Early Stages of Planning to move to Punta Cana

My spouse (Kim) and I are in the early stages of moving from Ontario to Punta Cana.  We are confirmed for a two week holiday in late March at an all inclusive to get familiar with area. 

Once we get a good idea of the lay of the land we are going to start the Visa process to gain temporary and then permanent residency.  If anyone has any experiences they can share on the retirement residence visa process that would be greatly appreciated.

In our research we also discovered that some folks recommended renting prior to purchasing and if anyone has ideas on rental properties that are dog friendly (all of 8-9 pounds),  ideally 2 bed/bath, on or close to beach, shopping, and safe and does not require half the rent up front for a 3 - 6 month stay?

Is a vehicle or some type of motorized transportation required as we have heard the horror stories of driving in the area?

Can anyone recommend someone or a company that can give us a tour while there in March/April?

Welcome to the forums!  You will get so much info when you visit. Even staying in a resort you will start to get a feel for things.

I have some friends in Punta Cana and I am happy to connect you with them.

Best way to find future rentals is to look while you are here.  That is better then any website!!!

There residencia process is discussed in a separate pinned thread! Go have a read and ask your questions. It's not easy and at times is frustrating but worth it.

Vehicle - use taxis until you get residency and a Dominican license!

Hello. I wish to simply advise that the Dominican Consulate downtown Toronto is easy to find and they are very helpful. You can get full written instructions from them if you wish to go in person.  Even though from AB, I stopped in there, got some hard copy vice just on the internet, and carried on. I did end up mailing everything direct to the Embassy in Ottawa and made a special trip from here (DR) to Ottawa to pick up and get my passport stamped and sign with the Visa stamp. Of course you can do all this via the mail. As planner says, there is a thread with more detailed info on this entire process.

Hi, I am new here! I am thinking of investing in real estate Sasoua and surrounded areas! can you please advice, can anyone recommend a good trusted lawyer.

Punta Cana has newer infrastructure than the rest of the country and my experience of driving around there, suggests you put aside your worries about driving in DR if you become resident there. Use taxis to start.

As long as you wrench yourselves away from your AI hotel, and find a decent taxi driver (ask at front desk), you can use this visit to determine if it is really the place for you and start the process of understanding the real estate market there. Renting is often a good way to start. Doing as such you will likely find the best deal all round.

I can fully understand the growing desire from expats to relocate to a modern growing resort area like PC with excellent flight links.

Enjoy your March trip and do continue to research the process needed to relocate with residency and broaden your knowledge of DR through this forum and any contacts given.

northvanman :

Hi, I am new here! I am thinking of investing in real estate Sasoua and surrounded areas! can you please advice, can anyone recommend a good trusted lawyer.

It might be more beneficial to you if you start a new thread in relation to your intention to telocate to Sosua for more focused answers.

Or if planner can start one?

Punta Cana and Sosua are so far apart, maybe six hours or more by car and are different worlds in relation to real estate.

Thanks a lot, I am taking everything into account, Punta Cana as well, soon I will be visiting  Punta Cana and later will visit Puerto Plata, Its just the Prices in Sasoua are very cheap comper to Punta Cana! but I guess you know better and there is a reason why they are cheaper

They are two different tourist venues. And within the Puerta Plata region there are a number of different communities. You have to sample them before jumping in. Price of property doesn"t tell you everything. Punta Cana is newer with modern infrastructure and a postive vibe. Not everyones cup of tea but it presents itself as modern commercialised and vibrant and offers the secure modern Caribbean living sought by many.
Early days to seek lawyer recommendations imo and those recommendations will likely vary area to area.
Good luck in your searches and keep asking.

That is wonderful, thanks.
So I understand Punta Cana would be a better place to invest? I am doing my homework by searching the two cities! I find out a lot of negativity for Puerto Plata if thinking about business in the hospitality industry (I am watching Mr. T videos on youtube and reading reviews! but the best is to get helpful info straight from a person lives there like you are.

Hello northvanman. I would not buy any real estate for a year. You will know in time whether this is really the right move to make for you. The north coast of the D.R. has experienced economic decline over the past decade as more money and business lands on the south coast and the capital region. This explains the real estate price differences. Did you know that 80% of expats ultimately bail out and return to the homeland after facing the challenges of a new culture, a new language and a new life?

You all have hit many points in the comparison.  And it is just that. 

There are huge differences between the two. 

May I suggest reading the thread North Coast be East coast. 

Neither is better then the other, they are different and appeal to different people. It always depends on what you need and want!

Rarely will we advise buying without renting first. The market here is very very different.  Living here is very different then visiting.

I have been living in Punta Cana since January 13, 2019.  I only have a bike but have rented a car on 3 separate occasions. If you know how to drive, you won't have a problem.  If you're a timid driver use public transportation only 40 pesos (.80 Cent US) compared to a $30 taxi for the same distance.

Hello everyone,  I am from Ontario Canada and while I do not have any advice to offer on DR yet (am in the info gathering stage still) I do have some advice to offer about your visit.  Hubby and I have lived in area's outside of Canada and taken longterm vacays outside of Canada.  I strongly suggest changing your visit from an All-inclusive to a small independent accommodation.  One where you will participate and interact with your surroundings. If you are uncomfortable with an apartment type accommodation, then find an Inn like setting with it's own kitchen.  Try grocery shopping (even just for a 1 or 2 day amount of supplies) and cook your own meals.  Visit a local tavern for a beer or a coke.  Take a stroll through some shops and try to chat with the shop keepers. Take a walk through all of the back street neighborhoods (this, by the way, is our favorite activity anywhere we go :) ) Think of something you do or buy on a regular basis at home and try to do/buy it where you are.  Spend a couple of days in each area doing this exercise.  If you must do an All-inclusive - end your trip there, lay back on the beach and talk about your experience.  I believe the best advice anyone can offer you is to focus on the cultural experience first and worry about real estate later. The cultural experience and finding the area you best fit into is far more important than the price of real estate.  If you don't think of these things, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Welcome  to the forums!  Good advice. It is very very different outside of an all inclusive hotel or resort! 

Getting out and experiencing the culture  is critical to understanding if this is for you!  Short stays in various places are a great start!  Narrow down your choices.

Come back and visit for  2 or 3 months,  rent an apt and experience it all.

I have friends who did just that, started in Punta Cana for a month, then the south coast and finally the north coast. They found what worked for them!

Buying real estate is an exciting thought, but if you find out the area isn't a good fit then you will be very unhappy living somewhere you don't want to be. 

Sorry, I don't mean to sound negative.  And I don't mean for my contributions to be off-putting.  I hope they don't come across that way.

Definitely get off the resort.  Not sure which one you are staying at but try the local bars. Hour Republic was fun.  The food trucks are great.  Go to SuperLama and check out the cost of the appliances.  Check our foods available at the markets.  Take the bus to the Mall or into Veron.  We used a real estate agent to find our house in Veron.  Look at some of the beach communities.  Have fun.  We love the area and cannot wait to move.  Hopefully sometime in September

Salata - not negative or offputting honey. Reality is what works for one will not work for the other.  Each person, couple or family have to find what works for them the best!

That takes time and experiencing real life here. Your advice and comments are solid!

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