The Dominican Republic is today one of the most favorable markets of the Caribbean to make a real estate investment. In fact, there are no restrictions for the acquisition of real estate by foreign citizens and no residence is required in the country. The cost of constructing a house, buy a terrain or an apartment are a lot cheaper than other places in the Caribbean; also, the country guarantees politic stability for many years and its economy is in constant growth (GDP 2015: + 7%, GDP 2016: + 6,6%, GDP 2017: +4,6%, GDP 2018: +7%, source: World Bank), as well as the number of tourists who visit annually, attracted by the beautiful landscape and the hospitality of its people.
Since April 4, 2007, came into force in the Dominican Republic a new property registration law that, in essence, prohibits the sale of real estate without a plan approved by the government: one called “demarcation”; an official procedure prepared by an authorized surveyor, under the supervision of the competent bodies of the Real Estate Jurisdiction, that identifies the adjoining properties, reserving an exact cadastral destination and a specific certificate of the title. Since 2009, the transfer of property rights that aren’t “demarcated” is prohibited. It’s essential, for any acquisition of property on the island, to have a lawyer who trusts that the object of the investment has all the legal requirements for a transfer of a legitimate and valid property.
1stCaribbean Realty, with its team of technicians, professionals and lawyers, will be available to advise and assist you in all stages of the investment, to ensure its feasibility and protection with total security.
An important impulse for the development of real estate investments in the DR, particularly in the construction sector, was Law 189-11, which introduced the “Real Estate Trust”. This institute offers and administrative figure, usually a bank, whose task is to manage the resources and assets for the development of the Real Estate Project, thus guaranteeing greater security, trust and transparency among the parties involved in the project.
A fiduciary administration established from the beginning of the negotiation, in addition to completely protecting the destination of capital for the specific investment, has the advantage of verifying the exact fulfillment of all the phases of design and construction, of speeding up the bureaucratic requirements, and finally, allow, if interested, the obtaining of loans at much lower rates than the market, which may reach the final stage of the sale, with the transfer of the property title to the buyer.
For last, the tax burden deserves a brief mention. It is significantly lower than the European and North American standards, going from 15% to 27%, depending on the tax base and the legal status of the declarant.
Owners of real estate as individuals pay an annual tax of 1% on real estate assets, but only if the total value exceeds about USD 146,000.00 (7,438,197.00 D.Pesos) and, in any case, only about the surplus value; nothing is owed in the case of a lower value.
The property transfer fee of a single time has a cost of 3% of the value of the property, while the notary’s fee amounts to around 1%.
It is 1stCaribbean Realty‘s task to follow the client in all phases of the Real Estate Project, just as making available our network of contacts in the country to facilitate it in all aspects, both administrative and legal and bureaucratic/operational and financing.
We can offer, also for yourself and your family, the most complete and qualified assistance for a transfer to the DR, obtaining the “Cedula” (the Dominican identification card) and a residence visa, the different consular practices, translation of documents, records and the formation of the Company, the opening of a bank account, consultancy for the import of intermodal containers with the corresponding customs taxes, even the election of schools for your children, as well as providing valuable clarifications about insurance and medical care.
We’re at your disposition to provide any necessary information for a temporal, partial or final transfer into this beautiful country!
Traffic and Communications
The well organized transport, traffic and telecommunication networks deserve a brief mention.
In fact, there’s eight international airports in the country that daily connect the DR with the United States, Europe and all of Latin America; three of them located in Puerto Plata, Santiago and Samaná, attending the North Coast, that also houses, in Puerto Plata, the new cruise and flagship terminal along with the ones in Santo Domingo and La Romana located in the south. Punta Cana has the most connected airport of all the Caribbean, with daily flights to every important destination of the American continent and Europe.
The road traffic is also adequate for the economic level and the development of the country and the Ministry of Public Works is carrying out work to continue in the direction of a general improvement in connections.
Telecommunications also offer international service standards: four major telephone companies and an internet network with broad coverage.
Health and education
Health in the DR has levels of efficiency with significant differences between the public and private sectors. They’re present in the North Coast in Puerto Plata, Sosúa, Cabarete, Las Terrenas, Punta Cana and generally in the main tourist centers, private clinics open for 24 hours, which offer a good service for small problems, first aid or routine services and with affordable costs. In the capital Santo Domingo and in the second city in terms of size and importance, Santiago, there are important private hospitals with medical staff and equipment of international level.
And advisable for those who decide to move to the countryside, get a health insurance with one of the numerous companies available: the medical model is adjusted to that of North America and, therefore, making protecting yourself in advance with an insurance coverage safer and easier.
A curiosity: pills are often sold “by number”, according to specific needs, and it’s not required to buy the entire package, which reduces waste and … costs!
In the Dominican Republic there are schools and universities of all levels. However, just as with health care, the public education system is practically nonexistent, especially when compared to Italian and European standards in general. On the other hand, the private sector works well enough, which welcomes children from kindergarten to high school.
There are many private schools in the country, some of them also excellent and internationally recognized, often bilingual (Spanish-English or French), which accompany the students during the twelve years that will lead them to university studies. In Sosúa-Cabarete there is the ISS, a private, bilingual institution of excellence that provides education up to the second grade, while in Cap Cana the Heritage School and a branch of the prestigious Unibe University are active. It is easy for children to make friends with colleagues from many countries in the world. Often an added value to a real estate investment!
Universities, both private and public, are present in all major cities with a prevalence of offer in Santo Domingo. Puerto Plata and Santiago also have a wide range of university courses.
The purchase of a property does not entail the obligation of residence in the country. However, after 30 days of tourist’s permit (completing the form upon arrival at the airport and paying 10 USD), which can be extended to 60 days, leaving the country is subject to a fine that increases significantly depending on the extra period gone beyond what is allowed.
Therefore, obtaining residence should be considered if you’re staying in the DR for prolonged periods or living permanently, a mandatory step, also due to the advantages and administrative/legal implications involved; the procedure, however, is not at all easy and is, above all, very “tricky”.
It’s advisable to have a lawyer of trust, even more after the last indications of the DGM government to the respective consulates of the countries of origin, directed to a greater severity and control in the evaluation of the requests, together with the last changes and procedure of the documentation implemented, which often must be well received by the competent Dominican authorities themselves. The guidance of a serious professional, therefore, can be very valuable to successfully achieve residence “Visa”, ensuring a correct and specific line of interpretation and configuration for each specific application for residency.
We can really boast of a serious and responsible and qualified modus operandi, if possible, even in this context, to support its clients through the contributions of true professionals, to guarantee the accredited and competent advice.