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Best north coast city for young family?

Hello,

I am brand new to this forum, but have been reading it for months now, as well as any other information out there on the internet.

We are intending on moving down there within the next year(Sept 17), specifically to the north coast. We will be heading down there, without the kids (5 and 2), November 17-21 to look at a few homes. More importantly, to check out the areas. Samana, Las Terrenas, Cabrera, Cabarete, and Sosua.

We have lived in Miami, Southern California, Mexico, and now reside in Michigan; my wife also was born and raised in Ukraine. The cold weather we can't take anymore, as well as the constantly rushed lifestyle where it seems as work and money are forced to be the top priorities. We would like to spend quality time together and with our kids while they are young, rather than just have the job of getting them ready in the morning and to bed at night.

I own several businesses that I will be running remotely from home after hiring a general manager for hands on duties here. While I will be taking a large pay cut due to this, I will see be making enough to keep us afloat with the cost of living there. With the little explanation, I have a few questions, if you don't mind...

Out of the cities named above, which would be the best overall for our family in your opinion? Taking into consideration private schooling, other children or families, safety, things to do.

What are the best chances out of the cities, if any, for my wife to find part time employment in her field as an ultrasound technician/sonography? If not possible in your opinion, for her to find a part time job in a resort or hotel, as she is interested in that. I am aware of the pay and it isn't about the money, she would just like to keep busy a few days a week.

Thank you so much in advance for any input and help. Bob and Planner, I am looking forward to hearing what you may have to say, thanks!

JH welcome to the forum.  I am sure  you have gotten lots of info from this forum by reading the multiple threads.  We settled here on the north coast (between Sosua and Cabarete) full time over 10 years ago.  Let me try to answer some of your questions.  You have picked a lot of places to see in 5 days, probably too much to do in that time.

Probably the best private schools in the are will be found in the Sosua area. There are lots of communities in the Sosua/Cabarete area with a large multi-country expat community as well.

If you plan on living here full or most of the time you should get your residency as well. In fact you cannot work here legally with out it.  And the process needs to be started in your "Home" country not here.  As to work as an Ultra sound tech this will be very unlikely  but hotel work may be easier to find, and there are lots of hotels in this are as it is a big tourist destination.

We like this area because of the mix of local Dominicans, Expats and tourists.

Hope this helps and please feel free to ask questions

Have you been here before???  The DR is not for everyone

Bob K

Thanks for your quick input Bob!

My name is Justin, pleasure to 'meet' you.

Sosua and Cabarete are our first choices, we just don't want to exclude Cabrera, Samana, or alas Terrenas without taking a look first. Samana will most likely be excluded due to the fact that it does not have an international school, but we will breifly look anyways.

We understand that 5 days is not much, we are basically hoping to scratch 2-3 areas off the list so our next(longer trip) can be focused more on the specific areas as well as communities within the areas.

Last night I spent a lot of time reading these forums and other sites regarding residency. It is something we will get started on here in the next few weeks, we have almost a year before we would make the full move.

Good info on the ultrasound. I wasn't sure if they would be looking for skilled employees in any of the hospitals down there. She speaks multiple languages, and really wants to do something in a resort, so it's nice to know that may be an option.

We like the fact that it is diverse, and the school sounds like is well recommended. As far as other children in the area and parks or playgrounds, things of that nature; how is it in your area of Sosua/Cabarete?

We have not been to any of these areas, but plan on coming down multiple times before makin g a decision. We are aware it isn't for everyone. Miami, and Mexico much more so, are also not for everyone, especially coming from the fast paced Midwest US. This has been a process of decided the DR, with more research to come, the decision is not being made lightly or without education or proper information.

Thanks again Bob for being so quick with your response!

I would agree with Bob on this.  Schools - Sosua.  I am told the international school is very good.  You will be close to potential work form your wife and close to other activities.

I would not.live right in Sosua but somewhere fairly close.

Las Terrenas and Samana lack a.lot of what you are looking for - schools, activities and jobs! It's fairly removed.from a lot!!!

Cabrera is also a bit removed from some of what you are looking for.

Good luck on your quick trip! Pretty sure you can narrow things down!

You are welcome.

There are lots of kids here from all over the world for your kids to interact with and make friends with.   There are some parks around but nothing like what you are used to in the US.

It sounds like you have a good plan in place.  Good luck and please keep asking away and let me know if you need anything else concerning living here on the north coast.

Bob K

I had rented a beautiful apartment last year in Cabrera for about 3 weeks. Even at 3 weeks, it wasn't enough time to see all I wanted to see. I eventually focused my time around Sosua and Cabarete. Cabrera is a nice little town, but there is very little there and very few Expats in that area.

Hi, fellow Michiganders...we own a home in Cabrera and love the fact that it IS off the beaten path...but, there ARE quite a few expats. Our neighbors who live there full time are a young family (3 kids: 13, 9, & 7) from Florida. On our little hill we're all Americans except for one Argentinian who is our real estate agent and bought a lot in our neighborhood.  We plan to retire there in a few years...but, are considering bringing the kids down for a year soon... PM me if you want to ask any specific questions or would like names of people we would recommend to contact for your visit. 

We didn't like Sosua/Cabaret area for ourselves...too many gated communities, too much tourism...but if you need to work...there are probably more opportunities in Sosua area...but, there's need in Cabrera too...just depends...so excited for you.

Bob, thank you again. We realize not only the parks but there will be a lot that isn't comparable to the US. At times I am sure frustrating, be we are aware and okay with it. Our experience living in Mexico helps out with the transition.

Thanks Stan! I know we don't have nearly enough time to decide if it where we want raise our family. I am thinking after looking at the numerous areas, we can 'scratch' a few off our list, so we can then focus more on those areas.

Brodie, another Michigan man, or family. Thanks for the excitement! As you are aware, we are not looking forward to spending years of winters over here; we are very excited as well. Shovel, work, bath time, shovel, bed, repeat. I have been reading, and have spoken to a few people that said there is a large expat cummunity in Cabrera. We don't mind 'off the beaten path', as long as we don't have to hunt for our food. Sounds like within 1-2 hours drive there is plenty to do if needed. Have you heard anything regarding the international school in Cabrera? We are working with someone down there now, but our next trip will be longer and would like to 'get around' the area much more to make sure we are comfortable with the move. Yes, I realize the bigger the city, the easier to find work. Fortunately, we won't 'need' to work, but would both very much like to at least part time. Cover extra expenses, meet others, get a break from the house, multiple reasons. I just hope we can find something that we can use our skills, rather than just a job.

Well everyone, thanks again, I will be busy the next few days getting my business in order and hanging out with the kids before we take our trip down on Thursday. I will be looking forward to additional replies when I get back. I'll load up the questions for you when I get back, if you don't mind. Take care!

I too am interested in the international school and was planning on making contact with some people I know work with them.  I'm also a high school German teacher and have training in IB which I believe the international school is pursuing.  I'd like to bring my kids down for a year or more...but, I'm getting a lot of resistance.  I'm going to PM you our realtor in Cabrera.  He and his father have been living in Cabrera doing real estate for 20 years (Sebastian took over for his dad about 10 years ago...he also bought a lot near us... so I guess he's my future neighbor too...  I'll let you know what I find out about international school...it might literally be next door to me...there is a school there...hmm...I'll give you contact information when I get it.  How long will you be down in DR this trip?

Nevermind...I just re-read the 5 day trip info...I'll let you in on a secret...we spent exactly 5 days looking at properties and fell in love with Cabrera...and I AM 100% sure there are other community we would like as much if not more...but, it was a gut feeling and we went for it...and it's worked out so well so far...that I'm convinced it was meant to be!

Finally my Residence Visa is ready to be collected. I am hoping to come down to get it before Christmas. For me my next step is to find an apartment to rent in the Cabrera or Sosua area.
Brodie, if you wouldn't mind PM to me the contact info for your Realtor, I would greatly appreciate it.
Although the visa process has taken what seems to be a unusual long time, I am happy with the outcome. It was not critical that I needed to have it quicker. I am still working overseas from my home country, Canada.
My advise to anyone who is planning to get a Residence visa, hire a good lawyer. You'll get what you pay for. I am happy with the lawyer I hired. Very professional.
Planner, I read in one of your older posts that you need to get your documents translated. When I sent off my Documents to Ottawa, I had to include $400 USD to cover costs of translation.

JH40911!  What's the word?  You visited the North Coast at LITERALLY the worst time in the last decade from what the locals tell me...were you able to get around...could you see past the natural disaster?  When we go in December, I always remind myself it could be the real Caribbean 'rainy season' But always better weather than here in the Mitten!  Haha...  PM us someime...I'd like to know where you guys are in the world...in plans...in general...  :D

Hello everyone,

So we took our trip! It was raining almost the whole time, which Brodie, and just about everybody we met down there said they have never seen before. I will forgive nature, this time...lol

We were able to check out all 4 cities on our list. Mission not accomplished as we didn't fall in love, or out of love with any of the areas. Obviously we didn't spend enough time in any one place to get a real good feel of life, but I was hoping to be able to cross off something from the list. Fortunately, we are in no rush and want to make the right decision, so we are alright.

Our decision will be coming down to a few things, and then we will pick from a pool of homes that we really like, as well as anything else that pops up in the meantime. Schooling and possible employment. Obviously we are trying to make this a full time run. So a good school with many expat children for ours to make friends with(and us the parents) will make it easier. And, even part time work for my wife and something for me to do will make it an even easier decision. I am trying to network, and did make a few connections in my short time there. Really hoping to find something beforehand, as well as figuring out school for our daughter(5) by September/October of 2017.

I will give more detailed post, and questions at a later time. Long traveling yesterday and getting my businesses up to speed before Thanksgiving, needless to say I am tired.

Brodie, thank you for the PM. I will get back to you soon!

Sounds like  you are going about it the right way.  Keep us posted

I can say that this rain was the worst we have seen in nearly 11 years of living here full time.

Bob K

Locals told me it was worse then they had ever seen, one man in over 70 years.

Yes you are doing the research and approaching this right. Take your time.

Ask questions when you are ready!

Hola everyone! I'm back.
Not that I went anywhere, just not here.
Our current rainy season is in fact, the worst as far as destructive rainfall is considered, in history.
I'm thinking "climate change" Who knows.
The damage is heartbreaking everywhere.
STAN... here in Cabrera we have between 1 & 2
thousand expats. probably more. Rio San Juan even
has a large French-Canadian group, as does Cabrera.
We also have 2 or 3 small "International" schools.
Have a great dry day today & hope the rains have quit!
Tom.

Sorry it's been raining like I haven't see in 20 years, just out of curiosity, how did you liked Sosua - Cabarete area? I'm Dominican from Santo Domingo, when I moved to the North Coast I first moved into the biggest city, Puerto Plata, but since 2008 moved to Sosua - Cabarete area and it's been the best for my family, specially my daughters attending a wonderful school internationally rated so my kids can continue studying abroad when graduate from high school...in fact they're now in the USA where they continued their studies as if they were in school there. Wish all is good for you and your family!

Thanks for the info Tom.

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