Frequently Asked Questions

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Weather & Climate

Sunny!

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.

Photo: Edward Rivas

Taxes

The Dominican Republic offers a number of tax incentives to attract foreigners and foreign investment.

(For detailed information about tax incentives, visit our online guide.)

Many of these are available once you get your residency status.

  • When you purchase property in the Dominican, you don’t have to pay capital gains, property or housing taxes.
  • Property taxes: You only pay an annual real estate tax of 1%, and only if the value of your property exceeds approximately $150,000 USD.
  • Exemption from the taxes on dividends and interest generated in the DR or abroad.

If you qualify as a retiree or investor, you’re exempt from:

  • Real property transfer taxes for the first property acquired
  • 50% of the Mortgage Registration Tax, if the secured creditor is a financial institution subject to the regulations enacted pursuant to the Monetary and Financial Law
  • 50% of the Real Estate Property Tax
  • Taxes on dividends and interest payments, whether from a Dominican or non-Dominican source
  • 50% of the capital gains tax, provided you’re the majority shareholder of the company and the main corporate purpose of the com­pany is not commercial or industrial
  • Import duty on home furnishings, office and professional equipment
  • Import duty on motor vehicles (for 1 vehicle)

 

Categories: Residency, Taxes

When you purchase property in the Dominican, you don’t have to pay capital gains, property or housing taxes.

You only pay an annual real estate tax of 1%, and only if the value of your property exceeds approx. $150,000 USD.

Category: Taxes

Residency

As a foreign national staying in the country for an extended period, you can get your legal residency status. When you’re a resident, you can live as long as you choose within the DR, even though you’re not a citizen.

(Please see the chapter about residency in our comprehensive online guide.)

With your residency status, you get access to a number of benefits:

  • Benefit from a more favorable tax structure
  • Enter the country without the need to buy a $10 tourist visa upon arrival
  • Access various tax breaks
  • Get a full Dominican driver’s license (foreign driver’s licenses are only valid for 90 days), allowing you to get car accident insurance
  • Attend any Dominican school or university and pay in pesos instead of dollars (international students pay tuition fees in dollars)
  • Work and do business in the Dominican Republic
  • Facilitate many business transactions in the DR, including getting bank loans and applying for credit
Category: Residency

The Dominican Republic offers a number of tax incentives to attract foreigners and foreign investment.

(For detailed information about tax incentives, visit our online guide.)

Many of these are available once you get your residency status.

  • When you purchase property in the Dominican, you don’t have to pay capital gains, property or housing taxes.
  • Property taxes: You only pay an annual real estate tax of 1%, and only if the value of your property exceeds approximately $150,000 USD.
  • Exemption from the taxes on dividends and interest generated in the DR or abroad.

If you qualify as a retiree or investor, you’re exempt from:

  • Real property transfer taxes for the first property acquired
  • 50% of the Mortgage Registration Tax, if the secured creditor is a financial institution subject to the regulations enacted pursuant to the Monetary and Financial Law
  • 50% of the Real Estate Property Tax
  • Taxes on dividends and interest payments, whether from a Dominican or non-Dominican source
  • 50% of the capital gains tax, provided you’re the majority shareholder of the company and the main corporate purpose of the com­pany is not commercial or industrial
  • Import duty on home furnishings, office and professional equipment
  • Import duty on motor vehicles (for 1 vehicle)

 

Categories: Residency, Taxes

Purchase & Financing

To purchase property in the DR, you likely can’t get a standard mortgage from your domestic bank the way you would when purchasing in your home country. Most banks in the United States and Canada won’t finance the purchase of foreign property because they won’t take a foreign asset as a security for the loan.

Dominican Banks will sometimes provide mortgages to foreign buyers. However, the rate isn’t great compared to what you’d get in North America and the application process can take a really long time.

  1. At Dreaming DR, when you purchase a home at Ocean Village Deluxe, in-house financing IS available. The rate is 5%, with only US$100K required for a downpayment.
  2. For both Villas Marinas and Seawinds, there is NO in-house financing.

Other possible sources of financing:

  • Funds in your retirement account
  • Equity from your primary residence in your home country
  • Business or personal loans for a down payment
  • Certain banks, like HSBC, that offer mortgages for international borrowers

Yes, we strongly encourage it.

We call it the Test Drive. It’s the best way to see if owning your own vacation home in the Dominican Republic is right for you.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stay at one of the homes in our community. Rent for a weekend, a week, or longer and enjoy a great vacation.
  • Experience firsthand what living in a North Coast vacation home is like. Get a feel for each of our communities and a better understanding of everything the North Coast lifestyle has to offer.
  • We’ll pick you up and drop you off at the Puerto Plata airport.
  • See everything you’d need as an owner. Go for groceries, visit beaches and restaurants, shop and meet your neighbours.
  • Meet developer Bernie Tietz and the rest of the Villas Marinas team. See the great support we provide our owners when they’re here AND when they’re away.
  • Absolutely no pressure to buy. We give you the space to relax and enjoy yourself. We’ll help you do your research so you can make an informed decision.

Watch this video of Bernie Tietz, co-developer, who describes what you’ll experience during your Test Drive.

We have 3 different developments:

  • Homes at Villas Marinas range from $250K to $425K.
  • Homes at Ocean Village Deluxe range from $492K to $1M.
  • Condos at Seawinds start at $349K

We’re confident that you won’t find better valued vacation homes in the DR—or anywhere else in the Caribbean. The quality of the construction is second-to-none. And all are in oceanside communities with great amenitities right onsite and easy access to everything the North Coast has to offer.

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.

Depending upon which development you choose to purchase in, there are different ways to pay.

  • Villas Marinas and Seawinds: You will need to have the cash on hand. Often buyers will use equity in property back home to raise the funds to purchase.
  • Ocean Village Deluxe: Offers competitive financing in-house. You need to put $100K down and can finance the rest. The interest rate is 5% and terms are 20-30 years.

Note that North American banks will rarely finance property in foreign countries such as the Dominican Republic.

And financing through Dominican banks isn’t usually worth it. You won’t get a competitive term or rate, and the the process takes a long time.

 

Lifestyle

You can get anything you need on the DR’s North Coast. Almost everything that’s available in North America and Europe is available at grocery stores and convenience stores here.

Less than five minutes drive outside the community is a large, modern shopping center. There’s a grocery store, pharmacy and cell phone shop.

The grocery store is not only fully stocked with all the products you’d expect back home, it also has a full meat section and bakery.

Category: Lifestyle

Income Property

To purchase property in the DR, you likely can’t get a standard mortgage from your domestic bank the way you would when purchasing in your home country. Most banks in the United States and Canada won’t finance the purchase of foreign property because they won’t take a foreign asset as a security for the loan.

Dominican Banks will sometimes provide mortgages to foreign buyers. However, the rate isn’t great compared to what you’d get in North America and the application process can take a really long time.

  1. At Dreaming DR, when you purchase a home at Ocean Village Deluxe, in-house financing IS available. The rate is 5%, with only US$100K required for a downpayment.
  2. For both Villas Marinas and Seawinds, there is NO in-house financing.

Other possible sources of financing:

  • Funds in your retirement account
  • Equity from your primary residence in your home country
  • Business or personal loans for a down payment
  • Certain banks, like HSBC, that offer mortgages for international borrowers

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.

Category: Income Property

The Dominican Republic is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean region, and ranks top 5 overall in the Americas. 6 million people visited the DR

The North Coast of the DR is attracting more and more tourists each year. The government has invested heavily in recent years to support infrastructure. And the tourism industry has recognized the growing popularity of the area, with many large investments ongoing or planned.

Category: Income Property

Homes

Dreaming DR has 3 property developments. You can learn all the details here.

In brief:

Villas Marinas

  • $250K-$425K villas
  • custom builds: choose your lot and build your own custom home
  • 3 and 4 bedroom
  • ocean view
  • within a gated community with many amenities on-site
  • NO financing available

Ocean Village Deluxe

  • $492k-$850K villas
  • move-in ready: already built and fully furnished
  • 2, 3 and 4 bedroom
  • ocean view and ocean front
  • within a gated community with many amenities on-site
  • financing available: $100K down, finance the rest

Seawinds

  • condo apartments starting at $348K
  • move-in ready: already built and fully furnished
  • 2 and 3 bedrooms
  • ocean view
  • within a gated community with many amenities on-site
  • NO financing available
Category: Homes

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.

Category: Homes

When you build a new home at our Villas Marinas development, 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

You can also add a water filtration system to your house, allowing you to safely drink water from the tap.

  • water filtration system by Trojan Technologies
Category: Homes

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
Category: Homes

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.

Category: Health & Safety

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.

Category: Health & Safety

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.

Category: Health & Safety

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.
Category: Health & Safety

You should consider getting both health and property insurance. There are a number of North large, reputable insurance providers in the Dominican Republic.

Dreaming DR 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.

Category: Health & Safety

Getting Here

It’s only 20 minutes from Puerto Plata’s airport to our developments. When you arrive, we’d be happy to pick you up at the airport and take you to your accommodations. Let us know and we’ll schedule a pick up.

Category: Getting Here

When you come to the North Coast, you’ll fly into Puerto Plata’s international airport, Gregorio Luperon Airport. I

t’s only 20 minutes from our developments.

The airport code is POP.

Category: Getting Here

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