So Much to Share

Hi Everyone,  My name is Bridget and I joined the site last year.  Then in the planning stages of moving full-time.  Well we're here.  We said, "we'd be living on an Island by the age of 50."  My husband turned 50 Feb 4th and we celebrated with a day on the beach with our dog.  We are still settling in but I wanted to take a moment and share some of the things. 

1.  We purchased and not rented.  The process was seamless.  Hired an attorney to research the title and paid for POA since we were only here for 11 days.  We have already received the Deed/Title in our name.
2. Shipped a 20ft Container.  Worth every penny.  Not one thing was stolen and only 3 glasses and 1 picture frame was broken.  (Heard nightmares about Customs stealing and bribes having to be done to get your things). Our container arrived on Jan 11 and was delivered to our door on Feb 2. 
3. Jumbo is a ripoff.  Definitely a tourist grocery store.  I shop at Ole in Veron.  Great quality food at much better prices. Saved over 60%.
4. Love Claro for my internet and Cell Phone.  Very professional and reliable service so far.
CEPM on the other hand, had to call them every other day to make sure utility was turned on.  If they say 5-10 days it will be 11. 
5. The guagua's are life savers. 40 Pesos and get where you need to go in no time.  I have been all over Bavaro, Veron, Punta Cana and Friusa.  I am really learning the city.  I am taking Spanish for free on Duolingo.com and it is really helping me.
6. Moved to a gated community. Love it.  Security is A1.  And I have a dog - so double security.  Her bark has put neighbors and all the gardeners in my area on notice.
7. We flew into Punta Cana Airport, our dog breezed right through.  All her paperwork was in order paid the $10 and off we went. 
8. I did Residency myself without a lawyer, no issues what so ever.  We have 60 days to complete the process.  I have been advised it can be done in Punta Cana.  No longer have to go to Santa Domingo.
9.  Don't give POA unless it's absolutely necessary. 
10.  I came to semi-retire for at least year.  But I have already been asked to stage houses because of how I have decorated my own.  Manage 2 Properties for my part-time neighbors and help 2 families with the Expat process.  I love the Expat FaceBook pages because majority of the members live here full-time. 
11.  Dominicans expect to be tipped for everything even directions.  I only tip for exceptional service not for answering a simple question.  If you don't start out doing silly things like that, it won't be expected for basic kindness.  Basically, Dominicans are very nice people.  I have yet to find any major difference in them and Americans. 
12. The food is very good.  Never thought french fries would be offered with almost everything. 
13.  I've rented a car twice.  I'm from Texas and driving has not been an issue.  We only have bikes here.  Decided to keep it simple for now.  Look both ways twice and you'll be fine.  Plan on renting a car every other month or so for excursions. 
14.  Good appliances are expensive. 
I am so happy with our decision to move here.  Punta Cana is great.  If anyone has questions I will be happy to answer.  I have so many things to share - I thought this would be a good start.

Thank you!

Very well done.   Succinct, interesting, engaging.

JR

Great update.

2.points to make.

You say that : you have done residency yourself yet it appears you have not actually done your filing yet.  You did the part in USA yourself. Most do that themselves.  The part HERE is when you really need a lawyer!  And yes you will need to come to Santo Domingo.

Second point: please review this post in one year and update it.  I would be very interested to see how your perspective changes.

I have a lot of questions for you.  We bought a house in Veron. In Cuidad Del Sol.  It will be completed around June. Probably will move in Sept.  what shipping company did you use.  I thought you had to go to Santo Domingo for residency?  There is a new building in Veron but I thought just for renewals. The paperwork in the states did you send all to the Dominican Embassy to have translated?  For background check did you get from your state or did you get from FBI?  There are so many shipping companies don't know how to select but sounds like yours was great. We are also shipping our car.  Thank you in advance for your answers

My filing is in process as we speak.  We are headed to the hospital on HWY 3 in Punta Cana on Monday for our medical exams.  The Immigration office in San Juan Plaza is completing the filing.  So no, we do not have to go to Santa Domingo.  I have done my DUE DILIGENCE in finding these things out.  No Lawyer is needed.  Prior to coming I checked with Lawyer Wilson who was referred on the forum.  He said, "he would gladly help at the tune of $1800 for a couple".  When I asked what that entailed - His words exactly -  "I will submit your paperwork for you and give you a ride to the clinic".   That's a pretty EXPENSIVE RIDE.   So not even then do you need a lawyer.  It's a ripoff.  And all it does is intimidate foreigners into believing they can't do it themselves.  Trust yourselves and do your homework.  And I will be happy to post again in a year.  I am a Positive Person with Great Energy. I don't see much changing in a year that would make me not feel that we have made a good choice.

Congratulations on your move.  I used ASAP Translate online.  They are a certified translation company.  FBI check has to be done by the FBI.  There is an option when you request to have them send it on for you to be Apostilled.  I went to the Immigration Office here in Punta Cana at San Juan Plaza.  Once I got everything back and was approved I took it to them.  That office is doing the processing and we have appointments scheduled for the medical exams.  For shipping, I used Lufran Int'l out of Miami.  No car just household goods, beds, bikes and etc.

So you didnt get the 60 day visa in the states before you went. I didn't know there was an immigration office at San Juan plaza. It must be new

Yes, I got the 60 day visa before I left.  That's the paperwork and documents I took with me.

Well this is interesting.  I was  very much under the impression that medicals were still ONLY done in SD.  That is good news for your area.

There is a whole lot more to  "just filing"  but it will be very interesting to follow your progress!

How did you get a container  here without having already filed your residency?   Did you have to pay  taxes and duty?

What a good report on your move to Punta Cana and for sharing so much to others thinking likewise.

I do wish you well in your new life and congratulate you on your diligent planning.

Punta Cana has changed a great deal since I first went there some 12 years ago when the drive from Santo Domingo was nearly 6 hours on lesser roads and through Higuey. It doesn't surprise me that after all the hotel and resort development and infrastructure improvements, that the focus would shift to building a residential community and all that goes with it.  Make the most of it.

I remember well those days and that old road honey!  What a difference that highway has made!

Hi bridgetanddav,
     I live here in Santiago, 2 years now and I am applying for my citizenship (spouse is Dominican). I know I need another FBI report but do you know if it is possible to do it from here or do I need to return to the US?
Thanks!

Good question about duty. Did you pay since you did not have residency. We want to have before we ship

Yes, I did. But they did give me a discount of $722.00 with the letter from the Embassy.  My Shipper was the best.

You can apply for it online.  Request they send it for you to be Apostilled.  Just have it go to a friend or family member in the US. Then have them the send it to you.

AWESOME!!! Thanks again.

Thank you for the info.  I just contacted your moving company

My email to Lufran was returned.  Do you have an email for them.  I know I am being a pest when you should be enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

Just double checking. This is your first tin
Me getting residency. It's noypt a renewal. Where in the mall is it located. Did you just show up or make an appointment.  Thank you in advance

Boy did I type that bad. It was supposed to say this  is first time not a renewal.

Doing your own residencia  without using a lawyer is not a good idea unless:

1. You are fearless
2. You have done ALL the research and clearly understand what you are getting into
3. Have a reasonably good understanding of how things actually work here.
4. Understand Spanish or have someone you trust who does and is willing to help you.

That is my standard advice.  The OP is doing her own and I look forward to her updates on the progress.

Finding a good lawyer is key. If anyone needs a referral PM me.

People are always asking actual cost of things.  Here are a few I can share... 5 Gallons of Water delivered only 80 Pesos ($1.58 US)  20 mbps speed Internet $47.17/ month.  Unlimited phone plan with Claro 100 minutes $23.00.  Haven't gotten my first electric bill yet.  I will update when I do.  Should be coming soon.  Celebrated 1 month living here yesterday.  Groceries at Ole are at least 50% cheaper than Jumbo.

Here is a thread for that Bridgetanddav  where we  post and track costs:  https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=825242

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