All Things Real Estate: Purchasing a vacation or retirement home requires research

  All Things Real Estate: Purchasing a vacation or retirement home requires research


Some of you who have been quite successful over the years have expressed interest in a vacation, investment, and potential retirement home.  I have helped numerous families and individuals locate their special vacation or retirement homes here and abroad.  This requires quite a lot of researching and digging to ascertain the exact and proper information so as to make a wise and pragmatic purchase.

There are some countries, like the Dominican Republic, according to Colleen Valeiro of DR Properties, that have a one-time fee of 3% (a transfer fee as we call it in the United States.).  However, there are no real estate taxes whatsoever.  There is also an IPI tax of 1% per year on all properties based on their current value above $150,000.  But if you are 65 or older, you are currently exempt from that yearly tax, as long as you do not own any other properties in his or her name.   However, one should be aware and know that this could be subject to change sometime in the future.

There are other taxes that are levied, so you must research and check depending on your temporary or permanent residency and where your income is derived from, etc.   Most important if you are purchasing as an end user or investor, you should look for developments where builders and developers had or have applied and are being approved for what is called a “Confortur” by Dominican law; which will grant tax exemptions to owners of specific properties for 10 years, which in the United States is called “tax abatement.”  Obviously, the R.O.I will be much more lucrative in those situations. As of June 19, 2023, $1 equals 54.9 DOP (Dominican Pesos).

There are more than 250,000 members of the population in the Dominican Republic  – or 12% – who are emigrants or ex-expatriates from the U.S. and Canada and other destinations.  Here is our U.S. government site for more information: purchasing in the Dominican Republic.  There are numerous laws and regulations in their IRS code that you need to check, especially if you are a high-income earner and plan to live there part-time or permanently.  Here is some valuable information and criteria that will be helpful for you to know, info provided by Colleen Valeiro.


If you are planning on staying in the country longer and moving to the Dominican Republic, you may wish to apply for a residence visa.


There are two steps to becoming a resident of the Dominican Republic. The first step is to apply for temporary residency in the Dominican Republic. The second step is to apply for permanent residency. Each step typically takes up to 6 months from the date of application.

To qualify applicants should be able to demonstrate that they are in good health, have sufficient financial means to support themselves, and are of good standing (i.e. have a clean police record).

The application process is relatively straightforward but we would generally recommend that you seek the advice of a local attorney to assist with your application, particularly if you are not fluent in Spanish.


If you would like to live in the Dominican Republic, you can apply to the Migration Office of your local Dominican Consulate for “provisional residency” via a temporary residency permit. Temporary residency permits are valid for 1 year.

To apply, you must submit a package of properly prepared documents including the following, together with a completed application form:

  • Your passport (original),
  • Photo,
  • Certificate of good conduct,
  • Birth certificate,
  • A doctor’s letter confirming you are in good health,
  • Recent bank statements demonstrating sufficient funds and/or sufficient monthly income,
  • Letter of Guarantee from a Dominican citizen or company signed by a notary in the Dominican Republic and legalized by the Attorney General’s office
  • Letter of application, stating your reasons for seeking residency and personal circumstances, which may include: marriage to a Dominican citizen (in which case must provide marriage certificate), ownership of property (in which case must provide relevant documents), job with a Dominican company (in which case must provide contract and certificate of Labour), retirement (in which case must provide pension statement and monthly income from pension),
  • Non-refundable visa fee.

Documents and certificates should be translated into Spanish and apostilled.

Upon completion of the application process, successful applicants will receive a Provisional Residency Card which is valid for 1 year and non-renewable.

For further details, please contact your local Dominican Consulate.


Individuals who have resided in the Dominican Republic for 1 year with temporary residency status may then apply for permanent residency.

Applicants are required to submit a package of documents together with the results of a health check.

Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Deposit which entitles the applicant to a Permanent Residency card.

Permanent Residency Cards are valid for 2 years and can be renewed for a fee at the Immigration Department for periods ranging from 2 to 10 years.


Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck.  He has 42 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and also as a Certified International Property Specialistas well as the new “Green Industry” Certification for eco-friendly construction and upgrades.  For a “FREE” 15-minute consultation, value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell:

(516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] or via https://WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com  Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas or suggestions on future columns with your name, email and cell number and he will call or email you back.

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