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Real Estate in Puerto Rico: A Tropical Paradise Under the U.S. Flag

Imagine living on a Caribbean island surrounded by turquoise water and warm breezes, where life moves at a leisurely pace, and from your new home you look out on a lush landscape or a blue tropical sky. Now imagine that you can be there without having to deal with diplomatic hassles, that you retain your U.S. citizenship, and that a few hours' plane flight will take you to the U.S. to visit friends or family. Do these two images seem mutually exclusive? They're not if you invest in Puerto Rico Real Estate.

Since Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, you won't even have to leave your country – but it will feel like you have. Puerto Rico has its own unique identity, going back to its centuries of strong Spanish heritage. Although Spanish and English are both official languages, you'll hear more Spanish here, and, as with most the many gorgeous islands strung across the Caribbean, the lifestyle is distinctly more leisurely than in the continental U.S. Things tend to run on "island time." Given this combination of factors, retirees, expatriates, and second homeowners often find that moving to Puerto Rico allows them to feel far away – but not too far away.

In addition to its leisurely pace and island lifestyle, Puerto Rico also offers a climate that appeals to many retirees: temperatures that are moderate year-round, with an April through November rainy season. While technically within reach of Caribbean hurricanes, Puerto Rico very rarely sees any serious damage as a result of hurricanes or tropical storms (though they can result in high winds and heavy rain).

There's also a lot to do in Puerto Rico. Much of it, of course, is oriented around the water, with fishing being excellent and diving, snorkeling, boating, and any other water sport imaginable all within easy reach. Residents and travelers also love to visit Old San Juan, the island's administrative and cultural capital. San Juan has a rich history dating back to the early 16th century. La Fortaleza, the Governor's residence, is the oldest executive residence in the Americas, and was built around 1533. Other historic forts and buildings make San Juan a remarkable site to visit.

For those considering real estate, Puerto Rico provides a culture that is generally easy for a U.S. citizen to navigate. This is especially true when considering that the alternative is relocation to a Latin American country, where the expatriate will find the food brands, store chains, and the bureaucratic and legal systems all to be unfamiliar. Puerto Rico does have a distinct culture and way of doing things, so new residents will find it necessary to learn and adapt - but the culture shock is minimal compared to what they might experience in some other nations.

If you are thinking about relocating to Puerto Rico, purchasing a home, rather than renting, is the way to go. Puerto Rico real estate prices are about on par with the middle range of home prices in the continental U.S. Those who can afford to buy a home outright usually find that lower costs of living in other areas make living in Puerto Rico cheaper, overall, than in the states. For many, a move to Puerto Rico is an adventure: an opportunity to immerse themselves in a vibrant Caribbean culture and live on an island that looks like a postcard paradise – all without having to give up U.S. citizenship and conveniences.