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Originally Posted On: https://exprealty.com/us/pr/san-juan/
San Juan has a vibrant history hidden behind every stone of its city walls, monuments, and fortresses. Like many other Caribbean cities, its past is a fascinating mix of naval clashes, pirate attacks, and independence revolts.
Before Puerto Rico got its forever name, the Taíno people called the island Borinquen; that’s why many Puerto Ricans identify themselves as boricuas up to this day. In 1493, Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain and named it San Juan Bautista. Over 15 years later, in 1508, Juan Ponce de León established the first settlement, Caparra, which ended up being called Puerto Rico (rich port in Spanish).
Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule for over 400 years, despite the British Empire’s attempts to dominate the territory. In 1898, by signing the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the island to the U.S. In 1900, the U.S. Congress organized the civil government of Puerto Rico under the Foraker Act, a law later replaced by the Jones-Shafroth Act. That act gave Puerto Ricans U.S. Citizenship and federal, state, and local tax exemptions.
In 1948, parts of the Jones Act were superseded so the island could popularly elect its Governor and have its own Constitution. In 1952, the island became known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, meaning it is a U.S. territory but not a state. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but don’t vote in the Presidential Elections or the U.S. Congress Sessions.
San Juan PR Real Estate Market
The San Juan, Puerto Rico, real estate market has had its highs and lows for years, mainly due to its economic hardships. Right now, the housing industry seems to be slowly dynamizing. Potential homebuyers can find bargains in condos for sale in San Juan, PR, for $150K or even less, although the median home price is $375K.
Looking for homes for sale in San Juan, Puerto Rico? The city boasts 18 districts with various good neighborhoods to choose your dream property. Santurce, Quebrada Arenas, Condado, Hato Rey, Universidad, and Old San Juan are among the safest and most popular ones. These places offer a plethora of property styles to please any homebuyer or renter, from traditional Spanish-style villas to elegant beachfront condos. Be aware that San Juan also has areas traditionally considered less secure, including La Perla and parts of Puerta de Tierra.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, is one of those places where having an experienced, certified, and bilingual real estate agent is a must. Before you seal any deal, make sure to do good research and familiarize yourself with the local market, compare property costs, and determine if there are additional fees, like Homeowner Associations (HOA), maintenance, insurance, or security. Additionally, you should hire a home inspector and go the extra mile by visiting that condo for sale in Old San Juan before sealing the deal. Many of the houses for sale in San Juan, Puerto Rico may seem like a steal, and they add many investment perks, including no immigration concerns and convenient tax breaks. However, it is essential to remark that the island’s economic instability continues to be a financial risk for real estate investors.
Neighborhoods In San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan
This is Puerto Ricos’ most iconic and beloved place. Old San Juan is an excellent spot to appreciate Spanish colonial architecture, traditions, and landmarks such as San Juan National Historic Site, Casa Blanca Museum, and Teatro Tapia. Puerto Ricans called it “El Viejo San Juan”. This culturally rich destination is filled with family-friendly cultural activities and events, pastel-colored buildings, century-old monuments and streets, and anything you may need to capture boricuas’ true essence. Old San Juan real estate consists mostly of attached homes and condos and the median home price is $1.1M.
Condado is a trendy coastal neighborhood in San Juan, home to numerous luxury hotels, restaurants, clubs, high-end shops, and a beautiful stretch of beach. Condado is also filled with amenities and within walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions. Real estate in Condado is plentiful and diverse, with a large concentration of upscale condos with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Ocean and a smaller amount of single-detached single-family homes concentrated in areas like Ocean Park and Las Marías. The median home value in this coveted neighborhood is $895K.
Guaynabo is a small, vibrant city west of San Juan real estate. Though it’s technically considered a San Juan suburb, Guaynabo has its own distinct personality and charm. The city is home to a diverse range of businesses and cultural attractions, including several museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Guaynabo real estate has a median value of $498K, comes in all shapes and sizes, and is close to many parks and beaches.
Schools in San Juan, Puerto Rico
The quality and availability of schools in San Juan tend to be higher than in other cities and municipalities in Puerto Rico. The public school system is ruled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education and is based on the American model. Classes are taught in Spanish, while students learn English as a second language. The K-12 instruction is divided into primary, middle, and secondary levels. Public high schools in town are not college-ready or vocational-focused and have a basic curriculum, which explains why private secondary schools thrive in San Juan. Here are some high-rated schools near San Juan real estate:
Pre-Kindergarten Institutions In San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Pre-K Abraham Lincoln
- Pre-K Luis Munoz Rivera
- Pre-K Victor Pares Collazo
Elementary & Middle Schools In San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Escuela Amalia Marin Senior
- Escuela Juanita Garcia Peraza
- Escuela Rafael Hernandez Marin
- Escuela Julian Blanco Ballet
- Escuela Sotero Figueroa
- Escuela Central Artes Visuales (magnet)
High Schools In San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Escuela Superior University Gardens (Specialized in Science and Mathematics)
- Escuela Ramon Power And Giralt
- Escuela Juan Antonio Corretjer
Higher education institutions like colleges and universities are high quality and widely available in San Juan. Some of the top institutions are:
- The Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico
- The Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
- The University of Puerto Rico’s Medical Sciences Campus
- The University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus
Frequently Asked Questions About San Juan Real Estate
What Is The Zip Code For San Juan, Puerto Rico?
San Juan real estate is organized in around 40 different zip codes. Some of the most popular ones are: 00901, 00907, 00911, 00913, 00924, and 00926.
Where Is The Nearest Commercial Airport In San Juan, Puerto Rico?
The nearest commercial airport to San Juan real estate is Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU). SJU is located about 10 miles southeast of downtown San Juan and is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean. American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and Spirit all operate out of SJU. A number of smaller regional carriers also offer service to other parts of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. For travelers looking to get to San Juan from the U.S. mainland, several non-stop flights are available from major hubs like Miami, New York, and Orlando.
What County Is San Juan, Puerto Rico In?
San Juan is the capital of and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States.
Is San Juan PR Part Of The U.S.?
Most people think of Puerto Rico as a state, or at the very least, a territory of the United States. After all, Puerto Ricans are American citizens, can vote in presidential primaries, and are subject to U.S. laws. However, the legal status of Puerto Rico is a bit more complicated than that. Officially, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which means that it is not an independent nation and doesn’t have the same level of autonomy as a state. As a result, San Juan PR is not technically part of the United States, but it is also not entirely separate from it either.
Is San Juan Walkable?
Walk Score gives San Juan, Puerto Rico, a score of 81, which means the city is eminently walkable and easily explorable by foot. You can walk anywhere you want to go, and there’s always something to see. The sidewalks are generally in good condition, and plenty of pedestrian-friendly streets exist.
How Far Is Ponce from San Juan, Puerto Rico?
Ponce is located on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, about 75 miles from San Juan real estate. The city is easily accessible by car or bus, and there are several flights each day from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU).
Things To Do In San Juan
San Juan truly has it all, from a unique rainforest and a complex of centuries-old military fortresses to museums filled with history and stunning turquoise water beaches. This mini things-to-do guide can be a good starting point for many adventures once you purchase your piece of San Juan real estate.
- Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico: The Museum of Art of Puerto Rico is the best way to get a hold of the local growing art scene. It offers visitors 24 galleries of well-curated exhibits scattered throughout the historic building and a magnificent sculpture garden with a koi pond in the back. It’s located in Santurce.
- Ocean Park Beach: It’s no secret that the Caribbean has great beaches, and San Juan is not an exception. Find a cozy and shaded spot under a palm tree and get ready for a dose of salt water and sun in Ocean Park Beach, one of Puerto Ricans’ favorite beaches. The area is mostly residential, with a lot of condos and vacation rentals, but there are also restaurants, boutiques, and small inns in the area.
- Museo de Las Américas: Museo Las Américas is one of the best ways to get to know Puerto Ricos’ history and that of the American continent. The museum offers visitors four permanent exhibitions related to art, African heritage, the Indigenous people, and colonization. Cuartel de Ballajá, the historic building harboring the museum, was used as military barracks during colonial times and is truly mesmerizing.
- The University of Puerto Rico Botanical Garden: This botanical garden has been around for 50 years, and it’s still a favorite among San Juan locals, especially plant lovers. Located at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), it has over 30,000 native, exotic, and endangered plants thriving in a whimsical setting of lakes, waterfalls, winding paths, and sculptures. Visitors can take a guided tour, or participate in one of their workshops, seminars, conferences, and exhibits.
- San Juan National Historic Site: San Juan National Historic Site is a complex of forts, city walls, and castles that tell part of Puerto Rico’s history. The Spanish established these military fortifications in San Juan in order to expand its colonies in the New World. Visitors can stroll Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, the San Juan Gate, Fort San Juan de la Cruz, and the city walls.
- El Yunque National Forest: El Yunque National Forest is situated in the municipality of Río Grande and has 29,000 acres filled with biodiversity, clear rivers, and beautiful scenery. The subtropical rainforest is home to over 240 tree species, different types of birds, and native animals like the coquí frog. This is the perfect setting for outdoor adventures such as hiking, ziplining, and horseback riding for locals and tourists.
- Castillo de San Felipe del Morro: The Castillo de San Felipe del Morro is a worth-visiting citadel sitting at the top of Old San Juan. It is a central part of the San Juan National Historic Site. The six-level fort took more than two centuries to be built and had the purpose of protecting the island from outsiders coming by sea. The castle has seen many battles, from Francis Drake’s attacks to the Bombardment of San Juan by the US Navy, and has never been conquered, a true resistance symbol. Locals spend sunny days here flying kites and having picnics al fresco.
- Casa Bacardí Distillery: Rum, the Caribbean’s trademark spirit, is a big Puerto Rican favorite. Learning more about the pirate’s drink and getting to appreciate it is easier by taking a tour of San Juan’s rum distilleries. Casa Bacardí’s modern facilities are accessible by ferry from the Old San Juan. Visitors can enjoy an excursion of the premises, mixology classes, and premium rum tastings with chocolate pairing.
- La Placita de Santurce: Making a stop at La Placita de Santurce is a must for anyone visiting or living in San Juan. The market-turned-nightlife venue is more than a century old and an excellent spot for all-night dancing, great dining experiences, and a drink or two. Try classics of Puerto Rico’s gastronomy, such as alcapurrias o bacalaítos, sing karaoke, or go clubbing all night to show off your salsa and reggaeton moves.
Living In San Juan, Puerto Rico
Weather In San Juan Puerto Rico
San Juan weather is pretty much the same all year round – hot and humid. The average temperature is around 85 degrees, with highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid-70s. If you own San Juan real estate, you’ll experience very little rainfall, so that you can count on sunny skies. Plus, the water is warm year-round, perfect for swimming, surfing, and other aquatic activities at any time of the year. In short, if you’re looking for a place to escape the cold winters, San Juan is the perfect spot.
Transportation In San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan is pretty walkable in some areas, but many residents own a car to travel around the island easily. In town, there are various reliable transportation alternatives to satisfy the mobility needs of Puerto Ricans and foreigners, including several public bus routes (the traditional guaguas) and trolleys, both great ways to get to different destinations and landmarks around San Juan real estate.
Taxis are another popular and convenient option along with the Tren Urbano, with 16 stations scattered throughout San Juan, Guaynabo, and Bayamón. San Juan has two cruise terminals and a daily ferry service called The Cataño Ferry. If you or anyone in the family needs to travel outside of Puerto Rico, the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is only eight miles away from Old San Juan.
Jobs In San Juan PR
In San Juan, PR, the economy relies on manufacturing, primarily pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, textiles, and electronics. The service industry is another important sector, with finance, real estate, insurance, and tourism as highlights. Unemployment has softened a bit, but its historically high rates continue to be an issue; in that sense, it is a good idea to have a job waiting for you in San Juan before relocating, or already having a fully remote position. The current unemployment rate is 5.8, above the national average.
The pharmaceutical industry is a prominent employer for residents in San Juan real estate, as is the small but strong tourism sector, adding jobs consistently throughout the years. Neighboring towns Arecibo and Aguadilla have debuted a fledgling aerospace industry as well. However, it’s not a secret that Puerto Rico has experienced a prolonged economic recession, with many people leaving the island hoping for better opportunities. Today, the monthly living costs in Puerto Rico are reasonably low, but the median household income is around $43,553, lower than most U.S. states.