Why choose the Dominican Republic?
1) Prices represent extremely good value.
"From real estate to the general cost of living, it can be hard to believe you’re in the Caribbean. Prices across the board are more Latin American. You could live comfortably in the DR on a budget of $1,200. With a budget of $2,000, you could afford more entertainment and extra household help, for example, and really enjoy the good life.
Invest in a place of your own, and your monthly living costs would be much, much less. This is a realistic and appealing option, as property prices in this country are a bargain, certainly relative to elsewhere in the Caribbean. You could buy an apartment for as little as $100,000 or less".
Dominican Property Store would like to add that there's a bit more to this statement. When considering just the Ex-Pat market, there is a two tier situation where properties that can attract good rental returns tend to cost more and in return HOA fees also tend to be higher. If you were looking for a balanced approach based on retirement then perhaps a property slightly away from the demands of the holidaymaker would appeal because the fees are more likely going to be lower. An excellent example might be Coral Village in Sosua where rentals are still commonplace but usually on a long term basis and HOA fees are just somewhere around $200 per month. Consequently a property can still be rented out quite easily (should circumstances change) and should net the owner in excess of $500 per month.
Look to developments offering short term holiday lets and HOA fees in these communities will quickly accelerate. Add in the need for constant pool and garden upkeep, cleaning services and so forth and they will more than double. Rental returns are good (but a lot gets lost in fees) and that's OK only if you don't want to live in the property all year round.
Properties that cost less than around $150000 do not attract any property taxes.
2. The Established Expat Community Means Amenities And Services You Won’t Find Elsewhere In The Caribbean.
"White-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, warm turquoise water, year-round sunshine — you’ll find them in abundance here in the Dominican Republic … and, of course, pretty much everywhere else in the Caribbean, as well.
What sets the DR apart from other Caribbean islands and nations is its more sophisticated lifestyle — one that is strongly European. Santo Domingo, the oldest permanent European settlement in the New World, boasts impressive colonial architecture, along with modern shopping options, theaters, museums, and stadiums (baseball is a national obsession).
In the most appealing spots in this country, you won’t have to worry about being the first expat in town. In Las Terrenas, for example, on the Samana Peninsula, you’ll be welcomed by locals and expats alike. And you’ll enjoy a wide range of international products (from patisserie-baked pain au chocolat to German salami to Swiss cheese) thanks to a diverse and multicultural local community. In fact, if you love the thought of European life but would rather be within a two-hour hop of the U.S. East Coast (and enjoying better weather than in most of Europe), then this could be the paradise you’ve been looking for".
3. Developments In Infrastructure Make For Easy Living.
"Recently upgraded airports mean you can get to the Dominican Republic from the U.S. East Coast in two hours. On the island, new highways have cut journey times out of the capital by half and more. No more getting lost down dirt tracks or driving a painful six hours when you want to reach the opposite side of the island.
Best of all, this easier accessibility by both road and air has helped reduce day-to-day living costs. On parts of the island, food and grocery items have, over the last couple of years, fallen by as much as 30 percent".
Dominican Property Store would like to add it is true that in the past 20 years there has been a boom in transport links. Despite the above quotation, the Dominican Republic is not an island and shouldn't be considered as one. It is first an foremost a country. If you want to throw caution to the wind by risking a few speeding fines you can get from Puerto Plata in the North to Punta Cana in the East in about 5 hours. Even with the new roads it's still a long way. You have to get the desert island idea out of your mind. Once you understand the size of the country you can set about making plans to visit some of it. There are still places to explore where you will feel like the first person to ever set foot there, while there are towns and cities that can drive you to distraction with nose-to-tail traffic jams, noise and pollution. That's the fun of the DR, you don't have to visit the cities, you don't have to visit miles of empty countryside.
4. Easy Retiree Residency.
"The government of the Dominican Republic is welcoming of foreign retirees. If you can show proof of a monthly pension of $1,500 (plus $250 for each person you’ll be bringing with you), you can qualify for provisional residency in just 45 days. And, as with other retiree residency programs in other countries, qualifying comes with perks, benefits, and tax breaks".
Dominican Property Store would like to add that this article was written a couple of years ago and if there's one thing in the DR in a constant state of flux then it's the residency process. There are many people that buy property here and NEVER apply for residency and just pay a fine when they leave the country, but if you are the sort of person that prefers legitimacy then residency is definitely right for you. Residency also allows you to get a full driving license and work should you want to. The process starts with a visit to your local embassy. Once the paperwork is completed at that end, you are ready to complete the application when you visit the Dominican Republic. Nowadays with a little help from a local you can complete the rest of the process on-line although there are also a number of lawyers that specialise in the process.
5. Not Ready To Retire? The Red Carpet Awaits Investors And Entrepreneurs, Too…
"With its central location in the Americas, a fast-developing infrastructure, and a generous package of tax incentives, the Dominican Republic is one of the best places in the Caribbean region to do business. The government welcomes foreign investors to its industrial free-zones. If you have a business to transplant or are looking to set up your own business in a tax-friendly, benefit-laden location, you owe it to yourself to investigate the opportunities here — especially if your work falls under any of the following categories: telecommunications, infrastructure, renewable energy, agribusiness, call centers, software development, manufacturing, or tourism.
Start up a business in a free trade zone and, thanks to Law 8-90, you’ll qualify for a 15-year exemption on all income taxes, corporate taxes, VAT, municipal taxes, export tax and duties, and incorporation and capitalization taxes.
You don’t have to be in big business to take advantage of the Dominican Republic’s tax incentives. The government is committed to tourism growth. It recognizes the potential in its coastlines, its jungles, and its historic capital city. Its big agenda is “sustainable tourism,” and it’s rolling out the red carpet to those willing to help boost its tourism efforts and accommodate visitors in town. Start a tourism business here — a boutique hotel, a tour business, or dive shop may qualify — and, under Law 158-01, you’ll receive tax breaks for the next 10 years on income taxes, VAT, real estate transfers, property tax, import duties, and more.
All while living in one of the world’s warmest, safest, and friendliest havens".
Dominican Property Store would like to add...Hmmm. This might prove much more complicated than as described. I would seek experienced professional advise before making any assumptions that the process will be quick and painless.