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The Real Cost of Living in the Dominican Republic – Real Estate

 Awww real estate… often the biggest purchases of our lives, and sometimes the most unpredictable.  For anyone considering buying Dominican Republic real estate, let’s take a look at the cost of buying and owning a villa or condo here in this tropical haven.

 

Some History:  Real estate prices, No big highs, no sad lows.

Historically, DR real estate has appreciated at a realistic level each year.  From a realtor perspective, this is a good thing – it means no major price spikes which makes buying difficult, and no significant price lows where buyers lose money if they sell. A general, overall upwards movement year by year.

In my time selling real estate in the DR, the only times I’ve seen spikes/valleys were in 2008 (which followed a sales/building boom where prices were higher) but the subsequent years saw prices settle back to more reasonable amounts.  Just after Covid was another boom, where there was a sudden, huge influx of buyers.  This mixed with building material price increases,  raised prices.  Once again, prices are settling back toward middle ground; however, historically it means a reset:  prices never go back as low as they were, but stabilize at higher levels.

 

It’s Difficult to Track and Measure.

Unfortunately, the DR has no multiple listing service, and has no real estate association keeping track of number of sales vs. time on market, average prices by region, etc.  This makes getting information challenging, so us old time realtors rely on our experience.  Additionally, real estate sold to expats/foreigners tends to be different than primary residences sold to Dominicans in their home cities (often with local bank financing).

 

or anyone considering buying Dominican Republic real estate, let’s take a look at the cost of buying and owning a villa or condo here in this tropical haven.

So what does this information mean for you?  Are prices here affordable?  Good value for your dollar?

Let’s do a price comparison to the US and Canada.  Our buyer’s come from all over North America, so whether prices seem similar or more expensive depends on your frame of reference.  Below I’ve chosen moderately priced homes from Wisconsin, Florida, Alberta and Ontario respectively and compared them to a similar size DR villa in a gated community.  All are current listings as at February 21, 2024.

DR Villa for use as a comparable:

sunseeker

Villa Sunseeker (modified) , Casa Linda Villas

$389,000 new construction, includes lot, villa, pool & landscaping

  • 3 beds
  • 3.5 baths
  • 2,086  square feet
  • no garage
  • pool
  • taxes: estimate $1,600-$1,800/year

SUNSEEKER FRONT

Wisconsin Villa

columbus

Sussex Wisconsin (near Milwaukee)

$564,990 US, new construction

  • 3 beds
  • 2 bath
  • 2,004 square feet
  • 3 car garage
  • no pool
  • taxes:  $6,780 

WISON

Florida Villa

columbus

Miami, Florida

$849,000 US, built in 1976

  • 3 beds
  • 2 bath
  • 2,083 square feet
  • no garage
  • pool
  • taxes: $9488 

Sussex  Wisconsin (near Milwaukee)

DR Villa

sunseeker

Villa Sunseeker (modified) , Casa Linda Villas

  • $389,000 new construction, includes lot, villa, pool & landscaping

  • 3 beds

  • 3.5 bath
  • 2,086  square feet
  • no garage
  • pool
  • taxes: estimate $1,600-$1,800/year 

SUNSEEKER FRONT

Ontario Villa

brampton

Brampton, Ontario

$999,990 CDN, renovated, built in 1998

  • 3 beds
  • 4 baths
  • 2,055 square feet
  • 2 car garage
  • no pool
  • taxes:  $4,749/year CDN

brampton

Alberta Villa

Calgary

Chestermere (Calgary), Alberta

$849,999 CDN, new construction

  • 3 beds
  • 3 baths
  • 2,087 square feet
  • 2 car garage
  • no pool
  • taxes:  $1,500,CDN but will go up to over $4,000 in next city assessment.

Calgary

So, depending on where you’re from, your purchasing power goes a long way in the DR.  For less $$, you can have a comparable, or even better, home.

 

Closing Costs/Taxes:

While every state and province vary, there are always some fees when buying a property.  In the DR, you can count on:

  • Fee to property lawyer when purchasing:  1-1.5% of purchase price (includes all disbursements and all costs)
  • Land transfer tax of 3% of the government assessed value of the property. This is generally lower than market value.  This tax is not always payable.
    • Many new developments are part of a special taxation exemption program called “Confotur”.  The Confotur program was established by the Ministry of Tourism as an incentive to attract foreigners to invest in the Dominican Republic by offering tax exemptions on qualified properties.
    • If you get your DR Residency under the investor program, (spend $200,000 – buy a property), then the transfer tax is waived.
    • If you buy a company that owns a property then the title doesn’t change (it’s still owned by the company) so there is no tax.
  • Property tax is generally 1% of the government assessed property value (which is typically lower than market value) of anything over RD$ 7,438,197 (approx.US$132,000).  There are exemptions:
    • Property owners aged 65 or older: They are exempt from property taxes.
    • Property owners with Dominican residency through the investment program: They are not subject to property taxes for three years.
    • Property owners who have purchased a Confotur-certified property: They enjoy a 15-year tax exemption, which includes exemptions from transfer tax or taxes on rental income.

       

       

       
       
       

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