We get a myriad of questions from people curious about buying real estate in Xcalak. It seems Mexico is a popular destination for those looking to own beachfront property. Whether it’s your dream to purchase undeveloped land or to buy an existing accommodation, there are many factors to consider.
In this post, we’ll explore:
- Buying an accommodation
- Land for sale in Xcalak
- How to buy real estate in Xcalak
- Legalities of land ownership
- Beachside living hardships
Without further ado, let’s discover if buying a home in Xcalak is right for you!
Buying a Pre-Existing Accommodation vs. Building Your Own Place
Did you know?
Real estate in Xcalak costs about $100,000 USD for an undeveloped lot and $300,000 – $600,000 for a waterfront lot with accommodation.
Xcalak is one of those places where there’s always someone selling property. People come here to live out their retirement dream. Sometimes the plan is to own a B&B, and other times the goal is to wake up (every morning) next to the Caribbean Sea.
Either way, in Xcalak, people come, live their dream, and eventually move on, putting their property and homes up for sale. Lucky for you!
If you decide to buy land and build a place, you’ll get:
- Personalized design
- Brand-new everything
- Pride of accomplishment.
However, in Xcalak, there are advantages to buying vs. building. Think on this:
Time & Cost Savings
One point for buying a pre-existing accommodation is living your dream faster than building from scratch. Constructing a new build in Xcalak will take significantly longer than purchasing real estate. If you buy a place for sale, you’re more likely to enjoy the palm trees and ocean breeze while you’re still (relatively) young.
Also, purchasing a house for sale can be cost-effective. Mexico’s building codes have grown more strict, so meeting the regulations may take more investment than buying an already-done home.
Visitors love Xcalak because it feels at the world’s edge. But getting construction labor, trades, equipment, or resources out to the world’s edge is a logistical challenge. If you purchase a property with accommodation, you can skip many of the headaches of hiring builders.
Fitting into the Community
About 500 people are living in Xcalak; it’s a tight-knit community. So, as you can imagine, any landscape adjustment is big news. If you purchase an accommodation, then nothing changes besides the ownership title. But developing a piece of land could upset the locals (or ex-pats) if it “steps on someone’s toes” infringing on their idea of paradise.
How to buy real estate in Xcalak?
Did you know?
Buying a waterfront lot in Xcalak free of vegetation is possible, but without the right environmental permits, you will inherit a hefty fine.
Xcalak Realty is a local business in the village of Xcalak. They have listings for vacant lots and accommodations so you can discover what’s currently for sale and for how much.
Please get in touch with Xcalak Realty if you want to buy property on the Costa Maya.
While we’ve linked to the website above, in the previous sentence, we want to clarify that we’re not affiliated with Xcalak Realty or any other business, for that matter. Thankfully, our info is unbiased.
The Laws & Legalities of Land Ownership
Did you know?
The coast of Xcalak is a Federal Zone, meaning you cannot legally build a dock or remove seagrass without obtaining a government concession.
Foreigners can’t buy land in Mexico 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the international border or 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the coast. This encompasses all of Xcalak, so things get complicated right from the start.
However, there’s the “Fidecomiso” workaround, in which you rent ownership for 50 years renewable. International Living has a good post on Fidecomiso. But, in summary, it is a fair enough way for you to enjoy waterfront property ownership.
Now, the rules change for commercial intent (ex. Bed & Breakfast).
If it’s a business like a B&B you’re considering, the property must be held by a Mexican corporation…which a foreigner can form and own. It’ll take some legal maneuvering and ongoing fees, but it is legit.
So, what if you buy residential property from an existing Mexican corporation?
Say someone has done the legwork of forming a corporation, bought land, and now wants to sell. This situation is doable but please think twice. Actually, think more than that. If you purchase a Mexican corporation that has hidden debt, that debt is transferred, so the deal may not be in your favor.
In short, it’s time to lawyer-up with a trusted professional before making any real estate purchase in Mexico.
The Realities of Beachside Living in Xcalak
Did you know?
The beach road in Xcalak is federally owned but stays driveable due to the funding and efforts of the ex-pat community.
Xcalak is your chance to escape to a Caribbean paradise. You can enjoy long sunny days and the relaxing sound of the sea. It is a great place to visit, but living there (full or part-time) isn’t for everyone.
We love Xcalak. But here are a few of its hardships:
Extreme Weather Events
The Yucatan peninsula does get the occasional hurricane, most likely from August to October. We’ve heard of docks being swept away and beaches covered in debris. After a strong storm, you’ll probably have to clean up the property and repair any palapa structures.
Another natural event that hits Xcalak is Sargassum. Rafts of seagrass from the Sargasso Sea (hence the name) float to shore and stink when they start decomposing. The amount of Sargassum that makes its way to Xcalak varies each year.
When it’s not hurricane season, the rain drops off, and Xcalak is prone to drought. Most properties have cisterns that fill with water during the rainy season, but if you use all the water during the dry season, you may need to order a water truck to refill the cistern.
- Rust. When you live near the sea, metal corrodes faster than you think. You should oil exposed metal (such as doorknobs) and may have to replace some parts yearly. Aluminum lasts a bit longer than steel, but the salt air is relentless, so plan on replacing hinges, locks, handles, and anything else metal (inside and outside) periodically.
- Sand. Because most of Xcalak’s beachside is off-grid, air conditioning is impossible. However, the sea breeze does a great job of keeping things cool. The wind also does a great job constantly delivering sand into your house. Sweeping sand off the floor is a daily activity unless you like a grainy feeling under your feet.
- Caretakers. As an ex-pat, almost everyone expects you to support the local community. Most property owners hire locals, be it a part or full-time caretaker, a cleaning lady, or someone to help with the occasional chore.
Xcalak is a friendly place, but don’t think you’re immune to burglary. Having a beach dog (or two) is a popular anti-theft measure to deter unwanted visitors from exploring your seaside property.
Watch for missing beach furniture, lock your bodega (shed) and home when you’re not nearby, and don’t leave anything outside unattended that you don’t mind disappearing. It’s not like people are out to get you, but think of it this way—if you really wanted to keep it, you’d keep it safe.
Are You Part of Xcalak’s Future?
(We hope you are)
Living beachside in Xcalak is a dream come true for many people. Whether you buy an existing accommodation or build your own, there are factors to consider. From the laws and regulations governing foreign property purchases to construction challenges, please…
Take your time, choose wisely, and good luck with your search!
Sincerely, Heather & Tim
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