House hunt in Mexico: a beach house in Playa del Carmen for $ 750,000


This four bedroom, four bathroom residence sits inside the gated resort community of Playacar, in the city of Playa del Carmen, on the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Built in 2000 and gradually being upgraded, the stone and cement house combines many local materials and architectural features, including palapa roof covers, made from dried palm leaves.

“This home is part of a prestigious community of approximately two dozen homes, within the second phase of Playacar development, which has its own swimming pool and tennis courts,” said Judi Shaw, owner / broker from Living Riviera Maya Real Estate, which has SEO. “They also have their own way to the beach – there is a door and only these owners have keys.”

The price for the 3,657-square-foot home, which has been a popular rental property, includes furnishings, Ms. Shaw said.

The main entrance, sheltered by a palapa overhang, is at the front of the house facing a driveway with space for two cars. It opens onto a small hall with a wooden staircase on one side. Up a few steps is the main living area, an open plan tiled space combining kitchen and living room. The kitchen counters and the breakfast bar are made of ticul, a locally mined limestone.

Decorative stained glass windows, used throughout the house, bring in lots of light and ensure the privacy of neighbors on either side. A hallway opposite the main entrance leads to a large wooden terrace with a palapa covered dining area and built-in benches. Below deck is a tiled patio with a wet bar. Stairs from the bridge lead to another covered terrace above. The decks overlook the community pool.

Two bedrooms – one with two twin beds and one with a queen-size bed – as well as two bathrooms flank the hallway.

The staircase from the main foyer leads to the master suite, which features a remarkable vaulted ceiling painted to resemble the sky and lit by ascending lighting. Closets line one wall, with a built-in vanity in the center. On the opposite wall, marble steps lead up to a hot tub framed by large stained glass windows. A separate shower room is just off the bedroom.

Another bedroom on the second floor has an en suite bathroom and exterior access via a spiral staircase.

The Playacar community in the southern corner of Playa del Carmen also has a golf course and a range of private beach clubs and beachfront hotels on the Caribbean coast of Yucatán. The pedestrian-only Fifth Avenue, full of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, is within walking distance. Xcaret Park, a popular water-focused theme park and resort, is just a few miles south of town. Cancun International Airport is approximately 45 minutes by car.

Playa del Carmen, in the municipality of Solidaridad in the state of Quintana Roo, is one of the largest cities on the Mexican Riviera Maya coast, with a population of approximately 305,000. It sits between the resort destinations of Cancun and Tulum.

Primarily a second home market, the city has seen a surge in demand from buyers seeking refuge from pandemic lockdowns, agents said.

“We’re used to being a buyer’s market because there’s just a lot of inventory – I like to say there’s a lot of candy in the candy store,” Ms. Shaw said. “But all of a sudden, a lot of long-standing stocks were recovered last year and early this year. So that makes it a more balanced market.

Nationally, the average selling price of a home increased 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the fourth quarter of 2019, to 1.2 million pesos ($ 59,000), according to Mexico. Federal Mortgage Corporation, which tracks the price of homes with mortgage credit. (The country does not have a multiple listing service.) In Quintana Roo, home prices rose 7.5% in 2020, the fifth largest increase among Mexico’s 32 states.

In the first six months of this year, Ms. Shaw said, her agency sold the same number of properties as in the first half of 2020, but the average sale price was higher, at $ 435,500. (Many properties in Mexico, including this one, are priced in U.S. dollars.)

Ivan Castillo, real estate attorney and managing director of Secure Title Riviera Maya, said that before the pandemic closed in early 2020, his company’s offices across Mexico were each opening around 40 to 45 cases per month. Now the average is closer to 100.

“We are seeing a very accelerated real estate market,” Mr. Castillo said. “It’s getting crazy.”

Prices in Playa del Carmen start at just under $ 200,000 for a two-bedroom condo further from the beach, said Jason Waller, owner of Playa Real Estate Group. Condos closer to the beach typically cost between $ 300,000 and $ 450,000, while beachfront homes now sell for over $ 1 million, he said.

“We have a lot of clients from New York, and a lot of people are looking for beachfront homes so they can enjoy beach life if there’s another foreclosure, instead of being stuck in a condo in town. and hate their family. Said Mr. Waller.

Compared to Cancun, Playa del Carmen is cheaper and more accessible on foot, he said, adding that “almost all streets lead to the beach.”

Mr Castillo said he believes there is more value to buy in Playa del Carmen than in Tulum, 40 miles from the coast, where frantic development is developing “in such a disorderly fashion” as services. such as water, electricity and Internet access are becoming more and more strained.

The US State Department currently advises travelers in Quintana Roo to exercise increased caution due to crime.

The majority of foreign buyers in Playa del Carmen come from the United States (especially Texas and New York) and Canada, agents said.

Mr Waller said he is also seeing more buyers from France and Britain this year.

“We have really noticed a recovery in Europe this year,” he said. “We have just hired a French speaking agent.

Mr Castillo said the majority of his overseas clients are from Canada and, because the country has been closed for so long, most are buying properties in the pre-construction phase. “I send them a power of attorney to sign so that I can represent them to take physical possession and take the title if necessary on their behalf,” he said.

Foreign buyers purchasing within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the coast or within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the country’s borders must purchase through a Mexican bank trust or Mexican corporation, Mr. Castillo said. A lawyer is required to perform due diligence on the transaction. A government-appointed notary formalizes the transaction.

Mortgage financing is not available to foreigners in Mexico. Most transactions are done in cash, Ms Shaw said.

The agent’s commission is typically 6 to 7 percent, which on a resale is paid by the seller.

Spanish; Mexican peso (1 peso = $ 0.049)

The transfer tax to Playa del Carmen is 3% of the purchase price, Castillo said. Total closing costs, including the cost of setting up the trust, typically range between 4-7%.

Annual property taxes on this home are $ 375, with a monthly homeowners association fee of $ 140.

Judi Shaw, Living Riviera Maya Real Estate, 760-994-1716; [email protected]

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