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Have you dreamed about owning your own piece of Cozumel real estate?

Find out all you need to know to buy an island property safely and securely.

Learn in easy-to-understand terms what the "restricted zone" is and how you can simply use a fideicomiso trust or Mexican corporation to buy your dream Cozumel home.

We take you through the buying process and explain how to avoid common pitfalls people make when buying property in Mexico.

Can Foreigners Own Property in Cozumel?

The simple answer is yes. Because Cozumel is in the so-called "restricted zone" property does need to be bought through a bank trust - fideicomiso - or in the name of a corporation, but at the end of the day you have all the same rights and benefits as an outright property owner.

The restricted zone is an area of land along the coasts and borders that has special status under the Mexican Constitution. The law dates from 1917, when a restriction seemed necessary for military defense.

There are plans afoot in the Mexican Congress to change the law, but in the meantime it really has no impact on your Cozumel property purchase.


A fideicomiso is the most common way for foreigners to buy property in Cozumel. It is a simple bank trust set up to own your property. You then become the sole beneficiary to that trust.

Fees vary from bank to bank, but you can expect a fideicomiso for your Cozumel real estate purchase to cost around $1,200 USD to set up.

The Buying Process

If you need financing to buy your Cozumel property then a good place to start is by getting pre-approved for a loan. There are an increasingly wider range of options available for Cozumel mortgages and financing.

Once you know how much you have to spend you can browse through our Cozumel MLS listings or contact us so we can put you in touch with one of our professional real estate partners, who will help you find the property you are dreaming of.

Once you decide to make an offer, your agent will negotiate with the seller or their agent to close the deal. Payment can then be made via your financing or by paying your own funds into an escrow account.

Your agent can help you with notaries and lawyers and once all the paperwork is settled to everyones satisfaction, the funds are released from the escrow account to the seller and you'll receive the keys to your Caribbean paradise property.

Avoiding Pitfalls

The most common pitfall is choosing the wrong people to advise you. Your real estate agent, notary and lawyer will play a vital role when buying your Cozumel property, so select them carefully.

In Cozumel and most of the rest of Mexico, there is no requirement for real estate agents to have a license, so extra common sense is required when choosing who to work with. Real estate agents that are members of AMPI, the Mexican Real Estate Professionals Association may be more reliable, but this is not always the case.

So, the best recommendation for an agent is a personal one. If you know somebody who has bought property in Cozumel ask them what agent they used and how good they were. You can even ask others for advice on our Facebook Page.

We also personally recommend all our real estate partners, who are selected for being reliable, professional and experienced. Just contact us if you'd like to discuss your real estate needs with one of them.

A good agent will also recommend good notaries and lawyers to work, making another important decision much easier for you too.

Be careful to avoid problems with titles too. Make sure the property you buy is clearly titled, again a good agent and lawyer will help you with this. You should also buy title insurance to avoid any unexpected surprises, this is readily available through your agent and is relatively cheap.

If you are moving full time to your new Cozumel property you should, of course, be prepared for the culture change. Living in Cozumel is a fantastically rich experience, but it is likely to be very different to your home country.

It's worth having extended stays on the island before making the final decision to move. Once you make the move be prepared to adapt a little and you will surely have the most amazing experience.

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