New members of the Puerto Rico forum, introduce yourselves here - 2019

Most carros públicos don’t run anymore. Some still exist on some routes, mostly long hauls

Oh wow, 😕. That's too bad. I guess the proliferation of cars killed the industry. Thanks Rey.

I noticed that we need to open bank account in PR if we would like to buy house.. how about for rental?if we want to live there for a year, and just want to rent a house..do we need PR bank?

kimmi83 :

I noticed that we need to open bank account in PR if we would like to buy house.. how about for rental?if we want to live there for a year, and just want to rent a house..do we need PR bank?

Owner will likely want the rent as either local check or cash. Not likely they would wait for a period of 2 weeks for a chech from US bank to clear.

New member here from Cincinnati, Ohio. Have vacationed 4 times in PR. All VRBO. First time we stayed in Puerta De Tierra. We did not rent a car and used the bus to get back and forth everywhere we went. Next three times we stayed in VRBO condos in Playa Azul in Luquillo. What makes me want to retire in PR, is low maintenance concrete houses with tile floors and the thought of owning just one set of clothes. I love being outside.   I love Luquillo for being small, walkable, surrounded by green space and just enough retail. We went to Amigos almost everyday and ate where the natives eat.

Interested in hearing about renting a house or apartment, before we take the plunge.

Also would love to hear from people who moved to PR and are fishing for skillet size fish to eat. As I work on convincing hubby, that he will love it as much as me, fishing and maybe owning a small boat are n my to do list.

somnamblst :

New member here from Cincinnati, Ohio. Have vacationed 4 times in PR. All VRBO. First time we stayed in Puerta De Tierra. We did not rent a car and used the bus to get back and forth everywhere we went. Next three times we stayed in VRBO condos in Playa Azul in Luquillo. What makes me want to retire in PR, is low maintenance concrete houses with tile floors and the thought of owning just one set of clothes. I love being outside.   I love Luquillo for being small, walkable, surrounded by green space and just enough retail. We went to Amigos almost everyday and ate where the natives eat.

Interested in hearing about renting a house or apartment, before we take the plunge.

Also would love to hear from people who moved to PR and are fishing for skillet size fish to eat. As I work on convincing hubby, that he will love it as much as me, fishing and maybe owning a small boat are n my to do list.

Welcome to the forum and hopefully Puerto Rico.
I always recommend to rent for 6 months to a year before purchasing to ensure that A) Puerto Rico is for you. B) To find the proper location that makes you happy and C) for boots on the ground, most realtors will not pay attention to somebody that is not currently living in the island.

Hi everyone. I'm Don from the Atlanta metro area. I'll be retiring in a few years, so I'm beginning to search for a place to hang my hat. Puerto came to my attention. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts and tossing a few questions into the mix occasionally. Thanks for making this site such a good source of information.

Donald4K :

Hi everyone. I'm Don from the Atlanta metro area. I'll be retiring in a few years, so I'm beginning to search for a place to hang my hat. Puerto came to my attention. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts and tossing a few questions into the mix occasionally. Thanks for making this site such a good source of information.

Welcome to the forum,
There is a lot of information here that you may want to read, so searching the site will provide almost all you may want to know. But not everyones situation is the same, so please ask away, that is what we are here for.

Thanks ReyP!

I would definitely rent first, but did not have much luck finding rental listings online.

I am very interested in hearing about the maintenance issues involved in owning concrete homes. I saw your earlier post about some homes not being originally plumbed for hot water.

I know the inverter AC units are superior. If a not updated townhouse unit has window units, what is involved in putting in the more modern AC (and getting rid of the hole in the wall that a window unit was placed in.

I surmise, that salt air means the concrete homes are painted often. But with the homes not being 30 ft. high like our current home, I thought I could paint an exterior myself. In fact I saw a woman in Luquillo painting her house with a pole on a roller.

Hello,

I was searching the internet with all my questions on moving to Puerto Rico and found so much great info on this site that I decided to join.  :)  Many of my questions have already been answered!

My husband, 14yo son and I are seriously considering the move within two years from now. I'm a California native and love it here, but the cost of living is much too high for us going forward in life. Puerto Rico is an affordable alternative. My husband is Puerto Rican and grew up there, so we have a lot of family that will help us with the transition!
We would like to live near family in Quebradillas or possibly Isabela.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself here, I'm more going to read more on this site and join in the conversation when I can!

Kirsten

;) Greetings.

kircordero :

Hello,

I was searching the internet with all my questions on moving to Puerto Rico and found so much great info on this site that I decided to join.  :)  Many of my questions have already been answered!

My husband, 14yo son and I are seriously considering the move within two years from now. I'm a California native and love it here, but the cost of living is much too high for us going forward in life. Puerto Rico is an affordable alternative. My husband is Puerto Rican and grew up there, so we have a lot of family that will help us with the transition!
We would like to live near family in Quebradillas or possibly Isabela.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself here, I'm more going to read more on this site and join in the conversation when I can!

Kirsten

Welcome to the forum
Both of those locations are excellent. Glad that the forum was able to answer a lot of your questions. Don’t be shy, ask away and we will try to help some more.

Hi Everyone,

My Hubby and I just started the process to see if Puerto Rico is the place for us to retire. We currently reside in Vancouver, Washington. We are scheduled to visit first for a week in January, we are looking to retire in a smaller town, within walking distance to food etc..... We want to slow down and are not excited of living in a condo or a neighborhood (ie like the states)  Are there any suggestions as to a good location to start our scouting? My idea is a small farm or small home with land? I would like to have a garden and maybe some chickens? IDK but I am not wanting to hear my neighbor flush the toilet (haha) We also will have our Dog when we make the move and she needs a bit of space to run. We will have family visiting and my adult children are already talking of moving with us or follow us there, so a three bedroom and/or a separate space for them? We do not care if we are right on or near the beach (although it would be nice) but we were thinking up higher maybe?

Thank you
Jenny

Jlanphere :

Hi Everyone,

My Hubby and I just started the process to see if Puerto Rico is the place for us to retire. We currently reside in Vancouver, Washington. We are scheduled to visit first for a week in January, we are looking to retire in a smaller town, within walking distance to food etc..... We want to slow down and are not excited of living in a condo or a neighborhood (ie like the states)  Are there any suggestions as to a good location to start our scouting? My idea is a small farm or small home with land? I would like to have a garden and maybe some chickens? IDK but I am not wanting to hear my neighbor flush the toilet (haha) We also will have our Dog when we make the move and she needs a bit of space to run. We will have family visiting and my adult children are already talking of moving with us or follow us there, so a three bedroom and/or a separate space for them? We do not care if we are right on or near the beach (although it would be nice) but we were thinking up higher maybe?

Thank you
Jenny

First off welcome to the forum and hopefully Puerto Rico soon.
We usually recommend to come to the island several times and spend some time traveling around the island and taking the pulse of each area. There are 78 tows/municipalities in the island and each has its own feel.

There is the concept of Urbanizaciones, these are communities where the houses are very close together and where they steal the breezes from each other and you heard them fighting or flushing the toilet.

There is also Campo (country), these houses are separate, sometimes by several acres of land, they could be at low altitude or higher. My place is about 1,000 feet above sea level and there are much higher properties.

Farm houses country side (Campo) tend to have at least 1/2 acre to 5 acres on average. However the homes are humble and most only have cold water so you have to make changes if you want a dishwasher or water heater. There are electric shower heads that will heat the water as it is being delivered and that is likely what you will normally find on these houses.

As to size, most houses are 3 br with either 1 or 2 baths, 1 is most common. Most are concrete made of concrete cinder blocks and a flat roof. The roof needs to be maintained well as rain can accumulate and start leaking after a while if the roof is not treated. The leaks then bring in mold and more damage the longer you let it go besides affecting your health.

Wooden houses are available also, but you can not get financing for them and can not get insurance either because if risk from possible storm damage. Insurance and banks will not be with you.

In most of PR yo u. We’d to get in your car to go eat or shop, some places like the Old San Juan have plenty of stores within walking distance but the noice and traffic is not likely what you want.

Take several tips, decide on 1 to 3 towns  (max), get a rental for 6 months to a year and while living here contact a realtor to check what is available. Closing on a house can take a while, things move slow in the island, 3 months is common for a close after an offer.

If you decide on a place, get a lawyer, have him check the title, taxes and have him hold the offer money which is usually around 5 percent. Do not use the realtor or seller lawyer, use your own.

If you are serious about a place, get a home inspection land make sure they check the roof!!!! Also have it check for Comejen, these are like termites, they eat wood and books, but also will burry in the concrete and create tunnels into the house. You want to get rid of them, similar is polilla which also likes to eat wood and books, they are smaller and harder to notice unless yo u notice the dust from the damage.

Hi Jenny,

I really like the small town of Luquillo on the eastern part of the island (population 20,000). You can go to Rio Grande or Fajardo if you need more than an Amigos grocery store and a Walgreens. Very walkable. 12 continuous miles of beach. Two Blue Flag beaches if you count Seven Seas 5 miles away.

The Luquillo Kioskos, Antique Bakery and Yunni's Pinchos, mean you could use a car seldom.

Luquillo abuts El Yunque, so I imagine the further up the hill you get, the more land. And I have been told by an expat who also chose Luquillo, that they bike and hike El Yunque.

Oh and it appears, you can have your chickens anywhere. It does not have to be rural. Even apartment dwellers have chickens.

Proximity to Fajardo is nice, because it is the harbor for visiting other islands.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Luqui … erto+Rico/[at]18.3387978,-65.7901637,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x8c0497699d91db51:0x3b6fb9eb86f926c6!8m2!3d18.3789857!4d-65.7206559

Quite a bit of well priced land and houses over near us in Las Marías.

Welcome. Check out the north west section.  Many nice rural homes in the inland areas of Hatillo, Isabella & Quebradillas. Some with ocean views and fenced acreage. 😎

Because of the way the island is formed, in most places around the island you are about 1 mile to 3 miles into Hills and mountains. So just about anywhere you will find Campo or Country in English.

Hello,

My name is Mark and I am a recent college graduate (UCLA, 2018). I majored in Environmental Science and have been looking into working in PR considering the environmental issues that have been exacerbated by the hurricanes recently (clean water infrastructure, drinking water pollution, etc.)

Can anyone give me tips/pointers/advice on this? Is it feasible? What are some things I should be researching first?

Thanks everyone!

markkhoi :

Hello,

My name is Mark and I am a recent college graduate (UCLA, 2018). I majored in Environmental Science and have been looking into working in PR considering the environmental issues that have been exacerbated by the hurricanes recently (clean water infrastructure, drinking water pollution, etc.)

Can anyone give me tips/pointers/advice on this? Is it feasible? What are some things I should be researching first?

Thanks everyone!

Anything is possible.
However while the US has an unemployment of 3.6% PR unemployment is 15%
With no working experience in your line of work, maybe no Spanish, and the high unemployment and plenty of competition, I suggest you try finding the job first, get a solid offer before moving to the island.

Hi everyone, I am Ava, pronounced AhVA.  I am not yet an expat but in about 45 days I will be, and am truly looking forward.  I actually just got back from a 2 week stay in PR, that was the trip to solidify my move with my children.

A bit about me :)!  I am a single mom to two girls, ages 10 and 11.  I am a Licensed Clinical Social worker by trade, with a Masters in Social work, NYU Alum.  I primarily provide psychotherapy to clients who are living with a mental illness and or having some other issues that are impacting their functioning, such as depression or anxiety or trauma.  I am Jamaican born, NY raised, and currently ATl living.  Being a native Jamaican, who  experienced island life for 16 years before being carted off to the concrete jungle, I want my children to experience that life and the ease that it can come with.  Why not move back to Jamaica?  Well, Jamaica will always be home, however I want my girls to be immersed and master a second language, and for me, Jamaica right now has a lot going on in terms of violence and expats not being always safe when they return.  I also am efficient in Spanish, so it made sense to move to a Spanish speaking country, though Costa Rica was top on the ist, I wanted to avoid the visa and border runs, hence PR was perfect. 

My goal is to move to PR and continue to do my clinical work, and in 6 months, once I become fluent n Spanish again, possible explore the needs of the people here and provide a service along the lines of community building, work with at risk youth and even the mental health population here. 

In my spare time, I love to take pics and have recently moved away from shooting with 35 mm and now only digital.  I look forward to meeting people and hoping to catch some nice documentary style photos.  I am a Make up artist, and I also own a t-shirt company.   I am a Leap year born baby, so finally in feb 202, I will have an official BDay!!! Any Leaplings in the forum? Would love to connect!  I am a moon worshipper and crystal healer as well.  Long term goal swill be to become Reiki certified, gain 200hr YT, and finally get certified as a Sound Healer using crystal singing bowls.  I am also a Certified Holistic Doula, with a focus on postpartum care, using natural healing to help the family regain equilibrium, after birth. 

That kinda sums me up in a half nutshell :)
I look forward to meeting, networking and loving new people!

Welcome Ava!!!  Wishing you and your girls a positive and wonderful experience on your move to PR.  I love your resume!!!  Please keep us updated on your ongoing experiences once you move.  I still have about 6 or 7 years before I can retire and live in PR but I love living vicariously through those "expats" that make the move to PR.

Thank you!!!! You know, as one who grew up in the islands, the concept of retirement is foreign to me.  I was raised seeing my granny work the tobacco fields until she was 92 and then she decided to stop and lived another 8 years after.  I observe that it is where you set your mind to be as you move into that milestone, and of course finances, but I also believe in an abundance mindset, so, the most high will make sure I wont starve on an island with fruits in my backyard :).  This is my current mindset, ask me in 10 year when my babies are off to college and I am home alone eating PB no Jelly :)

Hi Everyone, I'm Greg and a new member. My wife and I plan to retire in Puerto Rico. I'm currently retire waiting on her. She is from a small town in southeast Puerto Rico. We own land in that area and are looking to build a tiny home-500 sq/ft or build a container home. I already posted some question on "Building homes in PR". We would like to start now or pretty close to now! We been going to PR for over 25 years now for visits and vacation. After all that time you'd think that we know something. I do know that you need to relax and be patient; things are a slower pace here. Take your time. After all is that not what we are looking for?

Hi Everyone!
We just closed on our home in Aguadilla and moving full time starting in October. We have been vacationing there for 10  years and decided to make it our forever home. I need advise on where to buy a car and shipping furniture (how easy is it to buy from amazon and ship to your home address)

Mpeacock :

Hi Everyone!
We just closed on our home in Aguadilla and moving full time starting in October. We have been vacationing there for 10  years and decided to make it our forever home. I need advise on where to buy a car and shipping furniture (how easy is it to buy from amazon and ship to your home address)

Congratulations on the new home.
Most items are shipped by Amazon, 3rd patties that sell thru Amazon may not ship. It all depends on. Their arrangements.
It is not always a good idea to ship furniture to PR, best to buy here instead.

Hi Everyone!

I'm from NY and in the early stages of planning a move to PR, expected in the next year or two. We have spent extended time in Joyuda and Cabo Rojo the past couple years and we love the west coast.

I used to be fluent in Spanish but lack of use had left me pretty rusty, so I'm looking forward to immersion and luckily I have a good amount of time to refresh my skills.

We have a 3 year old and a 15 year old, both learning Spanish as well 😀

My husband will keep his stateside job and work remotely and I am self employed. I'm definitely curious about income tax for our particular situation if anyone has any insight.

Congratulations, Tax is complex should talk with tax advisor in the island

HI!,

My wife is being transferred to Aguadilla from the mainland  in the  fall, but we are going in September for a house hunting trip (renting first, then buying after a year or so.) Do you have any realtors you would recommend in the NW? I Understand that there is not a cohesive MLS system so several realtors may be necessary? My wife speaks fluent Spanish. Thank you!

-Kristin

ScubaKristin :

HI!,

My wife is being transferred to Aguadilla from the mainland  in the  fall, but we are going in September for a house hunting trip (renting first, then buying after a year or so.) Do you have any realtors you would recommend in the NW? I Understand that there is not a cohesive MLS system so several realtors may be necessary? My wife speaks fluent Spanish. Thank you!

-Kristin

The best way to find a good place quickly is to drive around the area where you want to live looking for rental signs. The second best is to use the classified service, and last talk to a local realtor serving the particular town. Remember that just a few miles away is another town that may be cheaper.
https://www.clasificadosonline.com/

Bianca Realty Group

Hi All.  We'll be moving to PR in January/Feb 2020, and are so excited.  We are currently preparing our current life for the transfer in 5 months.  I do have a few questions, and this seems to be the best place to ask, so thanks for being here!  For our life in PR, we will need a few securities - one is consistent internet, which I have asked about in another forum, as we both work remotely.  We are leaning toward Rincon, but I thought I'd ask you all what you think is the best fit for us.  My husband has been to PR, but I have not.  We are looking for a place with the following:

1. Reliable internet for work
2. Small town/locality (we are coming from a big city and want to avoid another).  A place where people know and look out for each other.
3. A place for me and our young children (4 yo and 5 yo) to be immersed in the culture of PR and learn Spanish (husband is mostly fluent).
4. The ability to live walking distance to the beach - a safe beach for young kids to swim in.
5. Safety for a family, family activities, and things to do with children nearby.
6. My husband is a PADI diver with instructor certification and he would love to dive regularly.

My concerns about Rincon are that it may be filled with people like me, and will lack the culture and the language immersion that I hope for.  I also understand that is is more expensive than many other places, and that it is very "trendy".  We would all love to learn to surf, but surfing is not on the list of reasons to be in PR.  Is there another town that fits the bill that we should be looking at?  I speak gringa Spanish and can get by with the basics if that's a concern. 

I know that there are probably a lot of opinions on the matter, and I will take them all with a grain of salt!  Thank you!

Hi Rey!

Thank you so much!!!!!!

Thank you! Did you work with them?

ScubaKristin :

Thank you! Did you work with them?

No, I drove around.

Austin-Rincon :

Hi All.  We'll be moving to PR in January/Feb 2020, and are so excited.  We are currently preparing our current life for the transfer in 5 months.  I do have a few questions, and this seems to be the best place to ask, so thanks for being here!  For our life in PR, we will need a few securities - one is consistent internet, which I have asked about in another forum, as we both work remotely.  We are leaning toward Rincon, but I thought I'd ask you all what you think is the best fit for us.  My husband has been to PR, but I have not.  We are looking for a place with the following:

1. Reliable internet for work
2. Small town/locality (we are coming from a big city and want to avoid another).  A place where people know and look out for each other.
3. A place for me and our young children (4 yo and 5 yo) to be immersed in the culture of PR and learn Spanish (husband is mostly fluent).
4. The ability to live walking distance to the beach - a safe beach for young kids to swim in.
5. Safety for a family, family activities, and things to do with children nearby.
6. My husband is a PADI diver with instructor certification and he would love to dive regularly.

My concerns about Rincon are that it may be filled with people like me, and will lack the culture and the language immersion that I hope for.  I also understand that is is more expensive than many other places, and that it is very "trendy".  We would all love to learn to surf, but surfing is not on the list of reasons to be in PR.  Is there another town that fits the bill that we should be looking at?  I speak gringa Spanish and can get by with the basics if that's a concern. 

I know that there are probably a lot of opinions on the matter, and I will take them all with a grain of salt!  Thank you!

Too many questions all lump makes it harder.
Welcome to the forum and Puerto Rico soon.
PRhas 78 towns and about 70 of them I would consider small towns.
Walking distance to a nice beach is hard to come by and expensive. PR is not like the states where you are hours away from a beach. PR is 100 miles long and 35 miles wide so no matter where you stand you are never more than 18 miles from the sea as a bird flies, by road is another matter. No beach is safe for dsl, one must always keep an eye and be close to them in case of trouble. There is a beach called La Posita on the east coast in the town of loiza. This beach has pools of sea water protected by reefs above the water. These pools are inches deep and go down to about 2 to 3 feet as you get closer to the reef. Now Loiza is not aplace I recommend for expats to live but to visit is fine during daylight hours.

If your husband likes to dive, I would recommend towns in the east coast of the island, these towns are the gateway to many small islands, islets and sandbanks. Towns like Luquillo, Fajardo, Ceiba I would recommend on the east Coast. Ceiba and Naguabo are small and more rural than urban.

So you could easily be 5 to 20 minutes to a large number of beaches by car and pick your favorite (not just in the east coast), but island wide.

We recommend people come to the island several times over the years and see what town and community within a town makes you happy. I know you only have 5 months left, so I recommend you rent for 6 months within 10 to 12 miles from work. Use the rent time to explore and talk with other expats and realtors once you are in the island before you set your roots somewhere. Do not buy yet, make sure the area is for you where you settle then buy, it would be expensive mistake otherwise.

Since you have children, good schools will also have a bearing on your decision, I do not have children so I can not help you there.

Most towns are safe stay away from metro areas and look around for public housing, be at least 3 streets away from them.

Liberty is a good choice for internet. If you have to have internet for work then also contract with Claro for a much lower speed to serve as back. Up, and use your phone as a modem for a backup of the backup. A generator if you live in a house will ensure you have electricity for your needs and for the internet and computers in case you loose power. No generators on condos.

Did I missed something?

Rey, this is wonderful information. Thank you so much. We will rent first for sure!  Looking forward to finding the place and all these tips help tremendously. THANK YOU!

Hey Guys, I'm Aryan. I'm planning on moving to PR with my dog in the next month or two. I take my dog everywhere with me and he is very active. I haven't decided if I'm going to live in the city or rural areas yet but leaning more towards rural/beach areas so I can have more space for the money and probably easier with a dog. Are the beaches dog friendly?  I'd like to take him out for walks and let him run around. Are there any large animals in the wild there that I'd need to worry about, like mountain lions or anything that can hurt a 26 lb dog?
Thanks

Aryanb :

Hey Guys, I'm Aryan. I'm planning on moving to PR with my dog in the next month or two. I take my dog everywhere with me and he is very active. I haven't decided if I'm going to live in the city or rural areas yet but leaning more towards rural/beach areas so I can have more space for the money and probably easier with a dog. Are the beaches dog friendly?  I'd like to take him out for walks and let him run around. Are there any large animals in the wild there that I'd need to worry about, like mountain lions or anything that can hurt a 26 lb dog?
Thanks

Typically most beaches that provide services will not let you have a dog. Those with no services have no agency to tell you no.
We have nothing like that. We have frogs your dog should not try to eat, constricting boas, in a few rivers a caiman (not common), but we do have a lot of stray dogs, they don’t usually attack but there is always a chance.

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