Moving to PR thinking of living on our boat!

#1 25 October 2010 18:10:33

Flipsid
Flipsid
Columbia

Moving to PR thinking of living on our boat!

Hello,

We are living in Columbia, South Carolina US and are thinking about taking a job opportunity in PR. We have a 14 year old daughter who will need school and we also have a boat in which we plan to stay in at the start.


Questions:

1. Good marinas around the San Juan area with water and electric hookups.

2. Schools public and private.

3. We also plan on bringing our car and motorcycle. any tips.

4. Our spanish is very very bad. We would like to enroll in some local classes/groups.

5. We have been told that there might be some companies that help with the transition (driver license, utilities, taxs, insurance, and just about anything dealing with moving)

6. Buying land. How much and is it very hard?


Thanks for taking the time with these questions. Looking forward to making PR our new home.

#3 26 October 2010 12:40:48

Gary
Gary
Juncos

Re: Moving to PR thinking of living on our boat!

Some quick answers that might help:

1. Good marinas around the San Juan area with water and electric hookups.

Here's a list: http://travelandsports.com/ma.htm

2. Schools public and private.

Get a private school. Public schools are generally poor quality

3. We also plan on bringing our car and motorcycle. any tips.

Consider to sell them over there. Transport and local taxes might make this too expensive.

4. Our spanish is very very bad. We would like to enroll in some local classes/groups.

Good plan! Start before you move here. :)

5. We have been told that there might be some companies that help with the transition (driver license, utilities, taxs, insurance, and just about anything dealing with moving)

That depends on your future employer. Negotiate it as part of your benefits.

6. Buying land. How much and is it very hard?

How much as in $$? That depends on the location. In the metro are it will be much more expensive than out in the countryside. Buying land  and or real estate is like in the US. There are lots or realtors around and many of them are fluent in English.

#4 26 October 2010 20:49:02

GreggK
GreggK
Orlando, FL

Re: Moving to PR thinking of living on our boat!

Unless you absolutely have to be in the San Juan area I'd suggest Puerta del Rey Marina in Fajardo just a bit east of San juan. It's the largest marina in the Caribbean. The facilities are great and they just did an upgrade on the place. Also the cost of living would be a bit less than living in the metro area of SJ. And it brings you closer to places like El Yunque rain forest. If you can afford a more affluent lifestyle, just down the road is Palmas del Mar in Humacao. They just re-did their marina too. I'm familiar with these places because I letter the names on yachts and have checked them out personally. Good luck. Gary pretty much covered everything else very well.

Gregg

#5 27 October 2010 18:22:16

motomataru
motomataru
Caguas

Re: Moving to PR thinking of living on our boat!

Welcome to the blog, Flipsid,

Just wanted to weigh in on one point.

Flipsid wrote:

4. Our spanish is very very bad. We would like to enroll in some local classes/groups.

If you'll be in San Juan, you're in luck. There's one or two programs there. One is out of the University of Puerto Rico. I could not determine if it is anything more than a summer course for college students.

The other goes under various names, but I assume it's actually one company as the offices are in the same locations.

See
spanishcourses.info/countries3/puerto-rico-aprender-espanol-172-en

In either case, you'll have to call. Electronic communication has not taken hold here like in the US.

#6 17 November 2010 16:04:22

NomadLawyer
NomadLawyer
Galway

Re: Moving to PR thinking of living on our boat!

In response to #3, I am reposting the steps to ship a car from Atlanta (the same applies to anywhere in South Carolina) that I previously posted in a different thread.

I shipped a car from Atlanta a few months ago, or rather, I drove the car to the port at Jacksonville and shipped it from there, then caught a flight from JAX.  I shipped it with Crowley for approximately $1,200 and it arrived in four days.  I have no complaints about Crowley. 

Make sure you have at least a photocopy of clear title with you when you drop off the car for shipping. If the title is not clear, then you'll need an affidavit from the holder of the title granting you permission to ship the vehicle.

Also, make sure you keep all of the paperwork that Crowley gives you and make sure that the Bill of Lading is filled out properly. It is best to put yourself down as being the consignee of the shipment in addition to being the consignor. Otherwise, when you go to pay your import duty (which must be paid before you can drive your car out of the port), they will screw up your paperwork so that when you eventually get a Puerto Rico title for your car, it will include whoever else you listed as a consignee (like a local contact or whomever) as being a co-owner.

Be prepared to pay import duty here in Puerto Rico. Like most bureaucratic exercises in Puerto Rico, it is a much more complicated process then need be. (1) You have to go to the port with your paperwork. There, (2) you must clear some paperwork with your shipper. Then (3) you have to take this paperwork to the tax authority counter there in the port, where they will determine the import duty you will owe. Inconceivably, you cannot pay your import duty with these tax authorities in the port, so (4) you must take the paperwork that you just received from the tax personnel at the port with you to another tax office in San Juan (there are at least two that I know of) and pay it there.  (5) You must return with your receipt to the tax authorities in the port and present it to them. Then they will authorize you to (6) go back to the shipper and actually retrieve your car. (7) You will then have a limited time to register your vehicle in Puerto Rico and receive a Puerto Rico title. These steps must be followed in precise sequential order.

Inexplicably, you must have your car registered in Puerto Rico before you can have it insured, so the moment you drive it out of the port your vehicle will be uninsured until you have it registered and subsequently insured. Registration cost me about $130+. The only exception to this is if your US-based insurance policy will cover the vehicle in PR. I would call to verify because few US-based insurance companies (if any) do so.

Keep in mind that the tax authorities will over-value your car so your tax basis will be much higher than you would otherwise anticipate. I paid $1,400 in import duties on a ten year old car.

All of that said, you should probably still ship your car. Vehicle prices here are expensive and you will need a vehicle.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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