The Adventure Begins.......

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
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As many of you know, I recently purchased a rather large farm near Puerto Plata. Special thanks to ALL you DR1 ers who made this possible with your highly informative insites on ALL aspects of Dominican life and culture.
Robert for making the website possible.....Hillbilly for his no nonsense advice....Grahame for financial insights....Scott, Hmmm for something or other
:rolleyes: Dawnwill for being my true kindred spirit with whom I can freely discuss anything.....and hundreds more :)

My intent is to spend the rest of my life developing this farm into a mostly self suffecient, state of the art production facility for ALL MANNER of food products, fruits, vegetables, meat products to include fresh fish fillet.
My object is to thoroughly enjoy my life, demonstrate how to most effectively utilize dominican farmland while wasting NOTHING and being a boon to my neighbors and community. (Not necessarily for profit)

Soooooooo.......my friends, I need your help and advice...BIGTIME !!
for many years to come...... :classic:

Immediate questions:

I have seen used (probably rejected for further ocean use) steel shipping containers being utilized at construction sites, etc. for secure storage.
Where do I go and whom do I contact to possibly buy or rent one or two of these? What price range do they usually sell for?

My plan is to ship one or two semi loads of household goods, tools and farm equipment of ALL descriptions by container in the near future. Hopefully, I qualify for duty free exemption as my initial residency will be complete in a week or so and I now own a rather large farm in DR. PLEASE...PM me with any and all comments, tips, referrals for custom brokers, etc. MUCH APPRECIATED !

Is there a KUBOTA farm tractor dealer in Santiago? I need one or two large, new four wheel drive farm tractors (50 HP or larger) with end loader, bush hogs, disc plows, box blades etc.

I need one new Dihatsu diesel farm hydraulic dump truck like is commonly seen all over DR. Where and how do you suggest I get the best price?

The farm is in four parcels, all adjoining, with excellent old survey maps dating back as early as 1932. I am a civil engineer so I can tell you that these maps are expertly done with great precision. A month ago I hired a dominican engineer to survey the outer bounderies of my property, locate and mark all turning points with concrete or rebar point markers and draw one new survey map which is to be recorded in public records. Having run a survey crew for several years in Florida, I expected and thought it understood that he was to accurately reestablish the old historic points, set new markers where old ones could not be found, etc. NOT EVEN CLOSE !!
His first move was to hire my man from the farm who has lived there for some three years to "show him the boundaries of the farm". This engineer then proceeds to set markers based on directions from my farm hand. He then plots with computer assistance the "new" corners and turns on the first draft version of a survey map. At my insistence, he then overlays with computer assistance, his new map with info from the old maps. WELL HELL !! The lines miss each other from a few feet to as much as two or three hundred feet. Further inspection reveals that he has effectively given away a couple miles of prime river frontage by moving the property line some 900 feet back from the river where the old surveys show property line as middle of river. Over 60 or 70 years some three miles of fence has been moved about 50 to 100 feet onto my property. His explanation is that, "it's all my farm hand's fault because he showed him the wrong property lines." The engineer speaks NO ENGLISH and I speak very limited Spanish....but with a translater we had a rather heated discussion and he agrees to "do it my way". My way is to set duplicate markers agreeing with the historic surveys. So far I have paid him half of the 110,000 peso fee agreed upon. I very much need ACCURATE markers along which to build probably $30,000 worth of new boundary fence.
QUESTIONS:
Am I obligated to pay this YAHOO registered engineer for the priveledge of survey mapping my farm based on what "my farm hand" tells him instead of accepted engineering practice of reading and reestablishing the clearly defined historic points for which I am paying him?

His classic comments have been. "Juan showed me the wrong line !"
"What is your problem? You always have the old historic survey maps to prove you own the land !" Effectively, this #&&#&&# is setting me up for a case in court in the future attempting to disprove his inaccurate new survey map by utilizing the old historic maps when my neighbors try to claim some 150 to 200 tareas of my land utilizing the new survey map on public record.
(It's not on public record yet.....Thank God !....but would have been had I not caught on to what he was doing!)

Thanks for ANY thoughts or observations.......I must soon return to DR to see what he has done........IF ANYTHING !

Caribee........................Lloyd :pirate:
 

corecto

New member
Jun 18, 2003
71
2
0
Being a angeneer yourself, I thought you would at least interview this guy before hiring him. Did you do that?


Caribee said:
As many of you know, I recently purchased a rather large farm near Puerto Plata. Special thanks to ALL you DR1 ers who made this possible with your highly informative insites on ALL aspects of Dominican life and culture.
Robert for making the website possible.....Hillbilly for his no nonsense advice....Grahame for financial insights....Scott, Hmmm for something or other
:rolleyes: Dawnwill for being my true kindred spirit with whom I can freely discuss anything.....and hundreds more :)

My intent is to spend the rest of my life developing this farm into a mostly self suffecient, state of the art production facility for ALL MANNER of food products, fruits, vegetables, meat products to include fresh fish fillet.
My object is to thoroughly enjoy my life, demonstrate how to most effectively utilize dominican farmland while wasting NOTHING and being a boon to my neighbors and community. (Not necessarily for profit)

Soooooooo.......my friends, I need your help and advice...BIGTIME !!
for many years to come...... :classic:

Immediate questions:

I have seen used (probably rejected for further ocean use) steel shipping containers being utilized at construction sites, etc. for secure storage.
Where do I go and whom do I contact to possibly buy or rent one or two of these? What price range do they usually sell for?

My plan is to ship one or two semi loads of household goods, tools and farm equipment of ALL descriptions by container in the near future. Hopefully, I qualify for duty free exemption as my initial residency will be complete in a week or so and I now own a rather large farm in DR. PLEASE...PM me with any and all comments, tips, referrals for custom brokers, etc. MUCH APPRECIATED !

Is there a KUBOTA farm tractor dealer in Santiago? I need one or two large, new four wheel drive farm tractors (50 HP or larger) with end loader, bush hogs, disc plows, box blades etc.

I need one new Dihatsu diesel farm hydraulic dump truck like is commonly seen all over DR. Where and how do you suggest I get the best price?

The farm is in four parcels, all adjoining, with excellent old survey maps dating back as early as 1932. I am a civil engineer so I can tell you that these maps are expertly done with great precision. A month ago I hired a dominican engineer to survey the outer bounderies of my property, locate and mark all turning points with concrete or rebar point markers and draw one new survey map which is to be recorded in public records. Having run a survey crew for several years in Florida, I expected and thought it understood that he was to accurately reestablish the old historic points, set new markers where old ones could not be found, etc. NOT EVEN CLOSE !!
His first move was to hire my man from the farm who has lived there for some three years to "show him the boundaries of the farm". This engineer then proceeds to set markers based on directions from my farm hand. He then plots with computer assistance the "new" corners and turns on the first draft version of a survey map. At my insistence, he then overlays with computer assistance, his new map with info from the old maps. WELL HELL !! The lines miss each other from a few feet to as much as two or three hundred feet. Further inspection reveals that he has effectively given away a couple miles of prime river frontage by moving the property line some 900 feet back from the river where the old surveys show property line as middle of river. Over 60 or 70 years some three miles of fence has been moved about 50 to 100 feet onto my property. His explanation is that, "it's all my farm hand's fault because he showed him the wrong property lines." The engineer speaks NO ENGLISH and I speak very limited Spanish....but with a translater we had a rather heated discussion and he agrees to "do it my way". My way is to set duplicate markers agreeing with the historic surveys. So far I have paid him half of the 110,000 peso fee agreed upon. I very much need ACCURATE markers along which to build probably $30,000 worth of new boundary fence.
QUESTIONS:
Am I obligated to pay this YAHOO registered engineer for the priveledge of survey mapping my farm based on what "my farm hand" tells him instead of accepted engineering practice of reading and reestablishing the clearly defined historic points for which I am paying him?

His classic comments have been. "Juan showed me the wrong line !"
"What is your problem? You always have the old historic survey maps to prove you own the land !" Effectively, this #&&#&&# is setting me up for a case in court in the future attempting to disprove his inaccurate new survey map by utilizing the old historic maps when my neighbors try to claim some 150 to 200 tareas of my land utilizing the new survey map on public record.
(It's not on public record yet.....Thank God !....but would have been had I not caught on to what he was doing!)

Thanks for ANY thoughts or observations.......I must soon return to DR to see what he has done........IF ANYTHING !

Caribee........................Lloyd :pirate:
 

mido

Bronze
May 18, 2002
1,522
14
38
Who is your realtor, law firm and the engineer??
A good realtor or law office wouldn't even close a deal for you if they wouldn't be sure that you use a good survey company. They would have checked on this before the purchase.

Good luck with your farm, sound's like a nice but ambitious project.
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,946
506
113
I think I would kiss the RD$50K good bye and hire

Lorenzo Casanovas from Santiago or Manuel Bonnelly. How is this for a reputation: I, HB, would stake my life on the accuracy of their work. they are that good. In fact, it was probably Casanovas that did the first surveys...
Lorenzo Casanova C x A : 247 3593
Manuel Bonnelly: 582 1748

While ther might be others these two have done work for me and they are of the "old"school.

HB
 

Ben

Member
Feb 2, 2004
148
10
18
Used Containers

Since you're shipping a large quantity of household gooods in the near future, I assume you want to buy the used container close to home. Here's a link to one company that sells them.

Used containers are also offered for sale on EBay.
 

Fiesta Mama

Bronze
Jan 28, 2004
772
58
0
Caribee (aka Llyond) - my dos centavos

Now I will first state that I am not familiar with DR surveying practices... BUT I will give you the knowledge I do have with respect to surveying and the purchase of land in Canada. Most lawyers in Canada (when acting for the purchaser) would require that an up-to-date survey be done on a piece of property prior to the sale of any such property (this is done to avoid the problems you are now having... determining the property boundary). That being said, an up-to-date survey is one which obviously shows up-to-date land boundaries, as well as any rights-of-ways, buildings, trees, bushes, fences, etc. which may have been erected on the property since the last survey was done on the property. Any legitimate surveyor would easily be able to map out the proper survey perimiters using a metes and bounds description or compass directions (especially with the existence of a previous survey/deed) and would NOT need the assistance of a "farm hand". In fact the practice which you have described is utterly unheard of as far as accuracy goes. There is no way the property lines should be off by the distances you have indicated. I would take heed with Hillybilly's advice and cut your losses now and hire a new surveyor! Whatever you do, don't register any new survey on title until you are satisfied that it accurately represents your property. You are lucky in one sense in that you are having the survey done after you have purchased the property because had it been done before, it most likely would have been registered on title before the property was transfered to you (whether it was accurate or not and then you would be left to prove the "on title" survey was inaccurate)!
 
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Chris

Gold
Oct 21, 2002
7,951
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www.caribbetech.com
First lesson in the DR - never ever hire anyone to do work for you, unless you have good references from people you can trust regarding the person and his/her work. Negotiate with your first surveyor and pay him something. Then let him go. Then take HB's recommendation and work with a reputable surveyor. I trust you have a good attorney as well - you will need him/her.

I would love to see your farm. Good luck. One of the lessons that I've learnt since we've lived here (only going on two years now), is to use reputable professionals for professional work. You pay a little more, but the problems simply disappear.

My neighbor has one 40 ft container (pretty rusted out) hanging around. I'll ask him if he wants to sell it, or rent it....
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
80
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0
corecto said:
Being a angeneer yourself, I thought you would at least interview this guy before hiring him. Did you do that?

Utilizing a trusted friend to intrepret, I interviewed him to determine that he was a registered engineer in DR, and (I thought) understood that I wanted the lines (so precisely defined by the old surveys) determined and marked with fresh new concrete markers where old ones could not be found. He, on his own, obtained excellent copies of the four old surveys plus a larger area control survey map with which to work. Given that he was all smiles and in apparent total agreement with all my requests....I ASSUMED he would do a competent job and handed over half the agreed on $110,000 RD. WRONG!! :devious:
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
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0
mido said:
Who is your realtor, law firm and the engineer??
A good realtor or law office wouldn't even close a deal for you if they wouldn't be sure that you use a good survey company. They would have checked on this before the purchase.

Good luck with your farm, sound's like a nice but ambitious project.

Lifes experience has taught me to ALMOST NEVER name names and tell negative stories same time......BUT..... There was no realtor involved. I found the property completely on my own. The attorney I hired did (in my opinion) an excellent job tracing down 7 heirs in three countries and getting ALL to agree and sign off on the contract to purchase. My attorney pretty much took direction from me on exactly how to proceed. I utilized every scrap of info I could find on the internet on "How to proceed with land purchase in DR". I decided to proceed without a fresh survey, given that I had the four OLD EXCELLENT survey maps in hand. My attorney, however, strongly suggested that a fresh survey be done. I somewhat reluctlantly agreed but instructed her to IN NO WAY slow up the purchase process to wait upon a finished survey because I got what I perceive to be a "great deal" on the purchase....and any delay risked the possibility that any ONE HEIR would change their mind mid process and screw up the entire purchase.
BOTTOM LINE.....The boggled up survey was my fault and not my attorney's or real estate agents. NOTHING, BUT NOTHING in life is completely perfect and fool proof and often you must take some risks to accomplish what is worthwhile.
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
80
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0
Hillbilly said:
Lorenzo Casanovas from Santiago or Manuel Bonnelly. How is this for a reputation: I, HB, would stake my life on the accuracy of their work. they are that good. In fact, it was probably Casanovas that did the first surveys...
Lorenzo Casanova C x A : 247 3593
Manuel Bonnelly: 582 1748

While ther might be others these two have done work for me and they are of the "old"school.

Thanks so much for the above references....MUCH APPRECIATED !!
As soon as I can get to it I will contact them and finish the survey project. :cool:
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
80
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0
Ben said:
Since you're shipping a large quantity of household gooods in the near future, I assume you want to buy the used container close to home. Here's a link to one company that sells them.

Used containers are also offered for sale on EBay.

BEN.....Thank you so much !! This is EXACTLY the info I needed. :)
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
80
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0
Fiesta Mama said:
Now I will first state that I am not familiar with DR surveying practices... BUT I will give you the knowledge I do have with respect to surveying and the purchase of land in Canada. Most lawyers in Canada (when acting for the purchaser) would require that an up-to-date survey be done on a piece of property prior to the sale of any such property (this is done to avoid the problems you are now having... determining the property boundary). That being said, an up-to-date survey is one which obviously shows up-to-date land boundaries, as well as any rights-of-ways, buildings, trees, bushes, fences, etc. which may have been erected on the property since the last survey was done on the property. Any legitimate surveyor would easily be able to map out the proper survey perimiters using a metes and bounds description or compass directions (especially with the existence of a previous survey/deed) and would NOT need the assistance of a "farm hand". In fact the practice which you have described is utterly unheard of as far as accuracy goes. There is no way the property lines should be off by the distances you have indicated. I would take heed with Hillybilly's advice and cut your losses now and hire a new surveyor! Whatever you do, don't register any new survey on title until you are satisfied that it accurately represents your property. You are lucky in one sense in that you are having the survey done after you have purchased the property because had it been done before, it most likely would have been registered on title before the property was transfered to you (whether it was accurate or not and then you would be left to prove the "on title" survey was inaccurate)!

Thanks for the reply.....I CAN ONLY AGREE......As usual HB came through with not only great advice......BUT INSTRUCTIONS AS WELL...Caribee aka Lloyd :)
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
80
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0
CHRIS...You are so very correct !

:)
Chris said:
First lesson in the DR - never ever hire anyone to do work for you, unless you have good references from people you can trust regarding the person and his/her work. Negotiate with your first surveyor and pay him something. Then let him go. Then take HB's recommendation and work with a reputable surveyor. I trust you have a good attorney as well - you will need him/her.

I would love to see your farm. Good luck. One of the lessons that I've learnt since we've lived here (only going on two years now), is to use reputable professionals for professional work. You pay a little more, but the problems simply disappear.

My neighbor has one 40 ft container (pretty rusted out) hanging around. I'll ask him if he wants to sell it, or rent it....

With 20/20 hind sight I should have requested surveyor references from this board. I can only say I was far from home and my computer....in somewhat of a hurry to close a "cliff hanger" deal with seven heirs and didn't question the recomendation from one trusted friend whom I now believe was shopping more for price than quality and didn't realize the importance of accurate survey work.

Please do check with your neighbor on possible price for his container and PM me.

Chris...I would be most delighted to show you my farm. I AM SO PROUD OF IT! :)
 

Gregg

New member
Apr 26, 2004
176
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0
be careful purchasing used containers. they must be marine certified before you can use them for shipping. and, of course, they should still be dry and tight to avoid damage. i am seeing prices in Canada of about $2000 CDN for a certified (1 year) 40' container.

most of the used ones on the market are retired from marine shipping and no longer meet "code".
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
80
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0
Mistake avoidance....

Gregg said:
be careful purchasing used containers. they must be marine certified before you can use them for shipping. and, of course, they should still be dry and tight to avoid damage. i am seeing prices in Canada of about $2000 CDN for a certified (1 year) 40' container.

most of the used ones on the market are retired from marine shipping and no longer meet "code".

Thank you so much Gregg.....Excellent info !! This reference tells me that a good used but certified 40' container will be perfect for my needs....ship it full a couple of times during the year certification and then move it around the farm to what ever area is under construction for years to come. :classic:
 

Criss Colon

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
21,843
188
0
35
yahoomail.com
"GOOD LUCK"!

Really,It sounds to me as if you are going to need it!
You sound like a very nice person.You also sound a little like a "Victim"!!! The DR likes to "EAT" victims!
Everyone on DR1 is being very nice to you,that is not the normal treatment from the gereral public here! You sound like you have a lot of money to spend,and are not sure where to spend it.People with bad intentions can smell easy money!
I am worried about you! Please be very careful.I would hate to see such a wonderful project get ruined by thieves and swindlers.Do you have a title to your land verified by title insurance? I doubt it,you would have needed a proper site survey to get that.With no title insurance,you can make lots of improvements,and then lose it all!
Your idea about the shipping containers "Sounds" good,except when you go to the port to get it! You may find that it will cost you more to get it,than it and it's contents are worth! No matter what you have been told about' "No Duty For Residents".
Keep close to your DR1 "Advisory Group" you seem vulnerable!
Have a party at your place,We'll all Come"!Cris Colon
 

Chris

Gold
Oct 21, 2002
7,951
28
0
www.caribbetech.com
Harsh but true!

I echo everything CC says (geez, never thought we'd agree on anything!). In fact, I will go a step further and say that you should not take one penny out of your pocket for further investment in your farm, unless you've lived here for a year or so. Perhaps you should consider coming to live on your farm, see the sale and the survey through properly, and wait a little with other big expenditures until you can distinguish the 'baddies' from the 'goodies' clearly. Get to know those people that will give you reputable services and advice, learn how the cookie crumbles over here without making big financial commitments. You are in for a learning experience and we all have to pay our school fees. You can make it a cheap, or a very expensive learning process.
 

Caribee

New member
Mar 22, 2003
80
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Criss Colon said:
Really,It sounds to me as if you are going to need it!
You sound like a very nice person.You also sound a little like a "Victim"!!! The DR likes to "EAT" victims!
Everyone on DR1 is being very nice to you,that is not the normal treatment from the gereral public here! You sound like you have a lot of money to spend,and are not sure where to spend it.People with bad intentions can smell easy money!
I am worried about you! Please be very careful.I would hate to see such a wonderful project get ruined by thieves and swindlers.Do you have a title to your land verified by title insurance? I doubt it,you would have needed a proper site survey to get that.With no title insurance,you can make lots of improvements,and then lose it all!
Your idea about the shipping containers "Sounds" good,except when you go to the port to get it! You may find that it will cost you more to get it,than it and it's contents are worth! No matter what you have been told about' "No Duty For Residents".
Keep close to your DR1 "Advisory Group" you seem vulnerable!
Have a party at your place,We'll all Come"!Cris Colon

Thanks Criss for your good advice and concern. I did not know title insurance was available in DR but will have my attorney check into it.
I intend to do my very best to not allow the thieves and swindlers to mess up my little piece of heaven here on earth. Actually, I have one trusted dominicano ANGEL of most excellent reputation and proven business expertise on the island who does his very best to keep me out of trouble. He has a tough job but someone has to do it.... :devious: I also have Escott to fry me with his typical NEW YORKER glare when he observes me doing or saying something particularly stupid..... :dead: Not to forget my trusted friend HB who tells it like it is in West Virginia language which I can understand. (Born in Kentucky mountains) Please don't anyone tell HB that I bought a new moto for temp wheels and have so far survived some 800 kilometers of Puerto Plata, Sosua traffic. Yes, I have been warned that some dark night I may encounter a cable stretched across the road to the farm. I have also been advised to purchase a good firearm with permit for further protection. I'm looking for someone to install black out tint on my motorcycle windows but have been unsuccessful to date. :disappoin Actually, so far, my country neighbors have been nothing but KIND, CONSIDERATE and dare I say LOVING...Yep...."loving would be appropriate I think"....Actually, to harm me would be the most stupid move they could make as the farm when in full production will provide gainful employment for literally hundreds of local residents. Criss, rest assured I am planning parties to top anything this island has seen since pirate days. Of course, ALL Dr1 ers, will always be welcome to visit anytime....party or no.
Lloyd.......................aka..........Caribee