Brick by Brick

Buzz65

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Jul 13, 2017
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Wanted some input on my idea.

Why not by some land and slowly build the house over the course of 7-10 years, brick by brick? I see many many half built homes in the DR like this. Maybe just build the shell and a perimeter wall.

Thoughts?

Buzz
 

ctrob

Silver
Nov 9, 2006
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Go for it. As long as you're not leaving blocks and other materials laying around to be disapeared you'll be fine.

IF I was going to lay up a house by myself I would only work from 7am to 9am. I don't know how those guys work in the hot sun all day.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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Wanted some input on my idea.

Why not by some land and slowly build the house over the course of 7-10 years, brick by brick? I see many many half built homes in the DR like this. Maybe just build the shell and a perimeter wall.

Thoughts?

Buzz
It's very common.

Why?

Mortages are relatively new in the DR, but even now they are way too expensive for the "average" Dominican to afford.

So someone builds a house with what cash they can put together at the time. It may take years to pay off the land. Then years to save for building a foundation. Then walls. Then...

When they have the money, they use it for what they can do next and don't leave anything at the site.

But when it's finished, it's debt free.
 

Buzz65

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Jul 13, 2017
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I hear what you are saying Cobraboy. I have dom/amer friend in my hometown Near ft lauderdale. One woman, who works as an accountant, says she has been doing this since she arrive in USA about 20 years ago. She buys land, slowly builds it with cash and then sells. Rolls over profit into another. She has done about 3 homes and her last one will be when she retires, leave USA, and lives in her new dom home, paid in full. Nice thing now, our local Home Depot ships direct to domrep. So, she has been buying all the kitchen materials, appliances, etcc to finish them up with better flooring etc....

Her advantage, however, is that she has local dom family to look after properties while built, keep an eye on the builder, etc... I think that's one of her big advantages to success. My thought, was to buy and build next to a local and somehow hire him to do the same. Keep an eye on it and you will be paid, progressively, not all up front.
 

KateP

Silver
May 28, 2004
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My maid is building her house this way. She managed to save money over time to buy the land but as a single mother with 2 daughters was having a hard time saving up enough money to start building. So she went to the bank, got a small loan (no credit history so the amount was very small), enough to build the outside walls. She's just finished paying off the initial loan and will soon get another one to get the windows, door and roof put in. Many people do it that way or using the money their family sends from the US every few months.
 

Buzz65

New member
Jul 13, 2017
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My maid is building her house this way. She managed to save money over time to buy the land but as a single mother with 2 daughters was having a hard time saving up enough money to start building. So she went to the bank, got a small loan (no credit history so the amount was very small), enough to build the outside walls. She's just finished paying off the initial loan and will soon get another one to get the windows, door and roof put in. Many people do it that way or using the money their family sends from the US every few months.

Thank you.

What area?
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
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My main man just did.... with a little help from me.

Bought the land a while back then started the house.
Because he had a steady loan stream and a big family it finished faster than most
Like 6 months....

His neighbors are doing it the old fashioned way and it takes time
 

Buzz65

New member
Jul 13, 2017
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My main man just did.... with a little help from me.

Bought the land a while back then started the house.
Because he had a steady loan stream and a big family it finished faster than most
Like 6 months....

His neighbors are doing it the old fashioned way and it takes time

That's great.

This is why I am inquiring... "When in Rome, do as the Romans." Because of aforementioned reasons, i don't think the locals know any other way to get a house. But bless their hearts for not making the banks rich by getting a 30 year mort and basically, paying for your property 3 times.

Curious if Dom has the same tax law as Haiti, if it's not finished, no prop taxes are due. Unfortunately for aesthetics, Haitians never paint the outside ogf their home, because that would consider it "finished" for tax reasons.
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
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South Coast
Very common. It's actually how our house began, unbeknownst to us. We bought the land back in 1978, my husband and his family had been going to that beach town for many decades, people there have known Mr. AE since he was a little boy. We were busy having kids and making our lives in NY, when my mother-in-law decided we were taking too long to start building. It's why the house is in an odd [to us] place on the property, and is much smaller than we would have built.

His sister worked for the government at that time, and through some program or another she secured a lot of cinderblocks. One of his brothers had lent money to someone who never repaid it, so the guy dug a well on the property as payment. Someone else knew someone, and the cistern and septic were dug/built. By the time we found out about all this, the walls were about 5' up, exterior and interior. It became a group family effort, one that we had no control of and little say in.

Little by little it was completed, we paid for the roof and the ceramic tiles, windows, bathroom fixtures. As in, we sent the money and they chose what they wanted, lol. Most of the neighbors had no clue that we were the owners of the property, because we were never there and the rest of the family was.

Over the past 5-6 years, we've almost doubled the original footprint, renovated it, although it's still not what we would have built ourselves. It is what it is.....a typical Dominican house.
 

KateP

Silver
May 28, 2004
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Thanks. I was considering that area. Kinda in the middle of everything SE DR. Town has a robust economy due to being home to most workers in PC.

Any other thoughts on Higuey?

I personally avoid it as much as possible. All the motorcycles drive me nuts and from what I see online, electricity is not too good in some areas. Some on this board live there and seem to like it, I'll stick to Punta Cana in my rental.
 

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
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Thanks. I was considering that area. Kinda in the middle of everything SE DR. Town has a robust economy due to being home to most workers in PC.

Any other thoughts on Higuey?

I kinda like Higuey. My better half's aunt has a house with a colmado there. She's not doing to well because she doesn't do credit.

If I were to buy land there to build it would have to be in a 24/7 area so I have half a chance of receiving somewhat normal electricity.
 
Jul 16, 2017
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I'm planning on continuing doing it but not to last 20 years. Already have the lot and now its just matter of setting the time to fly over and get the next batch done. Perimeters walls and foundation are already finished from prior trips.
 

LTSteve

Gold
Jul 9, 2010
5,450
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I hear what you are saying Cobraboy. I have dom/amer friend in my hometown Near ft lauderdale. One woman, who works as an accountant, says she has been doing this since she arrive in USA about 20 years ago. She buys land, slowly builds it with cash and then sells. Rolls over profit into another. She has done about 3 homes and her last one will be when she retires, leave USA, and lives in her new dom home, paid in full. Nice thing now, our local Home Depot ships direct to domrep. So, she has been buying all the kitchen materials, appliances, etcc to finish them up with better flooring etc....

Her advantage, however, is that she has local dom family to look after properties while built, keep an eye on the builder, etc... I think that's one of her big advantages to success. My thought, was to buy and build next to a local and somehow hire him to do the same. Keep an eye on it and you will be paid, progressively, not all up front.

You are taking a giant leap of faith thinking that you can pay someone that you don't know to watch a structure that he has no committment too. You are talking about a pipe dream. In the example you state she has family in the DR. YOU DON'T. This is one of the most silly and costly ideas ever proposed on this web-site. Sorry to be so direct but you will spend money and have nothing to show for it. I can't believe no one else is stepping up to tell you this is a very bad idea. Of course, it's not their time, money or aggrevation.
 

ctrob

Silver
Nov 9, 2006
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You are taking a giant leap of faith thinking that you can pay someone that you don't know to watch a structure that he has no committment too. You are talking about a pipe dream. In the example you state she has family in the DR. YOU DON'T. This is one of the most silly and costly ideas ever proposed on this web-site. Sorry to be so direct but you will spend money and have nothing to show for it. I can't believe no one else is stepping up to tell you this is a very bad idea. Of course, it's not their time, money or aggrevation.



Sure, there are pitfalls to watch out for. But it is do-able. It doesn't sound like the op is having the future neighbor do any work or any handling of funds. Just keep an eye on some masonry walls. Probably not even loose materials. Swap phone numbers with the future neighbor, stay in touch, etc. Nothing that serious.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
34,935
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Going back to the beginning of this thread. If I were to want to build, rather than a block at a time when I had the money, I would save up the money and build when I had enough to finish the job. Taking all that time to build is far more stressful than starting and finishing in the quickest possible manner.

You see many partially completed structures that just don't get finished which represent wasted time and money. My recommendation is to wait until you can do the entire job.
 

LTSteve

Gold
Jul 9, 2010
5,450
23
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Sure, there are pitfalls to watch out for. But it is do-able. It doesn't sound like the op is having the future neighbor do any work or any handling of funds. Just keep an eye on some masonry walls. Probably not even loose materials. Swap phone numbers with the future neighbor, stay in touch, etc. Nothing that serious.

Anything is do-able but most of the examples being cited are about Domincians who can keep an eye out and know the way things work in the DR. Based on the many posts this gentleman has made he really has no idea of life in the DR. If you want to come to the DR and rent an apartment and have boots on the ground to monitor what is happening than may be possible. Being in the states and thinking this is a good idea is just ignorant bliss.