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  1. #1
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    Default Our experience in Buying Villa in Sosua

    For all you out there fantasizing about buying a place in the DR, but were afraid the novelty of the island might become tedious, then listen to us. Our first time in the DR last year was at an all-inclusive 5-star resort on the southern end. We saw very little of the real living on the island. However, beginning last summer, we began searching out anything related to the island via web sites and buying books on the DR. We then began searching real estate web sites.

    We went back Thanksgiving and again, stayed at the same “protective” resort. But this time, we hired a Dominican driver to show us the countryside and educate us on Dominican life. Everyone thought we were crazy to decide to look for real estate based on 2 pampered weeks behind iron gates. Thanks to voraciously reading threads on DR1, and other message boards, we decided the northern coast was the place to look for a vacation house. Based on board discussions (positive and negative), we were also convinced we wanted a vacation home – and not just rent every time we came down.

    The realtors’ web sites are good with plenty of pictures. We emailed several of them constantly for 2 months as we narrowed our house selection down to about 8. We also had several email discussions with attorneys and financial planners in Santo Domingo and Puerta Plata about the legal aspects of buying a home. We emailed Ken of this forum with many questions. Thanks to Ken, he put us in touch with Dean Brown of Century21 in Sosua. We then talked exclusively with Dean about the 8 houses we chose. (They don’t really have multiple listing there, but they share in showing the same houses most of the time.) We were on the phone with Dean many times during January. We did as much homework as we could before we left.

    People thought we couldn’t possibly choose and buy a house in 2 weeks, but we did. Dean made arrangements for all 8 houses to be available to show in one day. We also talked with many people, referred by Ken and Dean, that knew of the gated community our favorite house was in. The project, Casa Linda, was exactly what we wanted.

    What we thought was our favorite house before arriving, was truly the best one. Dean did his homework too and predicted correctly what areas we would and would not like. We made an offer on Wednesday. The owner was in Germany, but by Thursday night, he accepted our final offer. The attorney was Guido Perdomo and he quickly worked with the owner by faxing papers to sign. Money transfers went smoothly and by Monday, the title search was complete. We left Thursday with the title transfer left to be completed. That is because the German had to physically be there to sign the original papers.

    From the day the owner accepted our offer until we left the next week, we arranged for all the furniture to be sold through Dean. On Saturday, we made a trip to Santiago to get custom furniture made. Dean graciously went with us on this trip, since we know little Spanish still, and he will be at our house in March to accept the new furniture for us.

    After the title search was all in order on Monday, we obtained the keys to the house. We hired 2 maids to help clean the place. Dean arranged for his gardener to work on the outside.

    We gave the project manager a list of things we wanted done (paint pool, cut tree branches, etc) and he immediately started the work while we were still there.

    To us, Casa Linda is the perfect gated community. It is small, with only 30 houses in a tight circle. The yards are small but there is lush, mature vegetation that makes them totally private. Each house has its own pool and storage building. There is very visible security provided on a 24/7 basis. Most houses are under 100K USD and average 1400 sq ft.

    Our home is 3 minutes from Sosua. It is extremely quiet and tranquil. (Because we like our vacations to be peaceful and stress free, we could not deal with the constant noise pollution by living near the highway or the city).

    We’ll be back in May to pick out more furniture and do more cleaning on the house. Ken's wife will accompany us to a mattress retailer in Puerta Plata. We're buying linens, pillows, etc., in the states and placing them in those "space bags" that suck all the air out to where the pillows will be flat as a laptop.

    As far as the investment, we didn’t really buy it for a rental income, but we are going to rent it to friends and acquaintances later this year to offset some of the monthly maintenance fees. We plan on coming down about 4 times a year; when we retire in 3 years at age 55, we’ll live here during the winters.

    If some of you are still hesitant about taking the plunge to buy, I have to mention something about my husband and me. We live in a very upscale neighborhood adjacent to a very nice country club. Our social life IS the club. Our vacations have always been at exclusive resorts and we dine in only top-notch restaurants. With that said, why in God’s name would we be content in a 3rd world country with much financial poverty, noisy, smoking scooters, no air conditioning, impure water, foreign languages, limited services, cash only establishments, armed guards, peddlers, and no road rules???? BECAUSE the Dominican people are the classiest people we’ve ever been around. Money truly doesn’t buy class. These people are respectful of you and one another, they don’t show anger, they are polite, they are happy, and they are clean and very well dressed. I can’t say the same about the tourists we observed during our 2 weeks. What an embarrassment! The country is a paradise island with beautiful beaches, mountains, lush vegetation, perfect temperature, and the most valuable asset – the Dominican people.

    I will start another thread under “Trip Reports” for our general experiences during our 2-week stay.

    Doug&Jan

    Here is a link to pictures of our house in Casa Linda: Just click on “View Slideshow”
    Our House
    Last edited by JanH; 08-29-2003 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Very nice description of the process.
    Beautiful looking property.
    Enjoy!
    mk

  3. #3
    TiberiusMineola
    Guest

    Cool Positive Experience! Heartening!

    It's heart warming to hear this story. I don't think I've ever dealt with anybody in this country as well prepared as you were & are. There are 1,000s of stories of foreigners who were cheated & regretted ever making this move, i.e. buying a house. It's great to hear of the efforts of 1 family that proved so productive. Congratulations! If you're looking for part time work, you'd make wonderful R E brokers here, dealing with Americans & other foreigners. Again, my sincere congratulations.

  4. #4
    DR1
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    That's wonderful!

    Congratulations on your new house and new "other" home

    3 cheers for Ken!

  5. #5
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    Jan and Doug will be great additions to the Sosua community.

    They are good people for anyone thinking they might want to purchase property in the DR to know because everything, well nearly everything, seemed to go their way--not often the case in the DR. This was at least partly due to all the work they did prior to coming to house hunt. They are a good example to follow.

  6. #6
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    Enjoy your new home.

    I have lived there, watch out for the Mozzies, as there are plenty of them there! Plenty.

  7. #7
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    Ron02 - we aren't seasoned tourists! what's a mozzie?

  8. #8
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    Good job. Please do the rest of us who are still thinking/looking a favor and keep posting on any new developments down the road, say a 6mo. or 1yr. review. Buena suarte!!

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by JanH
    Ron02 - we aren't seasoned tourists! what's a mozzie?
    It isn't a term I use either, Jan, but I think he is talking about mosquitos.

  10. #10
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    Doug&Jan

    Congratulations on your new home!!!
    It’s absolutely gorgeous.

    And everybody can see what happens when you do your homework and are networking with the right people!

    I agree with you, on the last paragraph. Dominican people, allot lot of people on the board make too much, of the few bad apples, which you will find in any culture, class, or location.

    Welcome Home

    Tim & Mercedes H.

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