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Frequently Asked Questions About Dominican Republic Real Estate 2017-01-08T16:47:53+00:00

Information for Buyers

Frequently Asked Questions About Dominican Republic Real Estate

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Most buyers find it similar to North America. For detailed information, please follow this link to our Buying Process page.
Real estate fees not paid by the purchasers, but by the sellers. Buyers are subject to legal fees, which are generally 1.5 to 2% of the purchase price. This amount includes all disbursements. 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 $500-$4000 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.


Officially, if you plan on spending more than three months per year in the DR, you are expected to obtain your official residency status.  However, the government is not really concerned with ex pats that go back and forth to their home countries – they are considered “tourists”.  There are benefits to being a registered resident (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.


A 1% annual tax is assessed on property owned by individuals.

For constructed property the 1% is calculated only for values exceeding 6.5 million pesos ($151,000 US).  This is based n the government assessed value, which is generally less than market value.  For unbuilt lots, the 1% tax is calculated on the actual appraised value without the 6.5 million pesos exemption. Individuals must pay this tax every year on or before March 11, or in two equal instalments: 50% on or before March 11, and the remaining 50%, on or before September 11.

The RD$6.5 million pesos threshold  is adjusted annually for inflation.

The following properties are exempt from this tax:

(1) Built properties valued at RD$6,500,000 or below.
(2) Farm properties.
(3) Properties whose owners are 65 years old or older, who have owned it for more than 15 years and have no other property in their name.
(4) Properties subject to the Tax on Assets

Properties owned corporately pay 1% of the government assessed value of the assets of the company.

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.

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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
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