What you need to know about vacation home and investment purchases.
There are many misconceptions and misinformation in regards to purchasing real estate in Mexico. The reality is you can own home here with full title and title on the land just like you would in Canada, the USA or Europe. There is no 99 year lease, you own the property and you can have a place to vacation when ever you want to use it, and an appreciating asset that you can rent out when you are not using it to generate income.
What you need to know.
The first thing you need is a reputable real estate agent or investment advisor here in Mexico. There are many expats living and working here in Real Estate and have been for many years. These people are valuable resources as they know the areas, and can recommend a community based on your needs. They also have access to great english speaking lawyers that specialize in Real Estate to foreigners.
How do you find a reputable agent? Find out how long the firm has been in business, it is a large firm?, do they have their own developments?, how many employees do they have, have you been to their office?
You gain title in Mexico in what used to be the "restricted zone" is through a Mexican Bank Trust. This is like a living trust in the USA and your title is registered with the municipal, federal and the Ministry of foreign affairs as your property. Closing costs are higher for this reason and can be as high as 8%. However closing costs when you sell your property are very low.
Beachfront Baby Gear recommends.
Investment Properties Mexico
Playa Del Carmen.
Ok, so from first glance at the title this may strike you as a silly blog. After all everyone knows how to cross the street safely from a very young age.
However after years of being brain trained especially in the USA and Canada we instinctively believe a certain set of rules.
1) Pedestrians always have the right of way.
2) If there is a striped cross walk pedestrians defiantly have the right of way.
3) Vehicles will stop for you so you can safely cross the road.
Unfortunately these top 3 rules that we have been bought up with do not apply in the Riviera Maya. Living and working here I constantly see accidents waiting to happen. Cars having to try to stop on a dime because a tourist has just walked out onto the street, and people trying to cross the road in front of one vehicle only to be almost run over by another one who decided to just continue to drive at speed and veer around the stopped vehicle.
I hope you read this blog before traveling here as it is important to know the rules. Yes there are rules here in regards to crossing the street! Pedestrians and vehicles alike know and respect those rules. They are just different.
1) Vehicles have the right of way on the road
2) Pedestrians only have the right of way on any type of cross walk if it is "raised" cross walk.
3) A regular stripped line on the road does not mean cars will stop for you and you have the right of way. It simply is there to indicate where the best place to try and cross the road is due to either a dipped sidewalk or a Tope (A large speed bump that is used to slow down traffic) that is close by.
4) If a vehicle does stop for you to cross make sure the vehicle puts its hazard 4-way lights on and blinking. This signals other vehicles that the vehicle has stopped for a reason and they should too.
5) Watch for other cars going around the stopped car at speed on the road. After all they have the right of way on the roads.
So please please do not just bomb across the street with your stroller and kids in tow without being aware of the rules here. The last thing you, a driver, or the Mexican Government wants is anything to happen to Mexico's most precious resource. Your tourism.
Check out our Family Friendly Activities page for more information on what to do here with your family.
Where to find your traditions in Playa del Carmen.
If you are spending your Christmas Holiday break in Playa Del Carmen, you have made a great decision. Getting away from the cold and arriving in paradise will give you and your family a beautiful Christmas. I remember our family's first Christmas here, I really missed some of the Canadian Christmas Traditions and if it were not for some great friends we had met here we would have gone through the season without doing what we spent our childhood doing without doing these things with our daughter. I remember really missing the cold, snow and rain of Vancouver on December 22/23/24th leading up to Christmas day. However by the time we got to Christmas dinner under the palapa by the pool I was over it :).
So here are some great things to do in Playa Del Carmen at Christmas time that you would not think are available here, you do not have to sacrifice that special moment captured on your phone with your baby or toddler, just because you decided to take advantage of sun, surf and beach for the season.
Where can I find Santa?
You can find a great "Mall" Santa at Liverpool in Playa Del Carmen. Liverpool is a great department store here which has quality items for everyone, very similar to Macy's in the USA or The Bay in Canada. It is located in South Playa Del Carmen on your right just after Centro Maya Mall. Take the federal highway as if you were going to Tulum and you can not miss it on your right hand side. Any cab driver will also know where it is, just jump in and ask to go to Liverpool and they will take you right there. There is the best Santa in town there, complete with a professional photographer. You can find Santa on duty from 11am to 6pm. If you get there and he is not there, check the sign posted for his return time don't worry.
You will not have the variation of church denominations that you will find in Canada and the USA for the most part, but you will find some fantastic traditional services at Christmas. Mexico's main denomination is Catholic and it is a great opportunity to take in some Mexican culture with a Christmas service from the local churches. Not to mention the beautiful Spanish style architecture you can soak in at the same time. Here are some churches and where you can find them in Playa Del Carmen.
Roman Catholic Church
Address: 15th Ave and Calle 12. Services are Sundays at 9am, 11am and 8pm. Services are in Spanish. Check the board outside for Christmas services.
Address: Calle 12 Norte Playa Del Carmen. Meetings are Tuesday at 6:30pm and Sunday at 11:30am and are even in English.
Address: 20th Ave and Calle 1 Playa Del Carmen. Sunday Mass is 11:30AM and is in Spanish.
WHERE TO FIND CAROLERS
Take a stroll on Playa Del Carmen's famous Quinta Alegra or 5th Ave. You will find whole local family's singing Christmas carols up and down 5th Ave. There you will also find all of your Christmas song favorites playing in the local stores up and down the street. Please take a moment to stop and enjoy the carolers, they are really quite talented, a small tip after your moments stop would be much appreciated, and needed for these family through the Christmas season.
The Spirit of Giving!
If you are like my family then a trip to the food bank over Christmas is what you do in your own community. If you would like to do that here you can do so at
Cáritas Playa de Carmen
Address: Nicte-ha, 77727 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Just like at home, non perishables will be very welcome.
For a Great list of Seasonal things to do also check out this great blog from Bric Rentals.
Akumal is located just 20 minutes from Playa Del Carmen and 1hr from the world class Cancun Airport.
Akumal North is where the fantastic beaches are located, there are some very exclusive properties for rent along the well kept road from the Akumal Bay entrance to Half Moon Bay which is about a 10 minute drive from the arch into the Beach Area. One of the best parts for a traveler with children to the Riviera Maya is that there is ample parking to be had and be prepared to be coaxed into parking by some very polite but loud parking attendants trying to get you to park at their parkade.
Do not turn into the first one as there are usually spots available in parkades closer to the beach.
Akumal boasts a fantastic scuba diving area in the Riviera Maya, however some areas that used to be popular with scuba divers and snorkelers alike have now been restricted due to the great work the Mexican Government in Quintana Roo is doing to preserve the endangered sea turtles that call the waters off of Akumal Bay and Half Moon bay home.
If you want to snorkel or scuba this is the place to go in the Riviera Maya, home to some very impressive coral reefs. Stay away from the fire coral reef that stings, this is marked with bright red buoys. It is illegal to touch any of the wildlife while diving or scuba diving, this and the protected areas are clearly marked and patrolled by the military.
There are some great options to stay in N. Akumal which put you right on the beach, everything from a beachfront condo to fully inclusive resort and large 4 and 5 bedroom homes to rent. Something for every budget.
Snorkeling is free if you have your own equipment and there are 2 dive shops that will give you a guided tour of the reefs with a boat and supply all the equipment you need. There will also be many private vendors on the beach who will offer to take you out with their boat for about $25USD per person. These are safe but not regulated and may offer to take you to protected areas for an extra fee. This is not recommended, go to a dive shop and pay the extra $20 per person to ensure that the amazing sea life and coral is here for future generations to come, have a fantastic experience and leave the area as you found it...... AMAZING!!
While visiting Akumal don't forget www.beachfrontbabygearrentals.com, rent all you baby or toddler needs for sleep, play, and entertain.
Few city's or towns in the world can boast about their home like Playa Del Carmen. It truly is the crown of the Riviera Maya. Playa Del Carmen, offers a unique and diverse experience, rich with culture and something for everyone. World class resorts from names like the Thompson and Hyatt to smaller boutique hotels dotted around the city. Family friendly with great parks, markets, and of course beaches, beaches and more beaches. Approval has also been granted for an $800 million USD Dream works theme park just north of the city center featuring everything from your favorite dream works movies and over 80 world class rides to enjoy with your family or on your own. 3 of the top 10 beaches in the world call the Riviera Maya home and are all less than 20 minutes from Playa Del Carmen.
If you have never had the chance to visit you must come and experience 5th Avenue. 100 blocks of boutiques, shops, 2 malls, vendors, street food, restaurants from every walk of life and spontaneous entertainment. The most unique shopping experience in the world, something for everyone.
Within a 10 minute drive or $5USD cab ride from Playa Del Carmen is so many things to see from Xcaret to Rio Secreto. For more information on family fun activities visit our family fun activities page on beachfrontbabygearrentals.com/fun-family-activities
Playa Del Carmen is loaded with famous Mexican hospitality and gracious welcoming people. Playa (as the locals call it) also has a thriving Ex-Pat community from every country of the world with the majority being Americans and Canadians.
The fastest growing city in Latin America the changes here since 1995 are incredible which also makes it one of the best places to invest in property or business in the world.
For more information on Playa Del Carmen, crown of the Riviera Maya you can visit
www.everythingplaya.com, www.locogringo.com or check out our website at www.beachfrontbabygearrentals.com