Like most places in the world, Puerto Rico was hit hard by the global recession, and its housing market took a hit. In these circumstances, buyers should of course be cautious and do their research – however, there are signs that the market in Puerto Rico may be recovering and combined with an range of pull-factors, now might be the right time to buy the Caribbean property of your dreams.
The sad reality of housing crises is that someone’s misfortune can be someone else’s opportunity. In Puerto Rico, there are many high quality homes in foreclosure and available at very reasonable prices.
Grand Homes has the biggest foreclosure inventory in Puerto Rico and is a good place to start looking. Foreclosures are not the only deals to be had – although the market is beginning to recover, it is still the case that Puerto Rico is one of the most accessible real estate markets in the Caribbean. Beach-side properties still don’t come cheap, but they are more affordable now than in the past, and they are sure to become more expensive with time.
The government has created a number of incentives to stimulate the recovery of the housing market, some of which are targeted at the foreign buyer. These incentives include efforts to attract new residents to Puerto Rico through various tax exemptions to people living there for more at least 183 days a year. Other incentives include exemptions from taxes on renal incomes for ten years, exemptions from capital gains taxes, and reductions in the transaction costs for property purchases and sales (lowered notary and registration fees, etc.). These incentives seem to be paying off as buyers from the UAE, Canada and China are settling in. In fact, since 2012, Puerto Rico has become a tax haven.
Location, Location, Location!
As aging boomers all over the world start thinking about where they want to spend their retirement, Puerto Rico is poised to become a top destination, especially for Americans. Puerto Rico boasts a relatively low cost of living (at least 11% lower than in the mainland US), English as the official language, and a climate that can’t be beat. Especially for Americans, Puerto Rico offers advantages over places like Mexico because there are no immigration hassles – you don’t even need a passport! – and there are many daily direct flights between the mainland and the island. As an added bonus, Medicare and Social Security are easily transferrable to Puerto Rico.
As always when considering a property investment, be sure to do careful due diligence to make sure that Puerto Rico is the right place for you to purchase property as a home or investment.