Real Estate

How Difficult is the Land Purchase Process in Puerto Rico?

Home prices in Puerto Rico have taken a dive. Given the debt crisis, it’s likely that low prices are here to stay, the MarketWatch notes. If you’re looking for properties, this is the best time to snag a deal. Whether you’re looking for an investment, or a house that you can rent out, or even a retirement home, the Puerto Rican real estate market can provide you with plenty of buying opportunities.

Before you browse for options, though, here are some of the challenges that you’ll likely encounter when you invest in a piece of land for sale in Puerto Rico. While foreigners can easily buy in the country, you still need to look out for possible issues.

Insurance Costs

Before you take the plunge and buy a house, consider the cost of the insurance. Puerto Rico is known for hurricanes, so you may end up shelling a lot into your monthly premiums. Think of that before you move forward with any buying decisions.

Language Barrier

If you don’t speak the local language, you’ll have a tough time going around. Get professional help by enlisting a local real estate agent. That way, you can find the properties that best suit your budget and needs.

Pros VS. Agents

Even if you have a lot of time on your hands, if you don’t know the area or local communities, then you’ll be at a disadvantage. Not only will the property search take you too much time, you could end up with damaged properties. Look for a seasoned agent to help you.

Transaction Costs

Make sure you have enough money in cash or your bank to cover the costs of buying a home. Expect to pay lawyer’s fees, notary fees, registration and filing fees, internal revenue stamp charges, and real estate agent’s fees. Knowing all the costs that come from owning and purchasing a piece of property in Puerto Rico will give you an idea of how much you should have in your account.

Purchasing Contracts

Get legal help. Hire a lawyer so you can have someone handle the negotiations for you. Your lawyer will also take care of the purchasing contract. Since contracts are more personalized at home, that’s a job that’s better left to an expert. An experienced lawyer knows how to draw up the contract in a way that won’t leave any legal loopholes that you may trip over later. Also, your lawyer can review the contract to check for any possible issues or problems, so your interests are protected.

Financing Considerations

Puerto Rico is still technically a part of the U.S., so you don’t have to pay cash when it’s time to buy your home. You can reach out to one of the mainland banks and inquire about extending a line of credit for your home purchase. If you’re thinking about using a local Puerto Rican bank, though, be ready for the higher rates. You’ll also need to wade through a mountain of paperwork. No worries, though. If you’ve got a lawyer, then you have someone to help you.

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