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  1. #1
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    Default Greetings from Texas

    Hi everyone.

    My name is Cleff and I'm married with 3 young children turning 6,5, and 2 this year. Me and my wife are a mixed couple in our early 30s. We have been wanting to move abroad for quite some time and have looked at several different countries mostly in Asia including: Singapore (too expensive), Thailand (too far, inconvenient [visa runs]) and Japan but it's too polluted and kind of price too.

    We had just about given up until my chance I read an article about DR and both find living in a beach paradise quite appealing. And the fact that we could stay for a couple of years without having to worry about visa runs, etc. with residency possibilities being quite appealing as well. Another benefit is the chance of learning Spanish as opposed to Thai or something that just isn't very useful outside that country.

    Some things that make me hesitant are the fact that their isn't 24/7 electricity and hence internet I suppose. As I work online the thought of having black out periods would be quite troublesome. Another issue is our complete lack of Spanish speaking ability although we'd plan take language courses. Also safety and clean drinking water and food are a concern too. Any information on that would be appreciated.

    As far was cost of living and finance I've selling my home owner finance with a 2 year balloon. Ideally my plan would be to live off the $2200/month cash-flow in DR while waiting for the note to mature. But would that be enough money for 2 adults and 3 small kids without having to require heavy on savings?

    Is it a good place for family in general?

    Are there many American there?

    Got tons of questions.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Welcome third.

    $2200 is doable.
    Habla Espaņol?
    First you'll have to visit the country. See if you really like it and are able to connect with nice locals.
    Don't think about the Punta Cana area. You'll have it hard there living of $2200.
    As far as internet goes, buy a backup prepaid mobile internet connection. If needed you can go to the shop to extend after 2 moths without a prob.
    Electricity problem can solved with an invertor or a small generator.

    Others members will advise you later I'm sure.

    Just shoot the questions.

    Oh and be ready to meet some not so nice members too

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Como_un_cameron View Post
    Welcome third.

    $2200 is doable.
    Habla Espaņol?
    First you'll have to visit the country. See if you really like it and are able to connect with nice locals.
    Don't think about the Punta Cana area. You'll have it hard there living of $2200.
    As far as internet goes, buy a backup prepaid mobile internet connection. If needed you can go to the shop to extend after 2 moths without a prob.
    Electricity problem can solved with an invertor or a small generator.

    Others members will advise you later I'm sure.

    Just shoot the questions.

    Oh and be ready to meet some not so nice members too
    Thanks for the welcome Cameron. You are right I suppose we should take a trip out here together as it's really quite close. I don't speak much Spanish besides phrases like "Where's the bathroom?" and "With cheese" but am up for the challenge of learning a new language. I guess I'd be looking to rent then something cheap would be nice as I don't want to have to worry about inverters, etc.

    I'll try and brace myself for the not so friendly members, thanks.

    Since Punta Cana is out, which part of the island would you recommend?

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    The North Coast is worth checking out. Find a few places to rent and check out different locations.

  5. #5
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    Welcome to the board.

    There's a lot of information here, and I suggest you try the search function (it's a little finicky, but the more you try, the more you find.) The cost of living threads have many opposing view points, varying from those that can get by on next to nothing, to those that live on much more than many of us do in the US. Here's an example:

    http://www.dr1.com/forums/living/114...ic-2011-a.html

    Personally, I like the La Romana area, but then Santiago would be a nice for a family as well, but farther from the beach.

    You're lucky if you're close to Houston, as I understand there are direct flights from there. Generally, I've got to go through Miami or San Juan. I did see a Funjet billboard with direct flights from Love Field (Dallas) to Punta Cana, but they only run during tourist season.

    Now, on the language issue. Certainly you could pick up some Spanish in TX before you go? While the Tex-Mex accent you typically hear is considerably different from that spoken in the DR, the more vocabulary you have under your belt before you go the better off you'll be. (I typically rant on the lack of quality language courses for English speakers in TX, but I'll be nice as you're a newbie.)

    Given the age of your children, your next important consideration is going to be schooling, and for the most part public school is not an option (unless you supplement it). You are likely to put schooling, next to safety and electricity on your short list. You'll also find threads on this using the search function.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Alright, thanks for the advice guys.

    La Rubia> I do live close to Houston so that's where i'd be departing from. You seem to know Texas very well but hey here only Mexicans use Spanish so it's not very neccessary for day to day life here.

    I was one of those people that never took to Spanish in highschool but then again I didn't have any real motivation.

    Windeguy> A realtor I talked to recommend the north coast as well. One thing I was wondering was were the prices of condo/villa rentals cheaper than they are listed online on sites like craigslist?

    Again thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by third View Post
    Alright, thanks for the advice guys.

    La Rubia> I do live close to Houston so that's where i'd be departing from. You seem to know Texas very well but hey here only Mexicans use Spanish so it's not very neccessary for day to day life here.

    I was one of those people that never took to Spanish in highschool but then again I didn't have any real motivation.

    Windeguy> A realtor I talked to recommend the north coast as well. One thing I was wondering was were the prices of condo/villa rentals cheaper than they are listed online on sites like craigslist?

    Again thanks.
    What you should plan to do is find somewhere to rent for a month or two, then check out whatever else is available while you are here to see what you like better and to get the best deal.

  8. #8
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    Yes try Puerto Plata. that is where we live. I am from Houston and we live here also. My wife and children are Dominican. I have never had a direct flight from Houston.I fly there all the time. Most stops are in Miami or FLL. We can help you out if you have any questions. I will be there next week.

  9. #9
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    Third:
    Seems to me that most of the information you have received so far has been fair and correct.

    While not Texas-size, the DR is about 19000 sq miles, with bigger mountains than Texas, and mesquite forests in some places, just like Texas. You have high mountain valleys, and lots of beaches.

    The issues you raise are valid: Water, Internet, electricity. BUT the good thing is, they are all solved fairly easy.

    While I am partial to Santiago, because it is a big little city and close enough to beaches and mountains for the children we raised (11 all told!), it also has good schools and medical facilities which might tip the balance. Things like electricity and Internet are not big issues here and neither is the water.

    I can agree with "mbgmike" that Puerto Plata is a pretty fair choice, and might be an option. And La Romana is a great place (not Casa de Campo--that is a whole 'nuther world) and the people are maybe the best part.

    So: Hop on a plane with the wife if you can do it, and fly into Santiago and then travel around. We can certainly point you in the right directions and if you go light you can take public transportation to the whole country. And, you will probably find a few friends on this board who will be happy to show you around their respective areas....I know I would be happy to show you around Santiago!

    Your budget is more than enough by the way, but not if you try to live like you do in the States.Not that you will be eeking out an existence, but do take a look at cost of living...(and yes, a lot of us can help you with that, too.)


    Cordially,

    HB
    Moderator DR1.com

  10. #10
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    Best to have a year on the ground before buyins, so rent. Also English schools if you don't homeschool, the best, unfortunately, being in the big cities like Santo Domingo and Santiago.

    Checkout these websites for a Puerto Plata yacht haven with lots of gringos ashore and afloat:
    LuperonInfo
    Luperon, Dominican Republic
    Lupern Opportunities

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