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Moving to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic

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William Russell Health Insurance
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William Russell Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: Moving to Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep? DATASENTENCE Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to Santo Domingo.

What do I need to know before moving to Santo Domingo?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Santo Domingo, they said:

"I advise you to visit the better area of town which is called Piantini and Naco. They are very cosmopolitan areas, located in District National Santo Domingo along ave Winston Churchill. Ask Apolo Taxi which I discovered to be the most safe and trusted Taxi, to take you to the Blue Mall on Ave Winston Churchill. Also Go to The Acropolis which is a few blocks from the Blue Mall on the same street. Walk the neighborhood for three blocks in each direction from Ave Winston Churchill and you will see many buildings with condo's for sale(vende) or rent ( alquiliar). There is a Holiday Inn Hotel located 5 minutes from this area on Ave Abraham Lincoln. Both malls have resteraunts and movies. Your supermarket is across the street from the mall. there are at least six banks betwee the two malls along with resteraunts and Pharmacies. Everything you can walk to, if you get your apartment there. Plus the area is quiet and secure. You will not have the loud Dominican music playing 24 hours a day. it is a normal tranquile neighborhood. A 3bedroom unfurnished can cost US$800.00 a month. I recommend you do not fall for the fully furnished apt. ads. If you do, make sure you sign a month to month lease. This will protect you from the bad feeling of living in a place with someone's old trashy furniture and having to put up with it until the lease expires. Also be sure to make certain that your deposit is not listed on the contract as a security deposit. Make sure it is listed as your last months rent. Visit the area for a week on each visit. If you decide to live in a Dominican area with the Bodega's and places that sell beer this is good if you are 27 years old, but if you are retired you will dread the day you did this. Trust me. Banking you should open a checking account and only deposit enough for your rent and utilities each month. The banks constantly suspend your account for no apparent reason. Keep the lion's share of your cash in the bank of your country and use your debit card to take money out," said another expat in Santo Domingo.

"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," added another expat who made the move to Santo Domingo.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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How do I find a place to live in Santo Domingo?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"I chose my neighborhood because it is located within walking distance of the Sea and one half block from the Metro/Subway. I found my apartment through a website named Sublet.com," remarked another expat in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

"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," said another expat in Santo Domingo.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Santo Domingo?

"I live in a furnished 2 bedroom apartment. This is typical of the expats I have met. My next door neighnor have lived in their unit for ten years. They are from Canada/Germany," remarked another expat who made the move to Santo Domingo.

"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," explained one expat living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

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What is the average cost of housing in Santo Domingo?

If you are thinking about moving to Santo Domingo, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"I live in Boca Chica and rent a 3 bedroom for $440/month. It's on a very good well so no water bill. Electricity here is iffy, but the last 3 or 4 months have been great with no major outages," commented one expat who made the move to Santo Domingo.

"The monthly cost of rent is $550.00 which includes water, gas for cooking, internet and cable tv, with a 30 year old tv supplied by the landlord. I must pay for electric $30.00 a month unless I use the air conditioner which is also very old and will raise my electric bill to over $100.00 a month. There are ceiling fans in every room. i use them in lieu of the air conditioner. I have a land line home phone from Claro for $30.00 a month for 400 minutes. I just signed up for a bundle package of Phone/cable/internet with Claro for $75.00 a month," remarked another expat in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What should I pack when moving to Santo Domingo?

We asked people living in Santo Domingo to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"I wish I'd brought Cooking utensels, Spices for cooking, American Cable TV. There's nothing I wish I'd left behind," said another expat in Santo Domingo.

"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," remarked another expat who made the move to Santo Domingo.

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How are healthcare services Santo Domingo?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Santo Domingo, they replied:

"You must purchase private insurance here. Public medical care is available but it is not the same, it is seriously inferior," said one expat living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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