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Dominican Republic – Buying Property

Legal Restrictions on Property Ownership and Sale in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic generally allows foreign nationals to own and sell property with relatively few legal restrictions. However, there are some important considerations:

  • Beachfront Properties: There are restrictions on the ownership of beachfront properties, as the first 60 meters from the high-water mark are considered public land. Special permissions may be required to acquire such properties.
  • Permission for Non-Residents: Non-residents may need to obtain a permit from the Dominican government to purchase property, especially if the property exceeds a certain value.
  • Condominium Law: Foreign nationals should also be aware of the Condominium Law (No. 5038), which regulates the ownership and management of condominiums.

It’s advisable to consult with a local lawyer or real estate expert to navigate any legal requirements when buying property in the Dominican Republic.

Average Property Prices in the Dominican Republic and Regional Variations

The average property prices in the Dominican Republic vary depending on the region and property type. Here’s a general overview:

  • Punta Cana: Punta Cana, a popular tourist destination, has relatively high property prices, with beachfront condos averaging between $200,000 and $1 million or more.
  • Santo Domingo: The capital city offers a wide range of property prices, with apartments ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 or higher.
  • North Coast: Areas like Puerto Plata and Sosúa offer more affordable options, with condos starting at around $50,000.

It’s essential to consult up-to-date sources or local real estate agents for current pricing information.

Popular Locations to Buy Property in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic offers various attractive locations for property buyers. Some of the popular choices include:

  • Punta Cana: Known for its beautiful beaches and resorts, Punta Cana is a top choice for beachfront condos and vacation homes.
  • Santo Domingo: The capital city offers urban living, historical sites, and a bustling real estate market.
  • Puerto Plata: Located on the north coast, Puerto Plata is a destination for those seeking a more laid-back atmosphere and affordable properties.
  • Cabrera: Cabrera, on the northeast coast, is known for its natural beauty and tranquil lifestyle.

Your choice of location should align with your lifestyle preferences and investment goals, whether you’re looking for a vacation home or a permanent residence.


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New Upcoming Areas in the Dominican Republic

While established areas continue to attract buyers, there are also emerging regions that offer great potential:

  • Cabarete: This coastal town on the north coast has been gaining popularity due to its water sports, vibrant expat community, and property investment opportunities.
  • Las Terrenas: Located on the Samaná Peninsula, Las Terrenas is known for its picturesque beaches and has been attracting both tourists and property buyers.
  • La Romana: La Romana is undergoing development, with new residential projects and golf communities drawing attention from investors.

These emerging areas may offer competitive property prices and the potential for future appreciation.

Trends in the Dominican Republic Property Market

The property market in the Dominican Republic has experienced several trends in recent years:

  • Eco-Friendly Properties: There is growing interest in eco-friendly and sustainable properties, including those with solar panels and energy-efficient designs.
  • Luxury Developments: Luxury resorts and gated communities continue to be developed, attracting high-end buyers and investors.
  • Short-Term Rentals: With tourism on the rise, short-term rental properties, particularly in tourist hotspots, offer income potential for property owners.

Staying informed about these trends can help you make informed decisions when entering the Dominican Republic property market.

Is Buying Property a Good Investment in the Dominican Republic?

Investing in property in the Dominican Republic can be a good choice for several reasons:

  • Tourism Growth: The country’s tourism industry continues to expand, attracting visitors and creating demand for rental properties.
  • Stable Economy: the Dominican Republic has a relatively stable economy, which contributes to the stability of its property market.
  • Foreign Investment: The government encourages foreign investment in real estate, offering incentives and tax benefits.

However, like any investment, it’s important to conduct thorough research, consider your financial goals, and seek professional advice before making a purchase.

Common Property Types in the Dominican Republic and Buying Procedure

In the Dominican Republic, common property types include apartments, townhouses, detached houses, villas, rural properties, and vacant land. The typical house buying procedure involves several steps:

  1. Property Search: Begin by searching for properties through real estate agencies, online listings, or private sellers.
  2. Property Inspection: Visit the properties you’re interested in and consider hiring a surveyor for a thorough inspection.
  3. Offer: Once you’ve found a property, make an offer to the seller, typically through a real estate agent or directly if it’s a private sale.
  4. Agreement of Sale: Sign an Agreement of Sale (Contrato de Compraventa) with the seller, outlining the terms and conditions of the sale.
  5. Deposit: Pay a deposit, usually around 10% of the property’s purchase price, to secure the transaction.
  6. Legal Checks: Your lawyer will conduct legal due diligence, including verifying the property’s title and assessing potential issues.
  7. Notary Public: Property transactions in the Dominican Republic typically involve a notary public to authenticate documents and ensure their legality.
  8. Finalization: Pay the remaining balance and complete the property transfer.

This process ensures a transparent and legally sound property transaction in the Dominican Republic.

Finding a Reputable Lawyer in the Dominican Republic

When buying property in the Dominican Republic, it’s crucial to work with a reputable lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions. Here’s how to find one:

  • Recommendations: Seek recommendations from expats, friends, or colleagues who have purchased property in the Dominican Republic.
  • Online Research: Conduct online research to identify lawyers with experience in property transactions in the country.
  • Dominican Bar Association: Look for lawyers who are members of the Dominican Bar Association (Colegio de Abogados de la República Dominicana), the official organization for lawyers in the country.

The fees charged by lawyers can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction and the lawyer’s experience. It’s advisable to obtain a quote from your chosen lawyer before proceeding with legal services.

Dominican Bar Association is the official website of the Dominican Bar Association, where you can find more information about the organization and its members.

Pitfalls and Common Problems in the House Buying Process

expats buying property in the Dominican Republic may encounter certain pitfalls and issues, including:

  • Language Barrier: Language differences can lead to misunderstandings, so having a lawyer who speaks your language can be beneficial.
  • Property Title Issues: Ensuring clear property title and verifying the absence of any encumbrances is essential.
  • Complex Legal Procedures: The legal process in the Dominican Republic may differ from what expats are accustomed to in their home countries.
  • Hidden Costs: Be aware of additional costs such as property transfer taxes and legal fees.

Working closely with a qualified lawyer and conducting thorough due diligence can help you avoid these potential problems.

Purchasing Property through a Company in the Dominican Republic

Yes, it’s possible to purchase property through a company in the Dominican Republic. This approach may offer certain advantages, such as asset protection and tax benefits. However, it’s essential to understand the legal and financial implications involved.

If you plan to buy property through a company in the Dominican Republic, you’ll need to follow the legal requirements for setting up and registering a company, which may include obtaining a tax identification number (RNC) and adhering to corporate governance rules. It’s advisable to consult with a lawyer and a tax professional to ensure compliance with Dominican corporate and tax laws.

Keep in mind that property ownership through a company may have specific tax implications and legal requirements, so it’s essential to seek professional advice and stay informed about any regulatory changes.


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