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Is it a good time to buy in Puerto Rico?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 168
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So I'm living out here in the desert of Utah.  My great grandma was Puerto Rican......whatever that means.  I never knew her.

Of course I've seen the devastation from the hurricane on the news, and it's actually what made me start thinking now is a good time to buy there.......buy low, sell high.....or buy low, and live happily ever after hopefully.

I've lived in a major metropolitan area (Silicon Valley), I've lived in a forest (Sierra Nevada Mountains), and now I live in the Mojave desert (St. George, UT).  It seems living in the tropics should be next on the list.

If I sold everything I own here, I would have just about $300,000 American free and clear.   If I were to move there, I'd want about five acres (in a mountain area, I do not want to be near a beach.on the ocean), and have a simple hurricane proof house (maybe something like a converted shipping container).   I've always said I wanted to move to Spain when I turn 50 (seven years from now), but Puerto Rico seems like it would be way easier to transition to since it's basically America/English.......but a lot like Spain too.  
I'm really into organic gardening, and love the idea of having a tropical climate to garden in year round.  Not a permie per se, but I like a lot of their ideas.  

I've watched a bunch of videos, and it's absolutely gorgeous there.  I've never voted for any type of election here, so that's no concern to me.  Most of the houses seem to have bars on the windows, but I grew up in a high crime area, so I get it.
Would $100,000 be enough to buy a piece of property (one acre+, but less than five) including the cost of a shipping container (I could convert most of it).  Solar seems like it would be a good idea, and it seems like it rains enough that water wouldn't be much of an issue (especially if I were capturing it).   I'd want to find a job, but it could be low paying seeing as how I'd be debt free, and living a simple life alone.

Just throwing it out there.  I've looked on craigslist, and emailed a couple of realtors there (they haven't gotten back to me, and it's been a couple of weeks), but I don't really see a lot to choose from as far as what I'm looking for.
Any advice, or places to look, or anyplace I could get more info. from would be helpful.  I understand they're currently hurting, so it makes sense that it would be difficult to find people giving out information right now.

Just thought I'd ask, and thank you.

 
pollinator
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I suspect with $100000 you could get a nice property in Spain and never have to worry about volcanos or hurricanes

David
 
S Tenorman
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Yeah, but I'd have to learn Spanish, and get a passport, and learn a whole new culture, along with ?   I've never been outside of the continental US before.  Spain (anywhere there) is still an option, (even though I don't know anything about anything in Spain).  For some reason, since I was in my twenties, I've just told people I was going to move there.
As far as volcanoes, I'm surrounded by them here where I'm at now (they're dormant now, but I live a mile from a lava flow).  I hadn't considered them in PR,.....hmmm maybe I'll have to look more into that.  Thanks!   Never even considered that.

I saw an article written that the cost of living in Spain is cheaper than Puerto Rico......but that was just one article, and I'm not sure how accurate it was.  I've never even looked to see for myself (as far as Spain goes).


I hate to capitalize on the people fleeing Puerto Rico, but it just seems like it would be a buyer's market currently.  

Thanks for the quick reply!  lol

 
David Livingston
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Spain is having lots of long term economic issues so the housing is cheap plus check out the medical insurance / costs it's dirt cheap compared to the USA food also . English is commonly spoken due to the number of Brits

David
 
S Tenorman
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Dang it!  You're making me smile and giggle!  It's just been such a fantasy of mine to live there (Spain), it's almost scary to investigate.

I guess I will, because I never have.

Thanks again.  

Anyplace in particular you'd recommend taking a look at?  I love the mountains, and being secluded, but being within thirty minutes of a decent grocery store/medium size town would be almost mandatory if possible.

I seriously don't know anything about the country.



 
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I grew up in PR, so it's a relatively easy transition from the states. Most locals understand at least basic English. At the moment, there's a mass exodus, so yeah, it'd be advantageous to buy, but I suspect it'll be a while before rural properties are going to even be accessible by car to asses values and such, let alone the process of listing, selling, etc. Basic amenities aren't fully restored. (And a typical house for a family of 4 in PR can have a 500 dollar utility bill for 1 room with air conditioning. it's insanely expensive. solar would be a good investment if you're looking into moving there.) You'll find a lot of continental US migrants as well, so you definitely wouldn't be alone/would have resources to reach out to for employment.

Building in the mountains sounds nice, but the factors to consider there are constant land-slides and rivers bursting their banks (they call them 'golpes de agua' there, if you want to see the phenomenon on youtube)

Not to mention you sort of have to be  observant of  the politics in Puerto Rico. Every time you purchase an item that's an import, you'll pay more for it. Vehicles and their maintenance are incredible expensive. Locals are very involved in local government and elections, cars/pick-ups drive by blaring political ads during the campaign season (even in the country side, you get people painting murals for their favorite mayoral candidate). Students often protest the universities to the point where the professors don't work for weeks on end due to disagreements with the government. Truck unions often go on strike. Same goes for teachers, grocers, etc. There's a *lot* of corruption, and the average citizen is oft. much more vocal about their local government than most folks in the states (in my observations). It's part of every day life, in a sense.

However, Everything grows well there. There's no natural predators for livestock (besides feral pets). It really is paradise if you can tune out humanity.

I personally left as a teen because the environment was toxic to me and the path I'm living in life now, but I recommend everyone go see it at least once!Thankfully, our family is keeping our properties there and seeing them through repairs. My great grandmother's fruit orchard looks just barren. It really is heart-breaking.

I hope the island takes the proper steps to truly rebuild in a sustainable, responsible manner.
 
S Tenorman
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Thank you Gabriel!  Good information.

I read that a lot of people are bilingual, and that the government offices mandate English, so that is something I like for sure.   Absolutely understandable as far as the conditions/lack of info. are concerned.  I felt guilty even asking the few people I emailed for information.  I can't imagine what they're going through right now.  I watch on CNN, and it just seems like they're screwed.  
I told a neighbor here I was looking and he asked when are you flying out there?  lol  Well, not for a while seeing as how it's a disaster area right now.  Again, other than trying to volunteer for relief, I can't imagine "visiting" for pleasure at the moment.  

Ouch for the utilities, that's a lot, especially compared to where I'm at now.  I'm a minimalist, so I'd try to go without a/c.........but humidity sucks, I lived in Georgia for one summer, and it's not fun being wet constantly.  I have to assume it's something that you get used to to a certain degree.  The temperature doesn't seem to fluctuate throughout the year there, so that seems like it would make it easier.  I don't know, though.  I've never been anyplace like that.  It's certainly something to consider.  Seeing as how I'd want a very small living space, even if I were to run a/c, it would surely be a lot less for such a small space.  (I'm soooooo spoiled using an evaporative cooler here in the desert.  $50 electricity bill is the most during the summer 105F outside w/inside temps normally 78-82F inside w/cooler running all day.  1,400 sqft house, that's for all electrical during the month.....but I'm a minimalist.)

Dang it.  Landslide too!  lol  Well, I'd like a somewhat level area in the mountains.........not near a water flow!  lol.  Maybe too much to ask for, but there has to be something like that I'm guessing.  It doesn't have to be mountainous terrain, but I'd want to be up in elevation, and away from most of the tourists/beaches.  I love the idea of being able to ride my bike to the ocean from home, but still be somewhat out of the wind (I read that it's windy there most of the time), and have a bit cooler average temperature, which is what it sounds like the mountains offer there.  I don't know, though.  I only know what I've read/watched on youtube.

As for politics......meh.  I just smile and nod and agree with whomever I'm talking to in the moment.  It's just not even worth the effort for me to get involved.  I'm a very opinionated person, and I realize everyone else has the right to be wrong.    So I let them be.  It's worked thus far, and I seriously have never voted for anyone in any election, ever.  Not even in school.  It just isn't something I really care about one way or another.  I don't mind bumper stickers, signs, or the occasional loudspeaker.  More power to those that are passionate about the topic.  

I do buy a lot of stuff online, so the extra cost of shipping would be a drawback, but that goes for anywhere outside the continental US I'm guessing.  I'm trying to get to the point where I'm the world's worst consumer, and being taxed extra would only help in that regard.  
I'm almost 43, and have never had a car to a mechanic in my life.  I've done every repair myself, and there have been many, lol.  That being said, I do drive older cars that are easy to work on(and I would be shipping at least one of my Jeeps over if I were to move.)  So repairs/cost of a car is not necessarily an issue for me, and parts are available online (even with the additional cost of shipping).  I'm also a life long mountain biker.  100 miles long by 35miles wide.....I could ride my bike anywhere on the island in a day at the most I'm guessing.

It's still a long way off if I do it, but keep the info coming.  Good stuff, and thank you!












 
Gabriel Bane
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Any time, I'm more than happy to answer any specifics regarding my experiences! Puerto Rico has many, many terrains and biomes, so I'm positive you can find exactly what you're looking for in the southern/central parts of the mountains. :)
 
David Livingston
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Hi If I was going to move to Spain it would probably be to the north west  , it's wilder and less " touristy " than the south and far away from Madrid weather less extreme .

David
 
pollinator
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Kinda of a bleak proposition you present here, buying up land when times are bad for the owners,but I too thought of it.
Perhaps you will be like the first plants to grow in disturbed or fire ravaged earth,and your onbrstment will speed the recovery.
 
gardener
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With a nice chunk of money to spend, you won't be competing with the desperately poor. They simply can't shop for those properties. I would suggest that when you do find a place, find a way to employ some of your less fortunate neighbors, in cleaning the place up and perhaps in building. Those with more money are always at a greater risk, if politics take a left turn.

If I were to produce anything of great value, in a place where there are many poor, I would want to have a full-time caretaker, so that the place is never completely abandoned. If you bought a large enough property to accommodate an individual or small family, who needs a spot, this would provide you with security that no watch dog could.
 
Posts: 550
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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For sure on your 100k budget you would get a place in Spain with a basic building and a few acres of land. In some more remote areas you will get a nice farmhouse and 10 acres.

I moved to Spain from UK ten years ago. Didn't speak much Spanish but English is widely spoken here. I speak Spanish now and it does help, especially with officialdom, but here in the canary islands, where we have no winter (at least not what an Englishman would call winter), there are so many northern Europeans that whatever you need doing there is someone bilingual who understands the system and will help you for €20/hr or less. Most of the police, almost all of the doctors and some of the officials speak English. There are over a million brits living in Spain, I'd say most of them speak only very basic Spanish cos Brits are like that. Doctor is €25 for a consultation and if you are referred to a specialist its about €45. €70 a month will get you basic healthcare depending on your circumstances and you can buy into the full state healthcare for less than double that. Food is cheap,, fuel is cheap, weather is good, airports and motorways are plentiful and work well. Jobs can be hard to find depending on what you can do and wages are low. With 300k behind you, you could live out your life like a king.

Not sure how much you need to invest to get residency but I don't think the bar is set too high. Check legality of property/planning permissions and check access to water and you should be ok.
 
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