Somme questions about buying a fixer upper in Sosua/Cabarete aria

Hi, I am Canadian Croat living with my husband and 2 grown-up in Quebec province since 1999. (20 years) I am considering relocation for 1/2 year to DR.
Greetings to everyone ... I hope somebody can help me and answer my question. We are really new in everything in relation to DR, and want to buy a fixer upper in Sosua / Cabarete area. We are really capable of doing all the repairs to the house (walls, floors, tiles, kitchen and bathroom installations, wall paintings ...) we are ready to work hard. My question is whether we would have any problems if we bring our friends from the Canadian electricians and plumber to be our guests and make some work for that time (15 days) ... is there any legal limitation on that matter? Thanks

Welcome to the forums.  If your intent is to buy, fix and flip then you may want to rethink this. Flip doesn't often work here.

If it is to buy. Fix and live in it, great! 

There should be no issue with your "friends" coming down to help you renovate.  That is an expensive fix but doable.   The shock may be the look on their faces when they realize what they are dealing with.

Planner is right, as usual.  The electrical and building codes, even in a new build, will surprise you. There are codes, but they are so strange to anybody from North America or Europe, that you have to shake your head and laugh.  I think that if you bring certified professionals with you to remodel, you will have them talk you out of buying anything here.  Unless you can get them 3/4 drunk, and do inspections at night with no lights, they will not agree to anything.  😁

That being said, there are many properties that need attention in Sosua and Cabarete, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can get a deal.  To my mind, property is over-priced, even though it is a buyer's market. Most homes are made of concrete block, and nothing is wood or drywall, and again, very different than what you are used to. Find out about electricity supply, water supply, and for sure look at the neighbourhood on different days and times to see what kind of traffic it gets. Be careful, take your time, and use a reputable realtor.  It will be an experience you won't soon forget, but you will learn so much, and hopefully make some great memories while doing so.

Welcome. Being from Croatia, you will be somewhat familiar with the construction techniques found here, The building of block walls and pouring ceilings, extensive use of tiles etc was something that grabbed my interested during my 8 months I spent in Bosnia back in 01/02. You may have briefed your friends on such building but as mentioned, nothing from North America is the same here. My son-in-law here, an electrician, looked over my books on building and electrical that  brought with me from Canada and recognized some of the concepts. The use of 2 wire and 3 wire, NOT counting the ground wire as one, was foreign to him but he quickly caught on and can see the benefit of such. He's pretty bright and a good electrician. Uncle Buck mentioned building codes - that is something  I have no idea of but if it is a government item (of any level) then there can be an issue. If you speak of two weeks working and hope to coordinate building inspections as well as all renovations within that time, I think you're in for big disappointment - even being independently wealthy and greasing the palms of officials will not generally make things work that fast here - just saying.......

Again, welcome. IT is a nice region and an area where my wife and generally go for our relaxation every 6-8 weeks for a weekend away from Moca.....and investing now is a great idea, in my humble opinion.

Thanks Planer, Uncle Buck and 2VP Soldier on your answers. Yes, I want to find my peace of paradise on DR, to enjoy my retirement and not to flip  the homes. Actually, we are planning to come to the end of this year for a month to explore the situation and feel the country, and then start collecting information and work slowly on our transition. The only problem is that we can not stay more than 6 months a year. I've been watching all the videos on Mr T you tube channel, and I'm really happy to find this forum where there are really many good people who are willing to help us with their advice. Everything I've read so far is really of great help in our process. Thank you all for once again. We want to buy a fixer upper on the north coast, it is not important for the city and it does not bother us to live with the locals, and we do not need a security gate community ... we want a quiet corner when we are at home and the sense of life, shops and restaurants when we leave. When buying a fixer upper, we want to have a home base, but to adapt it to our taste and needs. Our budget is not big and that's why we want to save money and work alone because we've done this here in Canada and we know we can do it. My husband is a builder, with knowledge of the European and Canadian way of building, I'm a home stager and landscaper both with strong muscles and will and we do not need locals labor unless we have to redesign the electricity and plumbing.
My question is: If our wishes come true, and we wish to rent a house when we are not in DR, if there are still somme possibility although we are not in Sosua or Cabarete, rather than La Boca, Coson, Cabrera, Las Terrenas? Which ones are cheaper or less expensive for life? Thanks in advance

Okay thanks for clarifying. Yes you can do all that you want to.   Less expensive will be out of the heavily touristed areas......

Alvima; all those places you mentioned are major overcrowded, overpriced, gringo toursist traps.  If you really want a simple life and cheaper, better keep away from those places, and the others like them.

2VPSoldier, thanks for your explanation and warm welcome. I'm glad you were in our former country, and you have some knowledge of life there.
We did not mean to finish everything for 2 weeks, but it depends on how much our friends can take their vacation and stay with us and help us each of them in their domain ...and  if they have a legal right because we would not want them to be treated as if they were working in someone else country and having problems ...We will go first to one month to look at the situation in the country and see what's best, look at a couple fixer upper and other options, see what we can find and how much money  we will need... then go back to Canada and review everything and make a decision what will we do ... Then we will start the process and come whenever we can do more work ourselves, little by little ... and IF we need renewal work on electricity or plumbing, then we thought to invite friends to be our guests for the time they can stay to make more work on it. And one day, everything will be finished, although the process is long and difficult, so we can come and stay as long as we want ... not rush!

Uncle Buck,Thank you for your answers, and very precise advice, we will follow them. Yes, the codes are strange, I suppose, not just for anybody from North America or Europe, but probably for domestic workers, too. :D  I lived for thirty-three years in homes in Croatia made of blocks and cement, and after the war,  when everything was destroyed, we had to rebuild everything with very limited resources and materials, so to us this would not be strange, just probably hard ... But our friends are some fun guys, it will not be necessary to drank them,  :lol:   :dumbom:  :huh: , that is nature ... and yes, I saw the prices of the houses, they are a bit too high for what is being offered. But I heard from a couple of sources, if you are persistent, but civilized, that in DR is all negotiating ?

Planner, Thank you, so I thought, but in that case I will probably not be able to rent a house as a B & B for 6 months when I'm not in DR. That is a bit uncomfortable ... and the question is whether I would even be able to fill up the capacity with a lower price, next to all those cool hotels ... we will have to decide for one option, and what is more important to us ...

Thank you TheColonel, I guessed, and I know your advice is well-intentioned, but if I already buy a house in another country (because what I want, I do not have in my country) to enjoy in the future, it is unthinkable to me be in some village in the back-country without sand, ocean beaches, and
lush tropical vegetation, accessible at any moment ... that is the point of our relocation ... so I really have to have a lot of reviews, search for what I want at a reasonable price, negotiate, be willing to give up some of my likes and  at the end,  choose...only if I could find some quiet place for us (on good prices) in a small fishing village with beautiful long beaches to walk...That would also make me happy and  i would even give up  the idea of renting a house during our absence

Thank you for all your responses.  Clearly your key is to find the right property! Take your time. Yes persistence will be important.  With your background and experience I think you could do just fine!

We bought a fixer upper in Cabrera. It's a lot of work, but if you find a half built or 80% built home (that another expat started then abandoned...) somewhere you like and can do the work, it is possible and rewarding. But you must thoroughly inspect it...which means possibly having to bring a generator and make sure water is flowing...if there's plumbing problems in the floors and/or under house... there's no fix. Best of luck!

thank you for your encouragement,  Brodies 2013, we will be careful, my husband is very strict in this regard

I would be a bit concerned about leaving an obvious renovation project, that was not gated or had some sort of security, unattended for long periods of time. Your progress might be undone by the time you returned. Just my thoughts....

Thanks,ChristieE that is also true, it should considering  that

Have a look at La Entrada - between Cabrera and Nagua (or Pyita)

A bit 'Off the Beaten Track' but VERY affordable with a great beach
As Canadians - you can fly to el Catey (AZS)... less than an hour away

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