How much do all those costs come to? Just Curious

My rent is $500/month…2/1 with pool less than 2 minute walk to beach…food is not cheap but you learn how/where…dentist 1st trip with sedative and a huge antibiotic shot because she was abscessed was $12…2nd trip to actually pull the tooth was less than $30


I just thought this interesting

Helping the Locals get Ahead

I just thought this interesting…I can see some of that here in the DR…I personally have a husband/wife/2-year old daughter living with me full time. They cook, clean, garden, run errands, built my patio and teach me Spanish…or I should say, they teach me Dominican. I in turn, pay their rent, buy all the groceries, beers, medical and dental and allow them to use my vehicle anytime they need it and I am not using it. They also earn money by cutting hair and cleaning a couple other houses…it’s an awesome symbiotic arrangement!

It’s only been one month, but we are quickly becoming close friends and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

International Living Postcards–Saturday Edition

Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007

Dear International Living Reader,

Last week’s Saturday Edition generated a lot of reader response.

One reader wrote to say: “I have lived in the Lake Chapala area for almost four years (thanks to IL opening up our world to the possibilities). We employ 2.5 locals full-time (maid full-time, driver/personal assistant full-time, and gardener half-time). In that time, our gardener has gone from riding a bike to work to owning a car. Instead of renting a place to live, he now owns a home (which he built). My maid is sending her eldest daughter to college and hopes to educate all her children. Our driver/PA can now support his family adequately and give his two girls a good education.”

This is a good example of improving opportunities for locals. Rather than having to go to Los Angeles to be a maid, this person’s maid can stay in her home town with her children.


Hello all my patient friends and family!

As most of you know, I am living in Las Terrenas Dominican Republic now. We started trying to buy this property 8-9 months ago!

We finally did it! After several set-backs and delays, we conquered all and we closed on all 54 acres late Friday! I would have written you sooner but my computer has been under doctors care for 3 dog-gone days. I am so ecstatic I can hardly sit still. This is a life-changing event for me!

I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank Randy Schwickerath for his gargantuan efforts. Without Randy, there is no way this would have come to fruition. He worked so diligently and he steadfastly believed in the property and that it was worth the efforts he was putting forth! I’m really proud and happy for him…well, for all of us!

I’d also like to thank Michel and Sharon Johnson. When the going got tough, these people told the going where to go! They uprooted their families, moved down to Cabarete, dug in, and spent tons of time and energy supporting Randy and seeing this thing through. All three of these people are EXACTLY the type of people we should all be glad are taking the helm on this project.

I spoke to Randy late last night. He is already arranging an appointment with the company that did the Cliff-side treatments you saw pictures of. They are coming “The Cliffs at Las Galeras (working name) to begin the preliminaries on developing the 14 acre Lot A! We are going to waste no time pushing forward with this. He has already done much of the groundwork of drawing site plans and floor plans, etc.  – bigger, better, more amenities …”tweaked” as he calls it.

Everything is going just super here in Las Terrenas too. I can’t believe how busy we are…I actually thought  I would be joining a slower life-style here…HA! Real Estate in the Samana Peninsula is going gang busters. Las Terrenas, where I live is undergoing quite q metamorphasis…new condo projects, several new commercial spaces and some hotesl are all coming on line. Not to mention Golf! Las Terrenas Golf course is getting under steam as we speak. I find myself working even more here in the dominican Republic than I did…in Fort Myers…I started to write…”at home”…but I realized this is my home now!

We still some shares of Lot B’s 40 acres that can be sold. These shares are still worth at least $40 so it’s still an awesome deal for them. When we finish the Cliff-side treatment, they will be worth much more. When we finish the infrastructure they will be worth, you got it, much more!

OK, I’ll keep you posted. Those of you that invested, thanks again for your patience and congratulations again for your savvy business acumen!

All my very best and I hope to see you soon in the beautiful Samana Peninsula Dominican Republic!



PS Hey folks – one of our marketing ideas is to have fans made up. One side of the fan will be our “The Cliffs at Las Galeras” Logo and pictures on it. The other side we want to put English to Spanish translation words and phrases. We think people will keep these around and they will help visitors.

I’ve been compiling a list of some words and phrases…normal stuff like cervesa and vin tinto and cuba libra…oops, sorry, I am telling on myself here…but I was wondering if you had any suggestions. Food, drink, directions, metric conversions??? Come on, put your two pesos worth in!


Three steps to Citizenship and a Dominican Passport

Hello friends,

Considering relocating to another country? or second citizenship options? We think the Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic may be the place for you!   You may not have realized, but this is no small Caribbean nation! We boast a population of about 8.5 Million happily smiling souls. We are located just 3 and ½ hours by plane from New York and a 90 minutes hop/skip/and jump from Miami/Ft Lauderdale. There are many airports to choose from including our newest International Airport at El Catay. This modern beauty was built specifically to service our beautiful Samana Peninsula on the north coast. Samana has been specifically hand-picked by the Dominican Government to become “The Jeweled Showcase of the Caribbean.”

I can think of tons of reasons to choose the Dominican Republic as your place to be. I’m going to share these with you too!  But one of the many reasons people seek out the Dominican Republic for residency and dual citizenship opportunities is because of its quick, simple, easy, and most of all welcoming procedures for procuring both legal residency and eventual citizenship as well.

Now I’m a Realtor. I work with DR Paradise Realty. We’re located in Las Terrenas on the Samana Peninsula. Remember that “Jeweled Showcase” I was  speaking of earlier? Well, if the Samana Peninsula is the “Showcase”, then by all facets (pun intended ;o)) of your sparkling (too far?) imagination, Las Terrenas is the Crown Jewel in that showcase!  This may not be the best forum for specifically identifying Las Terrenas as the perfect place to be (it is though!)  but I couldn’t resist just a small plug for our special spot in the brilliant Dominican Republic sun. Hey, it could easily become your special spot as well!

Have you ever looked into buying Real Estate in the Caribbean? Places like the Bahamas, Bermuda, St. Martin, Aruba, Turks & Caicos Islands, etc? How about Costa Rica or Panama? We’re 10 years behind their pricing! But it won’t last long! There is a great steady heat here in the Dominican Republic Real Estate Market. Prices are climbing upward every day.   In comparison, if you have ever attempted to shop for real estate in some of the other Caribbean Islands and countries, you will quickly realize what a bargain this is.

Did you know that bank account interest is Tax-Free for residents and non-residents alike.  Please take a look at some of the typical Short-term CD rates being offered….

 Here is the link that shows you on the Central Bank´s website, but here are the rates:






Fixed-Term Investment Certificates


Annual Interest Rates

180 days


365 days


18 months


24 months


30 months


 What this means is that your dream of an early retirement income derived from banking investments is actually a do-able thing here! If you have some liquid cash, you can actually live off your interest. Did you know you can live here, quite comfortably on as little as $2,000 per month? Heck, my Social Security checks will cover most of that!

Yes, some things are expensive…gas is not cheap and prices for food in the grocery stores can surprise you. But you quickly learn what, where, and how to make smart purchases. For instance, my haircut in Las Terrenas this week, with tip, with razor trimming and probably 40 minutes of TLC in the chair was only about $4 US!  Also, labor is really cheap, real estate is really cheap, the sand and the beach and the sun and the stars and the warm friendly people are cheap too…in fact, those last five things are all free!

Tomorrow, I will write more about the reasons people would want to obtain residency and/or Citizenship (passport) status. Just exactly what are the benefits? Are there any downsides? Then on Thursday, I will Outline the actual step-by-step process for doing so.

Until then, I have enjoyed sharing one of my many passions, the stunningly gorgeous Dominican Republic with you and I look forward to sharing again tomorrow!

Your friend in the DR,

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann

DR Paradise Realty


Final Installment – 3 Steps to Dominican Citizenship and a passport – the Outline

Its me again, DanDannyDaniel coming at you from Beautiful Sunny Dominican Republic where every day is like the vacation youve always dreamed of!

I promised you the step-by-step outline for Residency and eventual Dual Citizenship in the DR and Im the last one that wants to disappoint! Without further ado..

Three Steps to Citizenship and a Passport

Step  1. Provisional Residency

a.      Medical Exam

1.      Must be taken inside the DR

2.      By a Medical Doctor

3.      At the Department of Immigration

a.      Urine Sample    >

b.      Blood Sample    >     (looking for Aids, Illegal Drugs, and T.B with these 3 tests)

c.      Chest Ex-ray    >

d.      Have you had surgery in the past 5 years?

e.      What prescription Meds are you on?

f.      Various and sundry other medical questions may be asked.

b.      Department of Residency Application filed

1.      Copies of current passport needed

2.      Certified or original copies of your Birth Certificate needed (be sure to make copies, originals will not be returned)

3.      Police letter of good conduct from your local Police Department (easier for some than others! ;o))

4.      Proof of Economic solvency in the amount of $500,000 Pesos Dominican (about $15,000US at this writing)

a.      Can be cash

b.      Real Estate purchase

c.      Business Investment

d.      Utilization of a locally Incorporated Company

5.      Interpol background check by National Police (Uh-oh, look out James Bond)

c.      Once Residency Application is filed you may expect to obtain your Initial Provisional Residency Card and your Initial Cedula (ID) Card within 60-90 days both these cards are valid for one year.

d.      Now you have all rights to live, work and citizenship except voting

e.      This also starts the clock ticking for eventual citizenship

2. Permanent Residency

a.    After the original one year time frame for the Provisional Residency has passed, the above process is Repeated Once Again Exactly as Explained

b.   The purpose is to renew the above. Renewing then changes the status to Permanent residency

        1.  Your 2nd Residency Card is valid for two years

        2.  Your 2nd Cedula Card is valid for six years

c.  The reason for this duplication is because the Dominican government wants to see that all applicants have demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens.

3. Becoming a Citizen (and gaining a 2nd Passport)

        a.  After the above Permanent Residency Status is completed, Application for Naturalization is deposited

        b.  This takes about 5 months

        c.  Find a competent attorney this is my disclaimer hereyou will need a Dominican attorney we can make recommendations for you.

        d. You must make yourself available for a brief interview

                1.  This happens 2-3 months after your Application for Naturalization is deposited.

                2.  You must demonstrate some knowledge of the country and basic historical factssuch as..

                        a.  Major cities

                        b.  Airports

                        c.  Founding Fathers (Im not one of them though I do consider myself somewhat of a pioneer)

                        d.  Date constitution was Signed

                        e.  Etc,.

                3.  Swearing in Ceremony

                        a.  Usually the Chief of National Police or the Vice President, whomever is available  though the President will actually sign your papers

                        b.  Held Monthly

                4.  Once this is completed you may apply for your new Passport (takes one day!)

                5. Also apply for a new Cedula Card as a citizen (usually about 45 days)

OK, thats it. Bienvendo, welcome, glad to have ya! Now, lets buy and sell some Real Estate!

All my best to all of you. I hope you will visit soon and enjoy our little piece of DR Paradise!

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann



Posted in Legal. 6 Comments »

Why in the world would someone even want to get a 2nd residency, or even dual citizenship?

Hello-o-o, Im ba-acc-kk!

Lets pick up where we left off yesterday. Why in the world would someone even want to get a 2nd residency, or even dual citizenship? Whats in it for them?

First of all, aside from the very attractive reasons to consider living in the Dominican Republic,  this country has gone out of its way to simplify these matters. I told you they were a welcoming sort didnt I? The Dominican Republic offers a very simple and uncomplicated process both for residency status and naturalization (citizenship and second passport) .  OK, that being said, lets get back to the why of it all. Some questions that some people may have are: Why would someone be interested in going through a process for residency status or even a second citizenship?  Is this legal? What are the benefits?

The three main reasons are: taxes, banking or investments, and personal safety, usually in that order.  In Europe, your personal and corporate income taxes could go as high as 65% or more.  If you live in the United States or Canada, you could be paying close to 50% also.  OUCH!! So relocating to a country where you can legally opt out of paying these (I believe) exorbitant taxes is impetus alone for doing so.

Would you like to know how to do this? I bet you would!    Well, Europeans and Canadians especially, (and other countries as well) can declare themselves legally non-resident for tax purposes.  If you prove that you are legally resident someplace else, if you are no longer living in your previous home country, and you are not using the various government services you would otherwise pay taxes for and use,  you should not have to pay for these services Por supuesto y si claro as we say here! Of Course! This makes perfect  sense to me!

The laws are quite different for Americans.  But, Americans can exempt up to about US$82,000 or so (this figure is indexed up each year) if such a person is both living and working outside of the US.  Did you catch that folks? I said Exempt, this is no write-offits as if your first 80 Grand is TAX-FREE!  I hardly think I need to say too much more about that! Isnt that exciting?

Did you know that Americans especially have a difficult time establishing a bank account, brokerage account or other kinds of investments outside of the US.  What could be the reason for this? Its certainly very legal for a US citizen to own a bank account or investment account outside of the US.  It is also   very legal in most countries for foreigners to establish accounts as well.  Legality is not the problem. Banks and investment firms make up their rules. The US government makes up its rules. Guess what? Many banks and investment firms dont like the US governments rules. They dont want to play with the US government! They believe the US Governments rules and regulations are an aggravation, a harassment…a real pain in the ol nalgas to be blunt! (H-m-m, Ive felt the same thing myself once or twice!).

These financial institutions would rather just do without.  Many such firms have decided against accepting American citizens investments. They very simply do not want the aggravation of being beleaguered by the US tax authorities.  So, they simply do not accept US citizens as an internal policy.  So, if there were a legal way around this dilemma would you do it? Of course you wouldyoure a smart cookie! Why not become something other than a US citizen? Im not saying you should give up your American citizenship. Heck, Im as Red, White and Blue blooded as anyone! Im proud to be an American! But since obtaining a second citizenship is perfectly legal for Americans (and for many other nationals as well), and it could help me keep some of my hard earned money, and especially since I truly am NOT using the various government services I normally would be paying forshoot, sign me up! If you or I have a second passport, we can get around these harassments and start earning some of those great interest rates we discussed earlier.

I really hate talking about the personal safety aspect. Unfortunately, this is a very real consideration for Americans.  It cannot be denied there are many areas in this great wonderful world where US citizens are not warmly welcomed. I must say, the Dominican Republic is definitely not one of them. Here, we are welcomed with open arms and wide Dominican smiles.  Even in my somewhat limited travels I have been acutely aware that my American body was perhaps fouling up the air.   Having legal travel document from someplace else, an alter-identity so to speak – may help you steer clear of jeopardy and in the most severe circumstances, perhaps even save your life.

Every country has a process allowing you to become a legal resident, and eventually at some point in the future, a citizen (entitling you to a passport).  And this is true when it comes to the Dominican Republic.  The main differences here, are the costs, requirements and waiting time. As I mentioned earlier, the Dominican Republic has an open arm policy and they have streamlined the method for doing this. 

OK, have I helped? Have I bored you to tears? Tomorrow, I will add the step-by-step outline for making this happen. Thank you again for your time and interest. I am at your service if you need me for this, for  travel arrangements to the DR, and especially for helping you find the right Dominican Republic Real Estate investment for you!

Until tomorrow then,

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann