Second-Home Buyers Head South of the Border

Second-Home Buyers Head South of the Border

The Mexican government remembers the Alamo ... or at least the U.S. expansion efforts that cost them Texas.

As a result, a ban on non-citizens purchasing property within 31 miles of Mexico's coasts (or 62 miles of international borders) was written into the country's 1917 constitution.

But the country is preparing to lift the 100-year-old restriction, opening up attractive real estate opportunities for investors and would-be retirees.

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Vacation-home buying could take off if the restriction is lifted, and the favorable exchange rate on the Mexican peso will likely attract foreigners. The opportunity could be especially appealing to retirees from both the U.S. and Canada.

Having seen the economy revitalized by foreign buyers in other areas, supporters of the constitutional amendment hope lifting the restriction will do the same for coastal and border regions. There is also speculation that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto favors the amendment as part of his efforts to grow the tourism industry.

A loophole was created in the 1970s that allowed foreigners to apply for a 50-year land trust in conjunction with a bank to acquire property in these areas. But the process involved so much red tape that it deterred many potential buyers.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party, the National Action Party and Mexican real-estate brokers and developers have supported full removal of the ban, which has been passed by Mexico's lower house and is awaiting a vote in its Senate.

"It's no time to be concerned about an invasion by the shorelines," Miguel Angel Lemus, president of Lemmus Inver Mexico Real Estate, told The Wall Street Journal. "It's time to make money by the shorelines. We're going to have a boom with that."

Would you consider investing in a Mexican shoreline property?

RELATED: 'Why I'm Moving to Ecuador to Pursue the American Dream'

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