At Caribbean Right Moves, we've done our best to create a Web site that anticipates and satisfies our customers' needs. With that goal in mind, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, contact us at email@example.com or click here for more info on how to contact us .
Q: Why the Dominican Republic, and why north coast?
A: Why the Dominican Republic, why north coast and why us? The DR is arguably the most beautiful spot in the Caribbean and Caribbean Right Moves lies in the most beautiful area of the DR, north coast. the North coast boasts a magical strip of virgin white sand beaches. While in the area, you can choose your favorite mode of transportation, including mini-vans, horse-back riding, scooters and motorcycles. You can enjoy a wide range of sports, such as golf, scuba, windsurfing, or tennis. The Dominican Republic is accurately referred to as "the land of dreams". We hope you will allow yourself to enjoy this magical land. Please check out our web site for an introduction to the DR, including travel information, pictures, local entertainment, and business opportunities.
Q: Is it possible to get a loan on Dominican Republic properties and if so what is the loan to value percentages ?
A: Banco Popular loans 80% of the value of the property so expect to pay 20% down. Interest rate at time of this writing is 9.0% USD and 13.95% PesoWith Cedula (residency card):
- Bank statements from last year (not required if banking with Banco Popular)
- A letter from purchaser asking for the loan
- Met Jaime the bank manager
- Financial statement from accountant showing Net Worth
- Appraisal done by bank appointed appraiser. Bank Manager accompanies. (+/- $150.00 USD)
- Without Cedula: all the above plus…
- Last income tax statement
- International credit report from TransUnion (´Express¨ prices are more)
- United States US$ 20.00
- Europe US$ 180.00
- Spain US$ 100.00
- Latin America US$ 125.00
- Caribbean US$ 250.00
- Q: Is there lending in the Dominican Republic? Who is lending? What kinds of rates?
A: Yes, lending is now happening in the DR, and it is a new and fast growing concept and business. Although there are private companies that are lending, Chandler Financing, www.chandlerfinancing.com, and Titan Reserve, www.titanreserve.com the most used lender now is Banco Popular. Banco Popular will lend you 80% of the value of the property. They have an appraiser that works for the bank and dertermines the value of the property. When borrowing for house or condo purchases you are looking at a 8-10% interest rate.
Q: Are they lending to big investors buying large pieces of land or investors doing condo or other developments?
A: Yes, Banco Popular is lending on land and this goes on a case by case basis. Banco Popular is willing to lend on projects to developers but their most common loans are given to people who have purchased land and are looking to borrow for the developing aspect.
Q: Is there anyone I can talk to about lending and how this works?
A: Yes, you can go to Banco Popular’s webpage at: http://www.bpd.com.do/ingles/home+page.htm You can also contact Micheal, who works at Banco Popular and speaks fluent English at: 809-240-5252.
Q: What type of currency should I bring?
A: The Dominican peso is the official currency of the Dominican Republic and is accepted everywhere. The local currency is the Dominican Republic Peso or RD. The sign for pesos is also '$', so if your bill seems unreasonably high, it is most likely being quoted in pesos.
U.S.dollars are the most easily exchangeable; however British Pounds, Euros, Canadian dollars, and others can be exchanged for pesos. Although the currency rate is constantly changing, the generally accepted rate is about 36 pesos to a U.S. dollar.
Currency exchange and banking transactions are available at a number of local banks.
Banco Santa Cruz www.bancosantacruz.com
Banco Popular www.bpd.com.do
Banco De Reservas www.banreservas.com.do
Banco Progresso www.progresso.com.do
Banco Leon www.leon.com.do
Q: Which airport should I choose for my arrival in Sosua, Cabarete, Las Canas, Rio San Juan and Puerto Plata?
A: The most convenient airport is the Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP) which is a quick 10 minute drive from Sosua and a 25 minute drive from Cabarete. Another possibility is the Santiago Airport (STI) which provides additional options. It is a longer 1.5 hour drive from Sosua.
Q: How is the communication system in the Dominican Republic?
A: The main telephone service providers on the island are Codetel, Orange and Tricom which have offices found in most major towns, cities and tourist areas. Cellular phones in the Dominican Republic operate on 1900 MHZ, the same frequency as those in the U.S. The rest of the world including Europe operates on 1800 MHZ. Internet service is generally available throughout the more populated areas of the country. It is available in private residences, some hotels, and at internet cafes.
Q: What is the electricity voltage in the DR?
A: Generally, the electricity operates at 110 volts like in North America. However, voltage irregularities are quite common sometimes providing less or surges of far more. It is recommended to use surge protectors or voltage regulators for expensive electronics and computers. Many properties and new developments will provide their residents with both 110 and 220 volts.
Q: Is It Ok That I Don't Speak Spanish?
A: Thousands of people visit the Dominican Republic every year without knowing any Spanish at all. English is spoken quite extensively throughout most Dominican Republic tourist destinations. It is recommended that you learn a few key phrases in Spanish like 'por favor', please and 'gracias', thank you, which Dominicans will see as an effort to speak their language and will be greatly appreciated. Most resorts will have representatives who speak English and for those who don't you will be surprised at how far a smile, sign language and pointing will get you.
Q: Can I rent a vehicle in the DR?
A: Yes, there are a variety of rental agencies to choose from at the airport or in Sosua and Cabarete. You can find more information in the 'Yellow Pages'. To rent a car; you need your passport, and driver's license. As a permanent resident you would need a local driver's license which is easy to obtain. There are also local taxis and busses that can provide transportation should you desire not to drive.
Q: Where is the Dominican Republic? (see map)
A: The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Q: How do I get to the Dominican Republic?
A: Several major airlines offer regular service into several cities in the DR, from cities in both North America and Europe. From the U.S. and Canada, Continental, American Airlines, and TWA have direct flights to the DR. Regular flights are available from Europe, via Air France, Air Europe, American Airlines, Lufthansa and Iberia. The DR has 7 international airports, but the three largest are in Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. Approximate Flight times are as follows:
New York - 3 1/2 hours
Toronto - 5 hours
Miami - 1 1/2 hours
Major European cities: 8-10 hours
Q: Can you use your cell phone in the DR?
A: You can use your cell phone from your own country, however, it can be quite pricey. It is better to buy a cell phone here, which you can buy for about $35 USD. The minutes are bought ¨Pay as you go.¨ You buy phone cards and charge your phone with minutes, (From $3 USD to $40 USD). Verizon and Orange are the 2 big companies here.
Q: What is the form of government in the DR?
A: The Dominican Republic has enjoyed more than three decades of stable democratic conditions. The DR is considered a model Latin American country.
Q: What is there to do for entertainment in the DR?
Sports: The DR offers a wide range of sports, both on land and in the water. Some of them include: tennis, golf, squash, polo, diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, fishing (and deep-sea fishing), windsurfing, sailing, caving, mountain biking, basketball, baseball, and much, much more.
Beaches: The entire DR boasts over 400 kilometers of spectacular beaches for your enjoyment.
Gambling: Gambling is legal in the DR. Large casinos and hotels offer card games, roulette, slot machines, as well as horse-racing and boat-racing and cockfighting. You must be age 18 or over to gamble in the DR.
Shopping: The relatively low rate of the peso in the DR makes shopping a sheer pleasure. An impressive variety of local crafts, products are available as well as various outside goods imported from all around the world.
Dining: Dominican cuisine offers a unique combination of local spices and cooking styles, with several of its seafood dishes known throughout the world. The food speaks for itself- give it a try!
Q: What is the language of the DR?
A: Though Spanish is widely spoken throughout the pocket communities of French, Germans and Americans rapidly taking hold, Spanish is the official language of the DR.
Q: After I establish residency can I ship one container duty free?
A: After you establish residency you can ship one container load of household belongings "duty free".. What that really means is that some stuff won't be subject to duty. Keep in mind the packing and unpacking charges, the cost per $100lbs to ship, the potential charges while your container waits on the dock to get unloaded, and what customs might say and do after looking at EVERYTHING.. This all adds up and it just might be better to leave it behind. These laws change, and have changed since I moved in with a container a two years ago. Most of us know, the duties charged by customs vary with the wind. Bringing in motor vehicles, autos, motorcycles, etc. will almost always mean there is a duty and sometimes a high one. Do your homework on this and expect that in the end it will be worse than what you are told. I was just told a story of a couple that moved in and imported a pair of jet skis with the duty alone being about $15K per jet ski.
Q: What is the climate like in the DR?
A: The DR enjoys a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging in Celsius between 18 degrees in Winter, and 28 degrees in Summer. In the higher altitudes of the mountains, the temperatures can drop below freezing in the Winter.
Q: Can I get married in the DR?
A: Yes. Most major resorts in the DR offer marriage services. All official documents necessary for the marriage should be translated into Spanish before arrival), and an appointment should be made through the hotel to ensure the availability of a judge).
Q: As a foreigner, will I have to pay taxes on investment earnings in the DR?
A: No. The tax laws are the same as in the rest of the Latin American region; you can rest assured that interest is accrued on your bank deposits and investments, completely exempt from DR taxes.
Q: Can I bank in U.S. dollars?
A: Yes. Banco Popular offers U.S. dollar and Euro accounts.
Q: Are utilities available?
A: Yes. Water, electricity, and gas services are all readily available.
Q: What are the closing costs associated with the sale of property?
A: Taxes = 3% of sale price. Fees= Lawyer fee = %1. There are no other closing costs.
Q: How may I receive my mail?
A: Mail may be picked up at either the post office or Western Union.
Q: Would it be possible to legally work in the DR?
A: Yes, with a working permit, or by working for a Dominican corporation through contract.
Q: Can I purchase house hold appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.?
A: Yes, there are several large appliance and furniture stores in Las Terrenas.
Q: Is satellite TV available?
Q: Is there trash pick up?
Q: Are there any super markets? Do they stock usual western products?
A: Yes and Yes. There are several large super markets in DR and they stock everything you could possibly need.
Q: Can I bring guns into the country?
Q: Is pest control a problem? Are exterminators available?
A: No. Yes.
Q: Are there English speaking doctors and dentists?