Gazcue, help and budget ?

Alas

New member
May 3, 2015
38
0
0
I finally got hold of my friend who lived in SD for four years. She went to UNIBE.

She told me they lived in Gazcue and that is a very good neighborhood for kids, safe and secure. What do you think?

Her unfurnished three bedroom apartment with a one year lease was $700 a month. Do you think $1,000-1,200 a month for a three month lease, fully furnished, two bedroom at least, with a generator and security, is realistic in that area?

She said her maid/nanny, living six days a week in her house was $250 a month. I'm not interested in having help like that, but I really want a tutor for the boys (2 boys) to help us homeschooling. I would like somebody coming to help (specially laundry, since I hate it and it doesn't seem washers in the house are that common over there) maybe once a week, Is that doable? How much do you think it would be?

She said that in house help is not a luxury over there, as it is in the US, but more of a living style, many poor ladies from the "campo" come to the city to work and part of being a maid is living in the house, I would feel awkward living like that :/ (I'm the kind of person that, the very few times I've had somebody to clean the house, actually cleans before she comes!)

Also, she mentioned that SD is expensive, specially food. Our monthly budget in the US is $6,000, that's for necessary expenses, living comfortable, but no luxuries (a big chunk of that is food and gas) living in DR we would still have mortgage and basic bills to pay over here, so we can't spend that much money over there.
What would you say a family of 6 (4 kids included) with an apartment, no car (using taxis mostly, once comfortable public trans.) speaking fluent Spanish (that's my native language) so can buy basic food from locals(hopefully, anyways) with a pretty much latin diet (beans, rice, stews, roast pork, etc), so no need to buy foreign products as often (except for cereal which she said is ridiculously expensive so might have the boys eating eggs for a while) would spend a month approximately.

Oh, I forgot, what about credit cards? I know you can't use them in small places like "el colmado" but what about big supermarkets, pharmacies (big chains) etc?

Our cellphones won't work over there (T mobile) but I read that buying a SIM card there would. What about pre paid phones bought n the States (my dad would add minutes from here as needed) would they work? Is that a better alternative than buying a SIM card there (well, in that case my dad would be paying for the minutes, so I guess it would be a better deal for us, lol)

She also mentioned that she used to travel to Miami every 4 months and go back with ham, cheese, beef (she says beef is not that good over there?), cereal, etc. Can you really take those stuff through customs? Everytime we travel to Europe we can't take any fresh stuff home!

I'm sorry for all the questions, and thank you for any advice you can give us.
 

robbiee

Bronze
Dec 27, 2014
945
0
0
www.dominicanfun.net
1. Dont use credit/ debit cards here for payments. Only withdraw money from ATM. This is not US and paying by card can be risky, as someone can clone your card.
2. if your cellphone is unlocked you may get it here and put local simcard. if its locked and works only with tmobile...well, it wont work here unless you will unlock it.
just buy local sim and dont bother taking foreign simcards...and actually - if I would be you, I would use skype, MUCH cheaper.
3. Budget - hard to say....I'm a single 32 years male, I dont need luxuries and i live here for around 700 usd/ month. But I dont live in Santo Domingo and i Pay for the small apartment just 220 usd...with everything.
It depends how old are your kids, what they need and what is your lifestyle ? Do you plan to move around/ travel a lot ?
i think that your whole pack can manage with around 3,000-4,000 $/ month, but this is just wild guess...As i never had family :)
 

donP

Newbie
Dec 14, 2008
6,942
174
0
Gazcue in SD

... in Gazcue and that is a very good neighborhood for kids, safe and secure. What do you think?
True.

Her unfurnished three bedroom apartment with a one year lease was $700 a month. Do you think $1,000-1,200 a month for a three month lease, fully furnished, two bedroom at least, with a generator and security, is realistic in that area?
Doable.

I would like somebody coming to help (specially laundry, since I hate it and it doesn't seem washers in the house are that common over there) maybe once a week, Is that doable? How much do you think it would be?
Try to get someone who is recommended to you. As a rule of thumb pay about 700 to 1,000 RD$/day (for single days).

Our monthly budget in the US is $6,000...
You'll be fine with that and live like CCCCCCCCC.... :)
For an overview of some prices see:
Ofertas - Super Pola

what about credit cards? I know you can't use them in small places like "el colmado" but what about big supermarkets, pharmacies (big chains) etc?
Credit Cards are widely accepted.
However, I am one of those who do not recommend to use them in certain places.

She also mentioned that she used to travel to Miami every 4 months and go back with ham, cheese, beef ....
You can all get that in very good quality in SD, no problem.


donP
 

Alas

New member
May 3, 2015
38
0
0
The boys will be by the time we go 15, 6, 4, and 2.

I don't think our cells are unlocked... (honestly I have no idea what that is, my kid took his SIM card from his old cell and put it in my husband's old Galaxy and it works, so maybe his is unlocked?...) So you think prepaids from the US won't work there ? (that's what my dad uses in Cuba) we don't use our phones a lot, so it will be an "in case of emergency" kind of thing.

Skype won't help much, my parents are "technology challenged" so they won't know how to use it )I've spent countless hours teaching them, believe me) and the use of cells will be more among us than anything, one of the main reasons to travel is to give our teen more independence, but I freak out just imagining him walking around (I'm a bit of a helicopter mom) so a cell for him is a must)

travel? Sure, we plan on seeing the beaches and stuff, but we usually travel "cheap" although we are planning on going to a resort one weekend, most likely when my dad visits (he will be paying for most of it ;) I'm a daddy's girl, lol) but will be visiting museums and important places in the DR ( I read "la fiesta del Chivo" a while back and my friend says walking around Gazcue is like reading the book, can't wait to feel that!)

If we can manage with $3-4K it would be awesome!!!!!
 

robbiee

Bronze
Dec 27, 2014
945
0
0
www.dominicanfun.net
you can call from skype to landlines and mobiles, thats what I meant. and its cheap.
sometimes tthe phones are locked only to one mobile network, like tmobile, orange, whatever.....
The boys will be by the time we go 15, 6, 4, and 2.

I don't think our cells are unlocked... (honestly I have no idea what that is, my kid took his SIM card from his old cell and put it in my husband's old Galaxy and it works, so maybe his is unlocked?...) So you think prepaids from the US won't work there ? (that's what my dad uses in Cuba) we don't use our phones a lot, so it will be an "in case of emergency" kind of thing.

Skype won't help much, my parents are "technology challenged" so they won't know how to use it )I've spent countless hours teaching them, believe me) and the use of cells will be more among us than anything, one of the main reasons to travel is to give our teen more independence, but I freak out just imagining him walking around (I'm a bit of a helicopter mom) so a cell for him is a must)

travel? Sure, we plan on seeing the beaches and stuff, but we usually travel "cheap" although we are planning on going to a resort one weekend, most likely when my dad visits (he will be paying for most of it ;) I'm a daddy's girl, lol) but will be visiting museums and important places in the DR ( I read "la fiesta del Chivo" a while back and my friend says walking around Gazcue is like reading the book, can't wait to feel that!)

If we can manage with $3-4K it would be awesome!!!!!
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast Forum
Dec 9, 2002
17,622
688
113
Gazcue is a great neighbourhood in most aspects - I used to live there myself. One drawback is proximity to schools. For primary schools you have the Montessori or the Babeque, but neither are international/bilingual. The Dominico-Americano is not too far, but most other international schools are a fair distance.
 

Alas

New member
May 3, 2015
38
0
0
Oh right you can call cells! In that case we would need internet access, there are internet cafes over there I assume... In case we won't get it in our rental (can you use skype on an Ipad? you know my parents are the ones technological challenged, lol)

We are not sending the boys to school there, will be teaching at home, so proximity to schools is not really an issue.
 

robbiee

Bronze
Dec 27, 2014
945
0
0
www.dominicanfun.net
I cant imagine living without internet...I would suggest you renting something with already installed internet...It wont be that hard if you plan to rent longterm.
Internet cafes here are for people with iron nerves, as - guess what - THEY ARE NOISY.

Oh right you can call cells! In that case we would need internet access, there are internet cafes over there I assume... In case we won't get it in our rental (can you use skype on an Ipad? you know my parents are the ones technological challenged, lol)

We are not sending the boys to school there, will be teaching at home, so proximity to schools is not really an issue.
 

Alas

New member
May 3, 2015
38
0
0
I know, I blurt out the words "in case we don't have internet" so easy, but really, I can't imagine how it would be without it!
 

mofongoloco

Silver
Feb 7, 2013
3,000
1
38
Next iPhone I buy is gonna be unlocked. Worth the hundreds of dollars extra for hassle free SIM card exchange.
 

MikeFisher

The Fisherman/Weather Mod
Feb 28, 2006
12,749
794
113
Punta Cana/DR
www.mikefisher.fun
1st, i agree with the others who recommend skype.
Internet today's is inho a Must Have.
here is how i stay in touch with the Grandparents in Germany:
i have a package from Claro with Internet, Phone and TV in the house.
the phone part is a basic phoneplan and already includes 450 Intl Call Minutes valid for most countries on the planet, including western europe and the usa. so you would have right away a cheap option to call Daddy for "free" comfy from the couch at home, and he could call that landline anytime for cheap rates from his homephone.
as for cellphones, my recommendation is to take for the family ONE cellphone with a plan. mine includes 300 minutes per month, they can be used locally and the same minutes for the same rate can be used internationally to call PR/Canada/USA. additional minutes to call the USA costs the same low price than local cellphone calls.
for the additionally needed cellphones in the family, which will not be necessarily needed for international phonecalls, i would take prepaid phones purchased in the DR, like at Claro. you can then connect all the families cellphones to each other as so named "Numeros Super Favoritos", which offers every month hours of free calls between those cellphones. this option is best suitable for calls of up to 5 minutes each call, if you talk longer then the additional minutes are charged super cheapy.
with the same homeconnection/Package, you have Internet in the house including wifi, so the whole family can surf at once, you can use Skype for calls etc too etc etc.

Mike
 

mountainannie

Platinum
Dec 11, 2003
14,944
406
83
elizabetheames.blogspot.com
You will just about manage on 3 to 4k,I suspect. I live in Gazcue and it does have all that you want... nice neighborhood but it is large and much depends on just WHERE the apartment is.. as to whether you can easily shop on foot.

three months is not a long time for a rental .. most are set up for a year..

so I think that is going to be your biggest problem.

Try airbnb and supercasas.com or calling one of the Remax agents to see if they know of something.

Three bedroom apartments are not all that common in this neighborhood.
 

HUG

Silver
Feb 3, 2009
3,941
0
0
For your internet just buy a mi-fi, RD2,200 from the Ole in La Caleta. Then you just buy minutes. To stay connected all day costs RD50, and it's absolutely fine for Skype, and other run of the mill stuff. Streaming might come over a bit iffy but I know skype works fine with it.

There is no contract or minimum usage, just use it when you want.
 

HUG

Silver
Feb 3, 2009
3,941
0
0
Best bet for 3 months is get into a residential, apartment suits gig. No deposit.

Along with that you have the hotel security, the pools, the bars, restaurants and in some free daily shuttles to and the beach. Free internet...............

You're looking at about RD45,000 per month all in, with daily cleaners etc.

No brainer and much better for the kids having pools and secure grounds to play in.
 

Alas

New member
May 3, 2015
38
0
0
Best bet for 3 months is get into a residential, apartment suits gig. No deposit.

Along with that you have the hotel security, the pools, the bars, restaurants and in some free daily shuttles to and the beach. Free internet...............

You're looking at about RD45,000 per month all in, with daily cleaners etc.

No brainer and much better for the kids having pools and secure grounds to play in.
Do they have those in Gazcue? IS it a hotel with residential suits? I'll look into it.

I know it will be hard to find something fr three months :( My dad has several Dominican patients and my friend still has some friends there, I'm hoping and praying I can get something through them, my husband also said that when it gets close to the date we can contact an agent and offer more money than they are asking for a rental to see if he/she can hook us up.
 

HUG

Silver
Feb 3, 2009
3,941
0
0
Oh sorry, brain fart, I wasn't thinking of specifically Gascue.

I only mention this as I stayed in one before leaving DR. What was supposed to be a wind down relaxing farwell couple of weeks, turned into a 3 month Dominican endurance of wills over 3 months. But I had my daughter with me and she wasn't in school so it was great for her, and me tobeable to relax knowing all was secure and she had plenty to play with, and the chance to meet other kids which wouldn't happen elsewhere while out of school. I personally dislike Gascue and so wouldn't beable to point you in the right direction, it's over rated and therefore massively overpriced in my opinion, but others seem to have chosen to live there so I reckon its down to personal preference. Good luck, money is involved and so something will come up. But be careful with deposits, don't pay any amount you are not willing to lose.
 

Alas

New member
May 3, 2015
38
0
0
Ok, even if it's not there I'm interested in looking into it. I googled it but everything I see is for two people, at most a couple with a kid, we are six :(
 

Alas

New member
May 3, 2015
38
0
0
I'm not necessarily married to Gazcue. I want a nice and safe neighborhood, with easy access to shops and stuff, and that we can afford, say $1000-1200 a mnth (maybe a bit more if we see there's no way to get something like we want for that price)