1) The Investment
Smart investors are purchasing second homes in Punta Cana for the impressive return on their investment. The Dominican Republic offers some of the best real estate opportunities in the Caribbean. Properties are still very affordable and despite the global real estate economy, prices have held firm or have increased slightly since 2008.
Purchasing real estate in the Punta Cana-Bavado-El Cortecito area is an exceptional investment, especially when owners rent their property to vacationers. The area has been experiencing a phenomenal boom since 2006 and is considered a worldwide key tourist destination with about 60 world-renowned all-inclusive resorts and many highly desirable residential communities.
Foreigners can buy and own real estate or other property freehold (free and clear titled property with your name on the deed) without the need for residency. The one-time property transfer tax is well below the U.S. average and below the average of most other Caribbean markets. The DR also offers many incentives to foreign investors, like no property taxes on approximately the first $140,000 U.S.
The Punta Cana real estate market provides a strong and consistent long-term appreciation value. Foreclosures or short sales are rare because most properties are purchased with cash, or with minimal bank financing. Also, most properties on or near the beach are fairly new and distressed properties are extremely rare.
Check out Investment & Buying Resources for more information.
2) The Beaches!
Punta Cana’s beaches are renown for their soft-white sand, abundance of natural palm trees, buildings no higher than the tallest palm tree, vivid, glowing turquoise and blue ocean waters, a constant breeze, and a reef barrier that keeps sharks, jelly fish and other sea critters away from the shoreline.
Currently there are over 60 all-inclusive resorts and numerous residential communities stretched over 20 miles of beautiful beaches.
3) The Climate
It is almost always warm and sunny in Punta Cana, with average highs around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It may rain at night or in the morning, or sprinkle mid-day, but rain typically lasts no more than 20 minutes.
We believe the best time to visit is at the end of low season (August-October) when the temperatures are just right, tourist traffic is low, and prices are the best everywhere.
4) The Tranquil Lifestyle & Expat Communities
Life slows down in Punta Cana and relaxation and reflection are norms, rather than rarities. It is a place where many nationalities come together to work, retire and play in the tranquility of warm weather, gorgeous beaches and an easy-going Caribbean culture.
Most expats are from Canada, America, England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia. Owners from all over the world form rewarding, long-term relationships within and beyond their condo communities and neighborhoods. They often have in common lifestyles, travel experiences, hobbies, professions, health and fitness goals, and much more. And of course, together they enjoy the benefits of their beautiful condo communities, such as luxurious pools, gorgeous community areas, on-site restaurants, and more.
5) The Abundance of Things to Do
There are endless things to do, places to go, and people to meet in Punta Cana. There are incredible beaches, unforgettable excursions and tours, enticing local shops, delicious restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, casinos, pubs, exciting night life – you won’t be bored!
In fact, the entire country is diverse, beautiful, and teeming with opportunities to explore. There’s white water rafting in the mountains of Jarabacoa, whale watching in Samana Bay, kite surfing on the north coast, soft white beaches on the east coast, and even a couple desert regions. We highly advise folks to explore this beautiful and amazing country.
6) The Culture, Local People, and Rich History
Punta Cana’s culture is extremely relaxed and is very devoted to tourists and expats. Its friendly locals are primarily Dominican and Haitian. The Dominicans are beautiful, humble and helpful people who are full of life and have close family ties and moral values (97% claim to be Christian-Catholic). The Haitians are modest, hard working and happy to have employment in the Dominican Republic. Although Spanish is the primary language, many people in the service industry speak varying degrees of English.
Christopher Columbus landed on Hispanola Island in 1492. Over time, the eastern part of the island became the Dominican Republic and the western part became Haiti. Santo Domingo, the capitol of the Dominican Republic, is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas and overflows with beauty and history. It is the most populous city in the Caribbean and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7) The Low Cost of Living
Overall, the cost of living in Punta Cana is quite low. The following are very affordable – professional services, manual labor (repairs), insurance for cars, home and health (especially health), medical and dental costs, veterinarian costs, real estate and rent, internet, cable TV, and entertainment. Food is a bit more expensive in or near the tourist zones, but a 40-minute drive to larger grocery stores resolves this concern. Some costs are higher – such as cars, gasoline, and name-brand clothing due to shipping taxes and tariffs.
8) The Rapidly Growing Infastructure
The Dominican Republic is not a “third world” country, but it is still “developing.” This is the perfect climate for investors as the economic conditions have kept prices from overinflating like they were prior to 2007.
Telecommunication and transportation is readily available throughout the country and the government has recently pumped millions of dollars into road improvements and waste management. In 2012 the Coral highway was completed, making travel from Punta Cana to the rest of the island fast and easy (Santo Domingo can now be reached in less than two hours). The country has several international airports and the flight between Punta Cana and Miami takes only two hours.
While some infrastructure is still lacking, Punta Cana is changing and growing quickly. Just 14 years ago, Punta Cana was just beaches, palm trees, and narrow dirt roads with a few small local businesses. Today it can be compared to Miami 30 years ago, but is growing at twice the pace.
9) The Business Opportunity
Punta Cana has only become a popular destination over the past ten or so years, so there are still many excellent business opportunities here. Growth has been phenomenal, but often investors pursue the same things like tour companies or bars or restaurants on or near the beach. For a savvy entrepreneur, there are many other businesses or services expats desire. Contact us for consultation / market research services we provide on business opportunities. For more information, check out Investment & Buying Resources.
10) The Government and Economy
The Dominican Republic has one of the most stable governments in the Caribbean. It has a positive attitude toward foreigners and foreign investment and also requires less red tape in regulations and policies, thus allowing more free enterprise. Many Americans are buying in Punta Cana to escape the economic and ecological stresses in the U.S., as well as new laws and rules.
The Dominican Republic also has the fastest growing economy in the Caribbean with an impressive Domestic product and expansive export. It has preferential trade agreements with the U.S., Europe, Central America and other Caribbean countries.
The nation’s president was educated in the United States and understands and appreciates capitalization in the good sense of the word. He has mirrored many democracies that have worked in the U.S. and has learned from many that haven’t.
11) The Low Hurricane Belt
Hurricanes hit the Dominican Republic about every 12 years on average, but the areas of Punta Cana are not really affected. This is because Puerto Rico typically takes the brunt of the storms. Residual winds (or tropical storms) typically work themselves to the north or south of the island and are carried away by natural jet streams, with a stronger potential of effecting the north coast (Puerto Plata/ Sosua/ Cabarete) or the south toward Santo Domingo. Hurricanes are also attracted to land mass, thus miss Punta Cana because it’s located on the farthest eastern side of the island. Typically by the time a hurricane builds up enough force, it has already passed Punta Cana. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons Haiti (which is at the complete opposite side of the island) is often hit hard by hurricanes.
12) The Low Crime Rates
Punta Cana has very low crime rates, primarily because it thrives on tourism and works hard to keep its tourists safe. There are some petty ”theft” crimes of opportunity, but for the most part expats feel safer here than in most U.S. cities. Driving here is a bit crazy, asi it is in most Caribbean destinations, but we have great transportation tips. Drugs are minimal. It’s rare to smell or see drugs here and penalties are severe for those who smuggle or sell them.