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3 Months After Leaving PR

It's been a while since I've posted here. But back in April my wife and I decided we would move to PR. At the time, it was 4 of us, and we were looking for a 3 bedroom condo due to the easy maintenance. So after I returned, we decided we would move in a month. We found a place on airbnb in Isabela Beach court. A 3 bedroom 2 bath. The host was only charging $1,200 and I thought that was a steal considering it's furnihed and we didn't have to pay any utilities. The plan was to go there, and find a permanent place.

Well, a week before we left our oldest daughter said she wanted to do something different in life and asked to come with us. So now 3 bedrooms isn't enough, but again, this was just a temporary spot to find something permanent.

Fast forward to the day we get there. I noticed that the owner sends me an e-mail that morning. When we landed I checked the e-mail and he's saying that he hasn't gotten everything together and the AC in one room isn't working, and he lost the beach key and a door doesn't work. My concern was the AC considering it was the 1 and only question I had for him when I was considering his place. If it were me, my wife and our oldest it wouldn't have been a big deal, but with a 1 and 2 year old who need their own rooms (never slept with us and they need privacy, pitch black rooms to get a good sleep.) This was not going to work for us.

On top of that when we got there, we were greeted by a big can of bug spray on the porch. We don't use that stuff at all. Way too toxic for toddlers, and I prefer to just usher a bug out of the house rather than kill it or spray chemicals. So we go in, roaches, roaches, roaches. Fixtures not working, and it's dirty (hence the roaches). We spent one night there and checked out. I was scrambling to find another place and I did in Luquillo, a penthouse at Ocean Plaza. Ended up costing me double, but it was clean, no roaches, spacious and man, WHAT A VIEW!

Unfortunately the kids got sick, probably from the first place. So, we had a busy first day, busy second day, then the kids were sick that night. Then my wife. Then me. Then our oldest. So, total time sick, 3 weeks. At that point I had already spent over 6K buying a bunch of extras that should've been at the first place. Crib and whatnots, then double the rent. After all this time we didn't get anything accomplished. So I decided it was best to come back to Atlanta and recoup. We did do some activities the last week, parasailing, 4 wheeling and hit some malls.

Now we want to try again. Our house here in Atlanta is only 3 bedrooms and it's too small. The penthouse we had was plenty of room even though it was 3 bedrooms, it had a loft which could be converted into a room. If I can find something like that for $900 that would be great. I've found quite a few penthouses just not sure if they have lofts... doesn't seem like it. Or find a 4 bedroom house for $900. I've found some but we really would like a view. Our 2 year old was mesmerized by the ocean view. He stood on the balcony for 2 hours a day just staring. So I'd love to grant him that again.

Places we're looking this time around is Quebradillas, Aguadilla area. Rio Grande and Humacao. All I have seen places in our price range but not really sure how nice the areas are forreal. So I'm going alone again in a couple weeks. The plan is to spend 2 or 3 nights in each place, preferably in the neighborhood we plan to rent. Then make my decision based on that. If I find something I really like I'd like to start the leasing process then. Then come back here, and prep for the move/sale of the house. Last year I put my house on the market it was under contract in 6 hours. I don't know if it'll move that quickly again due to the time of the year, but It's worh over 20K more so I'm glad I waited anyway.

Sorry this got long winded but I wanted to let you guys know what happened, all who had helped me out so much before. I do have some questions:

1. What do you guys and gals think about those cities? I'll come back with names of neighborhoods, but all of them are gated I believe.
2. I've been going back and forth on this car thing. I have a 2006 Dodge Magnum with a hemi and I really don't want to sell it. But it isn't worth much on paper, but even with it's 150K mileage, I've had it since new basically so I know it well. I live in Atlanta and would drive it to the port in FL and just fly back here to ATL. I estimate I may have to rent a car here in Atlanta or maybe 2 weeks and there in PR for also maybe a week or so as I would probably land in PR 2 weeks after shipping it.
3. The ultimate plan is to buy a few properties to put on airbnb while we're there and after a year find some other place we really like. I never thought about getting back into real estate but geez, I could do it so much better than the 3 places I've stayed. Ocean Plaza was good but nothing like what it could've been. So anyone know of a good realtor I can connect with? Possibly show me a few rentals while I visit to start this ultimate plan?

Thanks for you time in reading this. I really do appreciate you all!

I can give you Carlos info if you want, it may be easier.

we are in Thomaston and leaving next week to explore the island for a possible move next year. Carlos is a realtor on here.   247realestatepr

if you read
Carlos

He is the good Carlos. I had a few PM with him.

Have you looked at Point2 Homes?

Hey Rey! That would be awesome.

I used to contract for Charter 5 years ago and Thomaston was my area. I think you'll thoroughly enjoy PR. I haven't tried point2 but I will check. We've been looking on clasificados and currently I have 11 tabs of possible properties. So I'm confident we can find a jewel. My wife is really trying to push me toward Palmas but for getting settled it's a little more than I want to spend right now. But who knows, she may change my mind.

Thanks for the info!

hturner12 how long will you be there?

You are welcome to visit me in Palmas del Mar. I live in Harbour Lakes. There is a Harbour Lakes Facebook page.

2 weeks from 9/7  to 9/21 this trip

If you want to live like a tourist, you can spend money, big time! I'd recommend going to clasificadosonline.com There you can find places to rent, cars to buy, furniture... everything you need. Just don't be naive. I'm not sure how savvy you are on the goings on here, but if you'd like some friendly tips, send me a private email, and I'd be happy to help out! I was renting in the hills of Rincon, but when my wife and I needed a larger place, we found a house to rent in Isabela. We aren't at the beach, but we've got over an acre of private land, and a huge house, with security and privacy. Friendly neighbors, too! Aguadilla covers a pretty good size area, to there are lots of places to rent. Like most places, there are good and bad parts, in every town. I like space, so I wanted plenty of land, with secure fencing for my dogs. My wife thought we'd never move, because I was being so picky, but it paid off!

Give me a holler;
Mac-

Wow you sure have been busy with traveling back and forth to PR. I would say that is a good thing though because I see each "area" of PR very differently from one another. I have lived in PR for just over a year now and I live in Humacao. I live in the large development of Palmas Del Mar which is very nice and very Americanized. The rents in this community are pretty high especially for PR. I am an expat and moved here with my daughter and husband having moved here for his Pharma job. If I had been able to choose where in PR we lived I believe I would have choosen the Northwest coast. It really is very laid back surfer country there. My family and I love the beaches on that side they are the best by far. The restaurants and festival activities seem to be better there as well. But all of this is subject to personal preference of course. If you speak spanish that will benefit you greatly here. The people here are very nice and welcoming and really do want you to enjoy everything that their beautiful island affords. However, please be prepared for locals to cut you off while driving and blatantly cut in front of you in line at the bank, grocery store etc. It seems so strange to say a group of people are so very nice and welcoming yet so self centered, I never would have thought that combo was possible but it is. Also customer service is pretty nonexistent here too. But at the high end restaurants and shops in San Juan you will not find that to be the case as often. Also anyone you need to come to your house like a handyman, gardener, GE repair man, they will more then likely not show up when they say they will and will not contact you to tell you that. You have to accept those  appointments with the notion that if they show up at all you are lucky. But again the person that shows up will be very friendly when they  arrive and being late will not be mentioned by them. You mentioned looking for a realtor,  I feel this can be a very tricky thing to do efficiently here and it is something that I wish I had more inside info on when I was looking for a home to rent. The realtors here do not work together to get homes rented and sold, they will not tell you that though. They keep their own listings to themselves for their own clients . So you need to contact multiple realtors even for the same area to see all that is available because they do not help one another with unloading their inventory. I think this makes no sense but this seems to be the way it works here. I hope that I shed some light on a couple of your topics. One last thing is that the public school system here is not good at all, and I believe that applies to the entire island. My daughter attends the private school that exists here in Palmas Del Mar. Luckily my husbands company pays the tuition bill because the private schools here are not cheap. Good luck to you and your family with your future move.

Thanks for the lengthy reply! My wife wants me to visit Palmas so I'll do it, but I am in total agreement on the rent prices. They're too high for what you're getting IMO and I think that's due to it being catered more to people from the mainland. I did notice that while I was there. It seems to be a PR price and a mainland price for some things. If you speak Spanish you might get somewhere in between. I've found some nice looking places outside of Palmas in Humacao. But we'll see.

LOL@ the driving. I currently live in Atlanta.... PR is better for drivers. No, most people don't abide by the rules of the road there, but I saw WAAAAYYYY less accidents and a whole lot less traffic. People ultimately seemed to have better driving skills even though they disobeyed the rules. So traffic there is actually a plus coming from my situation.

In regard to the people. I totally feel you! I told my oldest daughter (she was the one who ran most errands with me when there for the month), "I haven't quite picked up on how to say excuse me here, because no one seems to say it. Even if they bump into you." LOL, yeah that was an adjustment. But that's the culture so I didn't take it personally like I would here in the mainland.

As for school, we homeschool as it is so that's not a problem.

I am wondering about living on the beach though. When I stayed in Luquillo I noticed one of the condos I inquired about had rusted appliances. The place in Isabela Beach Court's sofas felt.... "icky" is the best way to describe it. Like it was always moist or something. So I'm thinking maybe staying in driving distance would be cool, but not right on it for the sake of our furniture and car.

Another thing, what could I expect to pay for electricity on a monthly basis for say maybe a 3 bedroom 1500 sq ft condo? Just a ballpark figure. Everyone just says it's expensive, but no real number. I've learned in life that words like, "Expensive" are in the eyes of the beholder.

Hi frogrock! My wife asked (told me) to do just that so thank you and I will definitely take you up on that offer. I'll PM you with the date of my arrival. I will likely start on the Northwest side of the island, then Humacao, then Rio Grande so when I catch my flight back I'll be closer to the airport.

Mac, I agree with you. I think my wife has that tourist lifestyle in mind but it ain't happenin! I'm still shocked at how much I spent the last time. But I will definitely shoot you a PM. I'd like any extra tips. I have a good grasp on the people and everyday life in Luquillo. It was nice there but I don't know that I really want to live there. I didn't like having to go to 2 or even 3 grocery stores to get everything on my list. I also noticed a lot of things were expired.... even though the dates read otherwise. That I didn't like, but it could be just that area.

Your setup sounds nice! I would love a view of the ocean, but I would love a place for my kids to run around in. I have to also consider managing the properties I'll buy. A lot of people do visit the west side, but I'm speculating that even more go to the East due to San Juan being closer and most of the tourist attractions are on that side. So I have to consider the commute. If I choose Rio Grande it would certainly be temporary.

Chris

When I lived in Guam, all of the sandwich meat we got at the commisary had expired dates but was good. The reason is if it destened to go overseas it is frozen and shipped frozen

You should count on your electricity bill being about 3.5 times higher then it is in the states. Our first bill was more then $800 the first month in our house. That really freaked us out! The house is 4000 sq ft but there are only 3 of us living here and now we really do try hard to turn off all the lights and ac units when we leave a room. Our average bill these days is a little more then half of the original one about $500. Good luck

chrishamrick103 :

Thanks for the lengthy reply! My wife wants me to visit Palmas so I'll do it, but I am in total agreement on the rent prices. They're too high for what you're getting IMO and I think that's due to it being catered more to people from the mainland. I did notice that while I was there. It seems to be a PR price and a mainland price for some things. If you speak Spanish you might get somewhere in between. I've found some nice looking places outside of Palmas in Humacao. But we'll see.

In regard to the people. I totally feel you! I told my oldest daughter (she was the one who ran most errands with me when there for the month), "I haven't quite picked up on how to say excuse me here, because no one seems to say it. Even if they bump into you." LOL, yeah that was an adjustment. But that's the culture so I didn't take it personally like I would here in the mainland.

I am wondering about living on the beach though. When I stayed in Luquillo I noticed one of the condos I inquired about had rusted appliances. The place in Isabela Beach Court's sofas felt.... "icky" is the best way to describe it. Like it was always moist or something. So I'm thinking maybe staying in driving distance would be cool, but not right on it for the sake of our furniture and car.

Another thing, what could I expect to pay for electricity on a monthly basis for say maybe a 3 bedroom 1500 sq ft condo? Just a ballpark figure. Everyone just says it's expensive, but no real number. I've learned in life that words like, "Expensive" are in the eyes of the beholder.

Like all things in life, price is negotiable. There are too many open properties for owners to be too picky. Price is negotiable, or they can wait a few more months with no income until somebody is willing to pay the asking price. Ask Carlos if the price is fair or not and what you should offer.

When people are in your way and you want to get by say either "con su permiso" or just "permiso", 99.99 of the people will make way for you.

Living close to the beach means rust, humidity on surfaces and mold. 10 to 15 minutes from the beach makes a huge difference on your property, sanity and cost of the home or rental. You can also have a great view from far away depending on altitude and what is in the way.

For electricity ..... Take a look at your electric bill for the worst month of the year, find the number of kilowatt hours used. Multiply by 24 cents and that should get you close to the bill if you change nothing. Your multiplier for Atlanta is probably 11-13 cents. A lot of houses in PR use gas stoves which would lower your electric bill, also you are likely to use less hot water which lowers the bill. Clothes driers are not super common, in a house we use the clothes lines to dry this will save you money, this lowers your electric bill also. The sun is brighter, so open the curtains and let the light in and you will need less electric lights. You can also change the bulbs with LED instead and save again.
In PR we tend to cook in the grill and spend a lot of our time on the porch, so less air-conditioner use, most times a fan will do the job and blow a lot of mosquitos away. So the above kWh time 26 cents is likely your worst possible bill unless you start using more electric power.  Do note that in the mountains there is 5-10 degrees lower temperature and a lot of times a nice breeze.

PS . Most people use fans or air conditioner only when they go to sleep. If you live in a house with air all day long, your bill will be large, it is summer all year long. Lots of cool showers, sit outside in the shade, cook in the grill instead of a hot kitchen. Put a small table outside for your laptop and cold drink. Garden work is done as the sun comes up, later will be too hot to do physical labor.

After a while you will get used to the warm weather so you will feel less hot.
There are 3 seasons: Hot, Not as hot, and Wet. Sometimes all in a single day.

Some of these articles of food actually smelled rancid though. A lot of items are safe to eat past the date, best tip is to smell it or inspect it for mold, etc. We got a lot of bad meat and some stale cereal. It was definitely a hit or miss. Fruit is always a chance in my experience unless you go to a farmer's market where they get it fresh locally.

OMG!!! I probably would've considered moving! Thanks for a solid number, that helps a lot. I've been estimating that my bill may be around $400 worse case. Last month here in ATL I had my worse bill of all time, and my AC runs most of the time. I used 1652 kw. So that estimation is about spot on. I think I can pull it off to get it down lower. My home here is all electric and we're home pretty much all day everyday. Everything is pretty efficient though and I'll do the same there. But geez, that's some people's rent!

Do you think inverters are cheaper to run than the regular units? I'd think so, they're also a lot quieter which my 1 and 2 year old will appreciate.

Not sure where you were purchasing the stuff, but if it was a local mom and pop, I could understand.

At least 65% of the food items are shipped from the US and other countries. Who knows how old they are, specially if the items are first shipped to the US, then after several days unloaded and loaded into an American ship and then transported to Puerto Rico as required by the Jones act.

When possible buy local food, it is higher in price but fresh..

Here is a story I was just readying a few days ago. Local egg farmers in PR where diving holes in their property and burying THOUSANDS of local eggs because they could not be sold in the supermarkets because there was an oversupply of eggs in the island. The over supply of eggs came from the US in containers and shipped to PR. The supermarkets were selling them for ...... 65 cents per dozen. I am not aware of any place in the US where you can buy a dozen eggs for 65 cents, specially if you consider that part of the price was the shipping by American ships which charge the most for transport.

That got me thinking!
There is no way that farmers in the US would sell their eggs in the US for that price. So to me there is one possible explanation.

The farmers and maybe politicians are trying to maintain the dependency on imported food stuff and drive the local farmers out of business. I am sorry but I see no other explanation why the US would sell supper cheap eggs to PR but not customers in the US proper.

I thought about over abundance in the US, and that would mean eggs would be cheaper in US supermarkets, and prices for some of those extra eggs would be slyly higher in PR. But that does not add up, prices in the US where still high, so the only explanation I still come back to is a conspiracy to keep up the dependency and drive the PR farmers into the ground.


Why were the PR farmers burying the eggs? They are only good for a max of 45 days under refrigeration, if unable to sell them then they have to be destroyed.  No PR farmer can feed the chickens and produce the eggs at 65 cents a dozen.
I don't normally believe in conspiracies, but this time I do. Obviously I could be wrong.

OK, this really is straying off topic, but I'll blame Rey.  "He started it!"  ;-)

Don't know where your information on eggs came from, but last week's USDA "Egg Market News Report" has average price for a dozen eggs delivered to a retailer's warehouse in the neighborhood of $0.80/dzn.  Prices vary by region, and all are on the mainland.  So, given the numbers of dozens that can be shipped at a time, the per unit shipping cost is quite low.  Figure a few extra pennies per dozen.  My guess is that eggs shipped from stateside to PR cost a retailer no more than $0.90/dzn.

If eggs were sold for $0.65, they were either local eggs (the USDA report suggests that producers are paid about $0.55/dzn), or the store is selling eggs below cost in order to attract customers who will also buy other items on which the store can make up the difference.

I find it hard to believe that there is some conspiracy to drive Puerto Rico egg producers out of business.  Somehow the idea of cornering the egg market just doesn't seem to be such a worthwhile goal.

Not fully off topic, he mentioned that the cereal was not fresh off the box and some of the other food was rancid. So the theme of imported food was open.
Sorry not local eggs, the local eggs farmers were the ones complaining that the supermarkets had stopped buying. There is an update, Econo and several other chain supermarkets just announced they will purchase the local eggs. The news says nothing about stoping buying imported eggs. Just that they will not refuse the local ones again.

Sorry Rey, I was laughing, not criticizing.  I did follow the discussion about food quality, but we are straying a bit from the original thread.  Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. 

What a really odd story though.  I'm with you -- it makes no sense.  I can't imagine local eggs not being competitive in price to mainland eggs, and apart from price, the only other reason I see that local eggs wouldn't be sold is concern about health/food safety.  I guess we put this into the category of odd island economics.

On a related note, I read that Econo is now selling locally-grown rice.  Apparently rice cultivation was subsidized a few years back, and rice farmers are now producing enough to sell in the grocery chains.  Seems that it is available in bulk, so you bag as much as you want.

In an island food security and quality are major concerns specially if the island imports a significant part.
As to the rice, it was anounced by the governor if I recall correctly. Prior times it was used by schools and other goverment agencies. Now they seem to have enough to sell in bulk outside of the goverment which is a good thing. A lot of the farming is baby steps. They are also looking into bringing back the sugar cane, mostly for rum, but better than nothing, baby steps.

PR does not have the economic scale yet to produce local products at the same or lower prices. A lot of people will opt for cheaper even if older and lower quality, I guess they prefer to strech the budget over quality. So frozen imported and cheaper prices are still selling better than local products. I think the numbers I saw was that we produce about 13-15 percent of what we need and expect that to go to 20 percent next year.

Just like the GMO situation in the states.

Rey you are definitely on to something. The only reason you may think it strange is because "Why do this?!" Greed. The same reason PR is in the "financial trouble" it's in. All countries have debt. The US still owes over a trillion correct? TRILLION. Why are they making a big fuss over 70 billion? I started to dig deeper into the PR situation after I heard that magic number of 70 billion. I read up on things as you just mentioned, the Jones Act (which is absurd, makes no sense at all to do) All it does is just cost PR more money. Then with other fine print laws such as the fact that US won't allow PR to file bankruptcy. BUT they came up with Act 20 and 22 and various other tax laws that allow corporations and saavy citizens to pay 0-4% in taxes along with a plethora of other financial benefits but then passes the financial burden onto the citizen by increasing their taxes to make up for the difference the corporations are saving.

Now I look at the Real Estate, properties should cost nothing in reality and that's what the hedge funds who are being backed by the govt want. So they can come scoop up all the real estate for themselves. I saw it happen in the US in 2008-2010 after the housing crash.

What they're doing with the food, utilities (that are increasing AGAIN in 2017 for at least 5 years) is trying to drive the locals off the island so they can turn it into their own little cash cow oasis. Now the  US is going to be controlling PR with their board members who will "oversee" PR's finances. It was all a big setup from the beginning and they're going to do it to Cuba next.

Greed. It makes me sick. But if I come there at least one thing I won't have to worry about is discrimination... at least not for a few years anyway.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. It just boggles my mind the big question of WHY do all this? Turn families upside down for a dollar that they don't even need!

ReyP :

In an island food security and quality are major concerns specially if the island imports a significant part.
As to the rice, it was anounced by the governor if I recall correctly. Prior times it was used by schools and other goverment agencies. Now they seem to have enough to sell in bulk outside of the goverment which is a good thing. A lot of the farming is baby steps. They are also looking into bringing back the sugar cane, mostly for rum, but better than nothing, baby steps.

PR does not have the economic scale yet to produce local products at the same or lower prices. A lot of people will opt for cheaper even if older and lower quality, I guess they prefer to strech the budget over quality. So frozen imported and cheaper prices are still selling better than local products. I think the numbers I saw was that we produce about 13-15 percent of what we need and expect that to go to 20 percent next year.

Just like the GMO situation in the states.

I just learned how to reply to quotes, this seems a little more organized, LOL. But is there a food concern buying locally? My 1 year old is allergic to a lot of stuff. Mainly things that aren't good for you anyway.

I am not aware of any concerns with local food. However things can change.
For example: last week read an article that the drug and food administration stopped the distribution (in the states, not PR) of a shipment (125,000 pounds) of boneless chicken wings. The reason: they were made from rat meat, not chicken.

India has a major issue with people selling milk that was never part of an animal, it was all chemicals that looked and tasted similar to milk, some of the chemicals were poisonous in sufficient quantities.
China has a big issue with meat substitution and fabricated milk also.

As of yet I heard nothing like that in PR and the agriculture is fairly free of pesticides and other junk, levels are close to none.

Hi Chris, if you are still interested in the Mini cooper  it's 2 door convertable... VERY clean and in great shape.  Contact Myrna asap.

m

Chris, Just fyi, the $800 per month for power usage is no where near the normal range (we pay at worst $230 for a 3bdrm/2bth) so don't let that scare you. If you go to Prepa's website, you will find the current kwh charges. Apply those to your current usage and you'll get a rough idea of your costs. The only caveat would be that most rentals/homes have ac units that are quite out-dated energy wise and should be replaced immediately. You will reap the benefits in a matter of months instead of years.

Also, in my personal opinion, Palmas del Mar is a very secluded community cut off from the rest of the island. You will not get the full experience of living in Puerto Rico (you're less likely to explore when encased in an all inclusive bubble) and to me that is unfortunate. I can understand how some might feel more comfortable in this setting but I also feel life is more about embracing the place you live in, not removing yourself from it.

Karenqc has a very good point.

Palmas del mar is resort living (which explains the cost), manicured lawns, nice ponds, 1 or two swimming pools a few yards from the house / condo, affluent Puerto Rican and mainlander neighbors, a gated community inside a gated community, bars, restaurants, golf, a hotel also inside, the main transportation in the place is by golf cart. Some houses have their own boat marina if you have the cash.

It is an English speaking wonderland at the edge of a Poor and Spanish speaking Island. While some of the facilities like restaurants are open, there are two gates to go thru in order to visit a resident, one on the outside and another that controls the specific comunity within palmas and there are several communities within palmas.

It is a fairly closed society with little need for contact with the rest of the island.

But there is a whole island outside the gates with affluent and poor Puerto Ricans and mainlanders that you may never meet, with a culture and music that you may not ever experience and hundreds of beaches, lakes, rivers, caves, forests, and mountains that you may never come to enjoy.

I ask you to consider if you want to be isolated or if you want to become integrated in the island, its language, its culture, food, and music. Even if you do decide to live in Palmas, try to get to know the rest of the island and learn and practice Spanish.

While there is a large number of Puerto Ricans that can interact with you in English, the rest of the island (probably 2.5 million) will either speak broken English or no English at all. That is a lot of people that can make your life so much fuller and enjoyable. The official language is Spanish and English but you will hear very few speaking English outside of the tourist areas and only when they need to. Spanish is the Lengua Franca of the island, we been speaking it for 500 years. Get used to it and learn it.

I am not trying to put down Palmas, it is a very nice place! I even consider buying there (mostly for my wife) back in 2006 but it was expensive back then and my wife told me that she wanted to be integrated, so that idea is now history. We end up purchasing a lot (1.65 acres in 2016) in country like settings in the hills of Ceiba (1,000 feet above sea level), Surrounded by nature, 7 minutes from the closest beach, with an spectacular view of Roosevelt Roads, the Bay and Vieques. We will build there when we are ready to go. You may want to look for a similar property or house in a part of PR that is part of a native comunity. Your cost will be lower also, and you may have to build your own pool if so inclined.
Rey

This house had a pool once  a house with a pool now may be a deal breaker

I will sell you my Massachusetts house, it has a pool. We are going to build a pool also in our property in PR when we build the house in the property. Wife would kill me if we don't have a pool.

chrishamrick103 :

OMG!!! I probably would've considered moving! Thanks for a solid number, that helps a lot. I've been estimating that my bill may be around $400 worse case. Last month here in ATL I had my worse bill of all time, and my AC runs most of the time. I used 1652 kw. So that estimation is about spot on. I think I can pull it off to get it down lower. My home here is all electric and we're home pretty much all day everyday. Everything is pretty efficient though and I'll do the same there. But geez, that's some people's rent!

Do you think inverters are cheaper to run than the regular units? I'd think so, they're also a lot quieter which my 1 and 2 year old will appreciate.

Not sure what inverters are, but I think you may be referring to the split units which are narrow and go in the wall while the condenser component is outside the home. Yes people tell me they are a lot more efficient. Older air conditioners (self contained square types) waste a lot of energy.

If nothing changes you are looking at about 396 a month for electricity with that level of usage. But you are likely to change your ways. Wife and you may use one bedroom as your office which stays cool with air conditioner or you may work in the patio and take the breeze. These alone will easily save you money.

Water heater ..... You have many options, there are plugin inline units which you connect to the wall when you want to take a hot shower, there is always do without hot water of course, there are solar units that heat up from the sun, there are gas units where you use propane.

You also have the option of a stove / oven that is gas instead of electricity. Most people tell me that they use a tall tank which cost 100, and it last them 6-9 months depending on usage. You can also cook outside in a grill, it could be gas, charcoal, or wood.

Lots of ways to save in electricity, but the AEE may save you more as you may not have electricity all the time. According to AEE, on average 5,000 people loose electricity on a daily basis. People that must have it install a generator, it could be propane powered or gasoline powered, they come in handy specially during Hurricane season where a tree branch or some other flying object is likely to take out electric lines or cause a blowout at a converter.

A typical PR family uses little electricity, propane is king, they spend time outside in the shade, or use a fan instead of Air Conditioner, at bed time they use nothing or a fan or air conditioner to sleep. Most of the electric used during the day is either for computer, TV, or a radio, or a fan, lights are not turned on most of the day unless needed, and they only turn them on while needed and back off as they leave the room.

Keep windows open and curtains open, there is plenty of sun light, change bulbs to LED and use them when absolutely needed, otherwise keep them off.

Think about it, you can save enough in electricity to make payments on a new car.

Observe the natives, they know how to live on little. The extra you can use for trips to Europe. Most people in PR live on less than 1,700 a month including rent and have a family of 4. $10 an hour * 40 hours * 4 weeks = $1,600 a month, or $19,200 a year before taxes. A lot of people make 7.25 an hour, not everyone is in computers or some other 50K a year job. If they can live on 20K a year, you can with 30-40K a year.

Acording to AEE the average electric bill for the entire residential service, is around 70 dollars a month after this last rate hike. Thats about 900,000 households or more. A few expats have reported 70 a month also (but not many)

Hmmm... I have never had a bill that low.  I use ceiling fans during the day and only put on one... maybe two units on at night when sleeping.  My bill is always $140.00 plus.

Hi, I noticed your post that you are in Harbor Lakes. Im considering a unit there but have some reticence about a condo but am considering it in lieu of the higher cost of Sunset or Plantation properties. How do you like it there? I believe it is largely secondary home occupancy correct? Im wondering what its like as you hit the "season". How has your experience been with the quality of construction and the association maintenance? I will be back in Palmas in November with a planned move in March of next year.  Im trying to narrow my search a bit and need to engage a realtor.

I would welcome any feedback you might share.....thanks

is it possible to have water catchment and solar in Puerto Rico? I lived in hawaii off grid and would like to do the same in PR just to be closer to the mainland.

beachinhonolulu :

is it possible to have water catchment and solar in Puerto Rico? I lived in hawaii off grid and would like to do the same in PR just to be closer to the mainland.

You can cache rain water, you can also build a well, you can also get solar no problem in PR. Getting credit for excess electricity may take a while (months) and you will still be charged a few dollars under 10 a month for being connected to the electric grid.

A monthly charge just to hook up a solar house to feed the grid?  Sounds like they want to discourage solar independence!  Shame on them!

I wonder if the same type of hook up charge is assessed in other states?  I'll ask about that and report when I have more info.

Their point is that for everyone using solar, the cost of the infractructure for the rest goes up since there are less paying to the system. You will need to be connected unless your system has a good set of batteries for night consumption.
Last I heard it is taking months to get credit for the excess electricity you pump back into the lines and it is not retroactive either, but maybe it is going to change by the next time we get a good snow storm in PR.

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