Opinions of long-timers

BigDaddy

Member
Jan 16, 2005
194
2
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I am interested to hear the opinions of the people who have lived here for 5 -20 years. I have only been here a short time, but from what I have experienced and what I have seen about the past on DR1. the economy is in pretty much the worst shape it's been in for a long long time, even according to my Dominican friends. I see that the government is manipulating the exchange rate and the interest rates, in an effort to lower prices and get the money out of the banks and into the economy, but is this working? It seems that the dollar buys less pesos, the pesos buy less at the supermarket, etc., and the interest rates are now so low that people who were "living of the interest" are really hurting. I am not in the tourist industry so I don't know, but I would suspect that with the dollar having less buying power, that tourism and excursions are down--after all, people who are looking to buy a cheap all-inclusive vacation have other options such as Jamaica, Cancun, etc. and why would they choose the D.R. if it's not going to be a bargain? There is the perceived language barrier, the lack of reliable electricity, the terrible roads, and let's face it--an AI resort is an AI resort wherever you go, more or less. As long as there's a nice beach, sunny skies, and it's a bargain, that's what the average AI tourist is interested in. I also see posts about people who have come here to live and invest who are now so negatively affected by the economy, they are thinking of leaving and taking their businesses with them. Plus with the prices as they are now, it is really not so cheap to relocate here--for the same money you can live elsewhere where there are more conveniences, reliable electricity, decent roads, less graft and corruption, etc. All of this points to more economic difficulties for the native Dominican people: with less jobs and less money via tourism, coupled with the high prices, I just don't see where anyone, native, or expatriate, is benefitting from these measures allegedly designed to improve the economy. Sure, people who bought pesos in bulk when the rate was 50:1 and sell now can make a financial killing, but only if they can keep the dollars for speculation and not have to reconvert them to pesos to live on. Or people who have enough to invest in land and/or real estate which will obviously appreciate given enough time will eventually make out. People with that kind of money are probably living quite comfortably despite the presesnt situation anyway. I guess I would like to know what the long-timers "predict" will happen with the peso rate and/or interest rates? Is this a storm worth riding out, or is it just the beginning of a long period of the same? Perhaps I am just not familiar enough with the county, its history, etc. to be assessing things accurately. What do you other DR1'ers think?
 

Escott

Gold
Jan 14, 2002
7,716
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www.escottinsosua.blogspot.com
I have only been here for 2 years full time but another 4 years half time or close enough for government work. We all bitch that the prices have gone up, which they have, we all bitch that the dollar has gone down, which it has, we all bitch about a lot of things but...

This is still the LEAST expensive place in the Caribbean to live bar NONE, the biggest bang for your real estate buck by far in the Caribbean bar NONE and probably the place where there is the most to gain in the future by investing here.

While everything cost me more and I get less bang for my US dollar I am living better in the DR than I ever did before in my life. Where else can you live in the Caribbean with a full time maid and gardener for 300 US dollars a month?

So all the complaints are valid but this is the land of opportunity for me and I see it as such for the next solid 5-8 years. After that, who gives a crap because I won't need more than that for anything.

My two cents fwiw!
 

Rocky

Honorificabilitudinitatibus
Apr 4, 2002
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www.rockysbar.com
Let this be a lesson for all those who voted for The Hippo.
We will paying for years to come, for the mess he left us.
Leonel is saving our butts, thank God, and if we have to tighten our belts for awhile, so be it. It's a lot better than facing bankruptcy, not to mention, as Escott said, we still live better here than elsewhere for less money.
 

carina

Silver
Mar 13, 2005
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Rocky said:
Let this be a lesson for all those who voted for The Hippo.
We will paying for years to come, for the mess he left us.
Leonel is saving our butts, thank God, and if we have to tighten our belts for awhile, so be it. It's a lot better than facing bankruptcy, not to mention, as Escott said, we still live better here than elsewhere for less money.
I agree completely.
We also must remember that the last time for example, when you got 50 or more pesos for your dollar, was not a calm time. This was a really messy time for the country, and not something that was an avarage excgange rate or so.
Not by far if we look at the last 4-5 years.

Tourism has increased in some areas over 5 % this year in comparence to last year, as for arrivals, not in "spending money". I have not seen a report of that issue.
Tourism is young here, charter started as late as in the 1980s.

I still find it resonable cheap to live here compared to many other Caribbean islands.
For example, before moving here, I have lived almost 2 years in Jamaica.
I?d say take a big doze of "patience", and enjoy!! ;)
 
May 31, 2005
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BigDaddy said:
I am not in the tourist industry so I don't know, but I would suspect that with the dollar having less buying power, that tourism and excursions are down--after all, people who are looking to buy a cheap all-inclusive vacation have other options such as Jamaica, Cancun, etc. and why would they choose the D.R. if it's not going to be a bargain?
Everyone that I have spoken with that has taken a vacation to the Dominican Republic told me that they loved it for the simple fact that it was much cheaper that at other similar destinations and were treated like royalty even though it was cheaper. Like Escott wrote, More bang for your buck. And these are people that stay at all inclusive resorts and do all of the tours and everything. I am not talking about Dominican vacations for people that are from here and came to visit their families.
 

KenoshaChris

New member
Jan 4, 2002
526
6
0
I Don't Live There But . . . . . . .

By far the best bang for your real estate buck in the Caribbean. I'd like to see what my condo would cost in Florida. Probably at four to five times more than what I paid in Sosua and I don't pay any real estate taxes in Sosua. Florida has direct hits from hurricanes. The north coast of DR doesn't (while I'm crossing my fingers for another hurricane season). Prices on goods? Yes, they're up but I can still live there on much less money than it costs me to live here. Prices on services are considerably less.

My electricity is rarely out for more than a minute as the generator is kicked on. Its a minor inconvenience. If one speaks at least some Spanish, the language barrier will get smaller and smaller. Although my Spanish is very good, I speak more English there than Spanish.

My friends aren't leaving. Escott isn't going anywhere, Rocky has been there about 15 years now and Ken will run back there with his tail between his legs once he spends a month or so back up here in the States. All three of those people have invested quite a bit in the north coast.

Sure the economy is in the crapper but look what that bald headed camposino from the last administration did to his country. Leonel is doing what needed to be done but unfortunately, it will take more than four years to pull the economy out of the tailspin Hippo put it into.

The roads? Yeah, they suck but I don't really drive at night there unless its just from town to home.

Wednesday morning I woke up and my first thought was that "I've had it up to here" with all of the BS in my life up here. The good news was that I'm starting up another business, totally internet based that I can operate from anywhere in the world. If that takes off I'm outta here and down there within a year or so.

Finally, more and more Americans my age (54) are being awakened by the prices in the "retirement states." Prices are rising and rising. Florida is up 33% over three years. Arizona is appreciating significantly and who can afford anything in California? Over the next few years we'll be seeing more and more Americans heading to RD to semi-retire like I plan to or out and out retire, quite simply because its cheaper to live there.
 

Ken

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
13,565
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KenoshaChris said:
My friends aren't leaving. Escott isn't going anywhere, Rocky has been there about 15 years now and Ken will run back there with his tail between his legs once he spends a month or so back up here in the States. All three of those people have invested quite a bit in the north coast.

Sure the economy is in the crapper but look what that bald headed camposino from the last administration did to his country. Leonel is doing what needed to be done but unfortunately, it will take more than four years to pull the economy out of the tailspin Hippo put it into.

Finally, more and more Americans my age (54) are being awakened by the prices in the "retirement states." Prices are rising and rising. Florida is up 33% over three years. Arizona is appreciating significantly and who can afford anything in California? Over the next few years we'll be seeing more and more Americans heading to RD to semi-retire like I plan to or out and out retire, quite simply because its cheaper to live there.
Chris, I'll be coming back with all flags flying, glad to be back in Sosua.

I agree with those who blame the current problems on the past administration. I just hope that the voters give the new government time to get things straightened out. Depends on their tolerance for pain, but a little pain now is better than compounding the problem by putting the PRD back in office.

Apparently the investers don't think this is a terrible place to be. As others have said, prices are rising and real estate agents are having a great time making sales. The present problems are short term; the sun, friendly people, etc., easy proximity to North America, etc., etc., are long term, and they are why people are investing here.

Sure, the exchange rate is a bit out of syn right now, but prices are coming down. And we still live better here, and in better housing, than we could possible afford on our limited income in the US.
 
May 12, 2005
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I know I'm strongly considering retiring to the DR myself. From my very first visit I fell in love with the country and its people. I had originally thought about Arizona, but the poster was right, its getting very expensive. I'm sure I can enjoy a nice retirement down there on my humble public servant's pension. Hey, only 14 more years to go (7/7/2019), but who's counting. ;)
 

carina

Silver
Mar 13, 2005
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fko1 said:
I know I'm strongly considering retiring to the DR myself. From my very first visit I fell in love with the country and its people. I had originally thought about Arizona, but the poster was right, its getting very expensive. I'm sure I can enjoy a nice retirement down there on my humble public servant's pension. Hey, only 14 more years to go (7/7/2019), but who's counting. ;)
Cool! That?s planning!!
We will start chilling the cervezas for you! ;)