Interested in buying in Puerto Rico

33 Replies

Hi, My name is Yashira and I'm new in the community. I'm originally born and raised in the beautiful warm island of Puerto Rico but moved for graduate studies and stayed in the bitter cold (but beautiful) Wisconsin. 

I visit often PR since my entire family is still living there and have been interested in buying a cheap (~50K) property close to the coast that we can rent as a vacation property and have a nice place to stay in our visits. Not looking to make a lot of money but perhaps perhaps breaking even or have a small positive.

Will be very happy to get your opinion.

My father is a retired handyman very happy to help with the maintenance and my mother is really good at advertising. 

Saludos Boricua!

While I like your strategy, I think finding a $50K beach property might be very difficult. Specially, if you want it in a place where people might rent it as a vacation property. I have though about it myself (I live on the island) and haven't seen anything in that price range.

Where in PR are you looking?

As far as renting as vacation property, I have seen that sites like VRBO, HomeAway and the like are getting a lot of traction here. I know at least 3 people that have properties in the Condado/Isla Verde area that rent via these sites and are very happy.

Hi All - very happy you started this thread, Yashira!  We have a vacation rental in Columbus and we love it, but it is a lot of work.  Your plan sounds fantastic, and it's great that you have your parents to help you fix up and manage the property!

My husband and I got married in Ponce a few years ago and had our reception at Castillo Serralles.  We've made many trips to different parts of the island and love it.  We are considering moving there in a year or two and also purchasing a vacation rental. 

I have an uncle that owns a condo in Cabo Rojo that he rents out via VRBO and AirBNB. I know he didn't get it in that price range, but I have always wanted to check in on him and see how successful it has been...so thanks for the reminder. :)

Originally posted by @Victor Chico :

Saludos Boricua!

Hi Victor,

Thanks for the reply. As a graduate from UPRM ( Colegio!), I'm a big fan of the west coast and is not as far from my parents (Coamo) as the east/north cost. 

I agree with you about the price, but I found something more expensive (~70K) that even though is not in front of the beach is close enough. I'm keeping an eye on clasificadosPR. We don't need anything fancy since we are a "fixer upper" couple and also don't want to invest much with the current economy. 

We have no clue or experience buying or renting in PR so thank you a lot for the information about the websites. 

@Catherine Williamson - Thanks for the reply. It's great that you guys are planning to move to the island, we need more young/bright people there.

@Samuel Muniz - is really nice that you have a mentor within your family!

"Alma Mater Colegial, epopeya del saber donde se aprende a beber..."

@Yashira Zayas de Zavala, 

Me too! ICOM 1998.

I believe you can find something in the West Coast (not including Rincon) in the $100k range (probably not beach front, but close to).

Keep your eye on Clasificados PR and on Clasificados Online.

Hi there. Welcome to BP. $50k inland is doable. In the coast is tricky as for nicer and more appealing areas for vacationers the real estate sky rockets. Areas outside the metropolitan area that could be of interest are (in the west): Cabo Rojo, Boquerón, Aguadilla, Guanica, Isabela and Vega Baja. From these the high traffic areas (especially during summer and Easter seasons) are definitely Boquerón, Cabo Rojo and Aguadilla. Boquerón and Cabo Rojo the traffic comes from tourists, college students and even the same puertoricans. These are just great places with nice beaches to relax and take vacation. Aguadilla is known for their perfect "tubed formed waves" which are a high traffic. This attracts a ton of surfers from all over the world. I think there are condos in Vega Baja within your price range and very close to the water. To the east side of the island, Ceiba, Luquillo and Fajardo are nice. These areas are more recreational for boating, fishing and golfing. Adjacent small islands with ton of potential are Culebra and Vieques. Not sure how is the appetite for vacation real estate there but definitely an option. So in summary, yes a $50k-$75k is doable. Make sure your asset is visited regularly to keep an eye for theft, vandalism and squatters. Also depending on the area, vehicular traffic could be a nightmare. It is better to pick a place more accessible to your Father for repairs.

On a different note, keep in mind that the island still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, unemployment remains at all times high at 14%, many corporations have closed shop (to never come back) and the economy is experiencing a tremendous exodus of professionals. Most puertoricans are demanding a better pay and coming to the US. This is putting pressure to the real estate market down there. Is you are buying cash, this will give you more leverage during your negotiations, but don't count on appreciation... Is simply not there (yet).

I personally own real estate there as buy-and-hold. The rental market is strong. Screening tenants is challenging but doable.

Best Regards y todo lo mejor!

Brian

Welcome to BP Yashira, I am going to San Juan in March to possibly buy a property to run as a vacation rental. I've done extensive research and looks like tourist areas in San Juan are the ones with the most demand for VR(vacation rentals) in Puerto Rico. Miramar is an up and coming neighborhood where I saw some cheap properties that need repairs for sale with great potential. A good idea is to look on airbnb listings and check on calendars to see vacancy rates and prices. Also there are great tax incentives to buy properties in PR but I think you need to establish residence to take fully advantage of them.  On podcast 57 Matt Landau shares some really good tips on how find and run a vacation rental. Good luck!

  http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2014/02/13...

This is a great thread! While I'm not thinking of a vacation rental in Puerto Rico, I am thinking about one further south in the Caribbean where my family is from. Any who, great points to consider. 

Has anyone had any luck structuring owner financing on a vacation rental? I'm trying how best to structure my offer. The downside of the island lifestyle is poor record keeping...

hello all ,

My wife already gave a bit of background info on our love and fascination with the island but I want to know what a good place to search for for sale listings other than zillow or trulia  in PR? Also there seems to be a ton of vacant buildings in condado - condado beach / close to Taft ave(where we stayed last time) we love that area very artsy up and coming . We would love to snatch up one of those .

@Bryan Williamson at the moment I do not know of any super site like Zillow for PR. However there are other search tools that could assist in your search. http://www.clasificadosonline.com/ and www.http://www.clasificadospr.com. These sites are somewhat like Craigslist (in Spanish). I know this is not the preferred way to search for real estate but these two sites receive over 90% of the real estate searches in the island. Sellers need to post there if they want to sell fast. If you need realtor assistance let me know. Best regards

@Brian G.  

Awesome that's great. We will let you know as soon as we are ready to look for real. 

@Bryan Williamson,

The sites @Brian G.  mentions are the best to search for real estate in PR. There are two other sites, Abreu and Tasamax, but they are not free.

There are very interesting properties in Aguadilla. Does any of you have experience getting financing to buy something in PR?  Should I look for banks in the US or local banks in PR? Does the property needs to be built in cement or could it be wood?

Thanks

Hello Victor Chico,

I am interested in nesting in Puerto Rico. I live in NYC, have an investment property in Florida and have a condo in Puerto Rico. I would like to get properties in PR at a price range of 70k. I want to buy with the purpose of providing place to live to section 8 people, who need a place to live. What's your opinion on this mater? Thank you.

Love this post and everyone commenting on PR! My family is from Ponce and PR is awesome! I'm going to follow this post and see what everyone has to say and keep my eyes open for PR properties. Good luck to everyone.

@Felix Fuentes :

That's currently what I do. I would love to talk to you further. Send me a private message.

Tax Liens might be a method to obtain properties in PR. The local governments give a return on the amount paid for the tax lien. If the owner doesn't repay, you get the property, and if they do pay, you get your money back plus added amounts. This is a convoluted and off-the-wall way to get into PR real estate with very little money. I am just throwing it out there.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/buying-a-home-in-a-tax-lien-sale-1.aspx

@Jeremy E Van Dam

Hey Jeremy, have you had any luck in purchasing tax liens in Puerto Rico? I've been trying to locate the various cities official websites for their guidelines but haven't had any luck. Some of the official site's are in Spanish and my Spanish is a little rusty. I'm just curious what governmental official sites have you found useful? 

I haven't heard of buying tax liens in PR. The agency in charge of property taxes is CRIM. I can't even find a register of the properties that they have liens on (and they are supposed to have it).

Thank you Jeremy and Victor.  I'll definitely listen to the podcasts and check out CRIM website.  Thank you so much!

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