Building Homes in PR

Keeping an eye on things is the way to go, I seen too many mess-ups that go unnoticed or covered up until too late. Something as simple as using the wrong cement, or too little water or too much water and the pillar or wall just crumbles over the years, or the electric outlet just pulls right of the wall, or switches are in the wrong place, all sorts of things can go wrong. Some contractors cant read the house plans and they are making it up as they go along. Remember also that lowest bid does not necessarily means lower cost.

Hola!!
I just got done reading a lot of great info! Thank you all for asking questions, answering with opinions, recommendations, personal experiences and more. Please continue! I need all the help possible!
I will be returning to PR in June (less than 20 days) for a week and plan to check out a few areas (San Juan, Old San Juan, Isabela (Jobo Beach areas), Aguadilla and Rincon). I am in the very very VERY early stages of buying as in I just want to zone in on 1 or 2 possible towns to buy in.
Also if anyone would like to possibly meet and or recommend any places to check out (both houses built or just land to build on) would be great! It's kind of a go and explore type mission!


Also if anyone has any recommendations on places to eat or sites to check out in the above areas too would be appreciated... gonna post this in another place on this site too!

You can try this foreclosure site
Homepath and enter in puerto rico as a location
You can also use puerto rico classifies to find property

dmSJBG :

Hola!!
I just got done reading a lot of great info! Thank you all for asking questions, answering with opinions, recommendations, personal experiences and more. Please continue! I need all the help possible!
I will be returning to PR in June (less than 20 days) for a week and plan to check out a few areas (San Juan, Old San Juan, Isabela (Jobo Beach areas), Aguadilla and Rincon). I am in the very very VERY early stages of buying as in I just want to zone in on 1 or 2 possible towns to buy in.
Also if anyone would like to possibly meet and or recommend any places to check out (both houses built or just land to build on) would be great! It's kind of a go and explore type mission!


Also if anyone has any recommendations on places to eat or sites to check out in the above areas too would be appreciated... gonna post this in another place on this site too!

Sounds to me like you are in the exploratory stage and not ready to purchase property. Few realtors will give you attention until you are ready to commit to a specific location and time frame.

Question: I need a  HVAC person to replace two of those wall units. Real soon.....any references would be appreciated.  TIA

We finally were lucky enough to buy our dream property in Mayaguez during our last trip to PR and are also looking for a good/reliable builder in the area.  We are thinking of a small 2 story concrete/cinder block casita.  Does anyone have experiences with any of the contractors listed on the DACO? Any other suggestions and/or leads would also be greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much.

Hello Fburgos,  does this contractor also work in the Mayaguez area? Did you use his service?  I'd love to get his name and # as well. Thanks much.

I know of two builders who come highly recommended. Costa Brava and Dacar.  Both are in Rincon, but I've heard great things about both builders.  If you Google them, you'll be able to see their website.  Costa Brava has a website.  Dacar a Facebook page.  They will do a first consultation free.  Good luck!!

scoutvt :

We finally were lucky enough to buy our dream property in Mayaguez during our last trip to PR and are also looking for a good/reliable builder in the area.  We are thinking of a small 2 story concrete/cinder block casita.  Does anyone have experiences with any of the contractors listed on the DACO? Any other suggestions and/or leads would also be greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much.

Congratulations on your purchase. I can not help you with builders but I must warn you that due to all the reconstruction going on, contractors and workers are busy and building prices have gone up, the same with materials. I am in the same boat, it is going to be probably a year before prices settle down again.

Thanks much, 10YRStoRincon!

Thanks for the heads up, ReyP. We are in no rush but would like to have our casita done in the next 2-3 years.

I would think the shortage of materils caused by Irma and then Maria would have a bigger impact on prices in PR than the increase in Tariffs.

We are finding a hard time finding a good engineer and contractor, can you provide recommendations.  We have land in Guanica, Puerto Rico and any recommendation would be great. Thank you.

Yoga.Angelic :

We are finding a hard time finding a good engineer and contractor, can you provide recommendations.  We have land in Guanica, Puerto Rico and any recommendation would be great. Thank you.

Not sure if that was directed at me. But not at this time, we are still fuzzing with a plan for the house and have yet to contact and Eng to oversee it all.

We were looking at this group . I wish there were floor plans, though.
Thecroquis-houseplans.com

Ours is a custom house, so we are drawing a plan. Upstairs is done we are making changes to downstairs and also adding a car ramp that goes up to the second floor so we can drive up. We were considering making an area for an elevator but decided on the ramp better and also use the underside of the ramp as additional storage space.

We have looked at a lot of homes in PR and study them to see their mistakes and waste, so we are going to try to avoid them. We are also looking at using insulated concrete to keep the heat out and provide nice cool bedrooms that are easy to air condition with efficiency from the insulation. We will also add additional details like wiring to the plan as we go along, solar panels and rain recovery system.

We are not rushing, we rented a place for 1 year and can extend it for an additional year if need be.

A common mistake in PR is to overlook how hot the normal concrete gets from the exposure to the sun and how it dumps that heat into the inside of the home at night when you hope to be cooler.

Hi everyone i'm new to this site, i just bought a house in Dorado across from Kikita beach, it is a fixer upper but has a beautiful view of the beach, since my spanish isn't very good im looking for an English speaking contractor and someone who is familiar with cinder block retaining walls if anyone has any references for me i would greatly appreciate it

Welcome to Puerto Rico.
If you just need some general repairs and getting a fence up or something like that, a lot of times it pays to ask the neighbors, use English, a lot of people in that area know English.

Dorado is a mix of Upscale homes down to humble places, knock on the middle of the income level homes doors and speak to them in English.

I'm in the process of buying property in Rincon, PR and it is close to Rincon so i would be interested in the info.  there is so mcuh info to learn from here. glad i found it.  i was thinking of buying a modual house but i dont think that they do it there. If they do what do you think about it?

Modular homes in Puerto Rico are not readily available.  The real estate market is quite depressed, and single family residential building is almost at a standstill. 

However, in the wake of hurricane Maria architects are beginning to experiment with modular systems for homes.  Our firm has looked into the possibility, and we think building modular home can be practical in some instances.  Much depends on  the client's design and budget expectations.

Do not build anything but a cement house in Puerto Rico, if you do anything else but cement your gambling, this is hurricane country it’s not a matter of if but when another one hits. That’s my opinion anyway.

Agreed.  Make sure that roof is concrete as well.  You'll want to keep a roof over your head when it's over.

Hi would like to pick your brain a little.  We're from NY and planning to build in Rincon. We found a piece of land that we want to buy. how much would it cost to hire an engineer.  I read that it can take a long time to get permits and that it takes longer to build the house. I read somewhere that it took someone months to get water even thought it was just 10 feet away from the road. any help that you give me would be helpful

as i mention so many questions before i get into buying the land in Rincon and trying to build.  first question is that I read that it is hard to get a loan even if i own the land.  can i get a construction loan from the US to build a house there. 
second, we plan to do rentals there  with AIRBNB. i haven't been able to find a management company there. online. the land is 5 mins away from a quiet beach and about 10 mins from Marina and the steps beach and the town.  there isn't a view. 
thanks

Hi Scoutvt,
my apologies for not responding earlier.
We’ve been very busy relocating a business. Just catching up now.

Not sure if you’re still in need of the builders info.
He’s located in Aguada, so, Mayagüez shouldn’t  be an issue.
He is DACO licensed
here’s his name and number.
Adrian Torres.
(787) 424-5890

One caveat,  his English is limited.

Here’s a development he is working on in Aguada.
It’ll give you good sense of his vision level of expertise.
Have look at this.
Www.Suenoreal.net

Hope this was helpful.

Felix Burgos

Hi, I just came across this website and Forum. It seems like theirs some great information
regarding building new homes in PR.I own property in Linda Mar Manati. The community
is mostly custom homes. I was trying to find an Architect in the area in draw up the plans for
a new custom home. I"m looking to build approx 2500 sq ft home. I received and estimate from
an architect in San Juan, but his fees were  close to 85,000 which seem very high for a $400,000 new home. Can anyone refer a great Architect or any custom home builders in the area. Much appreciated.

I am attempting to build a 2400 sq foot home with a 750 garage on the coastline near Aguada.   I have had 3 builders give me quotes with the lowest being $360,000.  That is without finishing the inside. The price per sq foot is ridiculous. 

Can anyone help me understand why the cost would be so high?

Do you know what his construction company is? I do not see his name on the DACO site.

CoachTrana :

I am attempting to build a 2400 sq foot home with a 750 garage on the coastline near Aguada.   I have had 3 builders give me quotes with the lowest being $360,000.  That is without finishing the inside. The price per sq foot is ridiculous. 

Can anyone help me understand why the cost would be so high?

All I can offer is a guess. The answers below could be BULL.
Since Maria, construction prices have gone up a lot. The claim is shortage, they say they are unable to bring in too much material because of taxes and as such they do not warehouse it for long.

Due to the number of repairs going up, there is a need for materials and we are facing a shortage as above.

There is a shortage of labor specially good labor. Government projects state they need around 150,000 more laborers for government construction projects.

The government has decided to pay all workers a minimum of 15 dollars an hour, so a lot of people want to work in the government projects.

Since the government is paying a minimum of 15 an hour, private sector has to compete with that, so they have to offer 15 or more to the workers.

The shortage of materials, the shortage of labor force and the minimum pay of 15 an hour is making new construction cost go thru the roof. At least that is what I believe based on what I have been reading.

Hope this help
Rey.

The architect that I used charged me $15,000 and has worked with the Permit office to get the approval, which is not an easy process.  I used Justiniano Urban Systems inc in Aguada.

For those asking about average price of building, you are likely to see about 125 dollars per square foot at this time.

Yes, Maria has left a wake of destruction after her that has inflated costs and demand for construction materials.

For example, we are replacing a glass wall on one side of the house.  Several doors and windows,  when getting quotes from several manufacturers ( air master, weather king, and several smaller shops) the story was the same from all, six to nine months delay for delivery due to material shortages and high demand. 

Other materials seem to be readily available like tile flooring, cement, lumber etc.

We have noticed a lot of commercial development in our area along highway #2 like new restaurants, stores and businesses. 

All of the reconstruction and new development is good for the local economy and provides employment for many workers.

Some people say that Puerto Rico is the new Hawaii and will see an influx of development that will drive up the value of property on the island.   We will see, hope springs eternal.

I don't expect houses to to start to appreciate for another 4+ years. Places like Rincon and Condado on the other hand are appreciating like crazy due to Gringo dollars and Act 20/22 Millionaires / Billionaire money. The rest of the island, not so much, there is a glut of properties and few buyers.

This is a good time for people in a fix budget to come and buy land and humble places, because they are still very affordable. There are a lot of repo properties and places in bad shape that can be purchased for little and repaired. Good idea to also fix and turn properties and build Real estate wealth over several years.

Does the $125 per square foot price that you are seeing include the inside finishing work as well?

CoachTrana :

Does the $125 per square foot price that you are seeing include the inside finishing work as well?

Yes but only basic doors, windows, basic toilet, shower and cheap tiles.
Must people want upgrades so the price goes up from there, the fancier the more it cost.
Prices are fluctuating all the time so dont get too hung up on 125.

Our plans have been approved by the city of Aguada, but we are running into cost issues.  We reduced the size of the home to lower the cost.  We can not find a builder that is reasonable priced.  We are looking to simply have the home "shelled" meaning no finishings on the inside.  The best price so far is $125 psf, that is without a driveway, landscaping, and nothing done on the inside.  We have talked to 3 different builders. 

Does anyone have an idea when the prices may come back down?  We are considering waiting for another year or changing our plans completley.  Possibly building a container home instead of  cement. 

I would be interested in hearing what price per square foot other people are being quoted!   
Thanks

Not sure if the prices will come down, maybe in 3 years or so. However other things are likely to raise it further over time.

I sent you some info for a builder in Aguada.
He’s built many of the better looking homes in the area.
And live in Aguada  as well.
Adrian Torres.  His number and a little background are included.
BTW, we also own property in Aguada.
Best of luck.

Thinking about building a home in Patillas. Can you recommend anyone? I want a very small home-500-800 square feet. I would just like wall, roof, electrical, rough in plumbing, windows, doors. I will finish my self. I also thought about doing a container home myself. Does anyone know cost of containers and moving costs?

Thanks in advance to help. This is my first time using this site

Sorry to chime in amd sound silly. There are many homes available from all price ranges
Unless you have money for a mansion there is no reason to build unless you are thinking about a non traditional type of house such as a home made of cargo trailers.  I personally strongly suggest against this.  Another is an earthship home and there is a phase 4 project happening in aguada right now. Also an sand bag home which this project is almost completely done in utuado
These are sustainable homes, very inexpensive, environmentally friendly and hold up to all weather conditions
They are labor intensive however
If you want information on any of these projects please let me know and I can hook you up on Facebook with these group projects

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