Cons of Living in the DR

Cons of Living in the DR

Cons of Living in the DR

as an expat

By Colleen Valerio

Are you interested in moving to the Dominican Republic or buying a property, but every source online seems to be only about beaches or sunsets? What elements are challenging when it comes to adapting to a new culture? We want to talk about those not so enjoyable elements about Dominican Society.

The DR is a developing country; it’s not a third-world country anymore, not by a long shot. But there is no perfect place, and we do encounter some challenges, one of them is driving. In Italy, driving is crazy too. Coming from such a North American environment, where everybody follows the rules and lights matter and you turn your signal light on.

It’s been 14 years and I’m still driving along with my husband going seriously, like what did you just do?! That would be for me, the biggest one. People don’t follow the rules. There are too many motorcycles, a lot of traffic. There are options if you don’t drive like the public transportation system. There’s a bunch of different ways of getting around here and inexpensively. Some owners that don’t drive have their cab driver on speed dial, who picks them up right at their house door. I just wish they would just follow the rule and, oh… the horn is your friend!

There’s something called “guagua”. We stand out on the road and a little, twelve or twenty-four-seater van drives up, and you just hop on, and takes you however far you want to go. Also, “carritos” are a dollar to drive from Sosua to Puerto Plata; these are actual cars that everybody kind of piles in; I wouldn’t recommend that.

For Casa Linda owners, we’re really lucky because we have a shuttle bus. The shuttle is on a schedule, it drives between Sosua and Cabarete all day every day. It goes to the grocery store, goes to the beach. There are lots of ways of getting around if you don’t want to drive.

This is such a tourist-based country, obviously tourists like clean streets, and whenever there is still a component here where they’ll be on the back of their motorcycle eating out of their Styrofoam container and huck it off the side, and just drives me crazy. On the bright side, I find that it’s getting better and there’s all this, governmental awareness.

If you’re out for dinner in the evening, you will notice at the end of one street called Pedro Clisante… There is prostitution. You will see the ladies of the evening, wandering around, not in your face and never to bother, but you will notice it. It’s a bit of a surprise to those of us that come from countries, where it’s certainly not legal. It isn’t something that is part of our life here, it’s just something you’ll notice in one part of one area of town.

So, it’s not a downside or negative, but one of the things I will caution people about is, this is different. This isn’t your home country as much as we always say. It’s like home only warmer because it really is. There are still cultural differences. It’s Spanish, you know, the waiters speak perfect English, almost everywhere we go. You don’t need to learn Spanish, which is too bad for me because, after all these years, I still speak terrible Spanish.

This is a different country; you have to be patient and realize that it’s not going to be exactly the same. If it was the same and you wanted that you’d stay. Here it’s warm and it’s lovely but it’s a slower pace. It’s the mañana mañana! The guys are going to show up to paint your pool: he says he’s coming at 1 pm, he might show up at 4:00. A whole different way, and it’s made me slow down.

At first, I had to be on it but I’ve changed especially when they love you and your family. One time our housekeeper which is like family brought this big root that even had the dirt off the end and she’s like put this in a pot and boil this for my husband’s kidney stones, and I said, wait a minute, what is this? She was no, trust me, and turned all purple, he drank it and felt better.

That’s a different way of life and you get flexible and easy going and you don’t stress about too much down here. We’re supposed to be talking about the negatives, but somehow, we’re talking about what we think is positive. I remember years and years ago, we decided to go for a drive or so we thought, we’ll meet up somewhere on this road. It was an hour and a half later on this dirt road, and we’re lost like crazy.

Then, this guy was standing on the side of the road and my husband’s Italian. So he gets up and he tries to talk Italian to the guy and like finally says, in English, are you lost? He was like the only English teacher within a 500-mile radius. He got in the car (which you would never do in Canada) and drove us back. He said, “Thanks a lot; I was kind of going to come down here anyway, so see you later”. I was like that was weird. But you know what? Those are real stories. And everybody that lives here has a story like that.

 

If you are planning for retirement or seek a home base with a lower cost of living, it’s time to check out the Dominican Republic! 🌴 Learn more about Dominican features and amenities through our video series “Buying Real Estate in the Dominican Republic”. 

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colleen valerio

Colleen Valerio, Marketing Director

Originally from western Canada, Colleen came to the DR over 15-years ago. She has been helping buyers find their tropical dream homes ever since.

The Buying Process in the Dominican Republic

The Buying Process in the Dominican Republic

The Buying Process

in the Dominican Republic

Most buyers find the systems for purchasing real estate in Dominican Republic to be very similar to that of North America, so the process won’t seem foreign or strange.

Although the official language is Spanish, your property lawyer will speak English and explain all documents and processes thoroughly. Become an expert below, where we list each step on the Dominican’s buyer’s process.

The Dominican system is very similar to that of North America, all purchases are viewed equally under the law, so this means you have the same right as a Dominican as it pertains to real estate. Therefore, all parts to make a villa your own are divided in 8 main steps:

1. Choose a property

The first thing is to choose a property whether it is a new condo, resale, or new villa; whether you want to build or buy something already existing.

2. Offer of purchase

After you determine that, the first thing you need to make is an offer of purchase. This is considered a detailed offer that you prepare with your real estate agent and then presented to the vendor or developer.

3. Accepted offer
During the conditions of a sale, you might go back and forth a few times but eventually, the third step is an accepted offer. 

In the accepted offer the vendor agrees and signs off on the purchase price and conditions as set out in the offer of purchase. Then, you would need to go meet with the property lawyer to get in-depth instructions and information on how it all works from a legal perspective.

4. Due diligence

The fourth step is the deposit and the due diligence. As a buyer, now is the time to either completely pay for the property, send a deposit, or set up a staged payment, this is wired to your lawyer’s trust or escrow account. The money is held pending the next contract and completion of the lawyer’s due diligence on the property, which includes: clean title, condo fees, etc.

5. Contract of sale

The next step is a contract of sale, this document is similar to the offer of purchase but is prepared by the property lawyer in Spanish. It outlines the conditions of the sale. You are provided an English version of the document to sign off on.

 6. Balance of funds

The sixth thing is the balance of funds: you as the buyer send the balance of the monies owing unless it’s on a progress draw construction payments. Then the money is sent at scheduled intervals during construction.

7. Deed of sale

The seventh element is the deed of sale or “compra de venta”, this is the final contract that is used to convey the property from the seller to the buyer. In the case of a resale or quick sale, the law firm will go directly to this contract and skip the preliminary step of the promise of sale.

8. It’s all YOURS!
Lastly, the eighth step is Welcome Home! You as the buyer receive ownership of the property and the title is registered to your name. In the case of a company then a new company name is established with the buyers owning the shares of the company and that’s really it.

If you are planning for retirement or seek a home base with a lower cost of living, it’s time to check out the Dominican Republic! 🌴 Learn more about Dominican features and amenities through our video series “Buying Real Estate in the Dominican Republic”. 

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Things to Consider When Buying Foreign Property in The DR

Things to Consider When Buying Foreign Property in The DR

Things to Consider

when buying foreign property

By Colleen Valerio

As an ex-pat, I saw the Dominican Republic as the best balance in the title system and security of investment, which were key elements for me. Fortunately, this country offered that and much more. I am very comfortable and happy with the security of the government and how it’s invested in trade agreements with North America.

But, is that it? Many things need to be taken into account when buying foreign property. Therefore, we prepared a shortlist of what we’ve determined to be the most important:

Government

The first and foremost thing that I think is important is you need to check out the government. What is the government? Is that a stable government? When was the last time it had a coup? What’s its stance on drug lords? What’s its stance on crime? What are the crime stats? What are they doing about it? Are they investing in their people? Are they foreign investor-friendly? Do they want you to come to someplace? Say they do but they make it tough on you when you get there. Also, check what the government’s infrastructure is like as it pertains to you as a foreigner and the second one if you’re buying property, what is the title system?

In many countries you don’t own it, you have a life lease or a bank trust. I know that that’s okay for some people. I want to own it. Here, in the Dominican Republic, they’ve based the title system, very much on the Canadian title system. They redid it a few years ago and went back and resurveyed the entire country to make sure that they had done it properly. These were really big signs to me that they were looking for foreign investment here and they were willing to do it.

None of us want to pay tax. We all want to pay as little as possible and keep that money in our pocket. This country makes it easy and simple. In addition, when you own real estate you have the same legal rights as a Dominican citizen when you buy. If we end up in a dispute say in court or something you have the same legal rights as a citizen here, which is another one. Residency is another large thing to consider. If you’re going to spend several months in any country, most countries expect you to have a residency status of some sort. Dominican residency it’s a simple process, they’re looking to see that you can support yourself. When you live in the country they want to make sure you don’t have a criminal record, that you don’t have AIDS or hepatitis C.

Ownership Status

The DR makes it very simple and accessible to get a proper residency status to be able to live here full-time. This does not affect your citizenship in any country that you come from. It just means you’re allowed to live here. If you choose to become a permanent resident after, you can go on and become a citizen of this country, which brings me to the other thing that I think people need to consider particularly in third world countries is security.

Check out our video on all things to consider when buying foreign property:

Security & Crime Rate

We recommend being in a gated community for several reasons. One is most of the people that buy here don’t end up living here full-time, not away, or maybe even ever. So, you know, when I have a property in Canada, someone checks on my property, when I’m not there, it’s advisable to leave any property sitting on looked at for months on end because even if it’s not break-ins, that’s going to be when your toilet backs up when something goes wrong, you know, and your insurance is null and void. So we always recommend being in a gated community, somebody’s watching your property here too.

This is a very safe country. Crime is another key thing to consider. What is the crime rate? Is it safe to walk down the street in the middle of the day or the middle of the night? Anything here is petty crime. Every country has some crime but here, it’s going to be you come home and your laptop’s gone, but the truth is this is what a gated subdivision does to protect you from those things as well. But the safety factor here is, it’s very safe. I’ve been here for 14 years and have never had a problem, my grandson lives here. It’s a very safe country, but we still recommend that you are in a gated community. 

Also, the guards where we live they’re trained in CPR. They are trained for when renters are renting there, should we have domestic disputes. There are all sorts of things that can happen when you have 300 houses all put together.

Resale Rate

The other thing about investment is, look at resale. How long does it take to sell? If you buy it, it’s great, but if it takes five years to sell your house or your condo moving forward. That’s a problem. Check out what resales are doing. Check out the economy, check investment coming into the area. You want to be in a place where other money is coming into the area that you’re in. What’s nice here is it’s been just a nice steady incline since I came 14 years ago, which is great.

dominican republic custom villas

Medical

What I think is important, is medical: We’re not getting younger! Having very good medical services, being able to get your prescriptions, you want to be able to find a doctor that can communicate with you and speak English and have the proper field, access to tests, and that you can communicate back to your country’s doctor. Should you go home for the summer? These are all really important things that people don’t think about because they’ve fallen in love with the beauty of the place, but I always have to stop and turn them around and say, yeah, but you got to think about this.

Community

I always hear about people, we bought this little house and this little town and wherever and I’m like, what are you gonna do? You know, what do you do? I like my quiet, but I also like having friends. Where we live at Casa Linda, the doors are open come on in.  If it’s closed, leave us alone. So it’s a very active, very welcoming community full of people who have a diverse group of interests. So whatever you’re into, you’ll have someone that’s doing it too. But that’s the nice part about being here is, it’s such a diverse amount of real estate condos over there. You want to be on the water. You can always sell your place and buy-in another place. You have a lot of diversity here, and that’s the beauty of the North Coast. 

If you are planning for retirement or seek a home base with a lower cost of living, it’s time to check out the Dominican Republic! 🌴 Learn more about Dominican features and amenities through our video series “Buying Real Estate in the Dominican Republic”. 

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colleen valerio

Colleen Valerio, Marketing Director

Originally from western Canada, Colleen came to the DR over 15-years ago. She has been helping buyers find their tropical dream homes ever since.

Facts To Consider When Purchasing A DR Property

Facts To Consider When Purchasing A DR Property

Facts To Consider

when purchasing a dr property

If you’ve been considering making the leap and moving abroad to celebrate your retirement years, enjoy a change of pace, have a dedicated vacation home for when you snowbird over the winter, or invest in a rental property, the Dominican Republic is a wonderful place to settle down. With miles of white sandy beaches, average temperatures in the mid 80’s, and over 300 days of sun each year, those hoping to escape the cold will love life on the island.

At Casa Linda Quality Communities, we’ve welcomed expatriates from all over the world to our exclusive gated development just outside of Cabarete on the north end of the island. We understand that the prospect of buying a home abroad can feel a little daunting, so to help you feel more confident and avoid costly mistakes, below we’ve compiled a shortlist of aspects to consider when purchasing in a foreign country. Read on to learn more!

Quality of Living

When it comes to choosing your new home, there’s far more that goes into the decision than just picking a home. One of the primary concerns for expats, and rightfully so, is ensuring that their new country of residence will offer comfort, safety, and security. The Dominican Republic gives residents all three and is a remarkably safe place to call home. With a world-class healthcare system in place, you’ll also have the added peace of mind of knowing that you’ll always be taken care of.

Country Stability

Buying a home is a major investment regardless of where you purchase. Ensuring you purchase in a country that has a stable economy and political system is one of the best ways you can look after your investment for the long term. The Dominican Republic has the stablest economy in the Caribbean and a dependable government that is focused on improving the quality of life for all residents, including foreign investors.

relocating to the dominican republic

Will You Actually Own the Property?

Each country has independent rules and economic structures where foreign property ownership is concerned, many of which are designed to keep your property under ownership by the government. This can cause issues where inheritances and even asset allocation are concerned as, in the event of a major change, there will be multiple hoops to jump through. In the Dominican however, this worry is alleviated as you are the full owner of your property and have all rights associated with ownership.

National Tax Structure

Similar to above, most countries will have their own rules where taxes and foreign occupants are concerned. Oftentimes, outside buyers are heavily penalized both when purchasing a home and during subsequent years via property tax etc. The Dominican has a low tax rate and is very fair to foreign investors, alleviating extra strain on your bottom line.

Community

Finally, one of the most important components to feeling at home is having a well-established and friendly community to settle into. As a destination of choice for expatriates from all over the world, the DR is home to a vibrant community that will eagerly welcome you in and help you feel settled in no time!

Are you ready to learn more about relocating abroad? Casa Linda is here to help! Learn more about living in the Dominican Republic by contacting our team today!

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Six Frequently Asked Questions About Living in the Dominican Republic

Six Frequently Asked Questions About Living in the Dominican Republic

Six Frequently Asked Questions

about living in the dominican republic

Are you and your loved one eagerly planning your retirement? Congratulations! Retirement is an incredibly exciting accomplishment and gives you the chance to enter a new stage of life with plenty of time to explore your passions and undertake a new adventure without the stress associated with full-time working. Many couples opt to use this newfound freedom as an opportunity to travel abroad and even permanently relocated to a new, warmer location. As one of the most popular destinations for expatriates from all over the world, the Dominican Republic is a safe, stable country that offers plenty of benefits for couples to enjoy once they settle down. With miles of white sandy beaches, daily temperatures that average 85°F (28°C) and a welcoming community that makes it easy to feel at home, it’s no wonder that retirees love the Dominican Republic. Casa Linda is happy to welcome homeowners to our beautiful “backyard” and help them settle into life in the Dominican Republic. Learn more about retiring in the DR, as well as Casa Linda’s villas, below!

Peace of Mind in Paradise

Moving abroad is no small feat, and (understandably), one of the biggest concerns facing any expatriate is finding a new location that’s safe, affordable, and allows you to live life to the fullest with minimal concerns. The Dominican Republic is a safe and stable country that allows you to settle in comfortably and feel confident in your decision to move to the Caribbean. As one of the safest locales in the Caribbean, you can expect to live much the way you would at home, and when using the same general precautions you would anywhere else (i.e. avoiding walking around late at night with valuables, locking things away when not home, staying alert in new areas, etc), you’ll be just fine in your new home. For added security, Casa Linda Quality Communities feature 24/7 security on-site and diligent staff that is always ready to help if you need us. Simply put, when settling down in our communities, you’ll have everything you need to feel at home.

As far as economy and political structure, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the Dominican is incredibly stable. The Dominican Republic has a dependable government that, over the past 20+ years, has focused on growing the country and ensuring that all residents have access to vital resources. With economic and political stability, as well as dependable infrastructure all a hallmark of life in the Dominican, it’s no wonder that the country is a preferred place for those looking for a new place to live.

retiring in the dominican republic

Healthcare You Can Count On

Your personal wellbeing is important, and so it’s completely understandable that expatriates are highly concerned with relocating to a country that has a medical system that is up to date and able to provide them with quality care at affordable rates. Fortunately, the Dominican not only offers dependable healthcare but is home to a world-class system that includes state-of-the-art facilities and leading experts that provide care in both English and Spanish. Best of all, many new residents are pleased to find that healthcare here is extremely affordable and wait times for procedures are typically much faster than what you’re accustomed to back home.

Sunny Weather All Year Round

If you’re tired of long, unrelenting winters and are looking forward to settling into a much warmer locale, the Dominican Republic has you covered. With over 200 days of sun each year and daily temperatures that are sure to put a smile on your face, you’ll be able to wave goodbye to snow and colder temperatures in no time.

Choose A Casa Linda Villa For Your Next Home

With 10 floor plans available ranging from 2-bedroom bungalows to large homes featuring up to 5-bedrooms, there’s a custom villa available in Casa Linda for everyone. Each of our custom-built homes includes your very own swimming pool, landscape services, and plenty of options for customization. Relax in a professional community designed with your comfort in mind, and soak up the tranquil atmosphere of the island, one day at a time, all with the help of our talented staff.

Ready To Learn More?

Casa Linda is one of the most in-demand gated communities in the Dominican. Find out why we’re the perfect fit for you by contacting our team today!

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Retire in Paradise with Casa Linda Quality Communities

Retire in Paradise with Casa Linda Quality Communities

Retire In Paradise

with casa linda villas

Are you and your loved one eagerly planning your retirement? Congratulations! Retirement is an incredibly exciting accomplishment and gives you the chance to enter a new stage of life with plenty of time to explore your passions and undertake a new adventure without the stress associated with full-time working. Many couples opt to use this newfound freedom as an opportunity to travel abroad and even permanently relocated to a new, warmer location. As one of the most popular destinations for expatriates from all over the world, the Dominican Republic is a safe, stable country that offers plenty of benefits for couples to enjoy once they settle down. With miles of white sandy beaches, daily temperatures that average 85°F (28°C) and a welcoming community that makes it easy to feel at home, it’s no wonder that retirees love the Dominican Republic. Casa Linda is happy to welcome homeowners to our beautiful “backyard” and help them settle into life in the Dominican Republic. Learn more about retiring in the DR, as well as Casa Linda’s villas, below!

Peace of Mind in Paradise

Moving abroad is no small feat, and (understandably), one of the biggest concerns facing any expatriate is finding a new location that’s safe, affordable, and allows you to live life to the fullest with minimal concerns. The Dominican Republic is a safe and stable country that allows you to settle in comfortably and feel confident in your decision to move to the Caribbean. As one of the safest locales in the Caribbean, you can expect to live much the way you would at home, and when using the same general precautions you would anywhere else (i.e. avoiding walking around late at night with valuables, locking things away when not home, staying alert in new areas, etc), you’ll be just fine in your new home. For added security, Casa Linda Quality Communities feature 24/7 security on-site and diligent staff that is always ready to help if you need us. Simply put, when settling down in our communities, you’ll have everything you need to feel at home.

As far as economy and political structure, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the Dominican is incredibly stable. The Dominican Republic has a dependable government that, over the past 20+ years, has focused on growing the country and ensuring that all residents have access to vital resources. With economic and political stability, as well as dependable infrastructure all a hallmark of life in the Dominican, it’s no wonder that the country is a preferred place for those looking for a new place to live.

retiring in the dominican republic

Healthcare You Can Count On

Your personal wellbeing is important, and so it’s completely understandable that expatriates are highly concerned with relocating to a country that has a medical system that is up to date and able to provide them with quality care at affordable rates. Fortunately, the Dominican not only offers dependable healthcare but is home to a world-class system that includes state-of-the-art facilities and leading experts that provide care in both English and Spanish. Best of all, many new residents are pleased to find that healthcare here is extremely affordable and wait times for procedures are typically much faster than what you’re accustomed to back home.

Sunny Weather All Year Round

If you’re tired of long, unrelenting winters and are looking forward to settling into a much warmer locale, the Dominican Republic has you covered. With over 200 days of sun each year and daily temperatures that are sure to put a smile on your face, you’ll be able to wave goodbye to snow and colder temperatures in no time.

Choose A Casa Linda Villa For Your Next Home

With 10 floor plans available ranging from 2-bedroom bungalows to large homes featuring up to 5-bedrooms, there’s a custom villa available in Casa Linda for everyone. Each of our custom-built homes includes your very own swimming pool, landscape services, and plenty of options for customization. Relax in a professional community designed with your comfort in mind, and soak up the tranquil atmosphere of the island, one day at a time, all with the help of our talented staff.

Ready To Learn More?

Casa Linda is one of the most in-demand gated communities in the Dominican. Find out why we’re the perfect fit for you by contacting our team today!

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