House Hunting in … the Dominican Republic

There are generally no restrictions on foreign ownership of property in the Dominican Republic.

Local financing is available, but usually at less attractive terms than many buyers could get at home, Mr. Suero said, so most international buyers pay in cash or obtain loans elsewhere.

Although it is not required, buyers are advised to hire an experienced local lawyer to represent them during the transaction, which usually takes around 45 days. The lawyer will oversee due diligence on the property, Mr. Suero said, arranging for a title search and appraisal, among other things. Legal fees are usually 1 to 2 percent of the sale price of a property, although they are negotiable.

Closing documents must be notarized. Notaries, who are required to have a law degree, charge a nonnegotiable fee based on the property’s value.

Spanish; Dominican peso (1 Dominican peso = $0.02)

Sellers typically pay the real estate agent’s commission, which ranges from 4 to 8 percent of the sale price. Buyers are responsible for a number of closing costs, including a transfer and stamp tax.

The annual property taxes on this home are $7,000, Mr. Gonzalez said, and monthly homeowner association fees, which cover common-area maintenance, security and garbage collection, are $755.

Luis Gonzalez, Holden Sotheby’s International Realty, 809-571-0072,; and Jennifer Kirkman, Sea Horse Ranch, 800-635-0991,

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