Brucito’s First Birthday Party

Hi You all,

Here is my sons first birthday party. I think the photos tell the story.


Bruce Pierson.
DR Paradise / Homes, Villas and Estates
Homepage: www.drparadise.com
Email: bruce@drparadise.com
Telephone/Fax 1-809-240-6054 (D.R.)
Cellular:1-809-910-4190
USA: Voice over IP- 1-(908)-212-7524.

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Who Else Wants a $70,000 Home in the Caribbean?

International Living Articl re the DR written 9/07 

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With prices so low for a view like this…does it really matter if the lights go out once in a while?

 

 

There is no one-place-fits-all paradise, no one destination that is perfect for everyone reading this…but the Dominican Republic comes pretty close.

[DanDannyDaniel Hussmann]

I’m certainly finding this to be true. I’ve only lived here for a little over 3 months now, but I’ve been here probably 250 days this year. I’m not lacking for anything here…all the creature comforts one could ask for in a stunningly beautiful locale.

The beautiful coral-rimmed island of the D.R. has great weather and world-class beaches, not to mention a low cost of living and a stable government, within a short travel time of the U.S.

[DanDannyDaniel Hussmann]

The Dominican Republic is a very stable government now. It’s is backed strongly by the U.S. and the U.S. will see to it that it stays that way. They will not allow another Cuba or Venezuela in their back yard so they cultivate great relationship through many different programs.

American travelers are very popular here.

In fact, the country has so many advantages for a second-home buyer…that you may wonder why property bargains still abound. Here’s the answer: A few years ago the Dominican Republic had the fastest-growing economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. But a banking crisis put the economy into a tailspin, causing the D.R. peso to plummet from 16 pesos to the U.S. dollar in 2000, to 54 pesos in early 2004. The peso has now recovered somewhat and recently traded at about 34 to the dollar.

[DanDannyDaniel Hussmann]

It’s traded now at about this same price for about 2 years or so. Real Estate is really cheap here. Especially if you are comparing it to most other places in the Caribbean and absolutely if you compare it to the U.S.! Tax structures are so cheap it’s almost laughable for those of us from SW Florida and other parts of the State…probably the whole U.S.!

Bruce and I talk all the time about how one can live like a King or Queen here for $2,000 – $3,000 after your housing expense. I mean maid, gardener, cook…the works!

Plus, issues such as persistent electrical power failures have deterred property shoppers. However, the D.R.’s new investors are combating this by seeking buildings and developments with on-site generators. A renovated one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment overlooking the pool in a popular condominium complex at Sosúa (within walking distance to shops, restaurants, bars, and beaches) comes at a price of $66,500.

[DanDannyDaniel Hussmann]

These prices are getting harder and harder to find. It’s being done, but one really has to know their way around. That’s why it’s important to use somebody like us here at DR Paradise Real Estate in Las Terrenas Samana Peninsula Dominican Republic.

The northern coast of the D.R. has long been the country’s most popular spot for tourists and property buyers. Some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean are the big attraction, but the North Coast also has fine dining, exciting night life, colorful culture, lots of sports, and friendly residents. Condominium apartments are available on the oceanfront at Cabarete, offering a seaview and a stretch of beach only 100 yards away. Units have granite counter-tops, coral stone wainscoting, imported porcelain tiles, and top grade stoves and refrigerators. Other amenities include a pool, laundry facilities, backup generator, 24-hour security, and parking. Price: $79,245.

[DanDannyDaniel Hussmann]

The north coast is our stomping grounds…especially the Samana Peninsula. I know Cabarete pretty well too and I’d like to know where this condo is. I have an idea, and it’s probably there, but I would not want you to come here thinking there are going to be tons of choices for you in this price range. Why don’t you call me and we’ll talk?!

Respectfully yours,

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann

1-829-644-8094

www.drparadise.com

Skype Address – dlhussmann

Gorgeous Dominican Children

A-h-h the gorgeo us Dominican Children. I keep returning to my theme that living here is like returning to the 1950´s! Mothers stay at home, fathers are involved with the raising of their children, and the kids? Well, the kids PLAY OUTDOORS!

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Las Terrenas new Municipal Park, now we’re getting a marina too.

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It’s really nice to see how Las Terrenas is moving (slowly) into the 21st Century. We are getting a new Municipal Park, and it’s right on the Atlantic Ocean. I’ll take some more pictures when they’ve finished construction. They look to be about 30% done already! Next thing youknow we’ll have paved roads!!!

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Wow! Speaking of moving into the 21st Century!!! Take a look at this! Already our new Golf Course is well under way, now we’re getting a marina too! Las Terrenas on the Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic?! Golf?! Marina?! Municipal Parks?! Wow is right! I’ve lived here only 3 short months and I can’t believe all the things I am seeing. Are we going to lose our sleepy little hide away? Well, that seems inevitable! Real Estate in the Dominican Republic could hardly look better!

Whether this is a buyer’s or seller’s market

Good day. I’m an investor — I buy & sell lots and land. I’m considering your area, (sic, Las Terrenas and the Samana Peninsula) and I wanted to get your opinion as to whether it’s currently a Buyer’s market or a Seller’s market there, specifically for lots and land [and to what degree, if possible – Strong Buyer’s Market, Moderate Seller’s Market, etc]. Thanks for your help. God bless and have a great day!

Dear sir,

Thanks you so much for your interest in Real Estate in the Dominican Republic.

About your specific question of whether this is a buyers or sellers market the answer is yesthat may seem glib, but its sort of true and I will try to explain.

There is not a lot of available real estate inventory, so that keeps a nice steady increase in prices going. This is a good thing. Things like limited shoreline (there is never enough shoreline), problems with clear title, (we know who, what and where to go here), and the fact that it just takes time to get anything built here (its that Caribbean Clock thing) all these things keep inventory low and that makes it better for sellersa Sellers Market.

That said, there is a ton (and I mean a TON) of interest in all things Dominican, and especially Real Estate on the Samana Peninsula. This means that there are new projects sprouting up every daybeautiful thingsgolf courses, marinascondos, homes, mountain-top retreats and there is a TON of commercial building starting too. This means its better for buyers a Buyers Market.

So does that help? Or does that hurt? What I think it means is a Very Healthy Real Estate Marketgreat balance and favorable to all. How long can we sustain it? Im thinking quite some timemany factors line up to keep it balanced. More visitors, more tourists from the US, more interest, more properties getting started, more better title searches, more available money for loans coming on line, and more, more, more equals a nice steady burn.

Im a Real Estate Broker from Southwest Florida. I have a Real Estate Brokerage office there. All of my agents that are left are working part-time jobs at places like Home Depot! Believe me, I know when a market gets out of balance. Ive seen the market go both ways. The last thing I want to see is a pendulum shift too far one side or the other. Come on down and get in on this action!

Respectfully yours,

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann

1-829-644-8094

Skype Address – dlhussmann

Who’s Driving the Market?

Dear Friends,

Lief Simon has been a contributor to International Living since the beginning. He is a Real Estate guru and has investments all over the world. Here he makes some valid points and, I think maybe some not-so-good. Please read his article and my comments in red.

I am at your service!

Who’s Driving the Market?
International Living Postcards–Saturday Edition

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007

Dear International Living Reader,

U.S. real estate markets are in crisis mode, and one big question on everyone’s mind as a result is: Will the rest of the world follow suit?

My response: Yes…and no.

Many of the economic factors so negatively affecting the U.S. housing market right now don’t exist in much of the rest of the world. While you can get high loan-to-value mortgages in some countries–and you can even get no-proof-of-income loans in a few–most banks in most countries maintain higher credit standards than have U.S. banks for the past many years.

[DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

In the Dominican Republic, cash is usually king. However, banks are coming on-line and offering “conventional” (30 year mortgages at competitive rates) loans. Like Mr. Simon says, higher credit standards are demanded…but they are really smart about it. For instance, one bank will make pre-construction loans but they require a one year “cross-collateralization”. This means the loan is guaranteed by property owned in the US, but just for one year until your construction is well out of the ground.

Furthermore, the rest of the world isn’t compelled to pull itself ever-farther up the housing ladder. In the States, people buy starter homes…which they intend to sell just as soon as possible for something bigger. And so on. In many countries, people aren’t concerned about owning at all. They’re content to rent. And, if they do buy, they buy once. They wait until they can afford the house they expect to live in the rest of their lives. The idea of buying, selling, buying, and selling your way to a McMansion leaves them shaking their heads in dismay.

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

People here in the Dominican Republic are not buying starter homes. 

Much of this is cultural. But other, more practical factors play a part, too. Specifically, the big transfer taxes, fees, and stamp duties imposed in many countries (which, in some cases, can amount to 10% of the purchase price or more) help to keep people from playing the climb-the-ladder game.

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

In the Dominican Republic, our transfer taxes are (    4%   ) there are no other fees, or Stamp Taxes…there are very little property taxes, and there are no capital gains taxes if purchased with the correct legal advice, if  purchasing in the name of an off shore company, or if purchasing more Dominican Land.

All of this creates generally more stable real estate markets, especially in Continental Europe.

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

And the Dominican Republic, especially here on the Samana Peninsula

Back to the original question…and to get to the point: Housing markets in countries that have been offering easy and high loan-to-value mortgages are going to fall, maybe hard, just like the U.S. housing market is falling.

Countries, though, that have been more prudent in their lending practices needn’t necessarily follow suit…and I don’t think they will.

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

Like the prudent lending policies and requirements here in the DR. We also prudently use title companies like Stewart Title and First American title. Lending companies want to see this as well.

The U.S. economy has been the world’s leader for more than a half-century. Everyone can’t help but wonder, now that it’s taken ill, how contagious the sickness. Certainly, some markets will catch what the U.S. has got. But I don’t think the epidemic or its symptoms will be as bad as many fear.

Indeed, foreign markets driven by U.S. speculators have already been hit. Some of these markets I’m invested in myself, so I’ve watched with interest. My conclusion? They continue to push ahead. The investor/speculator buyers may be thin on the ground  (as they are in the US!)…but the vacation-home and second-home buyers have continued in force. They’re coming not only from the States, but elsewhere, as well.

And this now becomes an important factor to consider when evaluating a property investment opportunity. Where are the buyers coming from? Is there a local market (as in Panama, for example, which I believe, as a result, is better immunized against what’s going on in the States than, say, Nicaragua…at least outside the frenzied pre-construction Panama City market)? And is there a non-local market beyond Americans (as there is in Argentina and Uruguay, both of which are of interest to European and Latino buyers…maybe more so than they’ve ever been of interest to American shoppers).

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

Santo Domingo, capital city of the Dominican Republic is one of our best markets. A local Century 21 realtor told me three days ago that rich Dominicans (and there are very many) make up 70% of her clients! 

There are also many Dominican Construction companies here in Las Terrenas. They are building condo projects, homes, and commercial space and they are selling mainly to Dominicans from the capital. We have many beautiful new beachfront condos like Palmarie and La Fenice, Another new project is going in right next to our Casino. We have beach front land, mountain sea-view lots and more…and all of these have been bought, built and/or sold to Dominican´s from the capital and all around the country.

Dominicans are investing heavily in their own future!

Investor buying in U.S. property markets was down in 2006. However, the percentage of housing sales in the U.S. attributed to vacation homes last year increased. This makes sense. Vacation-home buyers are typically thinking longer term. They’re not looking to flip, as a speculator would be, in a matter of a few years. They’re buying, generally, something to enjoy through retirement.

All this is to say that foreign real estate markets and buyers are changing. They are not, however, disappearing.

The key is to think long term.

Taking this perspective, you’ll notice (as I am noticing) that many countries make good sense right now for a vacation home buy. Places where there isn’t a local housing crisis, as there is in the U.S. Places where the U.S. market doesn’t drive the local market. Places where there is the possibility, say, of renting out your house or apartment when you aren’t using it.

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

Here in Las Terrenas, we have several “Condo-Hotel” opportunities as well. Alisei www.alisei.com and Colibri www.colibri.com just to mention two. These folks have everything in place and are actually cash-flowing and are seeing returns on monthly income. All this and not mentioning that you get to come, stay, and enjoy your unit a couple months out of each year.

These are condo-hotels where all rental income goes into a pool, and is divided up by owner per sq. ft. owned and amount of available time in rental pool.

We sold apartments to several people last year for $120,000 USD preconstruction and now, those same units are selling for $250,000 USD. We do not advocate “flipping”. In fact, that is the last thing we want to see here…an over-heated market due to a bunch of speculative buying, selling and flipping!.

There are built in fail-safes for us here. For instance, inventory is VERY low. Demand is VERY high. It takes longer to get things built here, and, there is not that much good land (buildable and/or with good title) available to add more inventory. This will likely keep inventories low.

Two places in particular that come to mind may seem unlikely recommendations right now: Paris and Croatia. Even with the euro at an all-time high, these (and other) European destinations can make sense…especially if you can qualify for a local mortgage and are able to earn short-term rental income in euro, as you would be in both Paris and Croatia, for example. (The European can give you further updates on these areas.)

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

This makes no sense to me. The dollar is being devalued more each day. Even Canada has passed us! Why would anyone from the US go to Europe?! The Dominican Peso has stayed steady at about 32 Pesos per Dollar for 4 years.

Other spots to think about include Morocco, where prices are low and foreign mortgages are available; Romania, where ski properties are particularly appealing and inexpensive; and northeast Brazil, which boasts the world’s most prized commodity–inexpensive beachfront.

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

As for these, the only safe place for American’s is maybe Brazil. The Dominican government is staunchly pro-America. Not to mention, the Dominican Republic is only a short 1.5 hour flight from Miami! It’s a “no-brainer”!

Why these markets? Because they’re not driven by U.S. buyers. And, right now, that’s a big deal.

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

Again, he’s lost sight here. It’s not the US buyers that are driving any market. It was and is cheap money with imprudent credit lending practices. You all know what is going on with the sub-prime lending market!

Lief Simon,
For International Living

DanDannyDaniel Hussmann] www.drparadise.com 829-644-8094, or please use my Skype address: dlhussmann

Thanks so very much for your time. My comments are my own and no one else’s. If you would like to see the DR in all its glorious (natural and economic) beauty, please give me a call!

Waterfalls at El Limon, Samana, Dominican Republic

Barb Irvin adjusts her seat on the way to the Waterfalls at El Limon Samana Peninsula Dominican Republic

 

Horse ears on the way to the Waterfalls at El Limon

 

Riding through the mountainside we were treated to many wonderful sights. We saw coffee trees, papaya, Sugar Cane, Coconut Palms and a host of birds, lizards and even a snake. There are no poisonous snakes in the Dominican Republic!

 

John Irvin enjoys his ride to the Waterfalls at El Limon Samana Peninsula Dominican Republic

 

 

 

Waterfalls at El Limon

 

 

Beauty! Waterfalls at El Limon Samana Peninsula Dominican Republic

 

The water, while certainly brisk and refreshing…­invigorating even, was also certainly tolerable! I’ve swam in much much colder mountain streams in the mountains of North Carolina for instance.

 

Fresh water Shrimp and crabs and of course fish were plentiful

 

Barb Irvin tries to decide it she will brave the waters

 

 

 

Our intrepis photographer, Dan Hussmann takes a swim. It was very hard swimming against the current from the falls!

 

 

 

 

Quite a workout!

Photographer Dan Hussmann emerges from the froth!