Apartment rental vs small house which would be safer?

Superpana

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Jul 2, 2015
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Greetings guys. I have a bit of a dilemma. I have a chance to rent a place in Ver?n Punta Cana. One place is in a small one bedroom house on the corner of a neighborhood which is just developing, meaning there is only about 4-5 houses on the block which are lived in, the rest are under construction. The area seems quiet, but perhaps too quiet which concerns me about safety. The house is a bit inroads from the main avenue and is surrounded by high bushes, semi finished houses and open lots for sale.

The second option would be an apartment on the main avenue on a second floor walk up which has a few businesses on the ground and first floor, not sure if there is a security guard at night or not. These 2 properties are not in gated communities. The owner of the small house lives next door, but I noticed his property is well protected with high walls, gates, and cameras, but his rental is not which makes me think perhaps the neighborhood is not so safe after all......I tried explaining to my girlfriend that as a gringo I have to think and look at safety from a whole different angle than she does, and that perhaps me wanting to have a place where I can feel a bit more secure is not an over the top request.

What do you guys think? Am I reading too much into the safety condition of the small house vs the apartment building, or are both just about the same? I appreciate your input. Thanks.
 
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LTSteve

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Jul 9, 2010
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Greetings guys. I have a bit of a dilemma. I have a chance to rent a place in Ver?n Punta Cana. One place is in a small one bedroom house on the corner of a neighborhood which is just developing, meaning there is only about 4-5 houses on the block which are lived in, the rest are under construction. The area seems quiet, but perhaps too quiet which concerns me about safety. The house is a bit inroads from the main avenue and is surrounded by high bushes, semi finished houses and open lots for sale.

The second option would be an apartment on the main avenue on a second floor walk up which has a few businesses on the ground and first floor, not sure if there is a security guard at night or not. These 2 properties are not in gated communities. The owner of the small house lives next door, but I noticed his property is well protected with high walls, gates, and cameras, but his rental is not which makes me think perhaps the neighborhood is not so safe after all......I tried explaining to my girlfriend that as a gringo I have to think and look at safety from a whole different angle than she does, and that perhaps me wanting to have a place where I can feel a bit more secure is not an over the top request.

What do you guys think? Am I reading too much into the safety condition of the small house vs the apartment building, or are both just about the same? I appreciate your input. Thanks.
If you choose the house you can guarantee that someone will break in either while you are there and when you are gone. If you are in a building you have a much better chance of avoiding problems. How is your Spanish? Where are you currently living?
 

Jaime809

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Aug 23, 2012
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A better question might be this: how are the utilities in both places? Something under construction might have unfinished "stuff" for the buildings that are still being constructed. Safety is a huge factor, as is reliability of services. If your utilities are vulnerable, that too is a security risk.
 

CristoRey

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Apr 1, 2014
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The more isolated you are here the better the chances of you being targeted by criminals. On the hand, if you were to immerse yourself
in a typical Dominican neighborhood and build good relationships with your neighbors, there?s a much less chance you will be targeted
by criminals looking for the easiest opportunity.
 

Superpana

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Jul 2, 2015
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Thanks for all the answers guys. LTSteve I currently live in New York, and my Spanish is 95% the language will not be a problem. My girlfriend's brother is finishing his house across the street, so I would not be a complete stranger in the neighborhood, but my New York senses lead me to think that a single unit sitting on the corner of a neighborhood which is not fully developed is just not a good look.

The utilities thing did not cross my mind at all, not to mention I seriously doubt there will be any patrols patrolling the area. The owner will probably place bars on the doors and windows, but I know bars don't do didley squat! It just slows them down a bit......I have a security camera and window alarms I can install, but not having that extra layer of protection of a high wall, just rubs me the wrong way. The best security in any neighborhood is the neighbors looking out for each other, but since there are not many neighbors just yet, that is a cause for concern, especially for a gringo......word travels fast when a gringo moves to a neighborhood. I can see by the responses that as a gringo, an apartment might just offer a bit more security. I think when I talk to them about security, they assume that I'm some paranoid New Yorker and the country is not as bad as portrayed in the news. I have also noticed they approach things in a different manner. The security thing does not cross their mind until they get robbed.........It is almost like buying a padlock after your stuff gets stolen mindset.....I prefer to do it before.
 

CristoRey

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Apr 1, 2014
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Some of the muppets on this forum will insist that in order for you to rent a house or an apartment
down here you will need to have a fiador with a cedula. This is complete bullsh*t.
I?ve rented houses and apartments in different cities across the island with just a passport
and a few peso$. Not once have I been asked for a cedula or to have a fiador sign for me.
 

josh2203

Bronze
Dec 5, 2013
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The best security in any neighborhood is the neighbors looking out for each other, but since there are not many neighbors just yet, that is a cause for concern, especially for a gringo......word travels fast when a gringo moves to a neighborhood. I can see by the responses that as a gringo, an apartment might just offer a bit more security.
Exactly. I have personnaly lived in two major cities in the DR for 5+ years, and have never lived in any residencial. Always a good barrio, and for exactly the reason that neighbors and lively streets offer you security that no amount of technology can do (IMO). In the areas we?ve lived, there have also reportedly taken place very little crime.

My wife has lived her whole life in barrio, her entire family lives in barrio and also owns several houses which they rent. Never any issues, no matter what street, what time of day.

I know there are expats who prefer gated communities, and would never live outside of them, for me it?s always been the opposite.
 

Superpana

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Jul 2, 2015
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Thanks again guys for all the useful feedback. I do not wish to live in a gated community with just expats and I do not mind living amongst Dominicans. My concern is more about the security of living in an area which is still under development as opposed to one which is established. One of my major concern is the safety of my girlfriend having to walk out to the main road to catch the work guagua each day. The guagua drops her in front of her home on the return, but does not pick her up from the house on her way to work. With all the moto-robberies which have become fashionable lately, it worries me that in an area which is not fully populated, she could fall victim to an atraco. You guys did raise some good points about utilities, especially since the area is not fully developed......I would hate to be the one gringo on tv lighting tires demanding water, electricity, and paved roads. Her brother will be moving there by the end of the month. Perhaps I will wait and see how they feel about the neighborhood before choosing to live on that block.