Safe Caribbean Real Estate Purchases: Avoid These Traps!

Have you decided to buy a property in the Caribbean? Fantastic! You are probably aware that investing in this asset class opens up a range of possibilities that are not available with other forms of capital investment. However, this step involves a whole new area, related to choosing the right property, the partners who will accompany you on the purchase path, as well as a number of other nuances, the omission of which may lead to the wrong decision. The situation becomes even more complicated when you decide to buy a property in an exotic country with a different culture, language, legal regulations or social customs.

Below we present a list of the most common mistakes made when buying a property in sunny Dominican Republic, as well as ways to avoid them, so that you can fulfill your dream of owning your own piece of paradise without unpleasant surprises.

Safe Buying of Property in the Dominican Republic – What To Avoid?

  • Mistake 1: Lack of Knowledge of Regulations

Surely it can’t be that complicated – after all, you’ve already bought a property in your own country and it went smoothly. So why shouldn’t it work in the Dominican Republic? Always be aware that legal systems have regional variations. The Dominican Republic might define specific documents or legal institutions differently than what you’re accustomed to. An example may be a certificate of ownership of a property, which according to the Dominican legal order does not mean that a given person is its rightful owner. Investors may also fall into the trap of plots encumbered with mortgages or false titles of ownership, taking the form of, for example, copies of legal acts, forged in such a way as to mask the real data. Due to this, due diligence of the property is such an important step, constituting one of the stages of the process of buying apartments in Cofresi Hills Residence, which we tackled in this article: How to Live in the Dominican Republic? – Cofresi ( If you decide to carry out this „property test“ on your own, using the services of local lawyers, it still does not mean that you will completely eliminate the risk – unfortunately, not all specialists care about playing fair.

  • Mistake 2: Collaborating with Untrustworthy Agents

During your property purchase process in the Dominican Republic, two key figures will accompany you: a lawyer and a real estate agent. However, they may not always strive for due diligence, counting on a quick profit and moving on to the next client who will have made it onto their list in the meantime. Often, those who should be on guard for your interests (after all, you pay them for it, right?), take advantage of naivety, lack of knowledge, and language barriers, causing your dream to turn into a nightmare. Sometimes there are cases of so-called double sales, where the same property is sold to two different people. Beware of real estate agents, springing up like mushrooms, who will lure you with ‘exceptional opportunities’.

I personally experienced a situation where, while walking along one of the Dominican beaches, a smiling Dominican woman approached me. A quick small talk quickly turned into a presentation of an offer of ‘wonderful apartments’ which – if I decided on quick cooperation – would result in an additional discount. Angela (if that was her real name) handed me her business card, then, while scanning the tourists on the beach, quickly said goodbye and ran to a couple nearby. I hope they sensed the red flags waving in the Caribbean breeze and didn’t fall into the ‘paradise trap’.

  • Mistake 3: Failing to Establish Clear Rules of Cooperation with Agents

The story doesn’t end with ‘agents’ – lawyers can also cause you a lot of trouble. If you want to expedite the property purchase process, for example because your return flight is in a few days, unscrupulous players will be eager to exploit the situation. A hastily signed contract, a lack of agreed-upon terms, documents that you managed to ‘scan’ with your eyes… Unfortunately, stories in which the guardian of justice plays the role of the villain are not uncommon. You should take the time to choose not only the right apartment but also the people to whom you entrust your interests. The first contract that should occupy your thoughts is not the property sales contract, but the contract defining your relationship with the entities you are working with. In the Dominican Republic, it is quite common to conduct business without signing any prior documents, which you should avoid from the very beginning! The party atmosphere, beautiful landscapes in the background, and the desire to finalize the transaction as quickly as possible often lead us to make commitments that we would reject under normal circumstances. Focus on establishing the terms of cooperation, and in particular conducting due diligence, and if you don’t feel like negotiating, seek help from a lawyer from your home country who will act on your behalf.

  • Mistake 4: Buying a Property Without Doing Your Research

The Dominican Republic, like any country, has both more and less attractive places on its map. Only you know the answer to the question of your dream property location. Do you want to spend most of the year there, or do you want to rent it out and earn passive income? Are you interested in a quiet area, or do you prefer cities with a vibrant nightlife? Do you want it to be located in the shadow of large resorts, or do you prefer intimate places that offer peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle? Regardless of your personal preferences, one thing is certain – you should get to know well the area where you intend to buy a property. Attractiveness is subjective – for some, the bustling excitement of Punta Cana is the draw, while others prefer the more relaxed atmosphere of Puerto Plata.

If you are planning to buy a property for investment purposes, Puerto Plata may be the best choice. Why? You can read about it in another post:

In addition, you should consider a few other issues, such as checking:

  • in what electrical area is your property candidate located (this determines how many hours a day electricity is available);
  • whether there are any water outages in the given location;
  • mobile phone and internet coverage (although it is worth adding that most Dominican towns no longer have this problem).

We encourage you to see how these aspects function in the places that interested you as a potential location for your future property. If you do not have such a possibility or would like to obtain this information earlier, you can contact the local electricity supplier serving the region where the property is located, and in terms of connectivity, review the coverage maps of mobile operators. For this purpose, you can visit such websites as:, Mapa de Cobertura | Altice or Viva Dominicana.

  • Mistake 5: Failing to Plan for the Future of the Property

Buying a property is one thing – its future after all the documents have been signed and the keys have been handed over is another matter. If you are planning for periodic stays, the key issue is taking care of the property when you are thousands of kilometers away. If you want to rent it out during this time, there is another range of tasks that you should think about in advance. What are the risks associated with managing a property remotely? You can read more about this here: Long-distance property management (

Did you know that you can eliminate the above traps from the list of threats if you decide to cooperate with a trusted entity successfully operating on the development market for over thirty years? Cofresi Hills Residence is a team of qualified specialists who work for your success from the very beginning. Contact us today and see that the process of buying a property can be not only reliable but also enjoyable!

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