We are looking into buying in the Isabela area

Hi! I just signed up myself today. My husband and I are looking into buying in the Isabela area and are finding out the ups and downs of hunting down an agent. We have been pre-approved and now trying to get agents to return our calls, ugh!!
good luck and let's keep in touch with helpful insights into our journeys :)
btw- buying a built or land to build your own?

laalinda :

Hi! I just signed up myself today. My husband and I are looking into buying in the Isabela area and are finding out the ups and downs of hunting down an agent. We have been pre-approved and now trying to get agents to return our calls, ugh!!
good luck and let's keep in touch with helpful insights into our journeys :)
btw- buying a built or land to build your own?

Welcome to the forum and Puerto RIco.

Build vs. Buy
When you buy an old home, in PR or anywhere else you are buying somebody's headache. I am not putting it down, but it is true. Somebody created that home in a particular way and it has its set of issues that may or may not drive you up a wall. If you are purchasing a home, try to learn the history and who build it. You can usually talk to the owner, in PR is normal and not frown upon. Homes in PR are sold as-is, rarely owner will make repairs to satisfy you. So a critical walk thru, testing everything about the house and a formal home inspection may open your eyes as to the property conditions.

When you build your own home it is likely to be well planned, with fans in the right places, switches in the right places, it will probably have a place for a washer, drier, a disposal, a dishwasher and hot water that is available in all the right places. Each room has the measurements you want and that you can afford. However is is a lot more expensive. You have to buy the land, get all the permits, and pay more for materials and labor given all the current reconstruction going on in the island lately.

I will be building probably in a few months. But it has taken me a few months to come up with a floor plan that the wife and I can agree on. The plan is not yet finished but it looks like what we want. The plan is very important, leave nothing out, mark the outlets, switches, lamps, fans, etc. Leave nothing to chance. Insist on the wiring and plumbing being part of the plan (Overlay). Changing things once construction has started will cost you and likely it may need a new permit or inspection. So spend lots of time on the plan and the building will go up the way you want it, on time and very close to budget.

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thanks for all that! We are at the very beginning of the stages, as in we just got a loan approval. I've read other post that building can cost around $45-65 sq ft, do you believe that to be accurate? And are you familiar with the home "kits"?
We are looking in Isabela area and have found a nice looking small house in a track home kind of setting, do you know if it's common to have HOA? and if they are as strict as here on the mainland?
As well we have found a nice lot that is a good size, rectangular-ish with fence and FLAT, so we are now considering building our own. Decisions, Decisions.........

We used Scotia Bank for our purchase, several family members recommended. Process was smooth and efficient.

thanks, we already got pre-approved thru Popular :)

Hello everyone,

Please note that since the New Members thread is meant only for the introduction of new members, i have created this new thread on the Puerto Rico forum for better interaction.

All the best,
Bhavna

laalinda :

thanks for all that! We are at the very beginning of the stages, as in we just got a loan approval. I've read other post that building can cost around $45-65 sq ft, do you believe that to be accurate? And are you familiar with the home "kits"?
We are looking in Isabela area and have found a nice looking small house in a track home kind of setting, do you know if it's common to have HOA? and if they are as strict as here on the mainland?
As well we have found a nice lot that is a good size, rectangular-ish with fence and FLAT, so we are now considering building our own. Decisions, Decisions.........

Not any longer, expect much higher cost per square foot. Reason: Shortage of materials has been declared, (actual shortage or artificial), either way, material prices are 20-40% higher, also labor shortage, there are a lot of construction projects, both private and government, the government is now offering 15 dollars an hour on their projects causing contractors to pay more for the workers in government contracts, this robs the private sector of workers who are also demanding equal compensation. Prior to this government intervention, it was customary to pay 10 dollars and hour so salaries for workers in the construction business have gone up 50%. I would suggest a 65 to 85 per square foot or even higher to be more realistic.

There are also other items that affect the price of building a home, like the quality of the windows, doors, bathroom toilets and tubs, the fancier and higher quality the more your price goes up. Some people in PR opt to buy their own materials, windows, doors, tile, etc to keep the price down since most contractors charge a mark up. But if you do buy them they need be transported to the site on time without slowing down the construction and protected from the weather without leaving excess that may be stolen if left unattended. That is the big challenge when purchasing your own materials.

Currently the government has about 50,000 workers and is looking for an additional 100,000 workers. So shortage of labor is a big issue.

We looked pretty hard at property in Isabela.  There is a nice small gated community that is on the high ground with nice views of the water to the north.  A few nice houses and an open lot were on the market then. (this was a few years ago)  Prices were on the high side at that time.

Also, a nice swimming hole at the aquarium, good for kids and old farts.

We also know folks who lived in the condos near the beach.  Nice views too.

If we had not found our place in Hatillo, we most likely would have bought in Isabela.  I consider it to be one of the most beautiful parts of the island.  One problem with the Jacobs beach road is the traffic on the weekends can be really bad.

:top:

we are currently under construction with a major remodel of our house.  Working on the upper level now, then lower level next.   The contractor bids the labor for the projects, I pay for materials, lighting, cabinets etc. 

We have the materials either delivered of the contractor picks it up with his trucks.  Materials need to be kept secure to prevent theft.

I think it is more costly to remodel than new construction.  But we didn't have much choice.  That being said, this way we pay as we go, no bank involved.

:cheers:

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