Living in Puerto Rico; Preparation for the Big Move

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!

First sunset in Puerto Rico
First sunset in Puerto Rico

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. Google Map Caribbean PR

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.

Isla Verde beach front resorts and condos JenThereDoneThat.com

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.

11 thoughts on “Living in Puerto Rico; Preparation for the Big Move”

  1. 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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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!

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