When you decide to purchase a home in a foreign country like Mexico, your search is going to be online. At least until you’re ready to fly down to see your chosen properties. In the meantime, however, it’s a completely digital experience. It’s not easy to really narrow down ideas when all you have are descriptions and photos, but it helps to know what to look for in your online listings. Here are our tips to start your search online.
First things first: location and use of the property
Chances are that if you’re already thinking of purchasing a home abroad, you’ve shortlisted your favorite destinations. But you need to be absolutely sure of where you’re investing. The first thing you need to do, however, is decide what the property is for. Are you investing in a vacation rental, in a retirement home or in a second home for those family getaways? This will help you narrow down choices and choose the right destination for you. When you know what use your property will have, then you can consider the location out of your already selected destinations.
If you’re retiring, you might want to consider Playa del Carmen’s gated communities with proximity to every comfort of a well-lived life. If you’re investing in a vacation rental, perhaps Tulum’s ever-growing tourism market is who you want to tackle. Maybe if you’re investing in a second home for vacations and want to rent it out the remainder of the year, you’ll invest in where YOU want to spend your holidays – be it Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Merida or wherever. The point is, you need to narrow down and select one destination.
Defining this will also help you be more selective about the neighborhoods in which you might be interested.
Set a budget and wish list
You can’t start any sort of search – online or not – if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The first thing you need to do is set a budget, or a price range. It’s good to have a set price, but set a maximum that you are willing to spend if you find a house that you just cannot pass up. You also need to write down your wish list. What things MUST your house have? Do you need a specific number of bedrooms, certain spaces, elevator or amenities that are a necessity? It helps to divide your wish list into must haves, likes and definite nos. That way you know what you can or can’t live without.
Know where to start searching online
Ok, so you’re ready to start checking out properties. How exciting! But, where do you start? If you have any friends that have previously bought property in the same destination as you want, ask them for recommendations. Where did they look? Who did they work with? How did they find their house? It helps to read online reviews and find rankings of the websites where you’re looking. There are thousands of options online to find your dream home in the destination you’re set one. But it comes down to you feeling comfortable and understood as you search for your home. Find reputable websites that can prove to you – even if it’s online – that they have your best interests at heart.
Let technology help you
We’ve reached a point where photos of the properties have become obsolete. Today, many websites are uploading virtual tours (whether they’re just videos or 360° tours) to really allow you to understand the house. However, keep in mind that whatever you see on the screen is not telling the full story – for good or bad. But, it’s a great starting point to start narrowing down options until you’re ready to get down to Mexico and see them in person.
Don’t face it alone
One of the most important tips you can get when purchasing property abroad is to work with a local agent or agency. We cannot stress this enough. Whomever you work with should be knowledgeable of the real estate market, and help you narrow down your choices. Having trusted eyes at your destination will make it all so much easier.
While your search might start online, there isn’t really anything better than seeing properties in person. Being able to picture yourself in the space, checking for details that go unnoticed in photos and videos and really soaking in the property can lean you one way or another.
We hope these tips help you take the plunge into searching for your dream property. And if you’re wary of the process, join us on December 6th for our First-Time Buyers in Mexico webinar with founder and CEO of Top Mexico Real Estate, Thomas Lloyd. Afterwards, you’ll be ready to start searching through our thousands of properties in the Riviera Maya to find your dream home.
And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…we make it happen!