Real Estate Prices in Puerto Rico overview:
As always, I’m very concerned with the cost of living of any place we consider for moving abroad. Through my preliminary research, see Puerto Rico’s Cost of Living, I was pleasantly surprised to see that real estate in Puerto Rico seemed to be much cheaper than in the states. So, while we were there, I took the opportunity to see for myself and dig a little deeper.
It seems that my original findings were correct – real estate prices, especially rents are much cheaper. In fact, housing in general, including home prices, seem to be far less expensive than here in Michigan.
In this post you will find information about:
- Real estate prices on rentals in Puerto Rico
- Real estate prices on purchases in Puerto Rico
- Property taxes
- How to find real estate
Before I go into all the details I want to say that, as anywhere else, housing prices in Puerto Rico vary greatly based on the location. In San Juan, the capital city, prices are going to be much more expensive than in small towns around the island. As expected, tourist areas also tend to be more expensive but even there, if you take the time to look, you might still find some good deals.
For example, we stayed in Isla Verde, which by all accounts is a major tourist area, and most of the prices I found on rentals were expensive. However, after talking to a local waitress, I learned that she rented a place nearby for $650/mo. – now I would call that a great price considering that all the other rentals I saw were $900/mo. or more.
OK, now let me tell you more about the real estate prices…
Real Estate Prices in Puerto Rico: rentals
I was very happy to learn that prices on apartments were MUCH cheaper than in our current area. We sold our home last year and moved to a rental and we currently pay $1,100/mo. for a two-bedroom apartment – the lowest prices you can find around here are about $800-900/mo. for an apartment in a pretty crappy area. In Puerto Rico, at least the areas I’m interested, like Rincón or Fajardo, you can find a two-bedroom apartment for $450 – they look decent AND many are completely furnished!
Here are some samples I found:
2 bedroom, 1 bath, furnished – $450
3 bedroom, 2 bath, laundry room, 2 balconies – $450
1 bedroom, 1 bath, furnished – $350 without AC or $400 including AC
1 bedroom, 1 bath, all utilities, AC, internet, private parking with electric gate, super nice neighborhood – $596
1 bedroom, 1 bath, on the beach – $450
I think you get the idea – everything is cheap! I definitely like those rental prices; they are less than half of what we currently pay.
Real Estate Prices in Puerto Rico: purchases
After getting burnt in the real estate bubble, we are not planning on buying a house anywhere for a while but I was also quite happy to find exceptionally good deals on real estate for sale. Don’t get me wrong, you can get very fancy, luxury-style homes and condos for very high prices but there are also quite a few deals to be had.
Here is a sampling:
3 bedroom, 1 bath, balcony overlooking the ocean, newly remolded – $60,000
3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,200SF, fixer upper with a large “basement/lower area” – $75,000
2 bedroom, 1 bath, very small, newly updated with ocean view – $25,000
5 bedroom, 1 bath, 2,000SF, fixer upper – $44,900
So, as you can see, there are definitely deals to be found on houses in Puerto Rico. I like that the option to buy cheap is there, if we ever choose to.
NOTE: Puerto Rico has some weird inheritance laws on real estate, so ALWAYS buy title insurance when you purchase a home on the island.
Real Estate Prices in Puerto Rico: taxes
This may be the best news yet: real estate taxes in Puerto Rico are dirt cheap! I talked to a woman that told me that her house was valued at around $120,000 in Rincón area and last year her annual property taxes were only $300. WOW, what a deal!
You may think that’s weird but in fact, I also spoke with a real estate agent and was told that Puerto Rico has many property tax exemptions, such as if you own a home you get one or if you’re a veteran you get one, and so in reality many homes under $100,000 end up paying no property taxes at all!
Puerto Rico, in general, is excellent for cheap taxes, not just on real estate. You can avoid federal income taxes altogether, for example, but more on that in a future post.
Real Estate Prices in Puerto Rico: how to find deals
The best way to search for real estate, both rentals and sales, is in person and on location. You can simply drive down a street and find places with for rent/sale singns or you can enlist the help of a local real estate agent – although I found the English speaking ones to deal mostly in the higher-priced properties.
However, if you want to get an idea on how much you should spend on housing or just want to look before you go, here are two websites that will help you:
Clasificados Online: http://www.clasificadosonline.com/ – mostly in Spanish
PR Craig’s List: http://puertorico.en.craigslist.org/ – mostly in English, be sure to change the preferred language to English.
Happy House Hunting!
If you have experience with Puerto Rico real estate prices, please share with us in the comments section!