Why the Dominican Republic in 2016?

Dominican Republic beach with palm trees and sunset

Dominican Republic beach with palm trees and sunsetDR FAQ—Why This Is A Top Backup Residency Option

When I sat down with my conference team to put together our 2016 calendar of events, the Dominican Republic was at the top of my list of destinations I wanted to be sure we included.

Why the Dominican Republic in 2016?

In short, the answer is that this island nation is your best option for an affordable life in the Caribbean and one of the best places in the world right now to invest in a rental property, both because of the growing demand and also because the property market is undervalued. In some places, you can buy a rentable one-bedroom apartment for as little as US$50,000.

Another reason to be looking at the Dominican Republic right now is its approach to residency. You don’t have to live in the country to be a resident and enjoy the associated benefits, making this a great backup residency option.

Furthermore, while officially you’re required to have two years of permanent residency before you’re eligible to apply for naturalization in the Dominican Republic, the country is keen to attract foreign investors and residents and so is allowing applications for naturalization after just six months of permanent residency. The naturalization process used to take seven years; it’s currently taking a year-and-a-half. Again, this country is very eager to attract foreign investment dollars.

Here are answers to frequently asked Dominican Republic questions to help you consider and process the investment, residency, citizenship, and other opportunities on offer in this sand-fringed jurisdiction…

Q: Do you have to be a resident to open a bank account?
A: No.

Q: Is there a minimum deposit requirement when opening a bank account?
A: No, not always. Depends on the bank.

Q: Where is the Dominican Republic in relation to FATCA? Are banks compliant?
A: Yes, some banks are compliant. This is an evolving situation here, as …Continue Reading

Global Property Buying With Lief Simon

Beautiful tan and brown stone house on a property with a green yard and black fence.

Beautiful tan and brown stone house on a property with a green yard and black fence.How Lief Simon Turned US$5,000 Into US$150,000 Profit

I didn’t set out to become an overseas property investor. It happened by accident.

In 1998, I was moving, with my then brand-new husband Lief Simon, my 8-year-old daughter, and my business, from the East Coast of the United States to Waterford, Ireland. Arriving in Ireland, we needed a place to live. We could have rented (and we did, at first, for about a year), but I wanted a place of our own, and, more than that, I was drawn to the idea of owning an Irish Georgian-style country house made of stone.

My new husband didn’t object, and, so, we set out to find one the way any couple of Americans would set out to buy a house. We dropped by a real estate agent’s office in the center of Waterford City.

We sat down with Mr. O’Shea and gave him the rundown on the kind of house we were looking for. Georgian. Stone. At least three bedrooms and three baths… with a bit of land for a garden. Mr. O’Shea seemed to take our criteria under advisement and suggested a time later in the week when one of his agents could take us out to view available properties.

That first day out, we saw not one house that matched the description we’d given to Mr. O’Shea in his office. Instead, his agent took us to see four new-built “bungalows” in “estates,” as the Irish refer to suburban housing subdivisions, just outside the city. I refused to get out of the car to walk through the fourth place. It looked just like the three we’d already seen and that I’d already explained weren’t at all what we were interested in.

This was our introduction to shopping for property in a real estate market without a Multiple Listing Service. No MLS means that agents can’t show you everything available that …Continue Reading