Information for Buyers

Frequently Asked Questions About Dominican Republic Real Estate

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For more detailed information, please download our Buyers Guide at the bottom of this page.


Most buyers find it similar to North America. For detailed information, please follow this link to our Buying Process page.

Real estate fees are paid by the sellers or vendor, not paid by the purchasers.  Buyers are subject to legal fees, which are generally 1 to 1.5% of the purchase price. This amount includes all disbursements, due diligence and transfer of title. Additionally a 3% transfer tax (to transfer the title of the property to their names is incurred by the purchasers. The amount is based on the government assessed value of the property, which is always less than market value. Most buyers pay from $2000-$6000 US (depending on purchase price).

General running costs like utilities, condo fees, etc. are standard like anywhere. Some fees are optional like housekeeping, etc. Below is a basic breakdown of costs for running a 2-bedroom villa (with all services). Condos are generally less each month.


Subdivision/Condo Fee $200- $320/month (includes cable, security, water, outside lighting, maintenance of common areas, garbage, onsite office)

Pool/Yard Service $250/month

Electricity: (average $100/bedroom per month if rental unit)

Propane: $20- $30/month depending on usage

Misc: (consumables and maintenance) $100/month estimate (if villa, less if condo)

Yes. Property in the Dominica Republic if fully owned and titled. There are no bank trusts or life leases. Property is registered to buyers either in their personal names or corporately, depending on how they have structured their purchase. For more information, please visit our page “Fully Owned Titles”.


Yes.  Many buyers use their condos and villas as rental properties when they are not in the DR.  Projects have internal rental programs or there are many reputable property/rental management companies in the area.  For detailed information, visit our Renting Your Property page.
In order to rent your villa or condo, it must be completely furnished and stocked with things like dishes, linens, appliances, kitchenware, electronics, etc. Basically, turnkey means that when a renter steps into your unit, everything they need for their stay is there, minus their own personal items. For more information about what must go into a rental unit, please visit our page “Setting Up Your Property For Rental“.

Most developments that have internal rental programs will provide you with their list of what is required.

A general rule is 20% of short term rental income, and 15% of long term income.  This fee is for marketing the property, providing in/out services, supervision of the unit and staff, watching over maintenance issues, and services to renters. A good rental company makes renting your unit stress and work free for you.
Most of our owners are absent from the DR for many months of the year (this is why they rent their units).  Rental has to be simple and work free.  Owners expect the process to work without personal supervision or effort.

DR management/rental companies understand this and the concept of “lock up and leave”.  When you lock the door and go to the airport, know that your property is taken care of in your absence.  If you rent, the company will look after all details.  You may have to make decisions if contacted about things like cost of repairs, whether you want a long term rental, etc.

Occupancy rates vary depending on many factors:

condition of the property
how well appointed the property is (homey, decor, stocked with tv’s, etc.)
price point
A general rule for the north coast is to expect occupancy rates between 50-75% of the year. Almost all properties completely pay for themselves in terms of running costs, but most owners find they make a nice sum of income as well. We can certainly give you some tips on how to increase rental revenue from your unit.


All foreign nationals looking to remain in the country longer than sixty days at a time, are expected to obtain a residency status.  For detailed information, please click here for details). After 30 days, you will be charged nominal amounts when you exit the country, based on the time you stayed in the DR.

Activities are limited only by your imagination.  Sport, community, clubs, church, and more is available just like in North America.  The weather makes summer activities available all year long.
The Dominican Republic is slightly less than 19,000 square miles in size, about twice the size as the State of New Hampshire.
Yes. The DR has a long term democratic government.  The system is similar to that of the United States.  The government is foreign investment friendly, working at long term programs for education, investing in infrastructure and technology.  For more information on the DR government, please click here.

The Dominican Republic is a safe country.  The same caution you exercise in your home country should be used here.  All countries have their good areas, and others where you don’t go.  Our advice is to act the same as you do at home.  Don’t let your wallet hang out in tourist areas, lock your car, don’t flaunt valuables, etc.


  • A 1% annual tax is assessed on real estate properties owned by individuals, (based on the cumulative value of all the properties they own) *as appraised by government authorities.  Please note that the value of the property generally does not reflect a true market value assessment, but is generally lower.  Most owner’s pay much less than actual market value.  Properties are valued without taking into consideration any furniture or equipment to be found in them.
  • The 1% is calculated only for values exceeding $6,858,885.00 DOP (about $150,000). For un-built lots, the 1% tax is calculated on the actual appraised value without the exemption.
  • The real estate tax is payable every year on or before March 11, or in two equal installments: 50% on or before March 11, and the remaining 50%, on or before September 11.
  • The amount of the exemption is adjusted annually for inflation.
  • The following properties are exempt from paying real estate tax: (a) farm properties; (b) homes whose owner is 65 years old or older, and has no other property in his or her name; and (c) properties owned by companies, which pay a separate tax on their company assets.
Fllight times – Puerto Plata to:
Canada: 4 hours (to Toronto)
US:  3.5 hours (New York)
US:  1/5 hours (Miami)
Puerto Rico: ½ hour
London: 8 hours

Airports in the DR: Airport names shown inbold indicate the airport has scheduled service on commercial airlines.

There are no restrictions on foreigners inheriting title to real property in the Dominican Republic. Inheritance taxes have been recently lowered to 3% of the appraised value of the estate.  Inheritance of real estate is governed by Dominican law which normally provides for “forced heirship”: part of the inheritance must go to certain heirs by law. Nevertheless, a new conflict of law statute, enacted in December 2014, allows foreigners to have their national law determine the rules of inheritance in connection with real estate located in the Dominican Republic. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that non-Dominicans who purchase Dominican real estate seek legal advice on how to benefit from this provision.

There are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing real property in the Dominican Republic. Formerly, Decree 2543 of March 22, 1945 and its amendments required that foreigners obtain prior Presidential approval except in certain cases. Decree 21-98 of January 8, 1998 abolished this regulation and established as the only requirement that the Title Registry Offices keep a record, for statistical purposes, of all purchases made by foreigners.

The DR offers excellent medical services, professionals and facilities all just a few minutes drive.  Most doctors will speak English.  Specialists and prescription drugs are available. Dentists are also on par with North America.  Health insurance varies in cost, but a good couples plan is between $700 – $1500/year US.

A social life and like minded friends are of huge importance. The beach is great, and hot weather is wonderful, but you will get lonely. As an example, Mel in our office is a hockey lover. He heads to one of the local pubs during play-offs and watches hockey on the big screen with 20 other Canadian and American guys. Women particularly need to have a community of other women they can be friends with, or life can be lonely. In the Sosua/Cabarete area, there is a large community of Canadians and Americans. Even if people come and go, they are welcome to join in the community at bbq’s, events, etc. Also, when you have a large community, it makes adjustment to the area easier, you learn where to shop, buy furniture, etc.

Almost all major North American brands available in the towns of Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete. Big box stores like PriceMart (Cosco), Ikea, and La Sirena (Walmart) are a short drive away in Santiago or Puerto Plata.  Sosua and Cabarete have large grocery stores and other shopping, including furniture stores and housewares.

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“We have lived in many places around the world. The DR offered us the best balance of price, weather, and community for our winter retirement home. We enjoy the summers in Canada and escape at the first sign of cold in the winter! The buying process was similar to Canada, the lifestyle is healthy and warm, and the friends we’ve made are more like family now “
Arthur & Joanne • Edmonton, Canada
Dominican Republic real estate buyers Jason and Teddi
We love Cabarete Beach! We purchased an affordable, 1500 ft2 condo just a few steps from the sand. We love being close to the water, the watersports, shopping and restaurants. We don’t live in the DR; we are both still working. We visit our condo for vacations and have a management company rent it the rest of the year. We are very pleased with our purchase, love the property and the lifestyle..”
Jason & Teddi • Edmonton, Canada
We have owned our DR villa for over three years now. We met Mel and Colleen at a trade show, and spent the next few years in communication with them about the Dominican. We finally came down, loved it, and purchased a home. It’s been a great experience, and we love our house and our DR friends. We are still working, so we let our villa rent when we are not in the DR. It’s made owing cost effective and our villa has been maintained, rented and cared for in our absence.
Greg & Charlotte • Edmonton, Canada