What is the best part of living in the DR ?

Kari

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Mar 21, 2003
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Hi everyone. :nervous: This is the first time I've posted to a forum so I wasn't sure where to post what I know will end up being the same tired story so I hope posting it here will be OK. I live in Iowa right now and have decided to sell everything I have and move to a better climate (bet you've never heard that before). I ran across some info on a web page about 'escaping America' that led me here and
after reading about 7,328 posts I'm still left with a few questions that I was hoping to get some feedback on.
What do you like most about living in the DR ?
Why are there bars on almost all the windows there ?
Is the humidity in the DR comparable to that of Florida's ?
What am I missing about a 1,600 sq ft house w/pool,elect,gen,furn,etc... that sells for 100K in what looks like a lil slice of paradise ? <-- I'll bet there is no simple answer to that.
Sosua seems to the most affordable as far as housing goes but I don't see anything to indicate the reason for that...is there an easy explanation for this or am I mistaken ?
I better quit...seems like my questions are getting longer and longer.Thanks in advance for any input.
Clueless but excited about the DR, Kari
 

Kari

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Mar 21, 2003
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re: Have you read Tims Adventure yet ?

Hi Anna and thanks for the reply...ironically enough 'Tim's Adventure' was the first post I read. I was browsing online at the same time as a friend was...he sent it to me (an attempt to dissuade me I suspect) before i could figure out how to navigate the forum. I think it was a good post and I hope to avoid many of the situations Tim encountered but I know there will be problems. All that aside, I think I can survive if I can just keep these rose colored glasses from blinding me.
Kari
 

Kari

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Mar 21, 2003
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Larry said "we get to go to the DR with a fistful of money"

:ermm: uuuhm..ok...lemme see if I have this right...Larry is the blunt, honest, no nonsense guy ?
Kari
 

sjh

aka - shadley
Jan 1, 2002
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first, ignore larry, I think he has sand in his underpants this morning,.....


The nicest thing about the DR is the people... Of course the climate is great too...

Bars are on the windows to keep people from breaking in... In the DR you have to take care of yourself and your friends. Dont expect much help from the government...


As for affordable, there is a wide range of living styles you can choose to live. To live like a European/American in a major city it can easily cost you more than the US. If you want to live in a shack way out in the country and eat rice and beans it will be much cheaper...
 

Kari

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Mar 21, 2003
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Thanks for the info,Shadley and Larry too. ;) I had my house burglarized here once a few years ago so I guess it can happen anywhere...it's no fun. But I have an 115 lb Akita now and it makes me wonder if he would be as big a deterent to those in need of my 'stuff' in the DR as he is here. As far as the city life goes I think most of us prefer that to the country life from what I saw in the 'survey for newbie's' but on an island like the DR, the city isn't far away is it ? And from looking at houses there it seems like you can buy a nice house for less than you can here and live on less money with reasonable comfort provided one has backup power, a good water source and all the lil things we take for granted here in the USA. All while enjoying sandy beaches as you plug away at your new lil business. But I can't help feeling that I'm missing something that will become crystal clear when I come over to explore this first hand.
Kari
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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If you buy a house, just be sure it is in a gated community that has good security. There are several such residential developments in the Sosua area. Price ranges vary, but they have 24 hour security. In one of these gated developments, chances are you will have no problem. The home owners that do are those who live in an area where there are individual homes with no community organization that collects maintenance fees to pay for such very important things as 24 hour security and a generator that provides electrical power during the many hours that government power is off line.

If you are interested in the Sosua/Cabarete area and want me to put you in contact with an American ex-pat realator who is 100% honest and reliable and who can answer your questions about available housing, prices, security and generator availability, etc., send me an email by clicking on the email button under this post.
 

Paul Thate

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Jan 11, 2002
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thats rather easy
ofcourse the climate.
then the beautiful island.
the fantastic sights all over.
The lifestyle.
the following is probably not going over well.
Its not the people.
While ofcourse there are many great dominicans.
Dominicans are not the reason why its great living here.
Gringos have no rights here.
Have an accident here which is not your fault.
Your problems will be endless.
Have a dispute with an employee that
made false statements to the secretariat
Your problems will be endless.
A dominican lawyer stole a house from a friend of mine .
No lawyer wanted to take this case as it was political.
This case is well known here
Talk to your own lawyer for details,
Only due to much power did he get an meeting with the supreme court who appointed a lawyer. Its stll ongoing.
Not many of us have this power.
So if a lawyer and a judge decide they like your house its gone.
You have no rights. It has happened for real.
You shoot and kill a armed burglar in your house ..
5 days in jail and 150 000 pesos in bribes later the case still goes on , even with a letter of thank you from Candiliero ( spelling?as it was a wanted killer that was killed.)
This also hapened to a friend of mine.
Real cases. Real scary..
Renew your papers you have to pay bribes to get it done.
In general the dominican people do not make it easy to live here.
So i would say
Inspite of the dominican people its great living here.
 

Kari

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Mar 21, 2003
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RE: If you buy a house, just be sure it is in a gated community

Thanks, Ken...that says a lot. It was as if no one wanted to say it. I am basically guaranteed to 'have problems' unless I live in a gated community. I don't think I'm old enough or rich enough to live in one of those from what I've seen while browsing. They'd burn me out for loud music in a week...thatch roofed cabana and all. Thanks for the offer to help with your real estate connection too, Ken and I might take you up on it when I get down there. I'm still selling out and moving somewhere. Right now I'm just trying to figure out where I'm going to visit so I can get a real feel of what any perspective new home is like. Hmmm...know of any '3rd world' countries where I can live like a queen without being robbed while I'm at the beach ? It doesn't look good does it.
 

Kari

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Mar 21, 2003
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Paul Thate said:
Inspite of the dominican people its great living here.

Wow, Paul...now that is scary. :eek: With that kind of thing going on it must be very risky to have any kind of business that involves a risk of injury to others...even if it's sightseeing or something of that nature like whale watching i.e. I slipped on your boat. Of course that would most likely involve only other foreigners I suppose so maybe that's a moot point.
What's this about armed robbers ? Is this a common occurrence ?I got the impression that violent crime was very rare in the DR.
At any rate, I'm still going to visit the island and check it out for myself...there has to be a way to make this work.Thanks for a little brighter perspective anyway, Paul. :)

Gleefully stubborn, Kari
 

Paul Thate

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Jan 11, 2002
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Do not misunderstand me.
Violent crimes do happen here
I do not think its more dangerous then back home..
While I dont know your back home.
There is not more crime here in fact I think less
then in Toronto , Montreal , Newyork, Detroit or where ever.
Be carefull, dont flash your riches you wont have any trouble here
The 5 years I lived here I never ever had any crime problems.
I do not live in a gated community but right on the beach a little outside Cabarete all wide open.
a little bit of a campo around me. I think I am more protected
because of that then that it adds to the danger.
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Kari, you have two good options if you want 24-hour security and a generator to fill the lengthy gaps in government electrical service: condo or house in gated community.

Regarding the cost of buying in a gated community, it may not be as much as you think. For example, take a look at this thread http://www.dr1.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21735 I believe you can get a house in that gated community for around US$75,000.

Condo is another possibility. For example, where I live, I have about 1300sq ft, 2 bedrooms and baths, 24 hour electricty and security, and a very quiet, upscale neighborhood within a block or so from center of town. You can buy a condo here in the US$50K range.
 

Kari

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Mar 21, 2003
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Thanks,Ken. That was a great thread....lot's of great insight into what's been on my mind. The gated lifestyle is just not for me so life on DR may not be for me either. But there's only one way to know and that is to come and see for myself. And if it isn't I'll move on and see what else is out there. Also, I'm amazed how helpful you and some other people are to potential new neighbors like myself and although I'm sure you're all correct about the 'class' of the Dominicans I think you're all selling yourselves short. Many thanks.

Kari

P.S. Paul, what is a campo ?
:confused:
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Kari said:
although I'm sure you're all correct about the 'class' of the Dominicans I think you're all selling yourselves short. Many thanks.

Kari

P.S. Paul, what is a campo ?
:confused:

The campo is the country, that is what is outside of cities and towns.

Don't know what you mean by your statement re being correct about the "class' of the Dominicans. If you are referring to one of Paul's posts re problems experienced by foreigners, it is true they have happened. But most don't find themselves in these predicaments.

You don't have to live in a gated community in the DR. You expressed concern about security in one of your posts so that is why gated communities were mentioned. But that doesn't mean you would want to live just anywhere either. People have had their houses broken into, etc., and mostly they were in areas where there was no security and little reason to fear being observed.

I have been on most of the islands of the Caribbean, and the same potential for trouble existed in all of them. When you live here or on one of the other islands you are considered very wealthy by a good percentage of the population. Doesn't matter that at home you might be considered average or below average with respect to income, etc., here you will be wealthy by local standards. This makes you a potential target, and when you select your location, you had better keep that in mind when shopping for a place to live.
 

mainer

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Mar 22, 2002
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Kari,
I am not sure what your idea of a gated community is, but you need not be rich to live in one.

Most of the houses that we have looked at are in gated communities.

It simply means a subdivision of foreigners and the more well off dominicans that has a guard and a gate at the entrance. They are usually very quiet and safe.

It is not that we feel unsafe outside of the subdivision. We just feel that there is less of a chance of our house being broken into.

mainer
 

Larry

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Mar 22, 2002
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the price

I think the best part about living in the DR is that you can enjoy a tropical climate and all that DR has to offer at such a reasonable price. I still cant get over how cheap things are on the north coast.
Larry
 

AlaninDR

Mr. Chunky Skin
Dec 17, 2002
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I've lived in many countries for extended periods of time, Russia, Panama, Saudi, Western Samoa, Thailand to name a few and of course DR. What I like about so called third world countries is that I have the choice to pay for the services I want without being taxed to death to pay for another persons benefit. For instance, I don't live in a gated community but I pay Giatti (my caretaker) to watch over my home while i'm away. He also does the yardwork and simple chores. More specifically, my home in Texas was burglarized twice in ten years, my aviation business four times in fifteen years. The police never prevented a burglary, all they did was make a report after it happened which resulted in nothing. I like the diversity of DR. From my home in Juan Dolio to the mountains around Jarabacoa is at most three hours. Twenty minutes gets me to SDQ. Forty-five minutes to most anywhere in SD where anything I may want is available. Twenty seconds from my door and I can jump in the carribean. The only downside to living in DR is the pace of getting something done. But, after six months my phone is installed and working so no complaints now. Besides, patience is a virtue and a virtue can't hurt you (i've had to say that to myself hundreds of times).
American by birth, Dominican citizen by choice
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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quoted from one of Ken's posts...
If you buy a house, just be sure it is in a gated community that has good security.

I have to disagree with this statement on a practical and a philisophical basis. There are many people that do not like the gated community lifestyle. We don't live in a gated community. In fact, I don't know that we have any friends who live here all-year-round, that live in gated communities.

I would rather say, look carefully at what is around you, and don't buy the "pink palace" next to the road that already has razor wire and pieces of glass on top of the wall that encloses it. This is looking for trouble.

We live in a community about 5 minutes out of Cabarete. A farm was subdivided and there are three properties out here plus the farm that is still being actively farmed. Two properties are owned by Gringos and one is owned by Dominicans. There has not been a problem here in 8 years. Our landlady lived here alone for most of the eight years. We all know all the neighbors and if there is anything wrong anywhere in our vicinity, all the neighbors (Dominican and Gringo) talk together and decide what to do.

I believe it is more an issue of finding the right community for you, and this may not necessarily be one with walls and security. The property next to us is only sporadically inhabited and the watchman over there keeps an eye on everyone. Know your neighbors and know the people in your neigborhood. This is excellent security.

This is a poor country and theft happens frequently. Murders I believe don't happen so frequently. On a philisophical level, I cannot understand how can we say that there are great people in the DR and then lock ourselves into gated communities so that we have nothing to do with the great people? There are safe communities and safe places to stay.
 

Timex

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May 9, 2002
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Chris

I agree 100% with you.
I also do not live in a gated community.
But I do live in a great neighborhood!
Every body knows each other, and we all watch over the kids.

Thanks
Tim H.