Showing posts from 2015

Now to get down and dirty...Caribbean Style!

So you will recall the gross pool and construction shot...We've since heard that the Texas family who built on the adjacent lot has moved in which hopefully means the construction team cleaned up the little shack and break area as promised...
So with a little photoshop help we cleaned up the view a bit (although I'm pretty sure the living fence and a couple trees may have to stay) we end up with this:

Much better and with some landscaping we should be able to obscure the house more from our view. Not to mention improve our own with lots of palm tress and flowering scrubs.  I really never aspired to be a gardener, but I love looking at tropical blooms, so I feel inspired!

We've also learned that the neighboring family has no pool...which might present an opportunity, if they would like to use our pool in exchange for maintaining it??  Can't hurt to ask.  We won't be able to use it except during the 4 or 5 weeks a year when we vacation here...might as well see!


Drum roll Please!

Actually no drum roll necessary, right?  I already told you that this all works out in the end.  I personally HATE suspense, sorry.

So, during my second evening of conferences. I was reading through the final version of the sales contract when I discovered that one of the lots depicted in the document was NOT one of the lots we had proposed to purchase. Upon further inspection, I discovered that Sebastian had sent the wrong mortgage survey to the lawyer.  It took some screen shots and quickly sent them to our lawyer and Sebastian and Thomas. Needless to say, the closing did not take place at 5 PM as planned.  And Thomas ran out of data on his prepaid sim card the next day - his departure day- before I could inform him that everything worked out in the end.  We had the right lots described and the owners had agreed to one last stipulation in the contract.

Side note (should I call these something?  Like DR Factoids? The purpose of this is essentially to inform...hmmm....):  Buying prope…

Murphy's Law

Whatever CAN happen WILL happen- Some Guy Named Murphy

Or is it -  Anything that CAN go wrong WILL go wrong?

Whichever it is I kind of felt like I was in a Murphy's Law Unluck-Loop.  So after the car accident and the hours sitting in the rain waiting for a police officer and then a tow truck.  (Total side-note: a Volt is a very cool car, but it doesn't always know what's going on...two miles after the fender bender it just stopped if it was clueless that it had been in an accident until 5 minutes after leaving the scene of said accident...)  I made it to school for second hour which was good because I had been planning for weeks to pair my German class with a colleague's graphics class to do some cross-curricular lessons, blah blah...BUT, after having to take a half day to deal with car issues and arriving technically only an hour late to meet my students in the graphics lab the whole school lost power. LOL!

Wednesday was a blur of Uber-rides and hitchhik…

Much Ado About Nothing!

Phew!  After weeks and weeks of e-mailing with our DR lawyer and haggling with getting our down payment funds liquid. our signing happens today! Yay!  I'm starting with this fact because as I give you the "Play by Play" I want you to know it all works out in the end.  Sorry, for those Schadenfreudians out there!

So here's what the house actually looks like.  But, if you remember from previous (photoshopped) pictures there is now a small 200 square foot addition.

This home was originally built as the first in a 10 house vacation home development in the hills overlooking Cabrera. The other homes were never built. The lots are small and originally had wooden fences running on top of the short coral rock walls you see here. For reasons unknown...but probably due to the Great Recession...the other homes were not built and the lots have since been sold in pairs. One family bought the two lots adjacent to our three and have since begun building a large three-story house.  M…

WOO HOO! ...Now what?!

We have an accepted offer, people!  YES! ain't over 'til it's over, Rene....

So, we've hashed out the details of our Caribbean property purchase. And in the process of figuring out the steps I've learned a great deal...which we know is a scary supposition...I KNOW there's plenty more I don't know, and what you don't know is always what gets ya!

Now we are waiting on our funds to come in.  We decided to refinance a rental property that was nearly paid off.  It means that property will not be providing a 100% free and clear income, but it worked out to about $150 more per month in payment which equals about $400 in income instead of $550.  But, that property is very stable to rent, and it means no out of pocket expenses to put the down payment on the DR property.  Then we'll make monthly payments until another one of our properties sell next summer, and we are confident it will sell quickly.  But, there are a lot of if's and when's…

The Devil is in the Details

Okay, the whole reason I'm writing my first blog is because by nature I am an extremely impatient person. I get so antsy when waiting for anything I freak out! I started typing as a means to vent. And my normal outlet for these kinds of anticipation periods is my mother. However, I can't talk to her about this because we aren't telling anyone of our plans to buy a vacation home in the DR! They will mean well but out of ignorance actively try to dissuade us! Better, to present them with a done deal where they can come and enjoy the North Coast of the Dominican Republic AFTER THE FACT!

After returning from our trip, Thomas and I
realized we were desperate to return or at least have a return trip on the books. We learned from Barry that the unfinished house which I admit was my primary hope after having seen the couple properties available was out of our price range. We would have to stretch uncomfortably to purchase it and we wouldn't have the bulk of the funds until nex…

Our little House on the Hill...maybe?

So, here's a picture (with some photoshop additions ;-) Nice touch, Sebastian) of the little house on a hill above Cabrera.  I've been looking at this house listed on a few real estate sites since spring of last year. It was listed around $120,000...then $110,000...and then magically, the day we arrived  in Cabrera, it was reduced to $75,000! That had to be fate! So, still reeling from seeing the possibilities of the unfinished property, but having no idea what the sales price would be, I called Sebastian at DRcoastalproperties and made the appointment to see this house.

We met at his office on the main road through Cabrera and it took about 10 minutes up a coliche road and down what seemed like little more than a path to the house.  It was built as the model house for a development by the owner and sits in an odd lot set back from the view.  The other 9 little lots are easily discernible by short rocky walls that have been built already.   But, for whatever reason the owner …

A definite possibility

Since vacationing in Punta Cana in Dominican Republic in 2014 pretty much on a whim, my husband and I were eager to get off resort to see if the landscape and people of Dom Rep were the right fit.

my tripadvisor review

So we booked flight to Punta Cana because they were cheapest and rented a car for about a week to drive across the country to the north coast and rented a one bedroom casita right on the sea.

This setting was probably out of our financial reach, but we wanted to have the camparison of a direct-on-the-ocean lot versus 180 degree distant view and discern what distance gives us the optimal view and takes advantage of the breezes that one finds up in the hills above the ocean.

We had contacted a real estate agents at and While in Cabrera we saw lots, and small houses ready to be used, and the aforementioned partial build. Sebastian from DRcoastalproperties showed us a little 2 bedroom 1.5 bath home that needed fixes.  It has a pool a…


Okay, so there's a limited amount of space upon which to regurgitate all thought...duly noted.

As I said, you are witnessing first hand my very first blog attempt...and our journey to purchase property in the Caribbean.

So where was I?  And how do I get my blogs to appear in chronological order...or would that confuse readers?  I guess, I'll find out.

Back to Cabrera...

Not only did we fall in love with this little farming town that hit all our checklist points, but we saw three properties that we were very interested in.

One was a plot of land with a breezy beautiful view...ocean dominant...not to be obscured too much by haze...but way less corrosive salt air to deal with and a price point that's within our means.
The problem with this lot is it's pretty far away from town, not too far, but I'd like the option of being able to walk places. (Which is a calculated risk in the Dominican Republic due to crazy non-existent road rules!) And there's nothing there.  …

Up to speed...

So bear with me here...I want to get anyone interested up to date on our process.

A few years ago my husband and I discovered that we both had long held a dream of living on a tropical island.  Not unusual, I know very few people who don't harbor a similar dream...though most of them have set their eyes on the Sunbelt of America, whereas my husband and I are fully open to the idea of expatriating. We've both lived in other countries for years at a better half lived on five continents...and we love the idea of learning another language and culture.

In retrospect, all the clues were husband's "life's a beach" sign, our many cruises in the Caribbean and vacation rentals in the Bahamas and visits to Dominican Republic...if we had a choice about where we would like to live full-time, it would be somewhere tropical.


There's the South Pacific, Hawaii, Caribbean, Latin America, Bahamas--which I always think of as the Caribbean--B…

Hello! This is my very first entry on my very first blog.

This is a shot in the dark.  I've never blogged before but I am an avid reader of blogs and posts on the internet, and thought I'd share my thoughts and insights and stumble over the next few years of our search for a vacation home in the Caribbean that we hope to utilize and possibly rent for the next 7-8 years and then retire to...well, that's the plan anyway.

After a 6 day whirlwind trip to the Dominican Republic's north coast, we are going full-steam ahead trying to secure a little piece of paradise for us to use as a family vacation spot and eventually retire to.  We came back heads full of possibilities.  And before I go crazy, I had to find a way to get my thoughts out.  And scouring other blogs didn't quite satisfy. goes!