It is possible for foreigners to own property in Mexico—even by the beach. However, regardless of whether you are Mexican or not, you cannot own the beach.
In legal terms, there is no such thing as a ‘private beach’ in Mexico. The Mexican Constitution decrees all beaches to be publicly-accessible federal property and as such people have right of access to them anytime. There are some legal exceptions to the access rule, most notably, beaches classed or reserved for military use.
Just about every major beach destination in Mexico has stretches of beach which have no hotel or other property development near them. They are usually frequented by people playing ball sports, relaxing, sunbathing, having a picnic, or just watching the world go by. Some of them have palm groves or other shaded areas in the immediate vicinity; some also have beach-bars or kiosks selling a range of take-away food and drinks. These public areas are an ideal way to enjoy the local beaches and the sea if your home is situated inland from the beach front.
When you own a home near the beach, keep in mind that the salty sea air will create more wear and tear on your home than a property situated inland. Careful choice of materials (if you are building or remodeling your home) and a regular maintenance program will ensure that the structure of your home and any outbuildings remains in good order. Regular house maintenance prevents you from having to pay for higher repair and restoration costs later.
Summers in Mexico near the beach can be very hot and sultry. While some people can get by using a ceiling fan, most people find that air conditioning is essential to stay cool during the hottest months (May-October)—and particularly to get a good night’s sleep. If you are building your own home near the beach, there are design elements that you can employ to promote natural cooling and air ventilation, and thus reduce your energy costs. However, you will probably need some form of air conditioning and it’s relatively expensive to run because air conditioners consume large quantities of electricity, so keeping cool through the summer can become a line item on your home budget in these hotter climates.
If the area where you are buying your home is subject to tropical storms and hurricanes, you will need to buy a home insurance policy that covers your property for damage caused by these. You can learn more about how to protect your home from unforeseen events on our comprehensive guide to Insuring Property in Mexico.
If you plan to buy or build a home near a beach in Mexico, there are factors to take into account in regard to construction and maintenance which can help you to protect your investment and design energy efficiency into your home. Ed Kunze’s eBook, Buy, Build or Improve Your Home in Mexico has extensive information about this, sharing valuable advice that can prevent you from making material mistakes and save you time and money.