Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Home in Puerto Rico


In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, many Americans have been gripped with anxiety over whether or not they should emigrate to Puerto Rico. Despite the recent devastation there and its impact on people’s lives, some have expressed concern over the potential costs associated with rebuilding; others are hesitant due to uncertainty surrounding recovery efforts.

For those who haven’t yet made up their minds on where they would like to call home, it can be a daunting task to choose between two options: purchasing a property in Puerto Rico or elsewhere in the U.S. territory. So what are the key considerations that must be taken into account before making such an important decision?

What are the Most Common Home Types?

Most homes are single-family dwellings. You can find split-levels, ranch homes and detached houses – the list goes on!

Single-family homes come in varying architectural styles from traditional to contemporary, demonstrating their owner’s preference for taste over function.

You may discover that your choice of home is akin to an apartment, as numerous condominiums provide high-quality living spaces within compact communities devoid of garages or driveways.

What is a Typical House Size?

Puerto Rico boasts a wide range of home sizes, from the diminutive bungalows to formidable mansions.

Typically in a residential community like this, dwellings can range between 25 and 68 sq ft; however, Puerto Rico boasts an abundance of spacious residences as well.

There are three main housing categories in use on the island: detached houses (cabanas), apartments or condos (casas), and semi-detached homes (pueblitos).

An ideal Puerto Rico vacation home endeavour entails purchasing a single-level home with a minimum footprint of 100 sq ft – which typically equates to about 1,200 sq ft on average when considering all its facilities such as bedrooms, closets, bathrooms and kitchens.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Home in Puerto Rico?

Though the concept of purchasing a home is similar across the board, it can be daunting to obtain an idea of exactly how much you will have to fork over for a house in Puerto Rico. This is largely due to many other factors, such as the discrepancy between average costs for real estate and that of neighboring countries.

The median price of a home in Puerto Rico is $119,000 – not too shabby! Despite this figure being well below the national average ($214,900), it still places Puerto Rico among the most affordable markets in the Caribbean. To put things into perspective further; this represents only a little more than half of what would be required to purchase a modest one-bedroom rental unit or even rent on property alone!

Does Puerto Rico Have Credit Protection Laws?

Puerto Rico does not have specific credit protection laws, but there are a handful of federal regulations that apply. Most importantly, most borrowers in Puerto Rico must comply with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines – even if they don’t live on the island!

If you’re a U.S. citizen who takes out financing from a lender located outside of Puerto Rico, that lender must adhere to applicable loan security requirements. If your mortgage is secured by real estate located outside of the U.S., lenders must immediately notify any title insurer involved in the transaction when making changes to their security arrangements or impairments on mortgages.

For loans issued in Puerto Rico, lenders must adhere to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac standards for conforming home loans.

What About Future Rates?

Like any locale, Puerto Rico is susceptible to change. However, recent rates for mortgage loans have been relatively stable despite fluctuations in the stock market – with an average of 6.00% APR in the past three years.

Furthermore, the cost of living remains fairly consistent across Puerto Rico’s various regions and municipalities. A high-quality Puerto Rican home that costs around $100K on average may be more than adequate for your needs!

However, bear in mind that there’s still plenty of room for appreciation among real estate markets here. As such, we advise you to do thorough research before taking the plunge into property ownership in order to get a glimpse at what future rates could look like.

Is It Safe to Buy a Home in Puerto Rico?

Last October, Irma left a trail of destruction across St. Thomas and St. John in the US Virgin Islands; however, some individuals have expressed their gratitude towards Puerto Rico for providing shelter from the storm and mitigating damages.

Due to its proximity with the United States and accessibility via air or sea transportation, Puerto Rico has become an attractive investment destination as well as a refuge for Americans displaced by natural disaster. Moreover, with its status as one of the wealthiest territories within the Hispanic community and boasting robust job market prospects – it’s no wonder why so many relocations are taking place here!

In spite of all its advantages over other locations around America, Puerto Rico does present some legitimate risks when it comes to real estate investment. This Caribbean island is prone to devastating storms and susceptible to earthquakes – both of which could prove detrimental to an endeavor such as real estate development or purchasing a home if they were to occur while on-base.

How Can You Improve Your Home Loan Application Process?

When purchasing a property in Puerto Rico, there are no stamp requirements; however, you will be required to obtain a local title insurance policy (which can range from $500-$600 per-unit) before closing.

This can take anywhere from five days to three weeks for your lender to process your loan request and approve it. If all goes well, the loan process could last anywhere between two weeks max – provided that everything is positively proceeding along as anticipated!


The cost of purchasing a home in Puerto Rico varies from region to region and can be substantially higher than what you might expect. Additionally, with the high unemployment rate as well as an influx of new investors looking for properties in the area – prices are sure to continue increasing.

Remain vigilant when searching for a residence; don’t rush into anything and do your due diligence!



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