What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I wish I had brought a tin opener, good knives and vitamins. I should have left my nicer clothes and shoes at home and my jewelry.
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
When you move to the DR, unless restricted by work, I would spend a couple of months in a few different areas as the country is so diverse. Once you have decided on the area then just put the word out that you are looking to rent and the potential landlords will find you. Do remember to take into account that access to electricity and water are not automatic, so you need to check their availability. The prices of property vary dramatically by area - the more touristy and closer to the sea, the higher the price.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
There are no expats here. I have a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single storey house with a large garden. It is a typical house for a middle class Dominican.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
i have lived in various parts of the country. The first place was a tourist resort on the Caribbean sea, where I went as my job as a scuba diving instructor was there. A small studio came with the job and after a month I moved into a rental apartment. Here you just put the word out you are looking and people come to you with their apartments. Now I live in a little Dominican town, chosen as it was far from tourists and hence much safer and much cheaper. Again just put the word out and found the house.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Lower. To rent a standard 3 bedroom house in an expat area is around 600-1500 US$ a month. If you live in a gated community it is more. A similar property in a purely Dominican town or village is around 200 US$ a month.