House Hunting in the Dominican Republic: A Tropical Compound for $2.5 Million - The New York Times

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International Real Estate

The country’s stable economy and expanding tourism market have helped drive international interests through this epidemic.

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This 12.5 acres

A curtain hangs from the top of the mountain range in Pedro Brand, a rural mountain range in the northwestern suburb of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

The complex is called Compostela del Camino and includes a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom main house, a separate three-bedroom house for employees, and about two acres of fruit tree garden.

This 10,932 square foot house was tailor-made for the current owner in 2010, using coral stone (originated in the Dominican Republic), concrete, marble, precious wood and ceramic tiles. It is surrounded by a sloping landscaped courtyard, from the interior to the pool deck and beyond to the verdant mountains, providing clear lines of sight.

Cesar J. Herrera G., owner of Provaltur International, the listed owner, said that this design maximizes the use of the soft natural light in the north and aims to promote indoor and outdoor life and preserve the natural environment.

"When you go through the gate and enter the terrace, you think,'Where am I?" Mr. Herrera said, noting that the Compostela del Camino did not look like a typical Pede The Pedro Brand building is more like a typical building in a resort community in the Dominican Republic. "It's not normal to be in the middle of the mountain in the big house like this."

Starting from the entrance of the doorway, there are 200 yards of stone walls and manicured tropical plants with a curved driveway before reaching the covered parking lot. On the left is a two-story staff room with a tiled roof and coral stone, followed by a courtyard, which can be seen through a sliding panel door.

The main building is spread out in layers. The open-air foyer is cantilevered with concrete blocks and steel beams. The walls are covered with polished coral stones and lead directly to the minimalist courtyard. The stairwell on the right is a discreet staircase that connects to the guest room and bathroom on the second floor.

Cascading koi ponds and small grassy areas are located on either side of courtyard steps and terraces, leading to large rooms with marble floors and 20-foot ceilings. Large glass and wooden sliding doors lead to the outdoor lounge, jacuzzi and infinity pool, with sweeping views of the verdant mountains.

The dining room is located on the left side of the large room, with a low ceiling and built-in shelves. It is connected to a large kitchen, which can lead to the corridor and stairs to the second floor, where the master bedroom occupies most of the space. It includes a walk-in closet, an attached marble bathroom and a private terrace. A large gym hidden in natural light and another guest room are also on this floor.

To the right of the large room is a study room with bookshelves on each wall. Both spaces have access to the outdoor deck.

A trail follows the curve of the house and swimming pool, and then continues down the hillside, leading to a series of staple foods of rural life: greenhouses, chicken coops, rabbit pens, horses and kennels.

Ms. Herrera said that, unlike many nearby properties, Compostela Caminos Compostela del Camino was designed as a permanent residence. It is close to the Autopista Duarte highway, which takes the driver to Santo Domingo on the southern coast of the island within 30 minutes. Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport is only 30 minutes away. Punta Cana is one of the most popular beach destinations in the country, located 135 miles to the east.

In the past five years, the growing tourism industry, stable economy and friendly tax laws have brought a wave of international buyers to this Caribbean country with approximately 11 million inhabitants. According to local agents, even if the travel ban hinders business development, the coronavirus pandemic has not slowed the momentum.

(According to February 22, the Dominican Republic reported 235,882 Covid-19 cases and 3,048 deaths.

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Agents also reported an increase in the number of Dominican nationals seeking rent for single-family homes away from backyards and gardens away from Santo Domingo and downtown San Diego. In the summer, sales to locals increased sharply, and when the country’s borders reopened in July, international interests quickly recovered.

Melquis Segura, an agent of ApartamentosRD in Santo Domingo, said: “Investors and people who can afford a second home here are buying things like crazy.” “Even if it does. With all these activities, prices have stabilized. I have not experienced more than 7% to 10% growth."

Usually, the busiest buying season in the Dominican Republic is from December to March, but due to suppressed demand and renewed interest in holiday properties, the market has accelerated for three months. By September, foreign buyers poured in

Sergio Llach, CEO of Sotheby's International Real Estate, Dominican Republic.

Mr. Lah

He said that at least 15% of customers browsed the listings virtually and bought invisible sights in 2020, while others who were able to travel on business visited the country as soon as possible (the country has 3 International Airport). Many people are regular visitors. He said: "People who shop in the Dominican Republic have been here at least 10 times." "They are confident in what they want."

In Casa de Campo, a luxury gated community in La Romana, about an hour east of Santo Domingo, the number of villas sold increased by 23% last year

According to data from Casa de Campo Real Estate, in 2019. The price of the villa ranges from US$350,000 to US$6 million, depending on the size, age and distance to the ocean. (The Dominican Republic uses Dominican pesos, but real estate transactions are usually conducted in U.S. dollars.)

The initial hot sale and potential sellers withdraw the house from the market, resulting in a reduction of less than $1 million in inventory. Mr. Lahchi said that before the pandemic, there is usually a surplus of low-end housing for two to three years. The current sales will take six months. He said: "My personal view is that this year, only most large high-end properties will be sold because everything under A$1 million has been taken away." "Sales will decrease by 2021, but the overall value will be higher. ."

In other seaside destinations such as Sosua, Las Terrenas and Punta Cana, growing interest from foreign investors has led to a boom in residential construction. Cheryl Henderson, head of regional operations for Keller Williams Punta Cana, said at least 90 projects are underway in the area, ranging from beach houses in resort communities. It's all about single-family houses near apartment buildings and golf courses. In the past five months, she has seen a growing trend: The area is surpassing the apartment and retirees market and becoming a more ideal destination for families.

She said: "They are not here to make'introduction' international investment." "On the contrary, they have to spend 350,000 to 600,000 US dollars to buy a large house with a yard."

For a long time, North Americans have been the most active foreign buyers in the Dominican Republic, thanks to their proximity to the island and convenient transportation. There are currently 13 direct flights from the United States (most often from New York and Miami) and Canada to Santo Domingo.

Mr. Lallage said: “About 30% of our customers are American citizens.” He also pointed out that Puerto Ricans and French investors have recently seen a surge: “France has not been ranked high this year.”

Alberto Bogaert, vice president of sales at Mudate and president of Asempación de Agentes y Empresas Inmobiliarías, said that Dominicans who mainly live in the United States and Europe but buy a second home in their home country also occupy a large market share. He said: “Many people may buy goods in San Diego or Santo Domingo where they have their families, otherwise they will buy more inland goods in Punta Cana.”

There are no restrictions on the purchase of real estate by foreigners in the Dominican Republic.

International buyers usually hire local lawyers to facilitate the purchase. Herrera said the cost of a property like Compostela del Camino could be about $12,000.

The seller also hired a lawyer to settle the case and pay the real estate agent's commission.

Transaction costs include payment of 3% transfer tax to the seller, notary fee (up to 1%) and 1.3% stamp duty.

Segura said that there are domestic mortgages, but most foreign buyers pay in cash or get financial assistance from external lenders because the interest rate of the Bank of the Dominican Republic is much higher than that of the United States.

Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic:

DR real estate list:

Pedro Brand City Council:

Spanish and English; Dominican Peso (1 Peso = $0.02)

The annual property tax for the house is $24,950, which is 1% of its value.

Cesar J. Herrera G, Provaltur, 1-809-697-5117; and

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