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Bringing Your Car to Mexico

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If you decide to own a car in Mexico, you have two basic routes to follow:

1. You can bring your car from home or

2. You can buy a car in Mexico

Hundreds of Americans and Canadians have gone through the simple process for either approach and happily enjoy use of their car in Mexico. If you want to own a car in Mexico, the following guideline will help you plan and see how easy it really is.

Bringing Your Car to Mexico

If you bring an American or Canadian car to Mexico, its validity is basically the same as your residency status. This makes sense, since you will always have a valid residency status, meaning that you will always have a valid car permit. Basically, if you enter as tourist, your car will have a temporary permit to operate your car in Mexico that’s valid as long as your tourist visa. If you are a permanent resident, you will be able to gain Mexican plates for your car and keep it here permanently. In all cases, your car will be valid in Mexico as long as your residency status is valid.


A. Tourist Visa (FMM) When you enter Mexico as a tourist, you will be given a tourist visa (FMM) at the point entry, which will be the U.S. border in most cases. This visa is valid for staying in Mexico for up to 6 months. Similarly, you will be given a temporary permit for your car, valid for up to 6 months. The permit is given in the form of a sticker for your windshield and a document, which you should keep in the car with you. This document is called a temporary importation permit and you will need it if you choose to extend your car’s permit.


Before the six months expires, you’ll either be heading back home or, if you choose to stay in Mexico longer, you’ll start the process of gaining Mexican residency (see section “B” below) which will also provide you with a longer-term permit for your car. If you have chosen not to seek residency in Mexico, you can “renew” both your tourist visa and the permit for your car by leaving Mexico and re-entering immediately. If you are planning to live near the U.S. border, you could simply make a trip to the U.S. border twice a year. Those living in the south of the country – mostly the state of Quintana Roo, i.e. Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum – sometimes make trips to the border with Belize about 3 to 4 hours away to renew their tourist visa and car permit. People who choose this option simply see it as another little road-trip outing.

If you want to learn more about Mexico real estate, the buying process and much more specialized contents please visit our website or download some of our exclusive e-books. Our company has a decade long experience, and has helped thousands of satisfied customers find the home of their dreams in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate….

We Make It Happen!





Carnival Cruise Announces Extended Trips to Cozumel

 photo hqdefault_zpsad3az0rt.jpgCarnival Cruise Line is expanding its cruise calls to Cozumel.  According to Caribbean Journal, the company will extend the length of time its ships will spend docked in Cozumel on more than 750 voyages via new “Cozumel Plus” itineraries.  The Journal says “Guests can try a host of new excursions, from swimming with whale sharks to exploring hidden caverns.”

The Cozumel Plus itineraries will be offered on 17 different Carnival ships and will be up to eight hours in duration. Among the tours will be a trip to the lagoons of Xel-Ha, and a visit to some of the Riviera Maya’s ancient Mayan ruins. These new offerings will add to nearly 50 tours that Carnival already offers in Cozumel.

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¨Cozumel is the Caribbean’s premier cruising region¨says Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. ¨Our ‘Cozumel Plus’ itineraries provide our guests with a seemingly endless variety of new ways to explore this fascinating destination,”  Carnival currently offers four-to-eight-day cruises to Cozumel from six US home ports along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Cruise vessels dock at Puerta Maya, a three-berth facility that is home to a transportation center, restaurants, shops and boutiques. The ferry ride to Playa del Carmen is only 30 minutes, allowing you to leave the island and explore the Riviera Maya with ease. There is an ADO bus terminal a short walk from where the ferry docsk, allowing you to quickly make your way to any number of destinations.

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Things to Do

Cozumel has white-sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters, allowing for any number of excellent activities like snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. Cozumel thrives thanks to the second biggest reef barrier in the world: the Mesoamerican Reef. This provides the most amazing underwater life, including their endemic splendid toadfish, which can only be found in its waters. Once you´re tired from your physical exertions you can look forward to going shopping or eating in one of the many restaurants.

Properties in Cozumel

So, have you thought about buying property on this beautiful paradise island? You can find a residential lot, house, condo or  villa and begin to live the lifestyle that has made this island famous. The Mayans were the first to have settled in the island, worshipping it as a place of fertility. With all the natural beauty it has to offer it is easy to see why.

Are you ready to make the move to Cozumel? Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned real estate company catering to Americans and Canadians looking to make the move to the Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico. See something you like? Contact our Top Buyer Representatives and they will gladly guide you through the process of becoming a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!


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Playa Del Carmen is home to some of the best dining and nightlife in the Yucatan, and one of them is now being recognized online. Last month BuzzFeed published an article about some of the most unique bars and lounges in the world, citing the “insanely unique” Alux Restaurante Bar & Lounge in Playa del Carmen among them. Located inside a massive cavern in the heart of the Riviera Maya, it offers one of the world’s most amazing dining experiences, inside a space filled with colorful lights and natural stalagmites and stalactites.

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If your´re downtown on Playa´s famous 5th avenue head over to Juarez Avenue where you can grab a taxi. Ten minutes of driving later you will be taken to one of the most unique restaurants on the planet. Alux is a natural cave with its´own cenote (a natural sinkhole) that has been transformed into an incredible venue. Strategically placed lights around the cave illuminate the incredible formations of stalagmites and stalagtites.

Alux Restaurante also has seven private vaults that can be reserved for birthday parties, private dinners and other occasions that call for an ultra-special setting. The main cavern can seat up to 50 people and the interior features a unique blend of spectacular natural features with candles, chandeliers and comfortable seating. The cocktail menu is extensive and the barman offers plenty of extra options using fresh fruit that weren’t on the menu. They were reasonably priced around $100 MXN.

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It may seem starnge to call a cave cosy, but a romantic setting can be found here among the secluded parts, perfect for a date. There´s an ambience and mood created by the flickering candles and torches that light the way as you walk about the cave system. Moving from different restaurant and bar areas, to the cenote and over to the waterfall you begin to realize that if a spelunker could design their dream this might be it.

Playa del Carmen is one of the fastest growing places in Mexico, and with flights to the Cancun International Airport just north of Playa del Carmen coming in every day, it’s no surprise that the Mexico’s Riviera Maya continues to be one of the top destinations in 2016.

If you want to learn more about Mexico real estate, the buying process and much more specialized contents please visit our website or download some of our exclusive e-books. Our company has a decade long experience, and has helped thousands of satisfied customers find the home of their dreams in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate….

We Make It Happen!


What is the Process to Buy a Preconstruction Condo?

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As Mexico properties are being discovered by the world, the demand is bringing record numbers of investors and buyers to this market. Some are coming with their knowledge and their monies which they reaped from their wise investments in other parts of the world. More and more, savvy real estate investors are broadening their sight into newly developing and emerging markets. In this new century with the more open global market community, international investing does not seem as adventurous as the years before. For many real estate experts throughout US, Canada and UK, Mexico real estate is a logical top option.

The Mexican real estate markets are not as mature as those from Canada, UK, or the USA. The same regulations do not apply here in Mexico as in our home countries. Some people see this as a glass half empty, others, as a glass half full. Less regulation, more risk, but much larger potential for greater returns!

To capitalize on the beneficial side of this coin, remember the following tips:

  • Do your homework
  • Surround yourself with qualified people  
  • Manage the risk and reap the rewards

Over the past 10 years, the preconstruction process has changed as more developers have appeared. In the early years, various local developers were the only options available to the early investor pioneers. Soon, regional and national players started investing into raw plots of land seeing the signs that large numbers of international buyers were flocking to Mexico’s beaches. Today, we are in the first phase of large multi-national developers placing their signatures in specific neighborhoods throughout Mexico.

You, the investor, are in a phase of investment here in Mexico which is very unique, in which you can find a variety of options.

Traditional Process to Reserve a Preconstruction Condo:

  1. $10,000 USD is paid to reserve a specific unit.
  2. 30% – 50% of the total condo unit value is paid to the developer with signatures of the promissory contracts.
  3. Monthly payments to the developer are made by the buyer during the construction period.
  4. Up to 90% of the unit is paid with the physical delivery of the condo unit.
  5. The remaining 10% is paid with the legal delivery of the condo.

The price might increase a few percentage points as the larger developers had greater cash flows, but this would be reflected back on the final price of the unit. Such payment schedules might include the following:

Please note the above payment schedules are all guidelines; we can find a variety of payment plan options and developers throughout the market, and while some have conditions set in stone, others are flexible in negotiation.

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Related: Mexico Condos for Sale – What are the Advantages of Buying Preconstruction?

If you want to learn more about Mexico real estate, the buying process and much more specialized contents please visit our website or download some of our exclusive e-books. Our company has a decade long experience, and has helped thousands of satisfied customers find the home of their dreams in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate….

We Make It Happen!


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Buying property in Mexico involves a series of contracts. Today we will look at the 3 Basic ones that you will encounter as part of the purchase process in Mexico. They are the Offer to Purchase, the Promissory Contract, and the Purchase-Sales Contract. This last one is drawn up and legalized by the notary public, then subsequently registered and filed at the public registry as the title.

If the buyer is non-Mexican, and buying within the restricted zone, the normal flow of contracts to be prepared are the offer to purchase, the promissory contract, and finally the purchase-sales contract, which will be drawn up and legalized by the notary public, then registered and filed at the public registry. If buying outside of the restricted zone, and the protocol can be executed immediately, the offer to purchase and the promissory contract may be avoided.

The Offer to Purchase

The Offer to Purchase will likely be the first document utilized that begins the process of transferring a property from seller to you- the buyer. It can also be prepared as a Reservation Agreement or an Earnest Money Deposit, and lists the main points of a future transaction. You can make this as complex or as simple as you feel is necessary. Any money released at this time such as earnest money, should be refundable during this phase, and a reasonable amount of time should be allowed so that buyer and/or legal counsel can research the property documents.

What should an offer to purchase include?

  • Names and personal info of both parties
  • The date
  • Description and address of the property
  • Price and payment terms
  • Provisions for the escrow
  • Terms and conditions of the offer
  • Name of notary
  • Closing date
  • Name of person responsible for closing costs (typically buyer), real estate fees and capital gain tax (typically seller)
  • Responsibilities of both parties
  • A clause indicating that the title shall be passed free and clear of liens or encumbrances
  • Penalty clause in case of noncompliance
  • Property condition
  • Inclusions
  • Jurisdiction
  • Signature of the parties and witnesses

The Promissory Contract

This is one of the most important documents to be elaborated and reviewed during the real estate acquisition process. Many people know this document as the hard copy and will hold the details such as legal description of the property, agreed price, penalties and other items. Of the contracts you complete, you will need to depend on this one the most, because it is the first document to outline the terms and details for the future execution of the real estate transaction. If the buyer and seller are able to execute the sale immediately, the parties can bypass the promissory contract and go straight to the purchase sales document.

If the closing cannot occur within 14 days, a promissory contract is recommended.

The Purchase Sales Contract

The Purchase Sales Contract is in essence the last contractual document required to transfer the rights of the property into the new buyer’s possession. This contract may be structured in various models such as a real estate trust agreement, an assignment of real estate trust or a reserve title contract; the model depends on the details and method of how the property will be transferred. It is important to note that the Offer to Purchase and Promissory Contract are intended to give the details and preparation for the transfer of the property whereas this final contract is the instrument exercising the actual, legal transfer.

The Purchase Sales Contract is the document which the notary public will use in following the protocol to transfer the property legally, and will become the legal title indicating new ownership.

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If you want to learn more about Real Estate in Mexico, the buying process and much more specialized contents please visit our website or download some of our exclusive e-books. Our company has a decade long experience, and has helped thousands of satisfied customers find the home of their dreams in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate….

We Make It Happen!


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