Merida is the capital city of the Mexican state of Yucatan, with a population of about one million permanent residents. It is located on the northwest part of the state, about 30 miles inland from the coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
In the past, Merida has not been as popular as other Mexican travel destinations due to it’s hot and humid climate in the summer. Consequently, the Merida real estate market still offers relatively affordable property values. For instance, homes that would be considered handyman specials can be bought for under $100,000. Homes bought within Merida fall within the Mexican government’s Restricted Zone and must be bought within a bank trust, called a fideicomiso. The local government also requires that the façade of structures in the Centro remain historically accurate, but interior modifications can be at the property owners discretion.
Merida homes run the gamut of beachfront bungalows to palatial haciendas to colonial townhomes to historical mansions. Many have been neglected for years, but require only a moderate cash injection to restore them to their previous state.
Recently, Merida has become home to a growing number of expatriates from all over the globe, many of whom are buying up properties for renovation. They either resell these properties or come to Merida to live in them for a more reasonably-priced retirement.
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Property owners wishing to renovate property can obtain very qualified local contractors, painters, masons and carpenters. “Pasta” tile is made locally from original Spanish and modern designs, and is less expensive and more beautiful than many modern floor finishes. It’s best to obtain the services of a local architect to oversee the workmen (called albañiles), and ensure that the renovation is carefully supervised.
Potential buyers of real estate in Merida will find that they are fortunate to be in a large city where realtors, lawyers, and notaries are available to help navigate them through the process of finding and buying a home. Many of these services now have websites, which allows the buyer to shop and contract with service vendors even before getting to Merida.
As a testimony to the growth potential of the Yucatan property market, various developments are being planned that include a Jack Nicklaus golf course, four-star hotels, and various other world class amenities.