Hi all....back from our trip and what a learning curve!!
Firstly thanks to all who said happy birthday...I went to Ocean world and swam with the dolphins, brilliant.. thanks to Grahame who saved us so much time and effort, driving round was an experience!! felt like the wacky races.
So where do I start...we stayed at the Iberostar which is between Puerto Plata and Sosua...Happy hour was all day, every day...don’t think my liver could take much more...especially that 151 Rum, at 70% proof.. Hotel was great, food fantastic, entertainment terrible but who cares..
People in the DR were lovely (even Grahame).... one thing was clear....the first thing to do if your serious about a move here is to start by renting first....do not jump in with both feet and buy or you WILL regret it..
One real estate agent knew our budget and only took us to the houses at the top end of the price range, even though we wanted to look at some apartments, yes some were nice , however we found out later the sort of area they were in and why not to buy there...
What we did notice was the sale of previously owned property was all by expats who wanted a fast sale...wrong town, wrong complex, you name it they all got it wrong!! If you wait you can pick up a bargain.. As an example one house was up for 500,000 US$ but the owners said they would take 385 k (the agent let slip that they would probably take anything over 320k)
Schools...just to help others here (as I’m lucky that mine have all grown up, yea!!)...I went and had a look at the International school in Sosua, about 2 miles up a small road....Very nice school, lots of equipment, its a private school but only costs a couple of hundred US$ a month.
Areas...everyone thinks differently, our view was..
Cabarete, lovely beach...mainly Holiday Condos and VERY big houses, full of tourists, lots of bars and noise..
Sosua, lots of different sorts of houses, some are in nice areas like Sea Horse Ranch ($ ouch!!) others are in areas to avoid. Ask Grahame what’s what..
P.Plata.. small city, historical, however obviously neglected, the roads are a wonder to behold (pot holes a wheel fits into), the driving is equally amazing, new investment should change the face of the place...
Costambar...Nice beach, good price, some lovely areas and some that will be better in years to come as more investment goes into the area..
Cofresi....beautiful, lovely beach, nice houses, good roads, downside... expensive area and on the wrong side of P.Plata for the school.
Our suggestions regarding moving to the DR would be...…Sell everything possible, put the money in the bank and go as a tourist, start with a rent of 2 to 6 months.
Once happy with decision to stay and choice of area, either buy land and build, or wait for a bargain to go on sale...and there are lots of them.. THEN apply for residency
Buy an old car, must be a 4 wheel drive i.e. Shogun.
If possible don’t take pets for first couple of months, have them sent when your certain to stay and a bit more settled...say 2 months..
Only take over essential clothes at first, have other stuff sent over once your settled....look into storage companies or cheaper than that family/friends...and shipping companies.
Find something to do…start a business, do something!!
Finally have a back up plan/s in case its not what you first thought....so you can go somewhere else.
Over the last ten years I have been to many places just to rule them out, well now we have been to the Dominican Republic and are pleased to say that it's still on the list and at the moment at the top..
I’m going to the Excel show in London in a couple of weeks so I will pass on any info that may be of interest.
If you have any questions try here or email me email@example.com
oh Shaz forgot to say you were lucky...we had a load of people moved to our hotel from Bahia Principe a couple of days ago as gangs of drunken American students ran amuck in the hotel setting fires and causing mayhem.....