Question about this Property

Hi again,  I am posting again.  I have been reading a lot of stuff on the site, and finding lots of great information.  And of course even though I don't know where I may want to be in Puerto Rico, I always seem to scour the beachfront areas, which are clearly out of my price range.  But I see this house and it has been on the market for more than a year, I think.  It is beachfront and very inexpensive.  So either it is in a very bad neighborhood, or there is something seriously wrong with it?  I have also noticed that they have had mixed photos, with clearly two houses shown.   Does anyone have any information to share about this area, house, or anything?  Thanks!,-66.23816,18.445863,-66.304593_rect/13_zm/

Link is currently under review so we can't see it. Properties can be in the market for more than a year. If empty and in the market for long it may have been broken into such as stealing of wiring and everything inside including windows and doors But we don't know that. Start by talking with the listing agent and ask about the house and conditions and needed repairs. Roofs leak after many years and may only require minor or major repairs. Seller may be asking for too much, and bank will not lend the amount because the property is not worth that. Many reasons can account for it, including lack of a clear tittle.
In a day or so the link will clear, you are a new member, that is why the link is under review.

Thanks so much Rey.  It is a zillow link and the Property is called Mameyal in Dorado.  It is only $100,000, and has been on the market a really long time.  I contacted an agent last year about it, and they did respond but I didn't get much information and then I never heard from them again.  It used to be over $300,000.

Sometimes there are back property taxes. You might be able to find out at the CRIM office

That's a good looking property, a fantastic location, and an attractive price.  I can see why you are interested.  I can also see why you are wary.  Seems too good to be true.

The CRIM website is giving me troubles right now, so I can't give you the property number (called a "catastro") or any other public information from CRIM.  I'll try again later.

You will find that getting a loan for property on the island is exceedingly difficult.  Cash is king.  In addition, deals are most frequently made face-to-face.  You will certainly want to see any property you consider buying, and even strongly consider investing in a home inspection.  You may very well discover upon seeing the property why it has been on the market for more than 450 days.

Thanks Warren.  Yes the property has been on the market at least a year, maybe two or more?  I can't even remember how long it has been on my list?  It was taken off the market at times, but then always turned up again.  The photos are incorrect, so it is hard to know which are actual.  I think most of the photos are from the other "rounded" white house that they show.  There used to be other photos too, that are no longer listed, but I never knew which photos were accurate.  I did contact a listing agent like a year ago or so, and asked which photos were accurate, and the agent emailed me and said that he just used old photos?   Seemed odd.  He never did correct the photos at that time, and obviously they are still incorrect?  It is very suspicious though, but it seems like even the property would be more valuable than that, even if the house was bad?  But clearly there is something wrong?  The beachfront doesn't look all that nice either, but still it is beachfront!

Please no one buy it now that I told you all about it!  Ha!

Yeah, I noticed that the photos of the house didn't match the map -- seems that the photos are of the house close to the shore, while the map points to the house to the west, sitting further back.  The beach access in the photos is pretty good.  While the beach immediately in front of the house is rocky, you should know that all beach in Puerto Rico is public property -- so you could walk down the stairs and to the sandy beach to the west.

I agree that the land itself may well be worth the asking price.  Of course, there is the added trouble and expense of demolishing the existing structure and building new.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Puerto Rico property hunting!  You've really gotta keep your sense of humor and sense of adventure as you go through the process.  And an extra dose of patience!

The photos are all wrong.  But in the satellite photo on the map, it looks like it is set back a bit, but there are no houses in front of it.  The photo with the balcony is the back view I think, at the street.  Old photos used to show the back patio and there was a full view of water,although there were some trees, as well as a covered patio area.  Old descriptions described it as more of a house with an apartment in the basement?  I recall that there was no stairway from the basement to the upstairs, and they were separate?  But the photos are mostly of the other house, I think?

I think the only accurate photos are 1-4, with only one inside photo, if that is even accurate?  The stairs to the water may also be accurate, but not necessarily.  But clearly there are significant issues with it, or it would have been sold long ago.

I wonder if this is a low Income area?  I think it may be.

The property and the GPS map do not match with the photos. The photos show a house with houses on both sides and some other building that looks like a market in front and across the street. The photos shows a town like look. Also notice the house upper part shows a slanted roof.

The GPS map shows lots of space around the houses on both sides and note of the 3 houses seem to have a slanted roof. The house to the left of the one pointed in the map could be it (second building from the left) but there is too much space between the buildings so it can not be the same as the photos. Also the road in the photos is a country road, the road in the gps map shows as being fairly wide,

Dorado is typically an expensive area with some rather poor neighborhoods that the nice houses have expanded into. The fact that it was 300k and now 100k tells me that either it has major structural issues of somebody gutted the house. Notice that the substantial price drop occurred just a few months after the previous 300k price and that from that point on the price has continued to drop.

If I am correct you should get a house inspection before you make an offer and maybe also bring a contractor to give you a loose estimate of how much it will cost to bring the house to like new condition again. Not many can afford a 100 to 150 repair bill.

My wife and I once were interested in a 4.000 SQ feet house that was selling for 170k because it was gutted. It was perfect for a B&B, it had a lot of other very nice features and buildings outside, but I was looking as 100K or more for repairs. So we walked out.

Drive by and go see it I could be wrong.

FYI: If the house needs major repairs to be habitable, you will not be able to get a conforming loan. You would have to take out a construction loan at high rates, and once the repairs are made, try to refinance into a conforming loan.

If it is a Homepath property, FNMA will lend you the money necessary for repairs.

From the photos it looks like the second floor part is a wooden house and if that's the case I would think twice..
Hurricanes and wooden houses don't match. :)

Well, the CRIM website is working again.  If this is the property to the west, set back from the beach, the catastro is 019-069-007-07-000.  The current owner purchased the property in 2002 for $250,000.

If it is the property to the east, close to the shoreline, that catastro is 019-069-007-08-000.  The current owner purchased it in December, 1994 for $135,000.

If you can get the listing agent to return a call or email, you might want to ask for the catastro.  Giving you that will pinpoint the property.

You can find this information by going to and selecting the "Catastro Digital" link at the bottom of the page.  This takes you to a sort of Google Earth view of the island.  Zooming in will show you the boundaries of the individual parcels.  Clicking on them sometimes gives you further information, like that above.

Best thing to do is to go out and check the property or ask somebody to do that. From what I see I think the 135,000 one is the most likely candidate. :)

Thank you all for your responses.  I am not even sure that any of the photos or maps are accurate.  When going to the website of the listing agent, the map shows the property to be blocks from the beach!  So there are far too many discrepancies.  And if they are beachfront, and selling for such low prices, it can't be a good area or there are severe problems with the home.  I think it is not for me!  But I have another to ask people about now.  I will post on a different thread to see what information I could get on that!  Thanks again!

Warner, I am confused by the site you mention, and how to go about finding out information that you listed.   I know how to do that in the US, but need to figure out how to find that information there.  I will have to try check into it.  It seems like the catastro number is not readily  available?

The only way to find out is getting over to the island and spend some time here and look at properties for sale.

I'd recommend anyway to rent a place before committing to buying. Find out if PR is for you and if not you won't have a house that might be difficult to sell for the $$ you would like to get out of it.

I will agree with Gary's comment, PR is a buyer market right now. Lots of properties for sale at great prices, at the same time, hard to sell. I have purchased a couple of properties and had make pretty good deals dealing directly with the sellers.

You will need to secure the services of a lawyer, in the island they are the ones that will process the purchase. The seller will need to provide the property deed and CRIM certificate to prove he is the correct owner and the property is free of back taxes. The lawyer then verifies all the information is accurate and will create the new deed and submit it for registration. He will also do a tittle search and provide you with a title certificate, CRIM certificate and your new deed. Depending how experienced the lawyer is, this process can take 30-90 days.

For a $45K transaction it cost us $450 total with the lawyer. We got the documents of the property in less than 30 days.

I do not believe you are yet familiar with the island and may be rushing which could be a pricey mistake.

Visit the island, decide where you want to live for the first year, rent a place there. This will provide you the opportunity to learn if Puerto Rico is where you want to be and the freedom to move to another part of the island without a significant investment, after a year or so you may want to continue renting or purchase a property, but either way you will be more informed and educated about the island, the people and the culture.
Looking at home for sale now may drive you nuts, besides some of those properties may still be available a year from now and new deals / opportunities would also have develop which may be better. There is no need to rush.

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