Regardless of whether you want the casual beach lifestyle, the cooler temperatures of the mountains, or the nightlife of a modern cosmopolitan capital city, the Dominican Republic has something for everyone. Located on the second largest island in the Caribbean, just a short flight from Miami, it also has more undeveloped and unspoiled beach front property than any other place you can think of.
Are there other beautiful places in the Caribbean? Sure there are, but not as inexpensive or offering so much for both the investor and retiree. Multi-currency banking for your US dollar, Euro or Peso investments, pleasant year-round climate, the opportunity for a tax free business, and very modern health care facilities are only a part of the attraction. .
There are a growing number of Americans who find their lifestyle and monetary worth rapidly decreasing in ambiance and value.
There certainly is a way out and many are finding it, and a better lifestyle, by moving to a less expensive country.
For many, a country that is attracting interest is the Dominican Republic. In comparison to other well known and path worn Caribbean destinations, the Dominican Republic still remains a place where real estate is extremely affordable.
For the price of a studio apartment in the Bahamas or Caymans, you can have a large lovely home in the Dominican Republic and living is easy in The Dominican Republic is a wonderfully diverse island with a wide range of climatic zones. The D.R. is very popular with Europeans, and now Americans are also starting to discover it.
The Government of Dominican Republic is debating, as of mid-2007, a bill to offer further incentives to foreign retirees and investors such as are available in Costa Rica and Panama. That bill is reported to offer:
- A residency program linked to investment in the country
- Tax payment exemption for household and personal goods
- Partial exoneration on motor vehicle taxes
- Exemption on real state transfer taxes for the first property acquired.
- 50% Exemption on mortgages taxes if the creditor is a financial institution licensed and regulated by local Monetary and Financial Law
- 50% exemption on Real Estate Property tax.
- Exemption of taxes which encumber payment of dividends and interests accrued in the country or abroad
- 50% Exemption on capital gain tax
There are no restrictions for foreigners on the ownership of real estate in the Dominican Republic. New homes in residential sections of Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital, can be found starting at about US$65,000–with waterfront condos in the $95,000 area. If you prefer a very upscale home located inside a gated beach front golf course community you can find that in the US$275,000 range. Five or so acres of farmland in the lush mountains start at about US$55,000 while home building lots range anywhere from US$20,000 to US$100,000 plus, depending on their locations.
Additionally, in the Dominican Republic, bank accounts and yields from fixed income investments provide up to 10% in US Dollar accounts and up to 18% interest in the Dominican Peso, (the local currency.) Such income is 100% locally tax – free, which means that the possibility of living off the interest from your savings is a distinct reality.
It should be noted that the mountains have cool welcoming temperatures and stunning views; while the beaches in the D.R. are predominantly white sand beaches with water so clear you can see the shadow of a boat at 30 feet. Because of the immense size of the island there is truly something for everyone. And don’t forget the old world charm of the colonial area of Santo Domingo, the capital.
Many clients have chosen the Dominican Republic because bank account interest is 100% locally tax-free and because interest rates for US dollar deposits do tend to be higher than other places, including current interest rates in Panama. So, if one consideration is to have the ability to live off of your savings, the DR might be a good place to look at, even if you decide to live elsewhere.
US Dollar Bank time deposits (CD’s) pay up to 10% at the moment, and if you are going to live in the country, then deposits paying to 16% or more in Dominican Pesos might be worthwhile as well. Stated more clearly, while it is almost impossible to live off the current interest earned in US bank accounts (which are also taxed) at the moment; it is very possible to do so in the Dominican Republic. How much do you need? That really depends upon what kind of lifestyle you want, but it is safe to say you can pay your monthly rent, monthly utility bills and cover things like grocery shopping on the equivalent of US$ 1,200 to $1,500 per month.
All information necessary for a full understanding of the residency requirements or programs offered in the DR. Like any country looking to attract new and good residents (and citizens), the Dominican Republic department of immigration asks that clients provide a number of thing including a letter from your local police department stating that you have no criminal background–that you are in reasonably good health, and are financially solvent.
Making a move outside of the US, or your native country where ever that might be, can be a bit daunting. Where do you start? How can you go about getting the correct and best advice the first time around? Usually taking an exploration trip is the first step in such a process.
Some of the topics that you may want to cover during an exploratory tour should include:
–health insurance and health care (it’s a fraction of the cost in the US),
–residency and second citizenship options,
–real estate law,
–offshore banking, and other related topics.
There are a couple well known international companies that offer discovery lifestyle/ investment tours to the DR. Just Google “Investment Tours to the DR”.
About The Author
Tropical Pathways is a tour company which provide an insider’s look at investment opportunities of all types to small intimate groups of like-minded individual. We offer you an all-inclusive investment tour to see real estate in Panama, Mexico, Roatan and Dominican Republic. For more information please visit: Real Estate in Panama