We are coming up on Living in Puerto Rico for three months (that story will come next), here is all the preparation that we needed to get here!
Three years before our move, we stepped foot on Puerto Rico for the first time. While enjoying delicious local cuisine for dinner, we casually asked our waiter about living in Puerto Rico. He talked to us about cost of living, economy, politics (it was around the vote for PR to become a state, which did not pass), hiking, and he showed us family photos of waterfalls and beaches around the Island. I had never given Puerto Rico any thought, I could barely find it on a map, and I knew nothing about the island. After our far-too-quick visit, PR was stuck in my head.
One year before our move, we researched tax implications, tax incentives, Puerto Rico economy (it is not good) and what jobs are available. We discovered that there are great incentives to move a business to PR and hire employees. Finding a job on the island is difficult and lower pay than comparable US Mainland jobs. The only way we could move to PR, was to bring our jobs with us.
Nine months before our move, we researched the Tax Act 20/22 process and lawyers that specialize in small businesses. We made a list of questions about timing, cost, and specific details for our industry.
Six months before our move to Puerto Rico, we went back to the island for two weeks. This was a serious reconnaissance mission to gather information, investigate, make contacts, and make sure we loved the beaches! We hired one of the law firms to set-up our business in PR and to begin Tax Act 20/22 application process. We also opened bank accounts and toured a few neighborhoods.
Incentive Programs to Start or Move a Business to PR
There are many incentive programs to bring businesses and the corresponding jobs and economic development to the island, including the Tax Act 60. Previously known as the Tax Act 20 /22 incentive program, businesses that export goods or services from Puerto Rico while operating on the island qualify.
I am not a lawyer to advise or assist with the application process, but the experts at Relocate Puerto Rico can help.
Receive $100 off Tax Act 60 Application services when you mention JenThereDoneThat sent you!
Five weeks to go, we purchased airfare to Puerto Rico!
One month to go, I contact a few Real Estate agents that specialize in long-term rentals in the neighborhoods from our summer visit. I sent our housing requirements and wish list items, plus our monthly budget. Our agent emailed information about a few listing, we discussed options and timing on the phone, then scheduled an appointment to view properties the day after our arrival.
Three weeks to go, I rented a condo. I probably should have rented our condo earlier and two weeks rental would have been better. Our beach condo rental was much cheaper than a hotel for the week!
I kissed my dog good-bye at the sitter (a dog friendly home was an absolute requirement for our move). It was hard to leave him, but I knew he would be joining us in PR soon. Then we boarded our flight to become bona fide residents of Puerto Rico.
Stay tuned for the 3 month check in for full details of getting our house, buying a car, and living in Puerto Rico.
20 thoughts on “Living in Puerto Rico; Preparation for the Big Move Timeline”
Hi Jen, thanks again for the articles, YouTube videos, and Instagram posts! I’ve just received a job offer for PR and will be out there the end of October 2022. All of the info you provided is extremely helpful. Moving from SoCal to PR has been pretty expensive (even with company providing an upfront bonus) but I feel that overall it will be worth it in the long run.
So glad the information is helpful for your move!
Hi Jen, I enjoy your site and information. We are retiring Aguadilla soon. We did things a little backward, in that we bought a house first. We have owned it now for over two years, but haven’t lived in it. Fortunately, we have great neighbors who help us look after the place. I will use your site to gain more insights as move time get closer.
Thanks, Terry Pownall
I am not surprised that you have great neighbors, Puerto Ricans are very generous. Best wishes for your future move!
I would like to ask you some questions- my husband and I are looking to move to Puerto Rico this summer from California. (I saw you’re from Arizona- we love Arizona, by the way)
I watched many of your blog posts and you seem genuine and knowledgeable. I also admired that you interview homeschool mom’s there. We homeschool and are really excited for the potential adventure for us and our 3 girls.
This is COMPLETELY outWout ofdof the box for ushus and wecwe have almost ZERO contacts there, but we are looking to buy a property there. We need honest people to work with- Attorney, Realtor, etc. We are concerned our lack of knowledge of the island will bring a huge learning curve.
Do you have recommendations?
Thank you for any help!!
Hi Robyn, most realtors only work in a limited area. What part of the island are you considering? I highly recommend living here for at least 6 months before purchasing to be sure you have the right area and in person interviews for realtors and lawyers.
Hi Jen, we are planning to move to Bahia Beach, have made contacts and taking the plunge! I can hardly believe I’m writing this. Been a life-ling California girl. Would love
to meet you at some point in the future, if possible.
Congrats on your move!!
I too fell in love with the island a few years ago and have decided to make the move. Our flights have been purchased. We are currently packing (storing and discarding) and will be on our way. We have not found a place to live/rent yet and I am starting to panic. We booked a hotel for four days when we arrive. Would love some advice and/or tips on how to find a place to live.
YAY! You will love it here in PR. We rented a house for the week (on VRBO.com) and it was much cheaper than a hotel for the same duration. Stay out of San Juan (more expensive housing and hotels). Contact realtors now and get them looking. Check for rentals (and furniture) on Clasificados online (http://www.clasificadosonline.com/puertorico/). Sign up at Expat.com to participate in the forums on various neighborhoods. I suggest you spend a few days driving around the island to find a good rental. Best wishes for your move!
Thanks for the info Jen! Can you tell me which realtor you used?, and if there is a rental fee/charge?
Darlene – We used Costa del Caribe (http://alinasantiago2.point2agent.com/) in Palmas del Mar community. Find a realtor in the area of the island that you want to live. The realtor fee is included in the house rental
I can totally relate right now Darlene!
This is a great idea for a post, I should have done this when I moved to India. I bet Puerto Rico is an awesome place to live!
It is not too late. What did you need for you big move? Paperwork, stuff, timing? Share your experience.
Congratulations! So much work and bureaucracy. I dont know if i had nerves to handle all that.
I’m impressed! I moved across country (NY to LA), and I thought it involved a lot of work. But this, this is major. I can’t even imagine moving a business, but I’m sending you virtual high-fives for going for it!
Thanks! Stay tuned for my next post on our 3 month update.