FAQ

Purchasing a home in OSJ

The fiscal benefits of purchasing a property in Old San Juan are that your property will be tax exempt from income and property taxes, with the understanding that your property has been restored according to the norms and regulations of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. The spirit of the law is that property owners maintain their historic property. Maintenance of historic properties is expensive, so the “taxes” that we do pay is in the maintenance of these historic properties.

94% of Old San Juan has been restored by residents, with private funding. Residents and merchants, are the custodians of the historic Zone of Old San Juan.

The most important thing is choosing a Real Estate Broker that knows and understands the Historic District of Old San Juan, who can advise you adequately and guide you through the process. Old San Juan, precisely because it is a Historic District, is completely different than the other areas in the Island and therefore, must be approached differently. Financing, necessary permits, renovation and restoration, all require a different approach to the process. It is extremely important to work alongside a professional who understands this particular market and can guide you through the process, making it a smooth one and avoiding complications.

No. The restoration of Old San Juan has been a very slow process because of the difficulty in getting the banks to finance the purchase of unrestored properties in Old San Juan.Banks hesitate to grant financing when the buildings are rundown. Since banks usually sell their mortgages to investors in the United States, when they tell the investors that the house is 200 years old, that it has no roof, that it has no parking, the investors are unwilling to buy these loans. If a bank is going to grant a mortgage, it demands that the borrower already have architectural plans approved. But to have approved plans, you first have to buy the property. On the other hand, once the property has been restored, financing is not a problem.

At Gandia B. Realty we will walk you through the process of selecting a knowledgeable architect and contractor specialized in Old San Juan, that understand the requirements of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.