Finding homes in Puerto Rico can be an arduous process. Property listings are spread across several different platforms, some local and some international. Furthermore all these platforms have content and technological strengths and weaknesses that make each one ideal for different types of searches. That is why we have prepared this blog series on how to efficiently find homes in Puerto Rico.
When searching for properties in Puerto Rico the first thing you need to understand is that your search will require you to thoroughly browse multiple websites, each with its own peculiarities. The five most important websites for real estate purchases in Puerto Rico are:
Is the Puerto Rican version of Craigslist. Locals use the site to sell anything and everything, from bicycles and laptops to homes and cars. There are currently over 45,000 property listings for sale and nearly 12,000 for rent on this website, making it the largest property listing database for the island. Here you will find homes listed by owners, brokers, and repossessed properties by banks. The website search tool allows users to filter for bank owned properties, making it a great tool to search for investment properties and fixer uppers. Its sheer size makes Clasificados Online a vital tool when searching for properties in Puerto Rico. Sadly Clasificados Online has substantial practical flaws. The website looks and feels like it was created in the 90's and thus has none of the key real estate search features like interactive maps that newer websites have. It is also completely in Spanish making it hard to navigate for non-Spanish speakers.
Is the largest real estate network in the web. Zillow also merged with Trulia )the second largest real estate seach platform on February, 2015. Nevertheless, In Puerto Rico it is still a niche tool used mostly by savvy realtors looking to showcase their inventories to foreign buyers. As of this writing Zillow has close to 6,000 total listings. Even though it offers only a fraction of the total listings of other databases, Zillow is an essential tool to find properties in PR. Its map feature allows potential buyers and renters to see exactly where properties are located and how prices vary across different parts of the island. This is a unique feature among these search tools. While other websites show only the listing agent, Zillow allows you to contact 3 additional agents who specialize in the area per listing. This allows you not only to contact other agents if the listing agent is not answering for some reason but more importantly to identify potential “Buyer Agents”. Buyer Agents are a great tool to have when buying or renting properties and best of all come at no additional cost as they split commissions with the listing agent. A good Buyer Agent can definitely make the process of finding a home in Puerto Rico a lot smoother.
With just over 10,000 listings, Point 2 Homes is Puerto Rico’s largest MLS like service. Unlike in most states, Multiple Listing Services aren’t very popular in Puerto Rico. Nevertheless this is a good go to site for your search, as it has a map, most of the listings are in english an all real estate agents here are supposed to be willing to co-broke, which is essential for buyers and renters. Unfortunately this is not always the case in the Puerto Rican market.
The process of finding the perfect property can definitely be an arduous one in Puerto Rico. But prices and tax incentives definitely make it a worthwhile endeavor. By using these websites as a group you can get an insiders edge on what’s available. Nevertheless a good broker will always smoothens out the process, save you some valuable time and the very best will even have access to deals that are still not public.