Sipping Rum in Old San Juan

San Juan has Uber!

San Juan is on the north side of Puerto Rico, and it was business as usual with no issues while Earthquakes were rumbling on the southwest side of the island. Officials in San Juan had considered canceling the annual Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián, but decided that the party must go on! The Festival is one of the biggest celebrations of the year.

Cocktails at La Factoria

Puerto Rico’s Act 20 and Act 22 offers really nice tax incentives to encourage the relocation of high net individuals and their businesses that export goods and services from PR. For more precise information, please do your internet research and check out this personal experience. These programs have driven the real estate prices up in highly desired, pocket areas. 

Rooftop in Old San Juan

Per my 2018 blog: “One of the tour participants stayed in Puerto Rico for a week after the cruise, shopping for a property. Last I checked, she had an offer on a home.  I will enjoy watching her progress.” Lynn did purchase a home in Vieques. She has improved the home and uses it as a second vacation home as well as a vacation rental. 

Vieques is a small island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. There is a ferry that travels between Ceiba PR and Vieques. We met with Lynn to discuss her experience. There is no MLS, so finding a property for sale is all about who you talk to, and getting business done is all about who you know. Every step of the process was slow, included long lines, and was very low tech. Knowing how to speak Spanish or having a translator with you is a must. 

Between the tax incentive Acts, and the cumbersome purchasing system, concierge realty services are filling the gap. Hiring a concierge to facilitate your property purchase is well worth the money. They know the language, the customs, the processes and procedures, and they know the people.

January 2018.

My Caribbean property tour began and ended in San Juan.  This was 4 months after the devastating hurricanes. On the plane ride from Atlanta, I sat next to a roofing contractor who was going to spend a month in Puerto Rico helping with repairs.  When I was waiting to board the plane back to Atlanta, I saw a planeload of linemen arrive in PR to also work on repairs. The island suffered much damage. One tour guide said there were only a few of the hotels that were back up and running. Some of the tour participants were staying at hotels with brown water.  PR really let it’s infrastructure go. They had been having financial issues for some time before the hurricanes.  

We met with some real estate professionals before boarding the cruise ship.  They told us that there were a lot of foreclosure properties on the market. Many residents left the island just before and after the storm damage.  

I spent the first night before the cruise at  La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort.  The resort was beautiful and full of people.  We enjoyed the crashing waves on the beach and walked to dinner.  Old San Juan was looking good, with some minor damage evident. There was a street festival starting the day I departed.  Vendors were setting up and it looked great with blooming flowers everywhere. 

San Juan is big city life while being in the Caribbean. As a plus, and different than several other places we toured, traffic drives on the right.  PR has a very strong Mexican/Cuban feel; Spanish on the signs and spoken everywhere. 

I finished my stay in San Juan with a tour of the Bacardi distillery.  One of the tour participants stayed in Puerto Rico for a week after the cruise, shopping for a property. Last I checked, she had an offer on a home.  I will enjoy watching her progress.