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Weather & Climate
You can expect 300 or more days of sunshine a year. It’s tropical year round, with little difference between winter and summer. In July, days average 82ºF (28ºC) and in January, 76ºF (23ºC). There are two short rainy seasons, one in May and the other November-December.
Although it can be humid, it often feels downright comfortable thanks to breezes off the ocean.
Cool Season From November to April, the weather is pleasantly warm, with relatively low humidity and low precipitation. During the day, the thermometer is constantly at around 80°F (27°C). At night it’s generally a beautiful 68°F (20°C).
Hot season runs roughly from May to October. Daytime can reach 87°F (31°C), dropping at night to 72°F (22°C). Humidity rises, bringing periodic 30-minute tropical showers overnight.
Thanks to some geographic good luck, hurricanes veer away from the DR’s North Coast.
Hurricanes crave warm water. Thankfully, the cool air that comes off the mountains just inland from the coast pushes hurricanes away. Just as importantly, there are strong currents and pressure systems between the DR and Puerto Rico, which also move weather systems north.
(If you’d like more info, see this informative article at Natura Cabana.)
Hurricanes Irma and Maria both took this route and so the North Coast only caught the edge of each storm.
In addition, the reef off Cabarete beach is a natural barrier to storm surges. Below is a picture of Cabarete beach on September 10th, 2017, the day after Irma passed.
Purchase & Financing
Our 6 models range in price from $205,000 to $255,000. We’re confident that you won’t find a better valued vacation home in the DR or anywhere else in the Caribbean. Our homes are all in an oceanside community where residents have access to many great amenitities right onsite. And the quality of the construction is second-to-none. Check out prices on all 6 models here.
Foreign property investments are also encouraged by incentives, which according to the country’s tourism office, include:
- Tax-free receipt of pension income from foreign sources, including the possibility of moving belongings to the country.
- Foreign buyers receive a 50% exemption from property tax.
- Exemption of taxes on the payment of dividends and interest, generated within the country or overseas.
- Foreign buyers receive a 50% exemption on taxes on mortgages, when the creditors are financial institutions that are regulated by Dominican financial monetary law.
- Exemption on payment of taxes for household and personal items.
- Exemption from taxes on property transfers.
- Partial exemption on vehicle taxes.
There are several options to finance the purchase of your new vacation home.
- Financing is available at competitive rates from Banco Popular, an established and respected Dominican Bank.
- As well, many banks in North America will finance the purchase of foreign properties.
- You can combine financing from various sources, both in your home country and in the DR.
- There are various tax incentives for foreigners purchasing here.
- If you plan to use your home as an income property, the rental income could also help you secure financing.
As your guide to owning and living on the North Coast, Villas Marinas can help you choose what works best for you.
During busy season (December–March), the typical rent for a 2 bedroom villa is $230–$260 / night.
In the off-season (April–December), the typical rent for the same property is $175–$195 / night.
The rental market on the North Coast gets busier every day. The government of the Dominican Republic has made significant investments in infrastructure, making the area even more attractive to tourists.
And with other parts of the Caribbean still recovering from recent storms, more people are looking to vacation on the North Coast—which thanks to geographic good fortune avoids the full impact of hurricanes.
The Dominican Republic has been the top vacation destination in the Caribbean since 2005, by a considerable margin, according to the World Bank.
- During the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the country’s tourism sector remained stable, with around 3.98 million and 3.99 million stay-over tourist arrivals, respectively, based on figures from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
- In 2011, the country attracted more than 4.3 million stay-over visitors, up by 4.4% from a year earlier, despite weakness in the global economy.
- In 2012, tourism arrivals rose by 6% y-o-y to 4.56 stay-over million tourists
- In 2013, tourism arrivals rose 2.79% growth to 4.7 stay-over million tourists.
- In 2014, the country received around 5.14 million stay-over tourists, up by 9.6% from a year earlier, while the number of cruise ship passengers also increased 2.7% to 435,494 people over the same period.
- In 2015, non-resident stay-over tourists rose by 8.9% y-o-y to around 5.6 million,while cruise ship arrivals increased 21.5% to 528,999 people.
Many owners don’t feel the need for hurricane insurance. As you can read elsewhere in the FAQ section, hurricanes veer away from the North Coast due to the local geography.
That being said, other owners do have hurricane insurance. Affordable AND comprehensive home insurance policies are available that include hurricane converage as standard item—which means it’s not an add-on that costs extra.
Generally, the policy will pay when damages exceed a certain percentage of the insured value. For example, when damage is greater than 2% of the value, the policy will pay for all repairs, etc.
That being said, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to use hurricane insurance. But there’s nothing wrong with a little extra peace of mind, so it’s available to anyone who wants it.
You can opt for even more outdoor living with a number of upgrades:
- rooftop terrace with sea views
- covered pergola in the backyard
- half-bath attached to pool
- oversized pool
- outdoor bbq/kitchen area
The basic spec of all our models is superior to similar homes. Every home is a showpiece.
Our base models include:
- solid wood doors and cabinets
- marble countertops
- natural stone pool decks
- high quality windows and sliding doors
Every model also includes:
- swimming pool
- covered terrace
- fully landscaped tropical garden
Health & Safety
At hospitals and clinics in bigger cities and tourist areas, you can get service in English. You’ll be able to understand procedures and pricing.
Doctors at these facilities are often educated abroad, mostly in the United States. And they’ll usually be able to speak to you in English.
Yes, you can access healthcare services that are as good as any you’d get in North America or Europe.
At both hospitals and private clinics, doctors and other medical staff are well-trained. They’re often educated abroad, mostly in the United States. And they’ll usually be able to speak to you in English.
Fifteen years ago, the Dominican Republic significantly reformed its health care system. In the big cities and major tourist areas like the North Coast, the quality of health care is first rate.
With the large number of expats living on the North Coast, it’s no surprise that the medical services available in Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete are as good as you’d get back home.
Major surgeries and more specialized services are available at a large hospital in Santiago, only an hour south.
You can get a comprehensive health policy in the $1,000-1,20 USD range. Top line policies often include an airlift to the United States in case of major emergency. Less coverage would be cheaper.
For property, coverage is fairly inexpensive. The structure of a home is built with solid concrete, so cost less to insure. You can opt for any number of riders to cover natural disasters, flooding, etc.
If you’re going to rent out your home, you should also consider rental insurance. Prices vary depending upon what you need.
As an expat in the Dominican Republic, you’ll need private health insurance or complementary insurance to fill any gaps in coverage costs, i.e. what you have to pay for each visit or treatment.
Medical insurance plans come in various types:
- Broad Coverage: Covers your medical expenses, possibly including medications. You’ll still need to have the cash to pay the bill at the time services are provided.
- Partial Coverage: Covers a certain portion of each bill. For example, you might be responsible for RD$50-RD$100 of any doctor’s fee of RD$600 (RD is Dominican Republic pesos). With this coverage, you’re restricted to a list of physicians or clinics, which will change from time to time.
- Foreign Insurance: Foreign insurance companies operating in the DR (primarily from the US) offer insurance that includes coverage abroad. This insurance is really only for major care, so to reduce the cost, purchase a policy with a very high deductible (excess) for overseas care.
You should consider getting both health and property insurance. There are a number of North large, reputable insurance providers in the Dominican Republic.
Villas Marinas works with a Dominican company called Universal. Our representative is originally from Canada and now lives in the DR full-time working for Universal. We’d be happy to put you in touch, as well as with other companies.
It’s only 20 minutes from Puerto Plata’s airport to Villas Marinas. There are many honest cab drivers who can take bring to Villas Marinas. They charge a standard flat rate (the cab industry is regulated). A friendly tip: remember to ask for the rate before you get in the cab.
As well, we’d be happy to pick you up at the airport and bring you to Villas Marinas. Let us know and we’ll schedule a pick up.