Real estate in the Dominican Republic is affordable and the country is becoming increasingly popular with North Americans.
One favorite for expat looking to buy real estate in the Dominican Republic is Punta Cana, which enjoys excellent infrastructure. It feels a bit “Miami”…fun, sand and sun. The hotels pushed the price of beachfront land sky-high, but off-beach property remains affordable.
Cabarete, in the north of the island, was the resort destination until Punta Cana stole the show in the mid-1990s.
Another strong choice for living and real estate in the Dominican Republic, albeit one that is very different from Punta Cana, is the beach town of Las Terrenas. It comes with a sizeable group of Italian and French expats who have a taste for interior design and gourmet food.
Today, the town center is a whirl of motoconchos (motorcycle taxis), stores and cafés painted rainbow-bright. The original old wooden homes sitting on the beach are now trendy cafés and restaurants. They’re family-run, serving wood-fired pizza and simple snacks, right up to gourmet Italian and French food.
Where to buy real estate in the Dominican Republic
Property samples in Punta Cana:
- Only 547 yards from the beach, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos in three-story blocks start at $147,000. The 1,237-square-foot units come with marble floors and granite countertops.
- If you prefer a resort lifestyle, you might like another development that offers condos in a golf and beach community. One-bedroom, one-bathroom units are 1,022 square feet in size. You have access to the resort’s amenities and full property management. The resort is ultra-luxurious, with ornate furnishings, stylish restaurants and an incredible spa. Price: $190,000.
Property samples in Las Terrenas:
- A three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, with a separate one-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse, in a small development. It comes with a deck and pool, and it is a short walk to the beach, restaurants and cafés. Price: $255,000.
- A gorgeous six–bedroom, six-bathroom home with a beautiful pool area carries a price tag of $1.1 million—a dream property.
Buying real estate in the Dominican Republic
In 1998, a law was written allowing foreigners to buy property in the Dominican Republic with the same rights and obligations as a Dominican citizen. The only requirement is that the Title Registry Offices keep a record, for statistical purposes, of all purchases made by foreigners.
Real estate purchases in the Dominican Republic work a little differently than in the U.S. Instead of tendering a written offer, you first negotiate and reach a verbal agreement on the price with the seller. Then, a binding “Promise of Sale” or “Option to Purchase” is prepared by an attorney and signed by both parties. At this time, the deposit or advance payment is normally made.
Real estate agents in the Dominican Republic are not licensed or regulated by the government. There is presently a bill in Congress which may regulate the practice in the near future. Be sure to employ the services of a trustworthy, reliable real estate agent and attorney.