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  1. #1
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    Default remodel or build from scratch?

    My wife and I are going to end up with a home in DR. We have seen some places that we like, but no interiors that suited us. We're trying to weigh the options of gutting and remodeling, or starting from scratch. We'd like to get some input from those with opinions.

    We would also like some thoughts from people that have built from scratch. Did you end up happy with the job/costs/time to complete/hassle etc. or do you feel like you'd have been better off buying a ready made place. Any extra advice is also gladly accepted.

    Thanks.

    W&J

  2. #2
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    Default

    Much as with buying property, it would be best to live here for a couple of years in a rented or borrowed place and then decide what you want. You could save yourself a lot of money and be happier in the end.

    However, if you have already done that or don't want to do that, the decision will largely come down to you personal tastes. I am far from an expert, but if you can live with the though of putting a lot of money into a reasonably new, but already built home, that should be easily the cheapest option and possibly less of a headache particularly if you are contracting out the job, but you will be there to oversee the work. IMHO, there will be many things come up that and problems to work out for which it is better that you be there on a remodel job. Building a new house is more straightforward although you still have to oversee it.

    If you are looking for a very specific location or you can't find a shell that you are happy with that is solid with good foundations, support, etc, then you have little option but to build from scratch.

    We moved into a brand new house (we are renting) a while back and frankly, there were a large number of construction problems and issues to take care of. For instance, our plumbing had about a dozen water leaks, our roof leaks in about 10 or 12 places-and that is after they fixed it, our windows leak, uneven/improperly finished walls, etc. The point is, don't think you are getting a problem free house either way. Also, be careful about choosing your contractor. Some are really bad.

  3. #3
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    Default A lot depends on where you are thinking of living.

    We have purchased three homes here. One at the beach is rustic, but we have remodeled twice.
    In the city of Santiago we bought our first house many, many years ago and we did a few 'modifications' before moving in.

    Our second house was larger, but we have remodeled twice and still are not finished.

    If I knew then what I know now, I might have done things a little differently.

    And I am sure that someone will ask if you are going to be here to supervise the work, this is important...

    Good luck and may you have many years of enjoyment..

    HB

  4. #4
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    As HB & Ihtown have suggested, lots of questions need to be answered before we can give sensible & truly considered responses. Where do you intend buying/building? What experience do you have of Dominican workmanship & do you speak the language? What knowledge do you have of the Dominican Culture? ALL of the above DO have a bearing on the way you proceed - honestly - although you might not think so at the moment.

    Come live here & rent for 6 - 9 months before buying/building a place - it will save you mega bucks in the long run. If you have been looking at the North Coast (especially around Puerto Plata) fell free to PM or e-mail me. I have had a place built to our design & in hindsight would have done quite a few things differently!!

    Above all, before continuing with your dreams of having your own place here, you need to be SURE that you can live in the DR - not all people can!! Buying or building a place is easy - selling it at the price you paid for it is NOT. Look at all the properties being sold by Ex-Pats moving on because they could not accept certain characteristics of this beautiful Isle.

    Good luck - Grahame. (less years here than HB but made almost as many mistakes!! Thank goodness we have been able to learn from them).

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