A Guide to Buying Property in Puerto Rico for Foreign Buyers
With its golden sand beaches and world-class surfing conditions, rich history and culture and advantageous tax incentives, Puerto Rico is an investor-friendly destination unlike any other.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Puerto Rico but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Puerto Rico?” or “how do I go about owning property in Puerto Rico as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Puerto Rico from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes you will need to be aware of.
Overview – The Puerto Rico Real Estate Market
A territory of the USA, Puerto Rico, together with smaller sister islands Vieques, Culebra and Mona, is renowned for its beautiful and diverse landscape, which varies from white sand beaches to the El Yunque tropical forest and Vieques’s Mosquito Bay – the most brilliant bioluminescent bay in the world. Having been a Spanish colony for 400 years until ceded to the USA, the culture is equally diverse, blending American, Latin and Caribbean traditions and two official languages: Spanish and English.
Well connected to the US mainland, Puerto Rico has a well established tourism industry. The territory which is located between the Dominican Republic to the west and the BVI and US Virgin Islands to the east, is home to 25 golf courses and hosts the Puerto Rico Open. Several of these golf courses are located within beachfront resorts with luxury real estate for sale.
Having added an extra layer of appeal by introducing a range of tax incentives in 2012 for investors purchasing homes on the territory, Puerto Rico’s real estate market has succeeded in luring property buyers and setting Puerto Rico on a path to becoming, what some have called, “the Singapore of the Caribbean.” Significant future real estate development is therefore on the cards, with particular areas of interest including Cayey, Dorado, Miramar, Rincon, Rio Grande, Rio Mar, San Juan and the island of Vieques.
Buying Property in Puerto Rico
Can foreigners buy property in Puerto Rico?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in Puerto Rico and the Government of Puerto Rico welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Puerto Rico. Property can be purchased in the name of an individual or a corporation.
Buying property in Puerto Rico is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and submit a written offer.
- Once you have made an offer on a property and that offer has been accepted, you will typically need to pay a deposit of 10% which will be held in escrow.
- You should engage a lawyer to assist you with the buying process.
- You will need to sign a public deed for the purchase of the property which should be prepared by a notary, executed in their presence and then filed at the Registry of Property.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
There is a transfer tax which varies according to the value of the property.
Property tax also varies according to the appraised value of the property.
Search Puerto Rico Real Estate Listings
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in Puerto Rico.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
Land for Sale
You can also browse undeveloped land. Purchasing a lot of land provides you with a blank canvas and the opportunity to build your dream home in Puerto Rico.
Whether you are looking for beachfront land or a centrally located lot, we’re here to help you find the perfect lot of land for sale in Puerto Rico.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in Puerto Rico? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in Puerto Rico
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in Puerto Rico, search our Puerto Rico real estate listings.
Best Places to Buy Property in Puerto Rico
Aguada & Aguadilla
Discover Aguada & Aguadilla – Read our guide to buying property in Aguada & Aguadilla.
Discover Cayey – Read our guide to buying property in Cabo Rojo.
Discover Cayey – Read our guide to buying property in Cayey.
Discover Culebra – Read our guide to buying property in Culebra.
Discover Dorado – Read our guide to buying property in Dorado.
Discover Fajardo – Read our guide to buying property in Fajardo.
Discover Isabela – Read our guide to buying property in Isabela.
Palmas del Mar
Discover Palmas del Mar – Read our guide to buying property in Palmas del Mar.
Discover Rincon – Read our guide to buying property in Rincon.
Discover Rio Grande – Read our guide to buying property in Rio Grande.
Discover San Juan – Read our guide to buying property in San Juan.
Discover Vieques – Read our guide to buying property in Vieques.
Puerto Rico Residency
How long can a foreign citizen stay in Puerto Rico?
As Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the USA, US citizens do not require a passport or a visa to visit Puerto Rico.
Citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries including the UK and member countries of the EU who wish to visit the USA (including Puerto Rico) for a vacation or on business must apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) prior to departure.
How do I become a resident of Puerto Rico?
American citizens are free to move to Puerto Rico without the need to produce any new documents such as work visas. Citizens of other countries who would like to become a resident of Puerto Rico are required to secure a resident alien status, a work visa, a student visa and/or a temporary visa as is the case in the US mainland and US federal immigration regulations apply in Puerto Rico.
To become a resident of Puerto Rico an individual must spend at least 183 days during the tax year (January 1st – December 31st) in Puerto Rico and have a physical residence on the island. Becoming a resident of Puerto Rico can offer significant tax advantages under Act 20 and Act 22.
How do I become a citizen of Puerto Rico?
As Puerto Rico is a territory of the USA, Puerto Ricans are citizens of the USA.
A foreign national aged over 18 who has lawfully resided in the USA with a Permanent Resident (Green) Card for a minimum of 5 years (3 years in the case of a spouse of a US citizen), is able to understand English and has passed the Naturalization Test may be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization.
Sending Money to Puerto Rico
You could save money when investing in Puerto Rico real estate by using a foreign exchange expert to get the best rate for your property purchase. We have partnered with Halo Financial, a specialist in foreign exchange, to help you get the best exchange rates when making one-off or regular international payments for a property purchase in Puerto Rico. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
How to Get to Puerto Rico
There are direct flights to Puerto Rico from various cities across the United States, Canada and Europe (Spain).
Most international flights to Puerto Rico arrive at San Juan’s Aeropuerto Internacional de Luis Munoz Marin Airport – a major regional transport hub.
From the USA, fly from Atlanta (Delta), Charlotte (US Airways), Chicago or Miami (American Airlines), Newark (JetBlue) or Philadelphia (United Airlines).
From Europe, there are direct flights to San Juan from London (British Airways), Madrid (Iberia) and Frankfurt (Condor).
Atlanta to San Juan: 3 hours 40 mins
Chicago to San Juan: 4 hours 55 mins
Madrid to San Juan: 8 hours 20 mins
Miami to San Juan: 2 hours 40 mins
Newark to San Juan: 4 hours 05 mins
Toronto to San Juan: 4 hours 40 mins