Moving to punta cana early 2018 few questions

Hi there everyone,

I plan to move to punta cana early next year, after reading threads most likely will be middle of next year I'all take you guys advice and visit a lot before I make the move, though I'm sure I want to live in punta cana. Just feel it'll be best for the family and I being that our Spanish isn't there and I feel other places it's best you can communicate at least on average level.

But my questions:

-is there property tax if you purchase?
I've looked through all the threads didn't see it asked sorry if I missed it
(Plan to purchase 3 bed condo I know there is condo fees)
-I plan to purchase right out no mortgage would you guys advise this?

-I plan to move there with wife and 2 kids with a monthly income of 2-3k is this something a family can live on if they own home right out? (Punta cana)

-is it true it's easier or even a thing to gain residency as an investor for a year by making 2k in investment back in the states?

Any advice will help thanks in advance!

All areas with many tourists & ex-pats many local & employees speak English. It is best to keep your finances private & not post them. Others will answer your questions. I'm a North shore person.

Yea I read keep finances to yourself but I also didn't know how to ask my question without spitballing numbers

But curious what are the dangers of throwing numbers out there?

Folks will try to take advantage of you if they know your finances.  AND many times they are other expats or gringos doing this not always local Dominicans.

You might find that budget a bit tight in the PC area especially if you are planning on private education for the kids.  Local school systems to put it bluntly ...suck
The PC area will be one of he most expensive places to live here.

Yes there is tax on the purchase of a house if over a certain amount.  I believe it is about 150K and over that amount there is a significant tax.

Before you purchase anything you might want to rent for a few months to see if it works for you

Bob K

If you are purchasing that would maybe qualify you for investor visa. As i understand it they then waive the property transfer tax I think is 2%.

The 2k a.month is a retiree or pension visa and not investor visa.

Stating round numbers for income like this isnt a big deal. Your budget will be tight deoending on school choices!

And you pretty much have to buy your place outright as you wont get a mortgage here, almost impossible to get.

Anyone with enough money to pay cash upfront for property in PC becomes a target. You told the bad guys that you have 2 kids, kidnapping is a possbility. Real estate "Agents" are on the prowl for new Gringos etc.  Once you "spitball" numbers their pockets perk up. Please in the future don't bandy about numbers.  As my mama said; the 3 l's Look, listen & learn.  Never let the Tiger know where you are.   The North shore offers fine places to live, some excellent private schools & lot of ex-pats & English speaking locals.   Many enclaves of different economic levels to fit any budget. Spend time exploring the island & be astounded at the beauty & diversity it offers.   It will be an adventure for your family, adapt, compromise  laugh at the foibles in life.  It ain't the US Bro & never will be, thank God!  This PC nonsense has gone way too far.

Really he has not revealed who he is or exactly what he has or will have.  YES some realtors may target him, but no bad guys are going after him from just this. ALMOST all expats who own buy outright. A 3 bedroom apt is nothing in  Punta Cana,  a huge villa is.  And 2 kids - really they go after the super wealthy, not regular people. Kidnapping has not been an issue here.

So we discourage discussions about specific investment amounts,  specifics high amounts of money etc.  This is generic enough that you are okay and you are clearly not going to be a massive target!

Hello Mr. Mooney,

I live in Punta Cana so I will try to answer your questions without a lot of directions that may or may not apply to you.

As Planner mentioned, Property Tax is not payable on the first $150k of your property purchase.  After that it is 1% on the balance of the payment amount.  I wouldn't worry about it unless you plan on spending much more than the 150k.

In some areas you will have to pay a property transfer tax of 3% of the purchase price.  There are some areas where this is exempt.  I have apartments in one such area.  The area you choose will depend largely on the school that you want to put your kids in.  That should be your first decision and then look what properties are in the area.  I can help there, once you decide on the school.

The good thing about having a mortgage, even a very small one, the bank ensures that your property title is protected and that the title is clean.  Very important if you don't know the ropes.

I would not suggest using a real estate agent.  Feet to the ground, as Planner would say.  You will find out more by renting first, getting to know the neighbors and the area and possibly even snag a deal.

Your monthly income is fine to live on until it comes to education.  There are some bilingual schools that are less money but a true international school like Punta Cana or Cap Cana are expensive.  1 child approx. $6500USD per year if paid in advance.  More if you pay monthly.  Having said that, your remaining $1500usd per month might be a bit tight.

Residency - not necessary unless you are working for someone else or have some other mandatory reason to need it.  The process starts back in your country of origin so I would suggest that you wait until the need arises.  Pay your overstay fees when you leave.  Everybody is happy.

P.S. folks only try to take advantage of your finances when you have no idea what you are doing.  Personally, I have never had this problem with being taken advantage of.  Of course there are a few tricks, when isn't there?  Keep your cards close to your chest no matter where you plan to live.

You are welcome to PM me at any time.

Good luck.

Thanks you guys

The kidnapping scared me a lil but I'm not easily deterred. I will be more careful

A lot of good advice

I defiantly rent for at least 6 months

Also from all the advice school is expensive so I'll save for that!

Thank you guys

Here is what I received about the 2k fast track program. Let me know if it's legit? If anyone has done them themselves I read all you have to do paper work wise and doesn't sound complicated someone advise is it worth hiring a attorney?

Email I received from

"Please allow me to explain the residency process.

Dominican residency is comprised of two steps. First we must apply for a residency visa via the Dominican consulate in the country of origin. Once the residency visa is issued, you have sixty days to plan a short trip to the country to complete the second part of the process at the Immigration Department. On that trip we will deposit your file with Immigration and in approximately 4-5 months your residency card and cedula (state I.D.) will be ready. Six months after the residency card is issued you will qualify for citizenship and we can start that process if you desire.

The cost for permanent residency which includes the visa process with the consulate and the residency process with immigration is US$3,600.00  (prices may vary depending on consulate used). The cost of each additional family member is US$2,500.00.  This covers the visa, translations, Dominican legalizations, Immigration fees, medical exam in the Dominican Republic, repatriation insurance, transportation to immigration office in Santo Domingo and legal fees. An initial payment of 50% of the total cost is due to retain the firm and cover the first process. Once the visa is approved and sealed onto your passport, the second payment will be due. We accept wire transfers into our U.S. or Dominican bank accounts, credit cards (+3% fee) and PayPal (+4% fee).

What I have explained in this email is residency through the fast track program, however, in order to qualify for that type of residency you will need to prove income either from a foreign investment (privately owned company, rental income, CD, annuities etc. minimum or $2k per month) or from a pension minimum of $1,5k per month. You can also qualify for this type of residency if you make a $200k investment into the DR either through the purchase of property, investing in a banking institution or into a company registered in the DR. Those that qualify are given an exemption from duty for the importation of household goods, exemption from transfer taxes for the first purchase of real estate, exemption from taxes on dividends and interest, and 50% reduction on property and capital gains taxes. Please see the following link to see a full list of incentives:

If you do not fall under the fast tract program requirements, you may qualify for provisional/temporary residency which costs US$3,000.00 for the family head and US$2,200 for each additional family member. The cost of residency through marriage is US$2,800. We also offer discounts to NGO members and missionaries of organizations legally registered in the Dominican Republic and children.

Once the firm is retained we will provide a list of required documents and provide instructions on how to legalize.

Please feel free to visit our website to learn more about how to obtain Dominican Residency: … residency.

You may also learn more about living in the Dominican Republic by following our Facebook page:

For information regarding real estate please write to Abel Aldebot at[at] to contact a representative of our company's real estate division or visit"

ll in all it is a safe country.  Just exercise the same precautions you would any where else in the world.  PC schools are more costly because they are in an expensive area, not thaat they are necessarily better than schools in less expensive locations, ie. Cabrera or other towns on the North shore.  Good fortunes for you wherever you choose to reside.  Again, sorry for the scare.

To all of the people who say they live on the north shore, can u be more specific?   What town/city exactly?   We are supposed to be moving to PC this summer, but now all of the people saying how much they like "north shore" have me intrigued, lol.   Perhaps we should check this out first?

We always suggest checking out various areas of the country!!! It is very different and very diverse!

I have lived in Puerto Plata,.Costambar and Sosua. 

I am   now back in Santo Domingo!

Absolutely, Check it out. I live in Sosua.All along the North shore, from PP to Cabrera is the area that I'm familiar with. There are several small towns & one large one. Some are touristy, some are not. Beachs & mountains just a couple of minutes apart. Reward yourself & experience what the North shore has to offer.

If you have only visited (as a tourist) Punta Cana you have seen nothing of the country.  We live full time (between Sosua and Cabarete) for the last 12 years and have not looked back for a second.  We picked the area because of the good mix of locals, tourists and Expats.

Before you decide on a place do some exploring.  You may be surprised at what you find.

Bob K

Just spent 4 months in Punta cana, now in Juan Dolio. Completely different. Next month to Sosua for a month then we'll decide on where to rent long term. Good luck!

Great thread.  For homeowners, is there an annual property tax similar to most states here in the US?  I assume most gated communities or condominium complexes have monthly fees.  Is there a rough estimate of what to expect?  I understand the range will probably be pretty broad but any help would be appreciated.

Yes there is property taxes to be paid but there is a base value that is exempt.  I believe it is values under about $150K US (but this number may be off)

Basically all gated communities and condo, especially if they have security, will have a monthly or yearly HOA fee.   This will vary from peanuts to a kings ransom, it all depends on the community.  Many non gated also have HOA fees and some do not.  It all depends.

What about the concerns that my husband had about the north area constantly losing power and also he felt it was not as built up as PC and perhaps not as safe.   Again, we are looking to buy a condo in a touristy area.   I MUST be able to WALK to grocery store, beache, restaurants, etc.

We don't constantly lose power and if on a 24/7 line (most areas you would consider are on this line) it can still go out but usually only for a minute or two at worst.

Again if not flashing money or jewels, stay out of dark alleys, don't get involved in drugs you should be fine.  I have never felt unsafe in the 12 years I have lived here

Sosua/Cabarete has a very good mix of tourists, locals, and a pretty big Expat community.

Bob K

Yes, it is safe here . I got burgeled  (sp?) once in 2002. Had just moved here. didn't get much.... I didn't have much. My stuff hadn't arrived yet.  Since then nada, nothing. Follow the advice on these threads & you will be just fine. I live in Sosua.

Much of Punta Cana I am told is connected to a private supplier of electricity. It is significantly more expensive.

Here it is always recommended to have a backup. I have an inverter and 4 batteries.

I live in a 24/7 line and yes it will go out. That will be from an accident or scheduled maintenance. 

All lines go down sometimes. The days of the north coast having really crappy electrical service are gone, thank goodness. 

When considering where to live always double check what line you are on and whY the outages might be!!

We are on a 24/7 line but do share a generator with other villas in our development for the rare occasion when power is out for more than a couple of minutes.

Bob K

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