Frequently Asked Questions

Excited to plan your new life in paradise, but not quite sure where to get started? Below are some of our most frequently asked questions to help you find the information you’re looking for!

BUYING PROCESS AND COSTS

Everything you need to know about buying in the DR.

What additional costs can I expect when buying a villa?
Buyers are subject to legal fees, which are generally 1 to 1.5% of the purchase price. This amount includes all disbursements, due diligence and transfer of title. Additionally, a 3% transfer tax (to transfer the title of the property to their names is incurred by the purchasers. The amount is based on the government assessed value of the property, which is always less than market value. Most buyers pay from $2000-$6000 US (depending on purchase price).
Does Casa Linda charge any monthly fees?

Owners pay a Subdivision Fee to Casa Linda. This fee ranges from $260-$340/month USD depending on the size of the lot and includes security, outside maintenance of common area/lighting, office, garbage collection, shuttle bus service, owner liaison staff member.

How much is housekeeping and garden/pool service?
These fees vary depending on a number of factors, including the number of days per week service is needed, the size of your villa, yard and pool. We are happy to send you the full outline of the costs for these services.
How Much Are Property Taxes?
A 1% annual tax is assessed on real estate properties owned by individuals, (based on the cumulative value of all the properties they own) as appraised by government authorities. Properties are valued without taking into consideration any furniture or equipment to be found in them. The 1% is calculated only for values exceeding 6,858,885.00 DOP (about $150,000). For unbuilt lots, the 1% tax is calculated on the actual appraised value without the exemption. The real estate tax is payable every year on or before March 11, or in two equal instalments: 50% on or before March 11, and the remaining 50%, on or before September 11. The amount of the exemption is adjusted annually for inflation. The following properties are exempt from paying real estate tax: (a) farm properties; (b) homes whose owner is 65 years old or older, and has no other property in his or her name; and (c) properties owned by companies, which pay a separate tax on their company assets.
Do foreign buyers have the same rights as Dominicans?
Yes! One of the aspects that makes property ownership unique in the DR is the fact that there are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing real property in the Dominican Republic. Homeowners have all the same legal rights as DR citizens.
Will I fully own my villa?
Yes. Real estate in the Dominican Republic is fully titled to the purchaser. There is no bank trust or life lease. Property is registered to buyers either in their personal names or corporately, depending on how they have structured their purchase.
How much will it cost to furnish my villa?
Just like decorating any home, the cost of furnishing fluctuates drastically depending on your personal tastes. A good rule of thumb is to use 10-15% of the villa cost to furnish. This will include everything in the home including electronics, pool equipment, furniture, kitchenware, appliances, linens, window coverings, etc. Casa Linda is happy to recommend several professional decorators for your convenience as needed.
Do you offer financing?

For buyers requiring financing there are two options available: 

  1. Use the equity you have.  Obtain a home equity line of credit or do a refinance of an existing property in your home country.  Rates are often better and the process easier.
  2. Take out a new mortgage in the Dominican Republic with a local bank. Our team will help you with the application process, pre-approval and eventual funding. A down payment of 35% minimum is required.

RENTING

How much does Casa Linda charge to rent my villa?

 

COVER COSTS AND EARN RENTAL INCOME

Many of our owners use their villas as part time vacation homes and earn rental income.  Casa Linda can recommend a number of excellent rental management companies in the area.  These are experts at marketing your villa and keeping it rented. 

RENTAL FOR INVESTMENT

For buyers purchasing to add to an investment portfolio or those looking to earn a more structured, stable  income, you have the option of placing your villa in our successful vacation club program.  As our vacation club grows, new villas are needed for our members and for Interval International vacationers.  Casa Linda has several programs, some with guaranteed income available.  Please ask us for more information. 

 

What is a turnkey property?
In order to rent your villa, it must be completely furnished and stocked with things like dishes, linens, appliances, kitchenware, electronics, etc. Our turnkey service ensures that when a renter steps into your unit, everything they need for their stay is there, minus their own personal items. Casa Linda can provide you with the list of turnkey items necessary to be in our rental program.
Do I have to supervise the rentals?
Most of our owners are absent from the DR for many months of the year (this is why they rent their units). Rental has to be simple and work free. Owners expect the process to work without personal supervision or effort.

MISCELLANEOUS

How far is Casa Linda from the beach?
Calling all beach bums! Sosua and Playa Alicia’s beaches are less than five minutes away by car and Cabarerte Beach is a mere 10 minutes. Casa Linda’s complimentary shuttle bus goes to them several times per day, meaning you’ll have plenty of chances to work on your tan in the sun.
What is lock up and leave?
For snowbirds or those who need to commute away from the community, lock up and leave ensures that your property will be taken care of in your absence. Casa Linda will make sure your villa is kept clean, in good repair and is watched in exchange for repair fees for maintenance fixes, monthly cleaning fees, etc.
Where can I shop?
Almost all major North American brands are readily available in the towns of Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete. Big box stores like PriceMart (Cosco), Ikea, and La Sirena (Walmart) are a short drive away in Santiago or Puerto Plata. Sosua and Cabarete have large grocery stores and other shopping, including furniture stores and housewares.
What is legal drinking age?
18
How much do I tip?
10% is customary but this amount is often included in your bill.
What is the currency?
The Dominican Peso (RD$) is the official currency of the Dominican Republic. You can find the peso exchange rate for several international currencies at www.bancentral.gov.do/tasas_cambio/TMC4001.PDF

Major credit cards are accepted at most tourist locations, but it is best to check in advance at small hotels, restaurants and shops.

ATMs are located in almost all of the Dominican Republic’s cities, as well as at most resorts. Large supermarkets have ATMs that are open until late.

THE DR

How long am I allowed to stay in the DR?

NOTE: This is crucial for all prospective buyers and residents to know!

You can stay in the Dominican Republic for up 30-days per visit without having a residency permit. If you would like to extend your trip, you may extend it for up to 120 days. The process is online and a small fee is charged.

Residency is a simple process involving paperwork from your home country showing income, health, a criminal record check, birth certificate, etc. The process must be started in your home country and completed in the DR. We are happy to provide a referral to a local law firm that handles residency.

What is the size of the country?
The Dominican Republic is slightly less than 19,000 square miles in size, about twice the size as the State of New Hampshire.
Is the government secure?
Yes. The DR has a long term democratic government, with a similar system to the United States. The government is foreign investment-friendly and is in the process of working on long term programs for education, investing in infrastructure and technological advancements.
Is it safe?
Yes. One of the biggest misconceptions is that the DR is not a safe place, but with the proper caution and planning in place, most residents are able to go about their daily lives with little need to worry. All countries have their good areas, and others where you don’t go, act with the same level of precaution you would at home. Don’t let your wallet hang out in tourist areas, lock your car, don’t flaunt valuables, etc.

Casa Linda is a gated private community, affording you extra security with 24/7 surveillance and more.

Does the DR get hurricanes?
Parts of the country do; however, the Sosua/Cabarete area has never had a recordable hurricane due to its sheltered nature.
What is the weather like?
The weather remains tropical year-round, with slight variations. There is little difference between winter and summer temperatures with July averaging at 82ºF (28ºC) and January at 76ºF (23ºC). Cooler season Is from November to April, with what is considered pleasantly warm weather, relatively low humidity and low precipitation. The temperature hovers fairly constantly around 28ºC (80ºF) during the day and drops to around a comfortable 20ºC (68ºF) at night. December and January are the months to expect

rain and it can be heavy, although brief, and usually overnight. The warmer season is approximately from May to October. Average temperatures rise to 31ºC (87ºF) during the daytime and drop to about 22ºC (72ºF) at night.

How many airports are there?
There are eight major airports and several regional airports as well. The closest international airport to Casa Linda is Gregorio Luperon (POP) and it’s 15-20 minutes by car.
What are the entry requirements?
Canadian, American, and EU citizens require a passport that is valid until the date of expected departure.
What is medical care like?

The Dominican is home to exceptional medical services offered by many English speakers. For emergency medical care or health problems that require a hospital, there are two well equipped private clinics in the Puerto Plata. For major procedures, Santiago offers hospitals that easily rival North America or Europe for services and care. Locally, Cabarete Medical Centre is a hospital that opened the summer of 2009. This first-rate facility has specialists from all over the world, as well as a state of the art hospital facility and diagnostic services. It is located just outside Sosua. Ambulance service and 911 emergency service is also part of this facility.

How much does health insurance cost?
If you plan on residing in the DR full time or for the greater part of the year, it is wise to purchase insurance from a DR provider. There are several levels of medical plans to choose from. An average cost for excellent medical/dental care is $700-$1,500/year US for a family plan (depending on coverage chosen). This will cover you for most medical/dental visits, procedures. Some plans have a small co-pay cost but it is dependent on the one that you choose.
Do I have to speak Spanish?
Most owners speak no Spanish when they first buy – you can easily get by without it. English is spoken at hotels, restaurants, shops, hospitals, law firms, banks, etc. Over time, it’s a good idea to pick up some key phrases. There are many online courses and local Spanish schools.
What type of power is on the island?
The electrical supply in the Dominican Republic is based on the US system, 110 and 220 volts at 60Hz.
Can I drink the water?

Tap water in the DR is normally safe to use for cooking, washing clothes and bathing but not for drinking. Drinking water is available in 18 litre or 5 US gallon containers and is cheap at around US$1-2 per container. Many people purchase a water treatment system for their villas so the water becomes potable ($2500 US).

Can I bring my pet?
Yes. Some proof of vaccinations will be required.