Questions and answers about owning villas in the Caribbean.

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How large is the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is slightly less than 19,000 square miles in size, about twice the size as the State of New Hampshire.
Where can I get some fast facts on the Dominican Republic?
The best places are Lonely Planet (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/destinations/caribbean/dominican-republic),
the CIA U.S. Government site (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/dr.html),
the main Dominican Republic internet portal (http://www.dominicanrepublic.com/)
and DR1 (http://www.dr1.com), a popular news, life and forum site.
Can a non-Dominican own real estate in the Dominican Republic?
Yes. Some of the best information on this is on our site here.
Should I retain an attorney to purchase real estate in the Dominican Republic?
We strongly encourage all investors to retain competent local attorneys who have knowledge of the Dominican Republic laws related to real estate transactions, we help you with all this possess.
When I purchase real estate, should I put it in my own name or start a company?
The precise answer to this depends upon your legal and tax situation, but typically people create a new company which actually owns the real estate.
When I purchase real estate, do I get a title or some other legal proof of ownership?
Yes. The Dominican Republic has many laws related to this to ensure ownership of the property is well documented and legally provable.
Is it possible to get title insurance in the Dominican Republic and, if so, do you recommend any specific agency?
Yes, it is possible and in this case we strongly recommend Stewart Title (http://www.stewarttitlelatinamerica.com/). They are a well-known and respected title company throughout North and South America as well as the Caribbean.
Are there real estate transfer taxes I need to consider in my purchase?
Yes, the transfer of real estate is subject to the payment of the following taxes. 4% of the purchase price plus 12% of that tax amount and some additional relatively minor processing fees.
Are there property taxes in the Dominican Republic?
No, property taxes along most of the North Coast.
Do I need to pay income taxes in the Dominican Republic?
Typically, no. The Dominican tax code only requires payment of taxes on income generated from within the Dominican Republic. Unless your property generates income here, there are no income taxes applicable.
Are there restrictions on foreign investment in the Dominican Republic?
The latest law, Law 16-95 on Foreign Investment, virtually levels the field for equal treatment between national and foreign investments, thus removing all restrictions
Are Buyers taxed on paying cash for property?
NO... 3.1 % transfer fee
Do you have insurance on property's?
No, buyer can purchase title insurance from attorney.
What is the crime rate?
Next to nothing, very safe.
Whats the nearest city/ village?
We are between the two fishing villages of Rio San Juan and Cabrera…also very visible on a google map. Cabrera has become a bit of a destination because of all of the large, pricy homes for rent in the area, it is not so much a touristy place as it is a residential neighborhood, in a lush and tropical setting and safe and relaxing setting. We are right in the middle of the north coast of the Dominican Republic. There are lots of small bedroom communities in the area, on the sea and in the surrounding hills, all with colorful names, small clusters. In many aspects it like walking thru a time warp, going way back to the 50's in the states. We are on the principal road that takes visitors along the north coast from Puerto Plata to the Samana peninsula...the only road...an hour in one direction, west, to Cabarete, internationally known for wind surfing, kite surfing, fishing, boating, all water sports....lots of night life and many restaurants on the beach in a cozy setting...and about 2 hours, east, to Las Terrenes, a french community, in a spectacular setting.
Can buyer bring own builder?
Yes, our developers have 30 years of experience, are best qualified to move the client in the best direction for the investment they want to make...from building to decorating to landscaping…education about building here is to do it quickly with the best materials available in the market place and at the best price with the best people are best qualified to move the client in the best direction for the investment they want to make, from building to decorating to landscaping. A new buyer to this area, with an out of country builder would only complicate the procedure, of course your client could send down quality control, but our developers are here to do just that, protect the client and his funds in the building process.
How much per meter to build?
Building price starts at $120.00 u.s. dollars per sq. ft.
Cost of membership to Beach Club?
None
What is security/ police force like?
Property has Security and police force (Government)
What is water system?
Private well system
How far from San Domingo to Cabrera?
2 hours
What are the covenants?
None
Is it alright for women to be traveling alone?
The Vice President of the Dominican Republic is a woman, and you will find women in executive positions throughout most businesses in the country. While machismo is alive and well in the barrios and rural communities, middle class and up women have as much to say as the men in their homes and jobs. Note that more women graduate from university then men in the DR. Women traveling alone will not have any problems. Unless you dress very provocatively, the most you will get is a compliment here and there from an admiring Dominican male. Chivalry is alive and well in the DR. Use common sense and you will enjoy your vacation just as you would anywhere else in the world.
Are Dominican Beaches safe?
Some beaches are children-friendly, others have big waves, strong undertow and rocks. When in doubt, stick to the shore. The same rules apply here as do anywhere else in the world. Do not take a windsurf or sail boat out if you have just finished eating. Don't go out swimming alone. Don't bring your valuables to the beach. Don't leave anything you can't afford to lose on the beach when going off for a swim. Many a tourist has fallen asleep to discover their airline ticket or camera is missing. These are just some common sense tips that apply to any part of the world.
What is the drinking and gamling age?
The drinking and gambling age is 18 years old. While lax in the past, increasingly the authorities are enforcing a ban on serving alcoholic beverages to minors. Many discos, especially in Santo Domingo, will ask to see an ID if you do not look 18. The same will happen in the casinos.
What's the best time of year to come?
The peak travel seasons to and from the DR are July-August (most travel) and the months of December, January, February and March. This reflects the vacation periods of Europeans and North Americans. Note that the weather varies only a few degrees upwards and downwards in the Dominican Republic, with the summer months being slightly hotter, so any time is just as fine. Try to avoid the peaks of domestic travel, primarily Easter Week and the long weekend holidays, if possible, when the major resorts will be full to the hilt.
When is the rainy season?
Anyone who tells you there is a rainy season in the DR hasn't lived here. It rains more frequently in the North Coast than in the South. The East Coast is the driest. But aside from that the weather in the DR is relatively stable. Only very occasionally will a storm be passing by that will bring more than an afternoon of rain. The most common forecast is: partly cloudy with a chance of short showers. The El Niño and La Niña currents bring longer periods of drought and rain. But aside from that, bring your sun block as chances are the sun will be shining strong.
I don't speak Spanish. Will this be a problem?
Thousands of people visit the DR every year without knowing any Spanish at all. If you at least know English, you should be able to get along fine. But if neither English nor Spanish is your language, don't worry, be happy. If you are just coming on a holiday you will be surprised how far a smile and sign language and pointing will get you a long way. If you are coming for business, it is most probable your host will have someone who can communicate with you in your language, if he doesn't do so himself. As with traveling anywhere, picking up a key phrases in Spanish (like "por favor"-please, "gracias"-thank you, will bring many smiles and extra efforts to help you out. Most resorts will have someone speaking English. Many resorts have multi-lingual staff. If you are coming with a large group, there surely will be staff fluent in your language to assist you. The best advice is to relax and be patient if you do not get youself across the first time. Laugh and have fun. After all, you are on a vacation.
Is it safe to drink the tap water at the hotels and villas in the Dominican Republic?
Tap water should be avoided unless it has been boiled. This means that it is perfectly safe to use for teas and coffees. You may brush your teeth in unboiled tap water but if you have a sensitive stomach I wouldn't advice it. Bottled water can be bought almost everywhere and all of our villas include bottled water.
Can I bring my pet to your luxury villa rentals in the Dominican Republic?
It's easy to travel with a dog or cat to the Dominican Republic. But do not bring a bird as the bird needs to remain in quarantine. To bring your dog a veterinarian certificate issued for rabbies and distemper in the past 30 days of the travel date is required. At the airport in the DR you should ask for the animal control person (Sanidad Animal) in the customs area. He will examine your certificate and fill out an official entry form or permission for which you will pay less than US$10. Prior to traveling with your pet, you should call your carrier for more information and the cost of transporting your animal. You should make a reservation early because some airlines restrict how many dogs can be carried onboard. If you are flying on American Airlines make sure your connecting flight is not American Eagle in the case your pet does not fit under your airline seat. American Eagle will only transport dogs that fit onboard.
What is the Dominican Republic policy on visitors and drugs?
You do not want to bring in, consume or risk buying or selling drugs in the Dominican Republic. This is the easiest way to land yourself in jail with no bail. This could turn your trip into a nightmare. Drugs are not welcome in the DR and there are tough laws against trafficking and consumption regardless of the amount.