The Dominican Republic is one of the countries with the fastest growing economy in Latin America. As the demand for real estate in Dominican cities grows, there’s been an increase in issues regarding the feasibility of nationals not resident in the nation purchasing and financing real estate.
For people looking for vacation properties in a sunshine-rich region, the Dominican Republic is hard to beat. You’ll find some of the world’s most stunning beaches in the Dominican Republic, including a lush rainforest interior with towering green mountains and cascading waterfalls into pristine pools.
The Dominican Republic is a land of incredible diversity, with something for everyone. The varieties provide homeowners with unrivaled quality of life. It is therefore not surprising that Americans want a part of it.
For several reasons, owning a home in the Dominican Republic is an excellent choice for people considering living there full-time. The Dominican Republic is also a perfect option for investors wishing to buy a home to rent it out.
The country’s the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean, with around 7 million international tourists each year. With that much influx, homeowners make a substantial amount of money from the rental market.
Is It A Good Investment To Buy A Property In The Dominican Republic?
Several factors can influence your decision to purchase a property in the Dominican Republic. For starters, the country is one of the most incredible places to spend your vacation break, in my opinion. It provides a comprehensive combination of gorgeous sites to explore, exciting activities to participate in, and pleasant sunny weather to enjoy.
However, the most important factor is economic. Due to the yearly influx of tourists to the Dominican Republic, the nation is also a wonderful spot to start a vacation rental business. As a result, the Dominican real estate market is changing, and vacation home rentals are becoming more profitable.
The government is paying much attention to the country’s tourism sector since it is its primary source of revenue. However, they are concentrating more on high-end tourism, a form of tourism that requires private lodging facilities away from crowded hotels.
Building luxurious homes is an excellent idea for those interested in buying a property in the Dominican Republic, investing, relaxing, and earning additional income.
In all, the nation has a 6-month hot season during which rental costs jump by 20 to 50 percent.
To stimulate real estate purchases, the government has simplified the procedure of obtaining land or developing property. Indeed, the nation sees robust economic development, which favors a business-friendly environment that affects all sectors, including real estate.
Many expats choose to purchase an apartment that they will only occupy for a few months and then rent out for a profit the rest of the year. Is it, therefore, a wise investment? Yes, indeed!
Best Websites for For Finding Property in the Dominican Republic
Can Foreigners Buy A House In The Dominican Republic?
Of course, foreigners can purchase properties in the Dominican Republic, and the government encourages foreign investment. Foreign investors do not experience any restrictions when purchasing properties in the country. They have the same rights as Dominican residents, including the right to buy and own beachfront properties. Hence, if you’re wondering, “Do I need to be a Dominican Republic citizen to own a property?” The answer is NO.
Unlike many other countries in Central American and the Caribbean, prospective foreign home buyers do not need to obtain any permit or license to purchase real estate properties in the Dominican Republic. Also, the Dominican Republic government does not seize your foreigners’ properties.
Individuals can purchase houses in their names or a corporation’s name to enjoy tax benefits and hasten the sales process.
What Are The Steps Involved In Buying A Property In The Dominican Republic?
Purchasing real estate in the Dominican Republic is relatively straightforward. We’ve outlined the typical steps to buying a property in the Dominican Republic as an American. However, this outline is peculiar to the case of a newly constructed property.
- Once the buyer locates a property he or she wishes to buy and the seller has accepted his or her offer, the buyer should hire a reputable local law firm to do a title check and guarantee the property is free of legal issues.
- Once the law firm confirms no legal issues exist, the lawyer drafts a purchase agreement that both parties (buyer and seller) must sign.
- The purchase agreement will describe the transaction’s specifics, such as the agreed-upon price and payment arrangements. To secure the property, the buyer will usually need to pay a 10% deposit.
- The buyer will also need to hire a local notary to help with the transaction. The buyer will then deposit the remaining funds into an escrow account maintained by the notary until the property’s title is transferred to them and recorded in the Dominican title registry.
- Your lawyer will file the documentation with the Registrar of Titles, and it should be in the new owner’s name in 30-45 days.
Cost Associated With Buying A Property In The Dominican Republic
House prices in the Dominican Republic vary depending on various criteria, including location, size, and perceived value.
In places like Samana on the magnificent northern coast, beachfront properties for sale in the Dominican Republic normally start around $550,000 to $600,000.
In well-established areas like Cabarete and Sosua, prices range from approximately $180,000 to $200,000. On the other hand, luxury houses in regions like Punta Cana and Casa de Campo in La Romana may cost between $5 to $10 million.
Mortgage Financing in the Dominican Republic
Obtaining a property loan in the Dominican Republic as An American is difficult, and the same is true for other foreign investors. So, how do I get a loan for a property in the Domincan Republic? The best option is to get financing from your home bank since you’ll get the lowest interest. If this isn’t possible, you may borrow money from local banks or the seller.
How To Get A Mortgage Loan From A Local Bank In Dominican Republic
Only a few banks in the Dominican Republic offer bank financing to prospective investors. One such bank is the Scotia bank which provides mortgage financing for US, UK, and Canadian citizens.
There are two main reasons why we recommend Scotia bank to investors. Firstly, foreigners from the US, Canada, and the UK have quick access to mortgage loans at Scotia bank. Secondly, they have the lowest interest rates of any of the national banks we’ve contacted.
However, investors must meet specific terms and conditions, including:
- 21 years minimum age to apply
- Applicant must first own a home in the US, UK, or Canada
- Maximum finance term of 25 years
When planning to purchase a home in the Dominican Republic (with a loan), the first step is to be sure you can apply for one. It will help you negotiate with the seller and make things go quicker if you already have eyes on a particular house. The following are the documentation that Scotia Bank requires:
- A copy of your passport and any forms of identification
- Last two tax returns
- Letter of employment (if you’re employed)
- A recommendation letter from your bank at home
Loans are also accessible to other foreigners with a few more paperwork necessary. You can also send these documents via email.
The bank will typically lend you up to 70% of the property’s worth or less if you like. That is, you’ll need to provide a down payment of at least 30% of the property’s worth.
The bank uses the lowest amount between the projected worth and the agreed-upon purchase price of the property to determine its value.
The bank assessor determines the estimated value. He assesses the property based on various factors such as lot size, building size, number of bedrooms, built year, location, materials used, etc. By experience, this number is typically close to the selling price; nevertheless, to be cautious, anticipate a 10% fluctuation.
You’ll have access to an online form available in English that you must fill once the bank notifies you that you qualify for a mortgage loan (the verification process takes 1 to 2 weeks). You have a 99 percent probability of qualifying for the loan at this stage.
Once both parties are satisfied with the arrangements, you must go to the Dominican Republic to sign the contract in person. You may be able to persuade the bank to send someone to sign in your place using a power of attorney.
If you opt to build a house with a local builder, you may take out two loans: one to purchase the property and another to construct your home. You’ll need to acquire financing before or after you’ve reserved the lot you’ve been eyeing (typically 10% of the selling price).
You’ll get the title of ownership whenever you complete the payment of the land and sign the Act of Sale. Then, when you’re ready to start building, the bank will loan you the money in installments as the project proceeds.
The bank will send an experienced “assessor” at each stage of the construction (usually three or four phases separated into 20 to 30 percent payments). The bank does this to ensure that the money lent went into the building and not the constructor’s pocket.
Only when you check every box in each stage will the bank pay you the next installment, which you will then give to the builder, allowing you to maintain control over the construction process and your money.
The amount of interest you’ll pay will be based only on the amount borrowed, and the loan will change to a traditional mortgage after the construction.
Choosing The Right Real Estate Agency in the Dominican Republic
The fact is that everyone from a taxi driver to a beachside bartender will attempt to portray themselves as the perfect person for the job who can assist you in buying a property in the Dominican Republic. As a result, it is crucial to check with a reputable real estate firm while purchasing a home in this area.
The professional real-estate agency must have prior expertise with real-estate transactions. They also need a decent office and multiple personnel with professional capabilities, such as negotiating a better price and conducting transactions free of complications.
Multilingual personnel that can speak both Spanish and English are essential for a reputable real estate office. This is critical since the parties’ communication must be proficient in both languages, and knowing both languages means having access to a more fantastic choice of assets on the market.
When buying a property in the Dominican Republic, franchise companies with a strong reputation may not be the most outstanding choice. Most of these firms are just interested in making a profit, and their representatives lack local knowledge. Therefore, it’s always advisable to use a local professional agency with local links to guarantee that the purchase goes smoothly.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Property Under Construction In Dominican Republic
Sometimes, locals decide to sell properties that are still undergoing construction, and as a foreigner, this might be a great deal. However, before you commit to purchasing such property, check that the following are in place.
- Confirm if the seller can refund the property reservation payment. The deposit paid to book property is often non-refundable. Please do the necessary due diligence before paying the reservation fee.
Never allow the salesperson to pressure you with statements that there are many other investors interested in the same unit or that you could lose it if you don’t move soon enough.
- If you’re purchasing a house or condo as an investment, find out the expected return on investment. Also, find out how many people live in already developed apartments that have already or in neighboring homes.
Do not accept assertions of a great return on investment (unless backed up by evidence). Instead, ask the salesperson to prove occupancy rates for various seasons of the year (high, low, medium).
- Make your calculations to check whether the predicted ROI is achievable given the occupancy rates you’ve considered. To create a more accurate prediction of your possible return, include additional expenditures such as furnishings, administration fees, HOA fees, energy, internet, taxes, and other incidental spendings in your calculations.
- You or your agent should have the Promise of Sale agreement translated into English or your local language before signing it. Please do not trust your real estate agent or salesperson’s word for it that the deal is in order.
Most Promises of Sales agreements seek to protect the construction firm or developer rather than the buyer.
Best Places In The Dominican Republic To Buy A Property
Choosing places to buy a house in the Dominican Republic depends mainly on your objectives and preferences. The first question most investors ask is, “Do Property values appreciate in Dominican Republic?” Of course, properties value in the Dominican Republic appreciate, particularly due to the constant influx of tourists.
For simplicity’s sake, check out our top areas with high appreciation in the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana has the busiest airport in the country, making it accessible from Central and South America and Europe. As a result, this region has a wide range of houses, from luxurious villas to more affordable flats.
Two prominent master-planned resorts are also located here, with new construction and resale villas and condominiums for sale.
Being the top tourist destination in the country, the influx of international tourists provides a fantastic chance to make a significant Return on Investment (ROI) through the rental market. Hence, Punta Cana is one of the areas with high appreciation in the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana, La Romana, and Cap Cana are the most popular choices among beach lovers who want to be near the excitement. In addition, you’ll find some of the best oceanfront golf courses in the region, making it an ideal destination for golf lovers.
La Romana is the seat of the most established residential and resort communities in the country. It is the best alternative for high-end visitors and property purchasers searching for the most beautiful beaches in the nation, world-class golf courses, and a full-service marina.
Casa de Campo in La Romana has some of the most luxurious homes in the Dominican Republic, while Playa Nueva Romana has more modest beachfront condos.
Santo Domingo and Samana
Being the country’s capital, Santo Domingo has poured money into infrastructure upgrades and new condominium buildings.
Santo Domingo is also recognized for the Zona Colonial, a new cultural attraction that has led to increased tourism, which has benefited the nation with a considerable investment.
The increase in tourism has opened up new property investment prospects for investors, such as short-term rental apartments and hotel suites in the city’s unique condo hotels.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, Samana is the place to go. With Tropical-style beach villas and apartments, discover a wonderfully gorgeous, cosmopolitan resort. This region is excellent for those searching for a secluded hideaway.
Cabarete, Sosua, and Puerto Plata
Located on the country’s northern shore, this area, especially Puerto Plata, is where the Dominican Republic’s tourist industry began. In addition, Cabarete and Sosua, being the country’s watersports capitals, attract many visitors looking for golden sand beaches and water activities.
There are also several Luxury mansions in beachside areas and condominiums and flats in beachside complexes and on the hillsides.
Are there risks of buying property in the Dominican Republic? This is a question that many first-time purchasers have. Perhaps they’ve heard horror tales about shady real estate agents, inept lawyers, and inefficient government agencies. Although these risks exist, they’re rare and should not discourage you from owning your dream property in the Domincan Republic.
In truth, if you work with a respectable realtor, a professional surveyor, and a decent real estate attorney, the risk of purchasing real estate is relatively low: a combination that is not as difficult to acquire as some would believe.
If you’re asking “Do I need to be a Dominican Republic citizen to own property in the country?,” you can rest easy. In fact, the government encourages foreign investors with mouth-watering property tax incentives.