Friday, May 13, 2016

Moving to Puerto Rico: Housing



So, you want to move to western Puerto Rico. Where will you find a house? Well, it is really hard to find a place to rent without being here. We tried so hard to find something before coming, but the landlords really want to just show the house in person. We arrived and looked at several places we had seen online and just jumped at one that was relatively close to where Ben works in Mayaguez.

You can look for housing online at several sites:
Renting a house is a good way to start figuring out where you want to live in Puerto Rico. It takes at least a year of looking and living here to really get an idea of what you'll like and what properties are worth if you want to buy a home. One problem that you'll see is the property taxes have not been reassessed here in Puerto Rico since 1950s. That has made for some very low property taxes and quite often no taxes if the home has the exemption/reduction for it being a primary residence. With so many Puerto Ricans moving to the US now due to the bad economy, there are a lot of houses on the market. If the owner does not need the equity in the house, they leave it priced much higher than it is worth (probably what it was worth ten years ago). They aren't paying taxes on it, so it just sits there. We've seen many vacant houses while we've been here. There is no way they are going to sell at what they are priced at. And the real estate agents don't seem to be able to convince their clients to put an appropriate price on the house Looking at many homes and seeing what is selling is the only way to figure out what a fair market price really is. If you are looking to buy a house in western PR, the housing market is more stable in Rincon with so many Americans buying, but that means it is also more expensive. You can get much more for your dollar in Mayaguez.

If you are serious about looking for a home to buy, here are two sites that are helpful:
  • CRIM (Centro de Recaudaci√≥n de Ingresos Municipales): you can zoom in to any property in PR and find information on the property, like taxes, lot size and owners. Many times the properties are not updated, but it is still a great place to find information and see lot lines.
  • http://gis.jp.pr.gov/GeoLocalizador/index.htm: another site to find information on individual properties. 

2 comments:

  1. I've a questions regarding car rental. We are starting to make our once a year trip for 4+ weeks. Renting a car is becoming quite pricey. Do you have any suggestions for car rental or leasing? Thank you for any information you can provide!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara, we only have used car rentals for getting to and from the airport since we live here permanently. For that, we love Budget from Anasco. Very affordable rates. For renting for a month or more, a conversation on Facebook in the group "Friends of Rincon" was just recently posted. See here for more information and lots of ideas: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1436602293256811/permalink/1699664310283940/

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