Cheapest Destinations Blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Where to Buy a Cheap Beach House in Mexico

cheap beach house in Mexico

After a decade of reverse immigration to Mexico by retirees and rising home prices in North America, can you still find a cheap beach house in Mexico to buy? In most of the places you have probably heard of, not really, but if you know where to look, there are plenty of Mexican beach house bargains south of the border.

When I sold a condo across the Hudson River from New York City back in the early ’00s, I already owned the house I lived in elsewhere and was leery about putting my equity into the U.S. housing market. (That turned out to be an early, but valid fear of the coming financial crisis.) We were living in landlocked Nashville, missing the ocean, so we bought a little beach house in Mexico for $35K, put another $10K into it, and had a nice casita to stay in for vacations that was one house back from the beach. That’s it at the top. 

From an investment standpoint, it didn’t turn out to be some stroke of genius: we sold it around a decade later for only $55K. But hey, we used it a fair bit and rented it out a fair bit, so at worst it was a house we had for a decade at no cost—a wash. Prices have gone up in that Progreso region near Merida a bit since then with more gringos moving in. There are still plenty of bargains around though, so I’ll start there in the suggestions of where to look. The other examples are on the Pacific Coast, however. All the desirable beach areas on the Caribbean side are either super-developed with resorts or they’re part of a biosphere preserve that can’t be touched. 

One note on Mexican real estate: there are different laws inland than there are near the coast. So houses for sale in Mexico on the beach have more rules and higher annual costs than inland ones. My house in Guanajuato I own free and clear, including the land it sits on. In beach areas, however, you own the house but you technically lease the land in a bank trust arrangement.

If you buy a condo this is a moot point, of course, since you don’t own the land anyway no matter where you are. So buying a condo in Mexico isn’t any more complicated than buying one in the United States. Less complicated actually because there’s usually no mortgage. More on that later. 

For property anywhere near the coast, you pay a fee to a bank each year for a 50-year land trust that can be renewed at least once and in theory anyway, longer–the laws haven’t been on the books long enough to be tested for a century. Since few people live that long anyway, it only matters if you’re planning on leaving the house to your heirs. Otherwise, the next buyer starts the process over again.

The legalese is a lot more complicated than this, but the end result for most is just more paperwork since few people keep their house for a century anyway.  The only noticeable downside is the annoying annual fee, which will be much higher than your property taxes. Bottom line: don’t get hung up on this technicality.

Also, if you’re not hung up on being by the water, you can get more house for your money by going inland. The best places to buy property in Mexico are outside of the most popular gringo locations if you really want the best bang for your buck. There are a lot of those to choose from. But if you’re dreaming of living by the beach in Mexico, that’s what this post is all about.

One big caveat on everything you read: prices are greatly influenced by the exchange rate between the dollar and the peso. When I first put this post up, the dollar was trading at around 20. In April 2024 as I update this, it is trading below 17. That means houses that were barely below $100K are more like $125K now, not even counting appreciation and inflation I’ve had to remove Mazatlan, for example, because prices have skyrocketed since I first wrote this article in 2020. 

With that out of the way, here are the best places to find cheap Mexico beach houses for sale. 

cheap beach house MexicoProgreso Coast in Yucatan State (Chelem, Chuburna, Chicxulub, Telchac Puerto)

This area has long been one of the best beach house bargain areas of Mexico because these towns are only 40-50 minutes from the international airport in Merida, the major capital city of Yucatan state. If you can’t find a good flight deal to there, it’s also about four hours by rental car from Cancun. 

You can still find a small house or a decent-sized building lot on this stretch of Gulf Coast beach for less than $50K, though if it’s a house it will be tiny and need some work or add-ons. Most of these homes are weekend getaways for middle-class Mexicans in Merida, so sometimes they’re literally one big room: everyone strings up a hammock when it’s time to go to sleep! 

If you want the kind of dream retirement home you’re picturing in your head, you’ll probably spend at least $90K for a place with multiple bedrooms and air conditioning, maybe a nice patio or roof deck. Even here it’s hard to find beachfront homes for sale under $100k, though they do pop up now and then.

More commonly, you could pay $150K and up for one with a swimming pool or right by the beach. Some recent sales have topped $300K, but that’s for a huge villa right on the beach with panoramic views from the swimming pool. What will that amount get you in a beach area anywhere in the USA or Canada? This may just be the cheapest place to buy a house on the beach in all of North America, especially a beach where the water is warm enough for swimming all year.

Mexican beach house prices

6 BR, 6 baths, pool, sold for $270K (photo by Top Mexico Real Estate) 

Actual listings change all the time, though the prime buying season is when it’s cold up north.

To see what’s available, do a search for local agencies and check some of the multi-city services at the end of this post. It’s kind of sleepy here, especially in the winter, but this coast still has some of the cheapest beachfront property in Mexico. 

Huatulco, Oaxaca State Real Estate Bargains

The beaches of Oaxaca State are gorgeous, but they’re not all that well-known outside of Mexico. Huatulco was designed as a major planned development area with government backing so there are some big hotel developments and some luxury home communities there. Since it only has a smattering of international flights though and not much name recognition with foreigners, there are still plenty of bargains here. Unlike the pancake-flat Yucatan area mentioned above, Huatulco has lots of mountains and coves, so it’s easy to get a gorgeous view without directly facing the sand. 

Huatulco real estate listings right now have lots in a gated community for $63K and 2BR condos for less than $100K. You don’t have to spend much more to get more space as there are a lot of 3BR and up condos for sale in the $110K to $150K range, some with a terrific ocean view.

The single home market here is pricier as you’re competing with wealthy Mexicans for a vacation showpiece. For those homes, figure on a Malibu-type beach mansion for $600K instead of a few million like it would be in California.

For listings see and the general ones at the end of this post. 

Puerto Escondido Homes for Sale, Oaxaca State

I’ve sung the praises of Puerto Escondido before as a town that still offers a bargain Mexican beach vacation without massive resort crowds and overdevelopment. The main stretch of beach here has giant waves that surfers love, but you can find some mellower spots that are okay for swimming. The town itself is very Mexican, so it doesn’t feel like you’re in a total gringo community here. Prices are a reflection of that atmosphere and the difficulty of getting here without connecting in Mexico City first. 

Most of the building lots in the area range from $16K (inland) to $230K (large beachfront) and most of the 2BR condos are under $200K. I found a furnished 2BR condo with a common infinity pool for $140K and a couple ocean-view houses with a pool for around $160K. You can spend more than a million bucks to be right on the main beach, but even there you’ll find some oceanfront houses for under $400K. 

For listings see or 

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo Home Deals

Zihuatanejo house in Mexico

Ixtapa is another government-planned beach community that never took off like Cancun did. Zihuatanejo is its older sister city that is a mix of fishermen and quick-visit tourists on the town waterfront, but is a real Mexican city otherwise and has some nicer beaches just over the hills. The region has been plagued by occasional Guerrero state violence and diminishing international air connections, which has created some good buying opportunities for retirees or vacation homeowners who don’t need to get in and out frequently. 

As in most of these spots, there are plenty of high-end mansions for those with lots of money to spend, but they’re great values compared to what you would get for that amount in Florida, California, or Vancouver Island. Here the water’s warm enough to swim all year. 

You won’t find a lot of detached houses listed here for under $100K, but some of them do indeed go for that if the seller really needs to get the deal done. There are some in the $100K to $200K range though and lots of condos to choose from with those prices. You’ll get an especially good deal if you don’t care much about an ocean view: inland gated community villas and golf course homes are as little as 1/5 of what you would pay for the same size where you live now. Most have access to a community swimming pool. 

For listings see Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Real Estate, MBP Real Estate, and ZihuaBello.

Barra de Navidad and Melaque Real Estate in Jalisco State

Everyone has heard of Puerto Vallarta and a lot know about the nearby Nayarit beach towns like Sayulita and San Pancho, but head south toward Manzanillo and you eventually get to a secret spot: the beach towns of Melaque and Barra de Navidad. This area is a favorite for Canadians, with a lot of word-of-mouth growth leading to this becoming a Canadian satellite city in the winter months. 

This is a rather sleepy beach area, the kind of place to go if beers in a bucket while your toes are in the sand makes up your perfect mind’s eye picture of paradise. The cheap Mexico beach scene you won’t find anymore in the more developed areas. You’re not far from the city of Manzanillo though, which has a decent-sized airport and modern hospitals. 

A lot of snowbirds who come here for the winter are just renting, so there’s good income potential if you’re not going to use your house all the time. It’s relatively easy to find property near the beach to build on for $30K to $50K if you want to get your dream Mexican house with your ideal layout. Otherwise, there are plenty of houses available between $85K and $200K, with some as low as $45K a few blocks back from the water. One listed for sale at the first agency below is showing a 3BR/2 bath house with a pool for $149K. In other words, you can still find beach houses for sale under $200K in this region.

For Barra de Navidad and Melaque house listings see Monaco Mexico Real Estate or 

Mazatlan Beach City Real Estate, Sinaloa

Mexican house for sale Mazatlan

Listed at $85,000 with 3 bedrooms, yard, and parking (photo by REMax Sunset Eagle)

Sorry kids, that house above would be more than $150,000 now, just four years later as I update this in 2024. Mazatlan took off during the remote work transitions and has sped up even more since. Anything under $150K now is either tiny, way back from the beach, or a fixer-upper.

Playas de Rosarito Real Estate Close to California

Can’t afford to be near the beach in Los Angeles or San Diego? Head to Tijuana and keep going to reach the beaches of Rosarito. 

Back before I had ever invested in real estate in Mexico, an acquaintance told me she had a beach house in Rosarito and that she had paid $55K for it. “What?!” I replied. “Send me a photo!” She did and it was gorgeous, a cool little casita that even back then was a tiny fraction of what the house would have cost her in California. 

The secret is out now, but there are still plenty of bargains since most visitors from California are zooming right past it to head to the wine country around Ensenada or are making their way further south on a Baja road trip. You’ll find a range of lots for sale for less than $30K and I saw one double lot right on the ocean going for $65K. The sweet spot for houses is $150K to $200K, with a big selection in that range. Naturally you can spend more and prices go down as you get more than a few blocks from the water. 

Right now the median sale price of a house in the entire city of San Diego, California is $619,200 according to Zillow. If you spend that in Rosarito, you’ll get a 5-bedroom luxury penthouse with marble and granite throughout and a view from the Jacuzzi like this: 

Mexico condo for sale Rosarito

Penthouse condo for sale by

For listings in the area, check Baja123 or 

Puerto Penasco Homes and Rocky Point in Sonora State

There’s an old George Strait country song where he says he doesn’t really miss his ex and if you believe that, he’s got some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you. There’s no such thing of course, but Puerto Peñasco is a shade more than four hours from Phoenix or Tuscon. That makes it close enough from those cities to serve as a holiday weekend getaway home, or a retirement alternative that’s not in the desert. 

Naturally, this ease of access means it’s going to be a little more costly here than in places you have to fly to, but this town at the top of the Sea of Cortez is still reasonably priced compared to the USA or Canada. You have a wide range of building lots to choose from here for less than $60K—sometimes a lot less. Building costs in Mexico are a fraction of the labor costs on the other side of the border. 

You can find a ready-to-go house in town for under $100K still, maybe a 10-minute walk to the beach. The prices are much higher right on the beach of course and you could pay the price of a Phoenix house to get that 180-degree ocean view from a detached home patio. There are plenty of condos for sale for less than $250K though, most in a nice facility with a swimming pool and maybe a gym. 

Check out listings at the local RE/Max office site or 

There are some good Mexico real estate services that have listings all over the country. These include and Point2Homes. After you poke around a while, you’ll find that Mexico is not the cheapest country to buy a house, but it’s certainly the cheapest one that’s only a quick plane ride away–the cheapest country you can drive to in a day or less if you live in the Southwest USA.

This is not a definitive Mexican real estate list by any means. There are plenty of places to find cheap houses for sale in Mexico. If you’re not hung up on living right by the ocean, then your options expand exponentially. The interior is generally less expensive than the coast–and cooler if you go up in altitude. 

Beachfront Homes for Sale Under $100K in Mexico?

What can you get for less that US$100,000 by the beach? If you’re talking about the USA, or you’re looking for Belize or Costa Rica real estate, the answer is probably going to be “nothing.” You can still find a few beachfront homes for sale for under $100K in Mexico though, in multiple locations. 

Just keep in mind that even in Mexico, the more desirable and well-known the area is, the less likely you’ll actually be on the beach for that price. A lot of Americans and Canadians bought real estate in Mexico during the pandemic years. People wanted to migrate away from cold places when they started working from home and there was a big housing bubble causing people to make far more profit from something they sold than they would have during normal times.

In some spots you can find a 1BR condo in a Mexican neighborhood in town for that price or a 2BR one that’s a 15-minute walk from the coast. It’s tough to find one where you’ve got an unobstructed view of the water for that price though. You’ll probably need to spend closer to $200K for an oceanfront condo.

Remember though that if you can find a beach lot for $50K or less, which you can still do in many of the places listed above, you can probably build a not-too-extravagant beach house for less than $50K yourself and you’re all in for under 100 grand. Building costs are quite reasonable in Mexico, all made from concrete, cinderblocks, and brick, and it’s inexpensive to get custom tile work done. This lot that’s just an hour from San Diego in Baja Norte is going for $47K. 

beachfront Mexico under $100K

In general, if you want to find a house or condo that’s already built going for $100K or less, on the water, you’ll need to go beyond the tourist resort areas you’ve already heard of, maybe even beyond the ones I’ve highlighted in this article. And start learning Spanish. 

Have you found another spot for bargain beach homes in Mexico that I haven’t discussed here? Leave it in the comments. 

This post on cheap beach houses in Mexico was updated in April 2024. As mentioned at the beginning, the dollar is down against the peso and prices keep going up, so use this article as a guide, not as gospel. 

Keep up with what’s new on this blog by receiving new post updates by e-mail. Or if you’re interested in moving abroad, get on the Cheap Living Abroad Insiders list. 



Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Great blog, Very informative... I have recently been struck by Mexican culture. I have been there several times. Something about it keeps bringing me back. My future (retirement) may lay there. That is still years away though... We can dream though.... Eye on the prize!!!


Saturday 12th of March 2022

You should clarify the approximate costs of the dreaded Fideicomiso for all ranges of housing, especially cheap ones, under 50k. I've heard some of the costs are fixed so it would really eat into your total cost every year. Like a huge bite. This may be why people on a budget just never buy near the beach. Or close to a 50km distance near a highway and put that money to bus tickets going back and forth. If it was a highway in good condition you might make it in a rather short period of time. And if it was mountainous it would make a nice refuge during the summer there where the coast is rather intolerable for many.

Tim Leffel

Monday 14th of March 2022

Sam, it varies by state, but assume it's more than $1,000 per year. Most people who come from the USA are paying far more than that in property taxes, so it's still a step down in costs, but I agree that it's a significant consideration. It's going to be at least 4X what your property taxes are for a cheap place. Now I live inland and don't have to worry about that anymore.


Saturday 26th of February 2022

Thank you so much for sharing this blog. This is a great post on the cheap beach house in Mexico, real estate services, and much more. Thanks once again and best of luck.


Thursday 10th of February 2022

How do purchase a home on the ocean

Niccole McDaniel

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Great info! Thanks for your time! I'm desperate to buy in Mexico but so afraid I'll do it wrong. Legalities and all. Not sure how it all works and wouldn't want to make a mistake. If I leave to visit family twice a year, would I be able to live there? Lol


Tuesday 16th of November 2021

@Tim Leffel,

Hi Tim. Thank you for writing this article that is full of great information. We are looking at buying property in Telchac Puerto and would be interested in any additional thoughts or advice. The property we are looking at is 3 house up from the beach.

Tim Leffel

Thursday 30th of September 2021

It's always best to rent for a while first to know the area and local steps. Going in blind could be costly anywhere in the world. Any legit real estate agent with a long history can guide you through it though, as can other expats who live there.