Puerto Rico is a place like no other. With its pleasant year-round temperatures, white, sandy beaches, and unique culture, one can only expect that visiting this glorious island would be on many people’s bucket lists. However, for some, seeing it only once may not be enough. A lot of people crave frequent trips. Well, buying a beach house in Puerto Rico might just give them the opportunity for a getaway whenever they please. Furthermore, having a second property here also allows owners to generate rental income. After all, this Caribbean heaven on Earth gets plenty of tourist traffic, and tourists need accommodation.
Still, regardless of your reasons for buying a beach house in this off-shore US territory, you shouldn’t purchase without knowing all the details about the actual process of buying real estate in Puerto Rico. With that said, we’ve compiled a guide that contains information on what acquiring such a house in this beautiful paradise means. It also consists of tips that should make the whole purchasing process a piece of cake.
How Simple Is It for American Citizens to Acquire Puerto Rican Properties?
Incredibly simple! Being a part of the Commonwealth of the US, American citizens can invest in real estate on this island with virtually no problems. In fact, even traveling back and forth requires neither passport nor a visa!
The only thing that could make it slightly more difficult to finalize the purchase is the potential language barrier. Spanish is the official language of the island rather than English. But even that shouldn’t stop you! After all, these days, the majority of people speak decent English here.
Is Buying a Beach House in Puerto Rico Right Now a Good Idea?
Puerto Rico experienced a debt crisis and filed for bankruptcy back in 2019. While the island’s financial situation has majorly improved and is back on the right track in 2022, real estate prices are still on the lower end.
When speaking about numbers, less than $200,000 can get you a two-bedroom beach house. Of course, the actual price will vary depending on the exact location and the level of luxury of the property you are interested in acquiring.
So yes, investing in real estate in Puerto Rico might be the right decision today. And who knows, once you’ve bought yourself a beach house, you could even end up moving there rather than solely visiting. When it comes to international relocation, however, only a skillful team can handle it without any issues. For that reason, look for experienced US movers you can hire ahead of the process.
Tips for Buying a Beach House in Puerto Rico You Can Learn a Lot From
It’s finally time to give you some real advice on buying Puerto Rican beach properties. Without further ado, we present you with expert tips from which you’ll undoubtedly learn a lot!
Use Local Real Estate Agents
It’s only natural that you would want to work with local realtors as, ultimately, they are the ones that know the area well. However, be prepared for a slight shock as real estate agents in Puerto Rico aren’t exactly what they are in the US. The realtor’s job in the States is to show you listings you might be interested in. You are typically working with only one agent throughout the process of buying a home.
On the other hand, realtors on the island of Puerto Rico own the listings. That means that one agent is capable of showing you only their houses. If you aren’t interested in any of them, you are obligated to move on to the next agent until you’ve found one that can offer you something you can’t say no to.
While working with multiple people might seem like a hassle, this nuisance is something you’ll have to get over. You cannot possibly venture into the process of purchasing property in Puerto Rico without someone native to guide you through it. A local can help you explore the island, inform you of neighborhoods to stay clear from and provide answers to many questions you might have.
In case you do not know where to look for a reputable real estate agent, it’s best to ask around the community. As we’ve already touched upon the language barrier, you probably know that for this, you might need to understand some basic Spanish.
Perform Extensive Research
Coming from the US, knowing precisely where to look when buying a beach house is something that’s not expected of you. That’s where research comes into play. Before purchasing a home and possibly moving to Puerto Rico with the help of a reputable moving company such as Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage, you’ll want to look around real estate search websites. Zillow, for instance, has a plethora of listings available. Take notes and remember to visit the favorites in person once you’ve reached the island.
Take an Actual Tour of the House(s)
And that brings us to our next tip: visiting the houses you are interested in. Photos and videos are one thing, while actual conditions are something completely different. When in the area, not only will you be able to inspect the property on your own terms, but you’ll also be able to get a sense of what it would feel like to be a part of the community. Furthermore, you’ll be able to see with your own eyes whether the surrounding area has everything you need.
Hire a Home Inspector
There’s only so much an ordinary person can notice in terms of structural issues and possible damage to the property. That’s why it pays to hire a home inspector. They can see problems even when there aren’t any or any that can be easily seen. Puerto Rico can get extremely hot and humid. Such weather can cause damage to housing. Mold, for instance, is present in many beach homes. And since you would be making a purchase of a lifetime, you can’t afford to buy a house only to realize it’s barely standing. Look for an experienced surveyor to spare yourself the stress and money.
We hope the above information gave you more insight into buying a beach house in Puerto Rico. As you now know, this island has affordable properties to offer, gorgeous weather, and no-visa requirements for US citizens. New residents and visitors who stay in Puerto Rico for more than 183 days a year don’t have to pay the majority, if not all, federal income taxes. And if nothing else convinced you to make that purchase and come to this Caribbean heaven, the tax break might just do so.