Property Guide to the Dominican Republic

This Property Guide to the Dominican Republic will keep you out of trouble in the Dominican real estate market.

  1. Everybody can buy real estate in the Dominican Republic – no residence or local partners are required. You can buy as a private person or use an offshore company.
  2. Be careful with estate agents and realtors in the Dominican Republic as your deposits are not covered by any laws or realtor associations.
  3. Before signing any contracts or paying any money you must use a trusted lawyer to make a “deep” local title search. It’s not enough to check if the title is “Clean”, the ownership history must also be investigated as there has been and still is a lot of fraud with titles in the Dominican Republic.
  4. If you are buying land you must use an independent surveyors to re-measure the land and confirm the position(the lawyers know which one to use in the area). Do NOT buy any land with squatters on it and make sure that no squatters are moving into your land as it’s impossible to remove them later on.
  5. Be extremely careful with fancy promising pre-construction projects on the Dominican Republic. Many promoters and projects are running out of cash which are delaying or even stopping the projects. There are no laws protecting you and no guarantee that the project will ever finish – many buyers has been left stranded in the Dominican Republic.
  6. NEVER pay any cash or make any transfer directly to promoters or timeshare sellers. Always use escrow accounts together with a trusted lawyer or a title guarantee company recommended by us.
  7. If you are buying a property for renovation or land for building a new home. You have chosen one of the most difficult projects in your life. There are no master education in the Dominican Republic – all construction workers are from Haiti and they are all painters, plumbers and electricians except the fact that none of them have had any real education in their field of work!
  8. The cheapest way to build is to find a PROFESSIONAL Contractor with a lot of references(you must see his work and talk to the owners!).
  9. NEVER EVER pay any money in advance to ( Locals )  for building materials. There are thousands of examples of locals on the island who ask 10% in advance or just USD 500 and you will never see them again!
  10. The best way is to use a trusted lawyer to prepare a contract with a well known and trusted building company. That contract will stipulate payments and penalties plus keep an amount of 5% on escrow to fix problems that might happen under the 2 year warranty period that Dominican Watchdog recommends.

If you follow these simple rules then property investments in the Dominican Republic is still cheap compared to other Caribbean locations. Just stay away from real estate projects that are under development and areas with bad infrastructures as blackouts is one of the biggest problems for home owners in the DR.

The following information is from the United States Travel.State.Gov website and can be found under Dominican Republic – Country specific information:

Real Estate: Real estate investments in the Dominican Republic require a high level of caution, as property rights are irregularly enforced and investors often encounter problems in receiving clear title to land. Consultation with an attorney is recommended before signing documents or closing on any real estate transactions. Real estate investments by U.S. citizens have been the subject of both legal and physical takeover attempts. Absentee landlords and absentee owners of undeveloped land are particularly vulnerable. Investors should seek solid property title and not just a “carta de constancia,” which is often confused by foreigners with a title. An official land registry measurement (also known as ‘deslinde’ or ‘mensura catastral’) is also desirable for the cautious overseas investor. Investors should also consider purchasing title insurance. Squatters, sometimes supported by governmental or non-governmental organizations, have invaded properties belonging to U.S. citizens, threatening violence and blocking the owners from entering their property. In at least one instance, a U.S. citizen landowner was physically assaulted by squatters. Several U.S. citizens with long-standing expropriation disputes with the Dominican Government are still without compensation….

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