Pre-loader logo

Everything You Wanted To Know About Puerto Rico

The Heartbeat of the Caribbean!

Top Googled Questions About Puerto Rico

01 Feb, 2022


Can a US citizen buy property in Puerto Rico?

Yes, A US Citizen can buy a property in Puerto Rico. Besides paying cash for a home, you can also get financing through a local bank with mostly the same type of financing programs as they have in the states.

What is the average cost of a house in Puerto Rico?

That depends on where on the island you want to live. In places like Dorado, Palmas Del Mar, some parts of San Juan Metro area, etc.. is  a  lot more expensive than other parts such as Ponce, Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo, etc… The farther you get away from the Beach, the cheaper the homes get.  

Is Puerto Rico expensive to live?

Puerto Rico for the most part is less expensive than the States.  According to, the cost of living overall is 5.17% lower than the United States and on an average rent is 56.20% lower than the United States.  If you compare the cost of housing as well as other items such as food, gas, etc., you will see that overall, compared to the United States, your cost of living is lower.

What is the safest area in Puerto Rico?

This is a very tricky question to answer.  It really depends on what your experience has been with crime and where you have lived in the past.  Overall, Puerto Rico, I feel is safer that the States.  There are no gangs here like there are in the states.  Guns are not readily available like they are in the states and overall its just a friendly place.  With that said, there is crime here and a couple areas that you just need to stay away from. According to 80% of the murders are drug related and most of the victims are members of drug trafficking gangs.  As far as the safest place in Puerto Rico goes… That is hard to say because what I think is the safest may not be what you think.  Areas such as Vieques, Palmas del Mar, Dorado, Aguadilla, Isabela, are great areas with very limited crime.

What does SUCN before a name stand for in Puerto Rico property records?

SUCN before a name that is in Puerto Rico property records is short of “Sucesion”.  In English it translates to “Estate”. It means that the property owner passed away so the current owners are the Heirs, according to Ramon Oliverncia, Esq.

How much down payment is required to buy a house in PR?

The down payments to buy a home follow the same rules set by Fannie Mae, FHA, VA and Rural Development.  For the most part, when financing a home, the underwriting guidelines are very similar to those in the states when financing a home.

Can I use any mortgage lender outside of PR to finance my home in PR?

You can if they lend in Puerto Rico.  You will find out that most banks in the states will not lend in Puerto Rico.  It is better that you get qualified with a bank that is on the island.  The way things are done here in Puerto Rico is a different process than in the states.  The best thing to do is to ask you lender in the states if they lend in Puerto Rico.  IF not, Please contact me and I will give you a recommended list of lenders that are great to work with.

Is it a good investment to buy a house in PR? Do property values go up at the same rate as on the mainland?

This is a great question to ask even if you are buying a home in the states.  When considering if it’s a good investment, you should be asking yourself, why do you want to buy in Puerto Rico, what are you going to be using the home for(Primary, 2nd home or investment), How long do plan on keeping it, where are you looking to buy, what kind of property are you buying and at the end of the day, how easy is it to sell it if you need to get out of it.    The values are in a steady climb, but in Puerto Rico some markets are increasing higher than others and in some cases mirror whats going on in the states.  But overall you will find that housing is less expensive than in the States right now

How much money do you need live comfortably in PR?

This again is a perspective question in which depends on what kind of lifestyle you are trying to live.  Take what you are spending now in the states and compare that to PR.. You will find that overall, its less expensive in Puerto Rico.  Overall, real estate and rent on an average is cheaper here in PR.  What kind of lifestyle are you trying to live? You can go super simple and cut your costs quite a bit in PR.  Comparing to what I experienced moving from Idaho to Puerto Rico, keeping my spending habits the same, my cost dropped coming to Puerto Rico.  But each individual is different, and you just need to compare your expenses today to what those same expenses would be in PR.  Also are you wanting to downsize vs add on?  That makes a big difference and if you are taking advantage of the tax benefits, well.. then that should really lower your monthly expenses unless you are taking that savings and replacing with another expense.  There are many individual factors that go into this answer.

Can I use my VA benefits in PR?

The very short answer is YES.  You can use your VA benefits to buy a home here and they follow the same VA lending Guidelines in PR as they use in the United States.

Can I move to PR to avoid taxes?

No. You still need to pay taxes.. But Puerto Rico does have some tax incentives that can significantly lower your income tax liabilities.  Please refer to the link below for more details: 
The most popular income tax incentive that Puerto Rico has to offer is Act 60. If you qualify you may be able to reduce your income tax rate to as low as 6%.  We have a couple professionals that we can recommend to see if you qualify and help you explain the steps to take advantage of these tax incentives

What is the cheapest place to live in PR?

In your van down by the river., ~Chris Farley~ 2013

Are the same loan programs (FHA, USDA, Conventional etc) available in PR?

Short answer is Yes!! For the most part Puerto Rico has all the same Fannie Mae, FHA, VA USDA home loans that there are in the states.  The biggest difference is which local bank to use her on the island.  Some banks are better than others in customer service and we have some that we highly recommend. Ask us :)

Does PR allow reverse mortgages?

Yes. There are Reverse mortgages available her on the island.  You want to make sure that you use a good bank that understands how this work. We can help you find a good lender that can answer all your questions and make sure you understand how they work as well

What is the best area to retire in PR?

That will depend on what you are looking for, Mountains vs Beach, Dry vs Wet climate, Fast Paced life style vs slow, Puerto Rico offers many different options to retire.  My recommendation is spending some significant time here and explore the island to figure out what best fits your needs before you buy a home.  What some people like may not be what your like.

Is medical care up-to-date in PR?

Yes.  There are great medical options here on the island that are very comparable to the states.  They also have a couple VA hospitals around the island as well. The biggest difference is the process in which you get medical attention.  In the states for the most part, when you set and appointment at 9am, you are usually seen at that time and that is your time.  Also, if you have 5 things wrong with you, in the states you usually need to set up 5 different appointments for each thing.  In Puerto Rico, everyone’s appointment is at 9am and its first come first serve except for an emergency.  You may be at the hospital or doctor’s office all day.  But know this you do go to the appointment prepared with such things as a lunch snacks, book, laptop, blanket or sweatshirt (they keep it really cold in the building) and a charger for your phone.  But the good news is, you stay there with the doctor and if you have 5 things wrong with you, you stay until all are addressed.

What part of the island is the least susceptible to damage during hurricane season?

The Hurricanes come off the west coast of Africa across the Atlantic.  Most of the time they will hit PR on the east coast.  Since Maria, we have not had a hurricane hit the island.  It’s rare that we get hit.  According to Angela Frits of The Washington Post (2017), There has only been one Cat 5 hurricane before Maria and that was San Felipe Segundo Hurricane of 1928.  The 2 other major Hurricanes that Hit PR was Hugo in 1989 and Georges in 1998.  As you can see, Puerto Rico doesn’t get hit by hurricanes very often.

Can I use federal student loans and grants in PR?

According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), you can use federal student loans and grants here in Puerto Rico. For more specific details, please see the link below:

Do Puerto Ricans that live on the island of Puerto Rico vote for US Presidents?

According to, Puerto Rico is one of 5 US territories that can move to the mainland and vote for the president but If you live in the those 5 US territories you cannot vote for the president.  Puerto Ricans are US citizens but if your residence is on the island of Puerto Rico and you live here, you cannot vote for the US president.  When I can here and became a resident of Puerto Rico, I gave up my right to vote for the US President.

Can I get by without speaking Spanish in PR?

The short answer is yes.. But I highly recommend that even if you just know 2 words and you are trying to talk to a local, you start off the conversation with those 2 words.  Out of respect for the locals, please try as hard as you can to speak the language.  They don’t expect you to be fluent but do respect you more if you try. Most of the locals know English but prefer to speak their native tongue.  But please try Spanish first and make an attempt.

What do local Puerto Ricans think about Americans? Are they welcoming or do they treat you like an outsider?

This is a great question.  For the most part, Puerto Ricans are the nicest people you will ever meet.  Its in their nature.  They are not a big fan of nonlocals coming here with their superiority complex, not trying to speak Spanish and talking down to the locals or having the attitude that you are saving them.   They are a very proud people with a rich culture that has seen their share adversity.  Come here and respect that, learn about the culture, embrace it, and you will meet some of the nicest people you have ever met.  I never had an issue being treated badley.  I have always felt welcomed.  I live in a neighborhood in which I am the only “Gringo”. I know all my neighbors. They waive and say hello. They bring over avocados to me because they know I like them. They invite me to their birthday parties and Bar-B-Qs because “I am part of the Family”. Tell me the last time your heard that from your neighbors?

Subscribe to our blog.