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planning to move to Cabarete - cost of living

Hi,
I am planning to move to Cabarete to work at a non-profit pre-school starting next May (2015) or August. I am originally from Dallas, Texas and came to this forum while drafting a budget to figure out what my year in Cabarete will cost. So far, from what I've learned online and been told by my future employer, I can live in Cabarete for $500-610 US Dollars a month ($250 rent, $75 utilities, $100 groceries, $25 transportation, $20 entertainment, $20 souvenirs and $75 personal with other small expenses already included). Here in the U.S. I only pay $80 a month for groceries, so I think that $100 USD will probably be more than enough in Cabarete. I plan on living as close as humanly possible to my school so that I can walk (15 minutes or less for 1 trip) or less than 10 minutes on a bicycle that I will buy once in Cabarete. On this thread I hope to get information to make sure my budget is correct, maybe get some help on finding furnished housing (studio apartment or something for 1 person) close to my school for $250 USD and making connections so I will know some people when I move next year.

Hi therealsabra,

Welcome to Expat.com :)

I have created a new thread with your post on the Dominican Republic forum for more visibility and for a better interaction with the other members.

Thanks

Priscilla  :cheers:

therealsabra, if you will message me, I can send you the budget that I put together, after getting a lot of feedback from the Expert here and Bob K and Gypsy and 2-3 other folks.  It's pretty fine tuned at this point they told me.  Your current numbers appear low to me, based on several line items, but everybody's needs and standards are different.  Best Regards,   JDM222

Welcome to the forums!    You are definitely going to need to revise your budget. That will be VERY hard to do - in my opinion unless your employer is subsidizing this budget it will not be enough. 

For example  just a "plato del dia" so a plate of the day which is what most Dominicans eat every day at lunch, will cost you 120RD a day minimum. That will use US 80 of your food budget a month.  That is just one example. You will also have a very hard time finding furnished accommodations on this budget. 

Bob will chime in shortly, he knows more about the area then I do...........  lets see what he says as well.

therealsabra

First welcome to the forum.  Lots of good folks here with lots of information to share.

I hate to rain on your parade but you will need double what you are budgeting for.  What school are you working for and where in Cabarete is it?

You will not find any kind of reasonable lodging for $250 a month. Remember this is a tourist area.  You also as a single woman will need to consider housing that has security. I would budget $400-$500 a month for rent.  Food budget is low too  unless you plan on eating rice and beans 3 times a day prepared at home.  Utilities if you don't use the air conditioning at all an include cable, Internet, phone will run you $100 a month min.

Then there are transportation costs, eating out, entertainment, insurance, and incidentals.

Keep asking the questions.  Have you been here before?

Bob K

If you plan to use a bicycle, you will need a very good lock, perhaps two, so that both wheels are secure.

You will be able to find a place in pro-cab or callejon for $250/month, but it might not be the type of  place you are used to living in coming from Texas. A lot of places have all utilities included (everywhere I have lived) and most of them come furnished.  If they don't, electricity is very expensive and lots of people steal it, so I would suggest you only rent a place where everything is included.

Casa Carmen in the callejon will be your best bet in that price range. It is actually very nice. Very clean. The kitchen is shared, but it is also nice and fully equipped. Rent is in pesos: 6,000 a month for a room with bathrooom, 10,000 for one room apartment, and 12,000 for 2 room apartment. Hansel Perez is the contact and here is the phone number: 809-816-7607. Again, the neighborhoosd and street will not be what you are used to, but it is a fine place to live. I have several friends living there. You can get a hold of one of them if you have any questions. Tell him you know me: facebook.com/alberto.melendez.5201?fref=ts

I spend $100 on food per WEEK. That includes eating out once a day (cheap) and groceries. I very rarely drink or even go out, but you can squeeze in some Brugal if you buy it at the grocery store on that, too. It might be more expensive when you get here, but it will get cheaper as you learn your way.

You might want to surf or something when you get here, so account for that.

You can find a bicycle to buy on this FB group: facebook.com/groups/278986042200182/ (althoughI rarely see them for sale) or you can buy a moto for about $250-300. It will be a POS, but it will work and you can sell it for the same price when you leave. Gas is probably about 100rd per week if you buy a moto. If you buy a moto it should come with all of the papers and insurance. Helmet it $20 to $40 US.

Insurance is pretty cheap if you just get the basic. I pay for the expensive one, but I live here full time. Get a hold of Biki for that: facebook.com/biki.dozet?fref=ts

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your information  Tracyatl  good local information is always good!!!!

Greetings Tracy I sent you a PM.......Just out of curiosity where in ProCab can you find a spot for $250? Or would that be more of a shared apartment or just a room? I have stayed in Bali Hai in ProCab and most of the places in ProCab seem pretty pricey to rent, there is the surf camp, but those accommodations seem better suited for short term.....there is also that one apartment building on the left side of the street after you go past street A on the main straight road leading to the other avenues that has a few 3 storied apt buildings owned by an old Italian gentleman, but those apartments were not in the best of conditions.

           I like ProCab, but for a single female going and coming at night, that neighborhood is a bit lonely. I know they have the guardsman at the main entrance who sort of monitors who enters or leaves, but in comparison to the calljon de la loma it is quite desolate, calljon might be a bit safer since there is more people out and about especially because of the bars and restaurants at the main entrance of the calljon.

It sounds very much like shared accommodations and not a nice area.  A female needs to be very very careful  of where she chooses to live!

That is why I mentioned security is an issue when renting especially for a single woman

Bob K

Yup it is true Bob!

Like I said, the places you can get for $250 per month won't be what you are used to coming from a place like Texas. Yes you need to use your noggin as a single female and really ANY PLACE here you will have to be careful at night as a single female. Sometimes the security guards are in on the crime and so are the police, if we are keeping it real. I have provided you with the only place I can think of that I would suggest in that price range. You will also be able to find places in Encuentro for that price, but there is a reason. There is a reputation for crime during certain months over there after dark. So, I would highly suggest against that.

To answer the question about procab, if you live closer to the front, it feels less scary, but if you have to go allll the way to the back, no dice.

Right now is the middle of season, so you will be hard pressed to find anything even for $700/month. So, also bare that in mind. People here don't have much foresight, so even when you bring up a long term lease while looking now, you might have better luck looking after January.

Thanks for your info, I hope it helps her.

Thanks Tracy.......I see you know your hoods well, especially Playa Encuentro. She could also look on the FB site everythingCabarete or on the Bullettin board outside of Janet's Supermarket, they always have postings for apartment rentals in addition to other things for sale :cool:

Hi,

Thank you all for the feedback. Its super helpful! I will be eating lunch every day during the week at the school where I'll be teaching. So that'll be taken care of on weekdays. Also I don't eat out very often here in the States and I don't imagine that I'll eat out very much in La Cienega; probably the occasional ice twice a month with new friends but that's about it. I've been cooking all of my meals at home for many years now so I'll continue doing that when I move. It's fine that I won't be eating like I do at home. I gave up all of my favorite and cultural foods when I lived in southern Mexico last summer. Part of the experience is eating as good or as bad as the locals. So riding my bike on a stomach of rice, beans and water will be fine. My cultural foods will help me gain the weight back when I get home! I actually didn't know that a/c was available in the DR because no one had it in Mexico. So I planned on a box fan and open windows like everybody did in Mexico. Unless of course it'll be unsafe because no one else does it. Then I'll just use a box fan and open windows when I'm home during the day and no a/c at all. Internet is a MUST because I'll be skyping home daily but I won't have a TV because I'll never watch it or a local phone. A friend from Texas who went to a funeral in St. Croix told me her U.S. cell phone worked fine and her bill was about the same as usual. When she told me that I decided to keep my U.S. phone with me and not get a DR cell or land line. Casa Carmen sounds perfect! So does the forum where I can get a bike and the contact info for ppl living at Casa Carmen. I just need to find out how close it is to the school in La Cienega across Kite Beach. My employers said they'd do the apartment hunting leg work for me and I trust that I won't be living anywhere with a dangerous reputation. I'll ask them about Casa Carmen this week. I guess its a good thing that I posted my monthly budget breakdown on this forum for more insight and help planning! Do people leave their windows open during the day in the DR? And do the locals drink the water or do I need to buy it filtered?

Thanks

Windows can be open as long as you have bars on the windows!!!  And we all buy  bottled water -  big bottle is about  US $1.  SO no big deal on water.

Most places have bars on the windows.  5 gallons of water is very cheap, really cheap.  water safe to shower with. I used tap water to cook with if the dish had to be simmered for a long while.   coffee & tea ok if the water is not too hard.  You should be fine , laugh a lot & don't sweat the small stuff.

I included the link to Everything Cabarete :) And yes Janet's is a good idea once you get settled in. Maybe take a place for a month then be on the lookout for others once you make friends. Lots in this town is about who you know, otherwise you are just another gringo tourist.

I live on Kite Beach. Anywhere you live in between Encuentro and Janet's Supermarket is close enough to ride a bike.

Sounds like your plan is progressing.  You should get a local phone. They are cheap and keeps you in contact.  Plus great for emergencies

Bob K

Glad to see you are getting the info needed Sabra.  If you wish to use your American cell phone, you can buy a phone chip from Claro or Orange and either get a plan or just buy refill minute cards. As far as TV goes you don't need one. There is a free software called XBMC Hub which you can install on your PC or Android tablet which will allow you to watch live TV or Movies for free, If you are tech savvy, it is very easy to install and enjoy, there are plenty of videos on YouTube to help you set up and get going. If you are going to bike pleaseeeee wear a helmet, driving is a bit nuts and there is no real respect for road rules.....you might also want to get some sort of bike mirror to see what is coming behind you as you ride. As far as fans go......Ceiling fans do a great job at cooling of the apartments and don't run up your AC bill. Other than that Tracy gave you good advice, it is who you know that opens doors for you in DR. Best of luck with your voyage.

Ohhh one more thing.....If you have a smartphone, download the magicjack app for your phone, it will allow you to make free calls back to the U.S.  Viber and Line are also good choices as long as you have descent Internet speed :cool:

$20 a month entertainment in Cabarete ? You won't be doing much ! The rest sounds about right ! If you are buying imported foods, double that budget !

make it 700 $/ month and if you speak Spanish, you will be totally fine.
especially that you have dinners @ your school. heheh

Wow, listening to ya'lls posts about bars on windows, crime, high rent, etc, makes me happy that I live in the real Republica Dominicana ! I have a 3 bedroom, beautiful Cabina right on the Yaque del Norte River for $8,500 RD per month, bars on windows are non existent. Virtually Crime free. There is something about tourist communities that attracts a criminal element. I have solid Internet, and Dish Network and Sky. Have to walk 100 yards for Phone service though ! I visit Cabarete every couple months, and enjoy the opportunities there. Especially Janets, and Playa Encuentro. But would not want to live there. I guess if you are there for work, it is not optional to head out into the Campo a bit. As several have mentioned, you need some upward budget revisions, unless you want to eat habichuelas con arroz and viveres only ! Buenas Suerte, and I urge you to work on your Dominican, stay away from Tigueres, and get out into the countryside and see the real Dominican Republic not just the Tourist areas. Get to the Mountains near Jarabacoa and Constanza. It is the most beautiful and friendly part of the Country. Not totally dissing the Tourist areas, I go, have fun, and get back home.

I also believe the real DR is the place to live too. It really is a different place than living in the tourist areas. No question about it. When you need that fix you can go to those cities and it feels almost like being back in the USA without the 2 hr. flight :)

Everyone the "real" Dominican will depend on your needs.  Not everyone can or wants to live in the campo....     Tell over 4 million people in Santo Domingo they don't live in the "Real" Dominican Republic and I am pretty sure there will be a lively discussion....... :D

Security is an issue in probably  95% of this country. Bars on windows are normal.  Gates on your doors are normal. 

And your points are very well taken,  not many know of the option to live in the campo and still have many of the things we take for granted. I love the campo but could never ever live there. Just wouldn't work for me....  but glad it works for you.....

Agreed on some points. If you ask the majority of Dominicanos in La Capital ¿ Donde tu eres? , they will name a Campo somewhere, or small town. I have been around here off and on for 32 years visiting and working for Salud Publica and have never lived anywhere that had bars on doors and windows, except for Los Alcarrizos. To each their own. I am retired and enjoy life in the Campo, although I need a beach or Big City fix now and then. Buttt never Santo Domingo ! Santiago is closer, safer and usually has all the amenities. Just attempting to show the other side of the coin, as this forum contains so many posts that are about Tourist ladden Beach areas. I love the whole place and enjoy the diversity. Sorry if I sounded a bit self righteous.

ITs all good info honey!!!!   And I agree,  show all the sides of this place. It is not for everyone (thank goodness) but many can find and make a home and a life here.

have you visited by any chance Lake presa de Hatillo in Maimon ? How is it recently ? it is also beautiful region of DR.
i remember driving Jarabacoa - Constanza road few years ago. excellent, new road...I remember also Manabao near Jarabacoa...nice region for sure for someone who likes mountains in DR.
There is also San Juan de La Maguana region, also beautiful.
and san Jose de ocoa, but with bad roads....

Kayakcono :

Agreed on some points. If you ask the majority of Dominicanos in La Capital ¿ Donde tu eres? , they will name a Campo somewhere, or small town. I have been around here off and on for 32 years visiting and working for Salud Publica and have never lived anywhere that had bars on doors and windows, except for Los Alcarrizos. To each their own. I am retired and enjoy life in the Campo, although I need a beach or Big City fix now and then. Buttt never Santo Domingo ! Santiago is closer, safer and usually has all the amenities. Just attempting to show the other side of the coin, as this forum contains so many posts that are about Tourist ladden Beach areas. I love the whole place and enjoy the diversity. Sorry if I sounded a bit self righteous.

For me, the most beautiful Mountain zone in the DR is Southeast of Loma de Cabrera, on a road that heads back towards the Big Mountains. There is a small town of about 2,700 right below the Mountain, Nalga de Maco. (4th tallest peak in the nation) It is Rio Limpio, and I worked in a Public Health Clinic there 30+ years ago. They still do not have electricity, but soon come ! The newest National Park, Parque Nacional Nalga de Maco, is there, and accomodations can be had through Centro Verde / Jardin Frutal. Great Cabañas with fabulous views 829-838-2443. Or,  riolimpio33[at]hotmail.com     www.riolimpio.info.   Cabañas are like $800 RD per night with running water and fabulous vistas. 4 WD recommended.

What should be my monthly budget to live a simple live without haring a job in Cabarete?
I love kitesurfing.

Now you are there for over a year. You would live there for 600 US. Did it worked out with your budget?

Living in Cabarete on  $600 a month will be a tough go.  Look more at $900-$1000 as a minimum.

Bob K

I agree with Bob,  Cabarete is not a 'Budget"  minded area.  It is a  heavily touristed area with a fair number of expats thus costs escalate.

I had info about renting in callejon is about 120  usdollar all-in , elektricity and WiFi , so 480 for just eating drinking and gas for my pasola/ moto wouldnt be enough?

@ therealsabra,
How did it worked out with your budget ?

I cannot see ANY rental at 120 all in.  That can't be monthly????   Please double check that info.

They told me 5500 dom. Pesos monthly
But i Will check it one more time.
It should be in  callejon deloma calle 8

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