of those steps. It is best advice to have someone who works solely on your behalf, to guide you through the process.

Whilst you must pay the Lawyer in Tulum, in comparison to the cost of the purchase the fees are small. Given therefore what is at risk if the process is not followed effectively, its a small price to pay.

For all your legal and Lawyer requirements contact us

Jungle Quintana Roo
Nature in Tulum

Ensuring you get the right support

Role of the Lawyer when buying property Quintana Roo and  Tulum 

Appointing a Lawyer to advise you at the start of the buying process ensures you don’t make mistakes. When buying property Quintana Roo an independent Lawyer will guide you throughout the process. Furthermore help and advise which ownership structure will be most suitable for you. This advice will be based finally on what you intend to use the property for. The advice will also take account your future plans. In addition take into account any tax implications. These could include capital gains Tax. 

A Lawyer who works solely on your behalf ensures all other involved parties in the transaction work efficiently and effectively.

An experienced  Lawyer in Tulum will undertake the initial checks to ensure the land is owned by the seller. That the land has title. Non titled land is not uncommon in Quinatana Roo. 

A local legal adviser can also recommend other support services you will need.

For further information on local legal services and costs of appointing a Lawyer contact us today

Relationship between the Notaria and a lawyer

There are many, effective and efficient Notarias in Mexico. Qualified professionals who will provide a good service. Furthermore will ensure you obtain an accurately completed and signed purchase contract. However you should be aware in some areas of Mexico this is not the case. This includes when buying property Quintana Roo. There can be as in any profession ineffective Notarias. Because of this they may not take the care they should. They may not ensure the transaction is legally correct. This can result in future problems. It is important sufficient due diligence is  undertaken of all documents.

For these reasons you should appoint an independent Lawyer to work on your behalf. Someone who is protecting you. Select a Lawyer who is linked to and works with good quality Notary who can be trusted. This again will ensure you do not find yourself in the unfortunate position of selecting a badly run Notary. The Buildings Work Tulum affiliated Lawyer has a strong connection with a reputable and local Notary. You can have the confidence between the two your safety and security is at the forefront of any transaction.

Natural beaches
Sea and Sand Tulum

Buying a home in Tulum with safety and security

Promissory notes

Buying property Quintana Roo and when making an offer you will be asked to sign a promissory note. Whilst it is not obligatory from a legal point of view. sellers will want you to sign one. This document commits you to the purchase. On signing you will pay a deposit to remove the property from active marketing. The deposit is normally an agreed amount and unlikely to exceed 10%. Once paid the seller has your deposit money, they will have no obligation to give this back. Therefore if for any reason you cannot complete the purchase within the agreed timescales, you may lose your money.

Why consult a Lawyer before signing a Promissory note

To protect yourself ask a local Tulum Lawyer to write and oversee the promissory note on your behalf. This will in turn minimise your risk. Your Legal adviser will make sure timescales to completion are realistic. In addition that the wording and your obligations are not unreasonably biased in favour of the seller. Accordingly they will ensure you understand fully the potential risks once it is signed.

Need some advice before signing a Promissory note and to be sure your deposit is protected contact us today

Protection of deposits

A good lawyer will ensure that the deposit money is recorded accurately. That it will form part of the total cost written into the purchase deed. This will allow for the cost to be set off against future capital gains tax. A quality Lawyer will also make sure you understand and know what’s required under the foreign investment laws in Mexico. None of these things are automatically covered by a Notary.

Power of Attorney

 Local based Lawyers can ensure you are properly prepared for the purchase in Tulum. In addition that you understand the process. Furthermore they are protecting your best interests. If you do not want, are unable to travel for signing of the purchase deeds a trusted Lawyer can do so for you. 

 You can consider giving POA to a local Tulum Lawyer to sign at purchase on your behalf. The POA is signed in front of the Tulum Notary. The POA wording should be specific and only give powers for the transfer of the property. Giving POA to someone who is not independently working for you, or understands the law, could cause future problems.

Your representative needs to ensure all paperwork is accurate when you take possession and the deeds go to Land Registry.

Natural Cenotes Tulum
Beauty of buying in Tulum

Role of Land Registry

Role of Land Registry and Deed registration

 It is possible in Mexico for States to operate slightly differently. One such anomaly in buying property Quintana Roo is that Land Registry has the final say. Land registry specifies the legal state and ownership of the land.

In most States in Mexico Land Registry is just an administration point. Accordingly it is just where all ownership records are kept and updated.

In Quintana Roo however Land registry can return or refuse to register any transfer of ownership. Even more they can delay or stop the purchase or any legal part of the process. For this reason if they decide the paperwork is not accurate, or meet requirements, they can reject the deed.

Consequences of mistakes being made

Mistakes therefore made by a Notaria, or ineffective submission of the papers could mean you don’t have title. This can happen even if you have a purchase contract. The purchase contract is not the actual Escritura. Furthermore delays to the deeds being registered in your name can leave you at risk.

 The land could for instance be sold again to someone else, in between paying and getting the land registered to you. Alternatively a debt could also be raised against it.

Avoid risk and contact us today for legal support

Implications of the Deeds not being registered

If a seller of property Quinatana Roo acted outside of good faith you could go to court. This process would however be long and costly. The more time your Notaria takes to get the deed registered in your name, the higher the risk something could happen. In addition this could jeopardise your actual ownership. 

 It is very important when buying property Quintana Roo therefore that the Notaria selected is one that is trusted and professional. Additionally that post signing you have someone who stays on top of the registration process. You should appoint legal advisers who ensure your Notaria submits the papers, in an accurate and timely manner.

Gaining the Escritura

Technically until you have the registered Escritura you cannot apply for planning. Furthermore nor should start spending lots of money on an Architects design services. For the same reasons do not plan to move to the area if you are not local. Until the land registry process is finished you are not the legal owner.

Registering property deeds takes between 4 to 12 weeks. The speed always relies on the paperwork submitted to the registry office being accurate. Any details the land registry are not happy with can mean the deed is sent back to be rectified. When this happens the process stops. When they are re-submitted the clock starts again.

Let our legal team help you

Flora and Fauna
Plots with their own Cenote Tulum

Buying off plan or plot of Land

Buying off plan 

Off plan purchases need careful consideration. Developers will want you to make down payments during the build process. In many countries a developer can provide an insurance or bank guarantee. Therefore if the developer fails to build, goes bankrupt during the build your down payments are protected. There are no such facilities in Mexico.

 Careful investigation of the developer, is necessary. What is their past history on delivery of quality previous projects.  How strong are they financially. A localconveyance Tulum Lawyer can help you ascertain these objectives.

Finally for unbuilt property you need a Lawyer to factually explain the possible pitfalls, and protections you may have. Knowing these will allow you to make an informed decision. Accordingly, you can ascertain the benefit of property at a lower price, because its not built, outweighs the exposure of higher risk. With the correct initial checks you can therefore make informed decisions whether to buy off plan or a resale.

Before committing to buying get best advice contact us

Buying a plot to build on

When buying a plot to build a home in Tulum it is fundamental to obtain the right advice. This should be before committing to the purchase. Ensure a Lawyer has checked that the planning rules will allow you to build what you want. Furthermore if this is not the case, what actions have to be undertaken to allow your project. In other words can you make it viable for your intended purpose. In addition what the cost would be for gaining this.

Certain projects and type of land for instance, may require licences not just from Municipality but from the State. In some circumstances even the Federal authorities. Each permission will have a cost for application. Do not assume because the real estate broker says the plot fits your needs that this is actually the case.

Contact us

Before either buying a plot, or considering an off plan purchase, make sure you contact us today for clear and factual advice from an Architect and a Lawyer .

Colours of Tulum
Mayan crafts

Buying real estate as a foreigner in Quintana Roo

Ownership Structures in Tulum

Within the State of Quintana Roo, due to the restricted zone, it is not possible for a foreigner to directly buy property. You must therefore buy either in the name of trust, (fideicomiso) or in the name of Mexican company.

In conjunction with a Tulum Accountant a Lawyer can advise on what structure will most closely meet your needs. The choice will finally be based on what you intend to use the property for. In addition to this what else you intend to do in the future.

A Tulum based Lawyer and Accountant can help you manage the ownership process. In addition advise you on who to use for purpose of the Trust, or Company. Explain to you the set up and annual costs. Also outline the obligations, timings and implications of setting up the ownership structures.

Understanding the different implications between the two ownership possibilities is important. Your future plans may be affected if you buy in the wrong structure.

Making the wrong decision for your needs could end up being costly for you.

For advice on what ownership structure is bested suited to you contact us today

Trusts in Tulum

 Trusts in Mexico are set up by a Bank. There can be big differences between the local Banks in Tulum, in terms of efficiency and costs.

Committing yourself to a purchase, then working with a Bank who cannot deliver within the timescales, could risk your deposits. Besides this if you have made costly arrangements to travel you may find you cannot complete on the specified date.

Always take advice and know what paperwork you will need to provide for the Trust. In addition what obligations the Bank will require you meet in terms of money laundering regulations. Don’t pass over funds to the seller before finding these things out.

Mexican Banks must prepare the Trust to meet the obligations laid down by the government. How the Bank interprets these may vary. What level of due diligence do they believe they must do. Furthermore how will this be documented.

For guidance on which Bank to select for your property Trust contact us

Natural beauty of Quintana Roo
Sian Kaan Tulum

Real Estate Ownership Structures


A Mexican company must set up and constituted if you decide to use a corporation for a property purchase. You are obliged to have a Mexican citizen or resident as a representative for the Company. 

You may already know and trust someone in Mexico, who you can therefore use. However if you don’t, you will need advice on who to appoint. Furthermore have the comfort that whoever this is trustworthy. This is important as they will have some control over your company, and the asset that sits within it.

The Mexican representative will have the ability to undertake bank account transactions. In addition to the legal transaction of buying or selling assets. They are responsible for making sure you meet your obligations as a shareholder or partner.

On top of this it important to know the monthly and yearly obligations of running and owning a company in Mexico.

Contact us today for legal and accountancy support in Tulum

Which ownership structure should I use. Company or Trust

In general if you are buying in Tulum for personal use, or buying one property, a Trust is an effective structure. A Trust does however have some limitations, and possible tax implications.  A full understanding of ownership options is important before you finally decide which is best for you.

Why select Building Works Tulum

In Mexico, professional services like Lawyers, Accountants and Architects have no governing bodies. This means you have no-one to who you can make future complaints. Selection of support services must therefore be done carefully.

Our affiliated Lawyer Javier is dedicated to providing, independent, factual and professional advice. This therefore ensures your safety and security. Accordingly making the buying process as smooth and stress free as possible.

For an initial legal consultation contact us today