Just Brought a House in Boqueron

GET A GOOD BANK AND LAWYER FIRST!!
My wife and I just purchased a house in Boquerón, Cabo Rojo. PR. We currently live in the Washington DC area but have also lived in Venezuela and Mexico. We are both retiring again and picked PR at the advice of a co-work and friend who frequently visits, and have family in Boquerón. Once we saw it, the decision was final that this would be our retirement location. Immediately when arriving in Cabo Rojo, we went to Banco Popular and hired a recommended lawyer. Upon finding the house we wanted, I cannot express how valuable hiring a good lawyer can be. Our loan was quickly pre-approved and in the final stage approved. Again, I cannot express too many times the importance of a good lawyer. With the housing market crisis in place, many sellers want to sell but are legally not able to sell even though you may see an for sale sign on the house like we did. Our lawyer weaved us through the process of securing contracts, a host of legal documents, dealing with the banks for verification and everything. I must admit, with us not being there in PR we would not have this house today. Our lawyer Hector Marti Rodriguez went WELL BEYOND the call of duty to making our dream come true. No amount of money can substitute for trusting and reliable services. As a result of the title of this message, we were successful in obtaining our dream home. Not to mentioning gaining new friends!!!!!

Hello, I am about to apply for a mortgage from Banco popular in PR as I am buying a house also in Luquillo I have not retained a lawyer at the moment. Doesn't the bank do title searches etc. before closing ?  Can you please pass on his information as I would like to discuss with him thank you . How much does it generally cost to hire a lawyer? Also will he be present at the closing? Thank you .. Johnny

The bank can do a title search, but in our case, we had our lawyer do it  because of the severity of the case. He handled the title search, inspection, and all the legal work. Regardless of whether the bank does the title search or not, you are still going to need a lawyer for certain documents and for your safety and protection. Please don't do this without a trusty lawyer. The banks lawyer will be looking out for the bank's interested, you need someone for your interested. There is a standard 1% that all lawyers must adhere to buy law. And he was present at the closing.

Hector Rodriqeuz  at 787.833.5347. A call certainly can't hurt, but I'm sure you will be glad you did. Tell him Reggie Braxton referred you. No worries, I don't get commission. I now consider Hector my permanent lawyer and friend. I'm sure we will always need a lawyer while in PR. Yes, the bank

We are considering buying a piece of land in Boqueron, to build a small house where we would spend the winter months.  I found your recent posts very helpful and would very much like to hear about your experiences.  We have so many questions about how to do this project, from how to find lawyers, contractors, helpers to what one should ship from the US mainland and where on the island one can buy what is needed to establish a household that I don't know where to start.  So maybe you can just tell us how its going so far.  Thanks

I totally agree with Dora! My son's grandmother was having her dream house built, and whenever she was not there, the "constructors" would laze about, and even take some materials home with them! I am not saying everyone is like that. If you hire a reputable firm, the job will most likely be done properly, but for much more money. Sometimes people get things done by individuals who do not have a "real" construction company, but a few guys who work for cash. If you are going to go that route, be on site, daily, to monitor the process.

modmaven46 :

We are considering buying a piece of land in Boqueron, to build a small house where we would spend the winter months.  I found your recent posts very helpful and would very much like to hear about your experiences.  We have so many questions about how to do this project, from how to find lawyers, contractors, helpers to what one should ship from the US mainland and where on the island one can buy what is needed to establish a household that I don't know where to start.  So maybe you can just tell us how its going so far.  Thanks

My suggestion to you would be to rent next winter and see if you can actually deal with living here which is very different than visiting  or vacationing. That way you can begin to explore your options...also remember everything takes two or three times longer here and you will most likely run into a lot of complications and delays. Unless you are bilingual you will have to search for people who are willing to speak English. I see you are a retired architect...I can assure you the process here will be completely different than the states...even getting a simple permit could take months and months. Also I would never build unless I was physically living here to make sure things were actually getting done to my expectations. But of course anything is possible if your up for the challenge.

I'm coming in the 17th for a week to look at some houses in that area. I already started the process with the bank, preapproval etc. Cabo Rojo, Boqueron seem beautiful. Hubby wants to look at 1 house in  Vega Baja,  on that side just to check options. I'm digging my heels in tho....lol.
I guess I'll ask about the Atty. Seems smart after reading this. Thanks.
I'm also going to look in the area to open a small business, as long as it isn't completely impossible.
See y'all around.

Congratulations on your new home and life in Puerto Rico. You offered very practical and WISE advice. How long did it take you from beginning to end to seal the deal? We will be on the island soon to start house hunting in the Augadilla/Isabela areas. My wife is determined to buy property on her native land. So we are hoping to buy something this year.

We are going through this now, and even though we did not go through the  bank, I'd recommend having your lawyer do the title search.   You really need to be careful with titles.  Our lawyer charged us only $50 for the title search.  Well worth it.

I'd recommend looking on Zillow or Classificados Online.  I'd say don't bother with agents unless you need to.  Real estate agents do not work with multiple listings as they do in the states, but if you are looking for a repo, that might be the way to go.  For any property that might interest you, be sure to ask about the title immediately.  If you get to the point where an offer is accepted, retain a lawyer immediately and get a title search.

Also, keep in mind that in PR, you absolutely need a lawyer to make your deed.  According to law, the buyer chooses the lawyer and the seller pays the fees.  Be sure to get a good lawyer who will work in your behalf.

annabfalter :

I'd recommend looking on Zillow or Classificados Online.  I'd say don't bother with agents unless you need to.  Real estate agents do not work with multiple listings as they do in the states, but if you are looking for a repo, that might be the way to go.  For any property that might interest you, be sure to ask about the title immediately.  If you get to the point where an offer is accepted, retain a lawyer immediately and get a title search.

Also, keep in mind that in PR, you absolutely need a lawyer to make your deed.  According to law, the buyer chooses the lawyer and the seller pays the fees.  Be sure to get a good lawyer who will work in your behalf.

I wanted to make sure I understood your post correctly. Do you mean the seller pays for the buyer's attorney fees by law in Puerto Rico?

Its standard in most cases for the seller to pay but its not mandatory.  For example when buying a bank owned property it is very common for the  bank (ie seller) not to cover any attorney's fees. I've also seen cases where buyer and seller split the cost on higher priced sales. As mentioned in earlier posts always good to have a solid attorney to point these items out in the contract because this one item can be overlooked very easily.

Thanks so much for clarifying, Larry!

What are the rates for closing fees typically in PR compared to US?

I think the costs overall are similar with the exception of the recording fees here in PR and (depending on the state one resides in ) the attorney's fees).

In the states recording fees for the most part are based on the # of pages of the warranty deed and deed of trust ( or mortgage for some states) and are typically the same amount for every transaction.  Well in PR the recording fees are based on the sales price (and if you have a mortgage tied in the amount being financed). So for higher priced transactions you will see a large variance in costs for PR transactions vs States simply because of recording fees.

Otherwise there isn't much of a difference besides the attorney's fees which if there is a mortgage involved the buyer is normally on the hook for the fees related to their mortgage deed ( 1% or .5% of the amount financed) but for cash transactions as discussed earlier,  the seller will cover.

As many have said though regardless of using financing or buying in cash its wise to have your attorney review all fees associated with the deal to avoid surprises at the end.

Well we ended up in Fajardo. Puertos del Sol. A little remodeling projects for me to run. Just now starting the purchasing process.

Jeanene :

Well we ended up in Fajardo. Puertos del Sol. A little remodeling projects for me to run. Just now starting the purchasing process.

Jeanne
What made you and hubby decide on Fajardo?

We fish and go out of the marina there. The nosed weren't quite as expensive as other areas. I was there all week. I went to Cabo Rojo,  Rincon, lovely,  but the houses were small in my budget. I got a big bang where i bought and it's a great area. 50 min from airport in San Juan.... seven seas beach,  but I can scoot anywhere,  it's an island?  I'm used to Texas, lol. There are stores,  Walgreens,  grocery, local and chains. Restraunts on the beach, Conquistador for a fancy fix of needed. I'm good with that area

Jeanene :

We fish and go out of the marina there. The nosed weren't quite as expensive as other areas. I was there all week. I went to Cabo Rojo,  Rincon, lovely,  but the houses were small in my budget. I got a big bang where i bought and it's a great area. 50 min from airport in San Juan.... seven seas beach,  but I can scoot anywhere,  it's an island?  I'm used to Texas, lol. There are stores,  Walgreens,  grocery, local and chains. Restraunts on the beach, Conquistador for a fancy fix of needed. I'm good with that area

Wish y'all the best. We are looking back West around Dorado area or Isabella/Aquadilla areas. Have a house we are looking at but will probably rent for a year to make sure of where we want to be.

Jeanene :

Well we ended up in Fajardo. Puertos del Sol. A little remodeling projects for me to run. Just now starting the purchasing process.

I am partial to the east coast, I purchased in Ceiba.

In Puerto del Sol as well.

Houses...oops

Hello all! Firstly Thank you to all who contribute to these forums, they are insightful and so very interesting. I have been to Puerto Rico several times with friends who are locals but I have never been to Boqueron. My mother gained interest in retiring in Boqueron after a conversation with a coworker.
Alas, we are setting out to visit this summer, I'd accompany her for a week or so then she'd stay longer alone for up to a month. Depending on her verdict, she'd continue to rent the current house or we'll find a new place.  She knows a bit of Spanish and is ready to use it, so thats a plus. She's also on a modest budget.
Craigslist is where I typically start my search for housing but there isn't much in the Boqueron area. Has anyone advice for going about this endeavor? Thanks!

Craigslist is rarely used in PR. Clasificados Online (clasificadosonline.com) is the Craigslist of Puerto Rico. There are also many active Facebook groups for various areas of the island, so you might try searching for a Southwest Puerto Rico Real Estate group (Or something similarly named) on Facebook.

Its located Cabo rojo and is amazing. However however you need to understand that English isnt spoke much in cabo rojo. We lived in cabo rojo when we first moved to puerto Rico
If you arent fluent in spanish, i dont recommend moving there. Even the city of mayaguez wguch is wherw you will need to drive to do major shopping.  Most of the people working in the stores and malls dont speak English. If English is important i recommend rincon. Most people speak English in that town.  Thatwas the 3 place we moved to.  Its actually to Americanized for us. I realize i like the local people then the transplants from the states.   Rincon might be a good starting point for you guys
As the person mentioned use puerro rico classifies, seldomly people here use craigslist.

Thank you all.

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