Advice On Buying And Living In The Dominican Republic

Beach property in the Dominican Republic

Advice On Buying And Living In The Dominican Republic

“Why Would We Bother Going Anywhere Else?”

When Bob Granger proposed to Janet, part of the “deal” was that they wouldn’t retire in the United States. He wanted to get away—and he was giving her the opportunity to come along for the ride. (She said yes.)

More than a decade later, while the Grangers worked away at their jobs in Washington D.C., a friend who knew they were in the market for a new life overseas put them onto the Dominican Republic. Liking what they heard, the couple planned a visit.

What they did in the first 24 hours of that vacation is something we always warn our readers against…

They bought a house.

So charmed by everything they saw around them—the miles of pristine beach, the lush mountains, and the warm and welcoming community of locals and European expats—Bob and Janet were sold on life in Las Terrenas.

Unfortunately, they never got to live in that little impulse-buy property.

They weren’t ready to leave their jobs just yet.

But the Dominican Republic was more than a one-night stand. And, over the years, the couple continued to visit Las Terrenas on vacation.

The Grangers had the opportunity to visit other places and vet them for their retirement. They could have gone to Honduras… to Panama… to Costa Rica. But, as Janet put it plainly to attendees in the room at last year’s Live and Invest in Dominican Republic Conference, “Why would we bother going anywhere else?”

They had everything they needed in this self-sufficient Caribbean beach community. What could possibly be better?

A couple can live the good life, Dominican Republic-style, from US$1,355 a month
A couple can live the good life, Dominican Republic-style, from US$1,355 a month

Two years ago, they finally “got out of the States” and made the move to Las Terrenas. By then, they’d sold their first property, bought land in the mountains overlooking Las Terrenas, and were now ready to build their dream home.

The Grangers are satisfied that they’ve found their permanent retirement spot—and that they’ll “never go back.” And they have good reason…

Just six weeks before their move to Las Terrenas, Bob suffered kidney failure. The couple’s insurance plan covered him for treatment in the States for a couple of months… but they needed to figure something longer term.

Luckily, they were connected with a hospital in Santo Domingo, now just two hours from Las Terrenas along the newly built highway. Bob has completely free access to the ongoing care he needs here—treatment that would cost US$72,000 a year in the United States.

He finds the service good and appreciates how the doctors here take their time with him. “Sometimes,” he says, “I just have to wait a little while.”

Health care wasn’t the main draw of the Dominican Republic, of course. But it sure makes life easier for this couple.

The real draws were the unspoiled beaches… the mountain views… and the strong sense of community that’s not typically found on a Caribbean island… and, certainly, far from what they experienced in their city life in D.C.

As they spoke candidly to attendees in Santo Domingo last year, the Grangers offered a few solid pieces of advice:

1. Don’t bring your car.

It can cost as much as US$13,000 to import a vehicle to the Dominican Republic. Even if money were no object, you may have trouble finding replacement parts as models on the island (even though they may carry the same name as U.S. models) are built differently. The good news is that you can buy any make and model (and level of luxury) in Santo Domingo—and prices are moving closer to those in the United States. More importantly, Las Terrenas is a walkable town. You may find you don’t need a car—and are a lot happier without the trouble of one.

2. Don’t listen to the all-inclusives.

Unfortunately, many tourists to the Dominican Republic are fed with danger stories on arrival. This is the work of some all-inclusive resorts, trying to keep guests on their property and using their facilities. This is another reason why so many visitors don’t make it beyond the major resorts of Punta Cana and Puerto Plata… thereby missing out on the real wonders of the island.

3. Do pack your patience.

“Patience is the most important thing you need,” Bob advises. “Things don’t happen in a snap here… in the way they do at home. But when you realize you have local support among the expat community, it makes everything easier.

“We’re sold on it. We’re living here for the rest of our lives.”

We always do our best in newsletters to give the full story. But there’s so much you just can’t get across in writing. In the room at our events, the energy and passion of our expats always strikes me… and the chance for the audience to raise their questions or concerns—and have them addressed on the spot—is invaluable.

I’m looking forward to catching up with our expat friends (old and new) at the upcoming Live and Invest in Dominican Republic Conference in Santo Domingo this May 18–20.

An in-country event like this is a lot smaller than our annual Stateside Retire Overseas Conference that can see hundreds in the room at any one time. Here, you can’t possibly get lost in the crowd. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to network with our experts… the people who you can later call on to help with your international move. And, you’ll get to meet the expats who’ve already settled in here… and who may become your future neighbors and friends.

Registration is fully open. And, you can immediately take at least US$300 off the rack rate (using the Early Bird Discount along with your LIOS Confidential code DRCONFIDENTIAL).

I’ll keep you posted over the coming weeks on some of our plans for May. But, if you’re serious about joining us, don’t let the Early Bird Discount pass you by.

Full details are here. And, please get in touch if you need help at any stage…

Valentine Fouché
Editor, Live and Invest Overseas Confidential
Tel. 1-888-627-8834 (toll-free in the United States)

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