10 Things to Consider Before Moving to the Dominican Republic!

Summary: Full Service Realty D.R. offer tips for newcomers and others considering a move to DR. Expert advice about the best places to live in DR, Cost of Living, Health Insurance, Safety, Driving, Renting vs. Buying, Electricity, Going Green and more.

1. Cost of Living – Can You Survive in the Dominican Republic on $1,000 a Month?

When one client asked me if you can you survive in DR on $1,000 a month I promptly answered, If you live like a local you can do it. Eating beans and rice as a daily meal with cheap meat from the local butcher shop and buying fresh produce from a colmado * a small corner market.

I like living like a local but would still need another $500 – $1,000 for my sinful endeavors LOL. Meaning its how you choose to spend your leisure time and how sustainable are those choices.  Will you pay top dollar for drinks at a beachside café or cart your own cooler well stocked and park your caboose in the sand? Is this going to be a daily routine or once a week endeavor. The reality is it is your choice how much you want to spend and on what.  

Here is a real life example.  My mother rents an upscale Luxury apartment for 1000 $USD per month and it is a nice 2 bedroom 2 ½ bath place in Uvero Alto. After testing the waters for a year, she decided to sell everything and create her retirement plan here. Why? Because the quality of life here is unmatched if you are a tropical climate lover. Year-round temperature averages 85, Caribbean waters, fresh fruits, amazing beaches, the list goes on and on. But there’s real money in the DR also. You can easily spend 5K per month on various luxuries, but for her and myself we are quite comfortable right around 3K. It really all depends were you live and what your lifestyle is. You can buy an apartment for as little as 40K, 200K or up to 1.5M depending were you want to be. www.fullservicerealtydr.net

Overall, I love the DR. And I love living like a cross between an expat and as a local with some modifications, (maybe because I am entrepreneur).

If you also have the entrepreneurial spirit you might find this guide useful. https://www.godominicanrepublic.com/?s=investment+guide

I do not spend a lot of time in front of the television, I genuinely enjoy cultural experiences and traveling all over the country. I find new places and spend time trying to interact with the locals. For example, the best meal I had recently was not at the Applebee’s or Hard Rock Cafe that my Dominican friend dragged me to, but at a local stand on the side of the road with grilled chicken, some pigeon peas and rice with drinks. Me and my fiancé spent about 7 usd for the meal.” And it was delicious and fresh no preservatives.  I have my special places I have discovered over the years and frequent them as much as possible.  There is an idea for my next blog!! Listing those out with a map and menu recommendations!!

2. Healthcare in Dominican Republic

“Private hospitals differ one from the other. Most are good and some are excellent. You can get almost all kinds of care in private hospitals and good quality care in private clinics. There are many private facilities in Punta Cana and Santo Domingo! You must purchase private insurance here. Public medical care is available but it is not the same, it is seriously inferior. Most [medicines] are available without a prescription with the exception of serious pain killers!” Expats living in Dominican Rep interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Shop around and decide for yourself who you like.  

3. What to Bring When You Move to the Dominican Republic

“I wish I had brought a tin opener, good knives and more swim trunks. I should have left my nicer clothes and shoes at home — and my jewelry,” said my mother. “I wish I had brought my best friend. I wish I had brought more money. I wish I had brought better Spanish.” “I wish I’d brought cooking utensils, spices for cooking, American Cable TV. There’s nothing I wish I’d left behind,” she also added. This really differs for everyone.  Which again prompts the idea to try it on for size before committing completely.  I just knew right away I wanted something entirely different than what I was experiencing back in the U.S.  Many now see that choice as visionary given the issues that are currently plaguing the country now.  The adjustment varies for everyone. So what is highly recommended is to stay for at 3 months or up to six before deciding if you are ready to live here permanently.

4. My Top 5 Best Places to Live in the Eastern Region/Touristic Zones of Dominican Republic

I will highlight 5 places that are typically recommend to most expat people moving to D.R.

  1. Punta Cana Village is on the eastern point of the island and only 5 minutes from the International Airport. Many businesses are located in this zone as well as some very nice recreational activities such as beaches and the marina.  Golf courses are a given.. https://puntacanavillage.com/lifestyle
  1. Downtown Punta Cana/ Bavaro where there is shopping, restaurants, water parks, church, cafes, etc. A real taste of small city life right outside your door.. The beach is about 10 min drive from this area. https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=https://downtownpuntacana.com/&prev=search
  1. Los Corales a lively expat zone with many condos and small villas nestled next to the beach access points which are shared with several hotel groups. https://visitpuntacana.org/playa-los-corales/ Cortecito Beach is just north of Los Corales and is just a bit more economical than the previous location in terms of living expenses. https://visitpuntacana.org/playa-el-cortecito/
  1. Cocotal is a gated golf community with club house and restaurants. It is home to approximately 10 thousand people living inside the gates. Villas, condos, homes, a small business center and many amenities are just outside your door including shuttle service to the nearby beach. https://www.godominicanrepublic.com/poi/golf/punta-cana/cocotal-golf-country-club/
  1. Now we have Casa de Campois one of the most expensive places to live in DR. Located on the southeast coast, Casa de Campo has an upscale, country club feel.  With a list of amenities that are suited for lifestyles of the rich and famous. Click on this blog link to learn more.  https://blog.fullservicerealtydr.net/casa-de-campo-luxury-retreat-rich-famous/

These are just a few of the best places to live in DR. I do not wish to exclude all the others but one must consolidate a list as a starting point.

The following statement advises you how I recommend you begin.  “I would just come initially, if possible, for a six-month period, and then go back. Take your time, find your favorite beach, explore the local expat hangouts, hang in the neighborhood you like best, then locate the perfect apartment or villa, not the other way around.”

5. Safety in the Dominican Republic

Quite simple advice: Never walk alone and do not walk the downtown streets at night. As one man from NYC commented I would not do it there or in Newark or Trenton; do not wear a lot of bling or drive a Ferrari… you would be a target. Just like in any major city ANYWHERE; cops get paid poorly, so when they stop you, ask if they are hungry and slip them 100 pesos ($2) and you are good to go. Yes, corrupt if you will, but I will take them over a NYC cop with macho attitude any day,” explained one expat in a discussion about safety in DR on the Dominican Republic Forum.

“I have 10 years living here locally. I have never been a victim of crime and am regularly out after dark stopping by the local bars and chicken stands that are all over the touristic zones and local cities. But life is not all rosy glasses. Do not present yourself as a target. I don’t wear flashy jewelry, or you might get robbed (Grab and Run). I personally never had experienced these things, but they do happen. I feel safer here than I do in many US cities for what that is worth.

6. Driving in the Dominican Republic

Most expats living in urban areas like Santo Domingo will agree that driving in the Dominican Republic is challenging. I personally drove a scooter for 7 years, before finally buying a car. You must be careful and understand your skills as a vehicle operator knowing full well most do not have the consciousness many from north America have due to lack of education and cultural differences. I can affirm as did one other expat, “They do drive like maniacs on their motorcycles but it’s their life they are playing with, get something with 4 wheels and doors and you will be fine.” Another expat added, “Traffic fatalities are high due to a lack of enforcement of drunk driving laws and more motorcycles on the roads than cars. I would avoid driving at night and riding motorcycles except perhaps in rural areas.” “Focus when you drive as the moto-conchos (motorcycle taxis) drive aggressively. Most driving deaths are these guys,”. Another warned, “Be careful driving. Street signs and traffic signals are seen only as suggestions and many people ignore them.”

7. Buying vs. Renting in Dominican Republic

“I would not buy anything for at least 6 months, until you decide that you really like it and until you have seen the entire country. I lived in a furnished rental my first 8 years. I would certainly say that this is the way for anyone to plan to come here first and stay for a year or so and see if they really like it. There are not a lot of expats yet in the neighborhood but I predict that there will be. It is the older elegant but sort of run down section of town, but one can walk to everything. It is a lot like NYC. Much lower. My two bedroom upscale condo located on the beach with balconies and loft with roof access is $1000 a month. This includes pool, gym, common areas and beach cabanas. To buy apartments here cost around $150k to 400k depending on your taste.  However you may just be ready to buy but be sure you know what your getting into and use a professional service to assist you in the process. 

8. How to Find a Rental Property in DR

“When you move to the DR, unless restricted by work, I would spend a couple of months in a few different areas as the country is so diverse. I ended up in this touristic zone because the assimilation process and the access to like minded expats was amazing. Once you have decided on the area then just put the word out that you are looking to rent and the potential landlords will find you. Do remember to consider that access to electricity and water are not automatic, so you need to check their availability. The prices of property vary dramatically by area – the more touristy and closer to the sea, the higher the price. To rent a standard 3-bedroom house in an expat area is around 600-1500 US$ a month. If you live in a gated community it is more. A similar property in a purely Dominican town or village is around 300 US$ a month.

9. Electricity and Backup Power

Going green is not just a choice but also to SAVE green and better to ensure that we and our guests are not only comfortable but safe. I live in a nice area with almost 24/7 power for the last several years. The years before it was 3/4 the time. My energy bill over the years has gone from US $100 per month to over $300 per month. My first inverter/battery system was small and used as back-up during black- Recharging the batteries takes a lot of electricity and costs a lot of $$$. Plan ahead and IMHO an inverter system is your first consideration and even more so if you put in solar. Size the inverter and battery banks to meet your needs plus a little more. Look at the options. Get a known quality brand. Do your research.”

10. How to Adapt to Expat Life Dominican Republic

The people that do best here, have a sense of adventure, common sense, and willingness to adapt to local conditions. I think some knowledge of Spanish is a big help but not mandatory.  Personally, I do not understand expats who continually complain about the DR. Seriously, you do not have to live here. Moving is stressful, you need at least a year to start to acclimate. The key is to embrace the culture, the people, do not act like a tourist and don’t act like you are better than the locals. You are there in THEIR country. Like anywhere else, be aware of your surroundings, trust your instincts. Patience is the answer and if you do not have that then this is probably not the place for you to consider moving to. Learning Spanish makes Your Transition Much Easier but is not a deal breaker by any means.

“It is helpful to study Spanish as it makes the transition much easier,”. Various combinations of just 200 new words, will provide you with enough vocabulary to be understood in most situations.

Finally, each one of these 10 highlights could be expanded on immensely.  Here is what the team at Full Service Realty D.R. provides – EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE gained over 10 years living and working in this region.  We know what it means to struggle with little things and our value proposition is the following.  When you work with our team we will help you minimize the learning curve most people encounter their first couple of years. That is our true commitment to those we take on as clients and ultimately nurture into friendships.  




Looking to Escape the Chaos that has Gripped the U.S.?

So here we are in month 3 of quarantine and many are just now starting to understand the long-term impacts of this global pandemic.  I would be foolish to try and predict what will happen next as no one can foresee the future.  What I can attest to is that during the past 12 weeks my personal situation has been very sustainable and manageable.  Peaceful and serene with little disruption aside from lack of social contact.

One might ask how that is possible.  Personally, I have always leveraged my time against what could be controlled and what could not. I lead a very sustainable existence by being something of a minimalist who focuses more on being at peace in the environment.  Currently I am not living among a large concentration of people.  I uphold a strong small circle of close friends and colleagues that make use of each other respectfully.  We maintain our social distancing but communicate best as we can with positive intentions.  We are fortunate with an incredible environment with most of us living on or near the beach in a touristic zone.  As this was for most of us a key point in relocating here, the love of the ocean and moderate temperatures year round among other attributes.

However, the beach is currently unoccupied because the tourists are not present due to the pandemic.  Strange and surreal but for the time being it is very tranquil and in compliance with quarantine protocols.

As most of us try to predict what may or may not happen next, I am very cognizant of what are the core needs of myself and my family. Food, water, and shelter.  Uncomfortable as that is to accept, if you have those elements well covered and can protect them against those who have not planned so diligently then you are at least managing factors from a position of knowledge and sustainability. 

Thankfully in this eastern touristic zone we are very isolated, and those core resources are abundant.  I do not feel threatened nor do I anticipant anything negative happening as we continue to navigate the difficulties of the quarantine and global pandemic. 

Using this ample time to contemplate the positives and negatives that the global pandemic has presented one must first focus on what can be controlled and identify the opportunities that can be acted upon. 

Some simple and logical advice.

  • Plan for the future, but do not rely on its manifestation.
  • Rarely does it work out as we think it will.
  • Have at least 3 plans of action ready to go.
  • Stay positive and know that everything will be as it is.
  • Communicate with family and neighbors as much as you can.
  • Stay connected and help as much as possible.
  • Be ready to act soon as the quarantine is lifted.
  • Know ahead what you can and cannot accomplish.
  • Do not be overtaken by a feeling of helplessness.
  • You are not alone.
  • We are all in this together.
  • Be ready for the next crisis.
  • Wherever you find your happiness make sure you find yourself there.
  • If you are not happy where you are, find a way to change that first chance you get!

These outlined points may seem basic and obvious but believe me unless your focused and disciplined you may not be as prepared as you should be. 

Connect with friends and family and seek out the professionals who can provide services you need because they truly understand your personal situation.  Trust your instincts and do your own investigation, but if you are here reading this blog it is because your searching for something different.

Krystal and I are here to help you find your perfect place to reside if your inclined to live in this type of environment.  Let us know what your looking for and we will provide you all the options and details specific to your needs. 

Welcome to Full Service Realty D.R.


TOP 3-Reasons to Live & Invest in the Dominican Republic


1.    Tax Haven Paradise!! – 

·       Dominican Republic has a national tax system, meaning that if you live here, you would only be subject to pay taxes if you have a local income.

·       You can earn what you like outside the country and you do not even have to declare it, let alone pay any taxes.

·       This applies to both individuals and companies (Exceptions apply).

·       Property tax is based on the stated value of the property as determined by the government, usually at much less than the market value.

·       It is levied annually at a rate of 1% on the property’s stated value exceeding DOP6,800,000 (US$144,681).

·       Properties with values below the threshold amount are not taxed.


2.    Second Passports – 

·       Dominican Republic is one of the most liberal countries when it comes to granting citizenship through naturalization. 

·       After two years of residence, you can ask for a passport. 

·       Absences of up to one year at a time do not affect your residency status. This liberal naturalization law dates to 1948, and there is much talk of it changing soon. 

·       Dual citizenship is allowed.

3.    Livability – Dominican Republic is a great place to live.

·       First, it’s affordable. The tax exemption you get in the Bahamas by buying a half-million-dollar property you get almost for free here.

·       The capital, Santo Domingo, is a modern cosmopolitan city with a beautiful colonial heart. The Spanish colonized it, then the Americans were mainly responsible for the development of the city.

·       The country’s second city Santiago, and the beautiful north coast, were only joined by decent roads built by the Americans in the 1920s. Many new highways have been completed in the past 5 years and there are 7 international airports allowing easy access to any part of the country.

·       Today there is a substantial international populations flourishing all over the island with larger concentrations in the touristic zones. So there’s really something for everybody


Full Service Realty has 15 years experience of living and working here locally and regionally.  We openly share that knowledge with everyone and as many have experienced it can be priceless when in need of information that you can rely on. 





There are several agencies to choose from when deciding to purchase a home, condo, villa, or an investment property here in the Dominican Republic. 

What makes Full Service Realty D.R. different? 

Experience and knowledge from living here for 15 years, watching the real estate market rise and fall.  Responding and advising clients about those changes in the market while representing their best interest is what we do best. 

Terry Wheat – I am originally from the U.S. International environmental auditor and consultor; I was expertly trained to observe and record information in a multitude of characteristics. Only representing properties that meet our standards which are very stringent. Each client is viewed as brand-new relation that needs to be nurtured and respected. It is my responsibility and passion to understand your needs first and give the best possible options that meet your criteria only while advising you against any unforeseen obstacles. 

Krystal Gorham – Originally from Canada is also well trained and experienced in this market working directly in real estate for nearly 5 years regionally.  She brings to the table the nuts and bolts if you will on how to manage the sale process from negotiation of offer to title transfer.  She is dedicated and fierce when representing her client’s interest.  This is paramount in this market.  Apart from that she genuinely cares about people whom she becomes acquainted with.  Her attention to detail is one of her finest assets. She creates strong client relations by listening to their needs and desires.

This takes patience and understanding at a level most others are not willing to commit too.  Therefore, together we formed this agency with that premise build right into its name.


Our motto – create personal relationships, acquire all relevant data, deliver complete solutions, and never fail our clients. Connecting buyers with sellers in the touristic regions of the Dominican Republic utilizing our experience while safeguarding both parties along the journey of the transaction and throughout the transition of becoming a property owner in the Dominican Republic.

Regional experience and knowledge acquired through multiple years of trial and error we encountered along our own journeys is what we enjoy sharing with all our clients. Many questions are to be asked and answered during our client’s examination of the property or land. Commitment to service, standards, and ethics is what our clients not only demand but deserve.  Let us provide that to you!! 


Example Listing Below – Take the tour!






3 Story For Sale in Estrella Del Mar, Bavaro

Photo Link

•  2400 sqft , 3 bath , 3 bdrm 3 story FOR SALE  USD219,900 .

This is a 3 bedroom spacious Penthouse unit in a recently built condominium complex completed in 2014.
Has 3 patios and is fully furnished. You will be amazed at how immaculate this is and well maintained.
There 2 large swimming pools, 2 BBQ gazebo areas, gated 24-hour security, and it’s own water filtration system!

The beautiful white sandy El Cortecito Beach is just a 6 min walk where you can enjoy fresh tropical drinks while enjoying the ocean.
Cortecito Beach blends tourist facilities with small-town charm.
Take advantage of its plentiful amenities, try water sports and wander the town, before catching sunset in one of the beachfront bars or restaurants.
Only 20 min from the international airport Punta Cana.
Call or Email TODAY!!

Property information


Since opening in the mid-1970s, Casa de Campo has been a luxury retreat away from the limelight for the rich and famous. In fact, the origin of Casa de Campo was nurtured from the appeal of Hollywood as the property began as a 7,000-acre sugar plantation owned by Gulf Western Films, which also had Paramount Pictures listed among its fashionable assets.

Casa de Campo also became known as a playground for celebrities. The list of famous visitors over the years is a virtual “Who’s Who” of the well-known: fashion icon Oscar de la Renta, Frank Sinatra, J-Lo and A-Rod, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, 

J-Lo and A-Rod                                         Beyonce and Jay-Z

Even three golf loving U.S. Presidents (George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton).  Sports superstars Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter both hosted bachelor parties at the resort. Jim Clark, founder of Netscape, was joined by actress Naomi Watts and Sir Richard Branson for his 70th birthday party. Talented golf loving actors Dennis Quaid and Bruce McGill were also both recent guests and teed it up on Teeth of the Dog during their visits.  Caribbean-born singer Rihanna hosted an Instagram photo shoot at the same site. The seaside villa also was the set for two episodes of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” as well as the final two episodes of 10th season of The Bachelorette.  Many other famous people call Casa de Campo their home away from home as well several among them using this community as their primary residence.

The options range from 3 to 11 bedrooms with stylish living areas, a private pool as well as myriad creature comforts. From secluded Garden Villas showcasing the area’s abundant flora to the tranquil splendor of the Caribbean coast in an Oceanfront Villa, each style offers a variety of traditional or contemporary designs.

LUXURY GOLF COURSES ARE JUST THE BEGINNING  Famous golf designer Pete Dye was contracted in 1982 to a build a championship golf course. Mr. Dye knew immediately he had a special locale on which to build his masterpiece design. Especially using the This location provide the unique and mesmerizing sea-hugging shoreline allowing his creation of the “Heaven 7” – a septet of spectacular hard holes against the craggy coral formations rising out of the cobalt Caribbean Sea.

The rave reviews for Teeth of the Dog have not stopped since it was created by Dye’s significant genius. It is the only layout in the Caribbean to be ranked in GOLF Magazine’s recent “Top 100 Courses in the World.” This seaside jewel is one of only 37 courses to be included every year in this coveted ranking since the list’s inception in 1983.   Put your skills to the test by scheduling tee times at one or all three world renown courses: Teeth of the Dog, Dye Fore and The Links.  https://www.casadecampo.com.do/golf/

ALTOS DE CHAVON   Altos de Chavón is a re-creation of a Mediterranean style European village located atop the Chavón River in La Romana, Dominican Republic. It is the most popular attraction in the city and hosts a cultural center, an archeological museum, and an amphitheater. The project was conceived by the Italian architect Roberto Copa, and the industrialist Charles Bluhdorn

Frank Sinatra inaugurated Altos de Chavon Amphitheater during the HBO special Concert for the Americas. A Roman-styled 5,000-seat amphitheater hosts 20th century musical acts  https://www.casadecampo.com.do/experiences/altos-de-chavon/ 

Narrow, cobble-covered alleyways lined with lanterns and shuttered limestone walls yield several good Mediterranean-style restaurants, a number of quaint shops featuring the diverse craftwork of local artisans, and three galleries exhibiting the talents of students from the on-site design school (La Escuela de Diseño, an affiliate of Parsons School of Design in New York City). Notable attendees of the Altos de Chavón Design School have included Lisa Thon and Mía Lourdes Taveras López.

MARINA AND YACHT CLUB   The heart of Casa de Campo Resort and Villas’ ocean playground is the Marina—the vision of Gianfranco Fini and Piero Giacosa. Inspired by the quaint seaside villages that dot the Mediterranean coastline. The Marina is more than just a place to moor, it’s an entire community for sport fishermen, yachting enthusiasts, and landlubbers alike.

Chase the horizon by sailboat, catamaran, or charter boat. Dive beneath the surface to snorkel dazzling underwater realms.

Maybe this is your year to catch and release an extraordinary, trophy-worthy blue marlin. Race between the waves towards smaller, out islands filled with native wildlife. Your chances for unforgettable experiences are as endless as the sea itself.

A cornerstone of this elite community not to mention accessible to every resident who owns a condo or villa in Casa de Campo. https://www.marinacasadecampo.com.do/

POLO GROUNDS  Equestrian activities include world renown polo fields.  There are few places in the world where you can experience the thrill and the majesty of polo like Casa de Campo. Our polo facilities—which include three playing fields and one practice field—are among the best in the world.

Beginners and experts alike can take advantage of equipment, group instruction, and personalized training. Guests can also hire ponies for stick and ball tournaments, a fantastic and entertaining activity for families. Regular polo matches are played all year long three days a week, and from January to April, Casa de Campo is home to the most important polo event of the region: Polo Challenge. 


SHOOTING CENTER  For an authentic in-the-wild shooting experience, look no further than Casa de Campo. The shooting facilities include an onsite 245 acre Shooting Centre, with over 200 stations for trap, skeet and sporting clays and pigeon rings. Casa de Campo’s shooting center also includes  a 110 ft. tower that projects sporting clays—one of the largest in the world, as well as “Rancho Peligro”, a wild bird reserve outside of Casa de Campo where “Driven Shoots” take place.

Shooters of all ages and skill levels will be delighted by the flexibility of the layout and the realistic conditions that simulate shooting wild game in their natural habitat. The course has been designed so shooters can progress from station to station in tournaments or individually for a challenging and exciting activity the whole family can enjoy. “Casa de Campo’s shooting facilities are considered by many to be among the best in the world.”


These are just a few highlights of the amenities that are at your doorstep when you decide to call Casa de Campo your home or home away from home retreat.  Let us explore together how to make that dream a reality by using our expertise of living and working here for over 10 years.

Our unique knowledge will help you identify your needs and desires thus allowing a smooth transition of becoming a property owner in the most elite community in the Dominican Republic.

Visit our web page to find out more www.fullservicerealtydr.net


Animal Rescue in the Dominican Republic  – Article II – SAVING SANDY


After you have read the first article we posted about Rescateme an Animal Rescue non-profit organization, you may come to realize that we at Full Service Realty are committed to doing our part in animal rescue efforts as well.


My partner Krystal Gorham has temporarily adopted a beach dog. She has affectionately named her Sandy.  Seems very appropriate do you not think?

Sandy was abandoned in the past year, but has managed to stay alive through her cunning and cautious temperament. She was spayed at one point, since we have noticed that during the past year watching her trot up and down the beach for these past 10 to 12 months she hasn’t become pregnant. We estimate her to be about 3 years old. But in overall good health so far thankfully. 


Krystal knowing full well that the pickings are very slim here now with virtually no one sharing meals with this kind animal due to the Corona Virus. Sandy depended on the kindness of strangers mostly tourist before this crisis evolved.

Therefore, Krystal decided to purchase a couple of bowls and put out some food and water directly in front of her condo which is located on the beach.


It didn’t take long for Sandy to notice and start hanging around. LOL>

So, we now have a temporary mascot for Full Service Realty per se.  Amanda our sales associate, who volunteers no less than 2 days a week at Recatame, and on many occasions so much more time than that —- has committed to finding Sandy a new home.!


The options she is entertaining is finding Sandy a new home back in the North America.  Whether it is in the United States or Canada!

When the shelter in place ban is lifted, Sandy will be taken into the clinic given a full examination and begin her immunization schedule to qualify for international travel.

We are going to sponsor this effort for the right candidate who will need to qualify through a screening process.  Once this happens Sandy will be fully rescued and find a new life with her new family.  Keep in mind Sandy loves the beach and the water!! LOL

If your interested in learning more about this particular cause please contact us through email to arrange for more details.


Furthermore we are asking that if your looking for a good cause to support as an animal lover please contact Rescatame directly to learn more about the organization and their efforts.  At RescataMe PuntaCana there are no obligations or minimum contributions for donations or sponsoring. The amount of the monthly donation is your decision, for us a onetime donation of $10.00 dollars is a blessing as well. Every little bit helps. 

Everyone should really donate only what can be afforded. The monthly costs for food and medical care are of course different for each animal, but on average they go from $20 to $50 each, but please take this as a guideline only and not as a compulsory monthly sum! This can be done as a family or a group of friends by committing to a joint monthly sponsoring if you can afford it and your heart compels you to do so. Volunteer work is also greatly appreciated. Getting more people on the ground here to create a solid base is always welcomed.

I would invite you to follow the links provided below if this speaks to you personally. There is no better organization to support when it comes to animal rights and care. 






How will Travel and Real Estate Change After Coronavirus?


Here’s What the Experts Have to Say


The overall experience will look and feel quite different once the world begins to reopen, but people can still count on the positive impacts of travel and real estate.

The outbreak of coronavirus and its rapid spread around the world have had an unprecedented impact on both. There are a few airlines still flying, including rescue flights to repatriate people to their home countries, many carriers have all but shut down for the time being.  Real estate acquisition has significantly slowed as well for the moment.

In short, the travel and real estate industry has never faced panic, change, and disruption on this scale.

In search of insights about how coronavirus is likely to change the way we travel and buy real estate in the future, we have talked to experts in the fields of aviation, hospitality, cruising, finance, and even epidemiology.  We have also reached out to our own clients to gain their perspectives about expectations of selling and buying real estate. 

While some provided predictions and projections, the one thing that almost all of them said to expect is a lot more uncertainty for some time to come. Real estate is still a solid investment and depending on your needs and resources can be a safe haven for many in these difficult times.

Travelers need to focus on health for themselves and others.


Several doctors concur that the pandemic will force consumers to factor health concerns into their travel choices even more than before. They recommend checking verified apps like —  Outbreaks Near Me — to take proper precautions before traveling to a new destination.

Full Service Realty D.R. cautions along with the experts against people heading into active hot zones, even if you’re immune, because you don’t know what kind of lockdown you might be subject to if cases suddenly increase upon your return.  Thankfully, here in the eastern province of the Dominican Republic we have been relatively pro-active and diligent in our prevention and containment of the virus.

“Many countries, and even some U.S. states, now have mandatory requirements for visitors to isolate for two weeks. This should be factored into travel planning for the moment.” “If a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, depending on the safety profile, it would be worth considering even if you’re not venturing far from home.”

We do not recommend travel for anyone until these bans are lifted and the transportation industry demonstrates clear protocols to secure your safety while traveling. In the meantime, you can actively plan your strategy to locate an isolated or secure property in a Caribbean paradise that is sustainable in the worst of times.

Finally, experts state that everyone should start thinking about how their travel plans might impact the health conditions of the places they visit and or plan to live either part time or permanently. “As much as we think about our own health when we travel, we should have compassion through awareness that we may inadvertently bring the virus with us,”.

Air travel will restart slowly, domestically, and with social distancing.

Aviation experts expect that the travel industry, much like the rest of the economy, will rebound as various cities, states, and regions confront different challenges. “You can expect airlines to begin with flights out of their most important hubs and cities where public health conditions are best and demand is strongest,”.

“That means obviously that less choices for passengers as the number of airlines shrink and the number of flights are reduced. Passengers will also opt for more direct routings to avoid having to pass through extra airports on layovers.

“Once the all-clear is given, it is anticipated that public health officials will still encourage social distancing.

Airlines are expected to continue blocking middle seats or limiting the number of people in premium cabins. We are sure to see flight attendants wearing masks and gloves and limiting onboard service.

Airlines may also require proof of good health before allowing passengers to fly.  “In terms of boarding, airlines might limit the number of people down the jet bridge at any given time,”

Most people will likely want to stick close to home for a while. That is also due, in part, to the economic impact on travelers’ wallets. Incomes have been hurt and disposable wealth damaged, so how it will play out is another part of the whole ‘what if’ situation we face.”

That might have some people considering flying private or charters for the first time. The travel industry is entering a two-year period where travelers won’t want to touch anything and will require space. 

Crowd-free, hassle-free travel is the way of the future. Private aviation firms have seen a dramatic increase in interest from both personal and corporate clients for private plane charters with social distancing measures in effect.


Travel, hotels, property rentals and sales face slow times ahead.

“There will be several phases to the travel and real estate recovery, and it is all about adapting to demand. In the immediate term, with social distancing and travel restrictions, hoteliers should focus on the needs of their local community, assisting the medical community and local government to help with housing essential workers.”

If all goes well, experts say the U.S. hotel industry will be back at 70 to 80 percent of what it was before coronavirus by this time next year. However, there will be fewer hotels in operation, and many fewer hotels in development. Travelers might also see hotels opening only a fraction of the rooms they have and looking for technological solutions to replace staff and save on cash.

During both 2019 and 2020 to date, hotel occupancy was at a 40-year high.  Even so, room rates remained relatively cheap. There will be room rate discounting to stimulate travel. During economic downturns, it normally takes hotel rates twice as long to recover to pre-downturn levels as it took them to fall to their lowest point. So, be on the lookout for deals for several months, if not years, to come.

Travelers and potential property buyers will likely consider staying in someone else’s residence rather than a hotel. Vacation rentals may be less negatively impacted, but hotels will be touting their cleaning standards and the dedication of their staff to ensuring guest safety and security. It will be much more difficult for Airbnb and other short-term rental groups to establish and enforce standards across thousands of independent hosts.

The local rental and real estate market in the eastern Dominican Republic is made up of thousands of individual owners who might decide to reenter the market at times of their own choosing.

By contrast, hotels will welcome back travelers the moment they are allowed to do so, and probably priced better than people have seen in years.

Travel Agents and Independent Hosts offer personalized services minimizing risk.

Travel agents and Independent hosts had become more of a niche in recent years, as most consumers simply booked travel themselves online. Many of those agents and hosts focused their practice on business and luxury accounts. Given the fast-changing nature of the current crisis and the difficulties some travelers encountered getting home, many people turned to the experts to have an advocate in their corner if and when things went wrong.

“Even people who didn’t originally book with travel advisors turned to them for help” during the coronavirus outbreak. The local advisory teams implemented action plans, that provided real-time updates from operators on the ground as well as State Departments and the CDC.

Travel and Independent Host Advisers On-Site

“In a post-COVID world, people will now value the local experts for their connections and guidance that go beyond destination and product expertise.

Having a real-life person at the destination location to assist [you] underscores the significance of human connection and the reassurance of knowing someone has your back locally,”

Full Service Realty clients are receiving just that from our team.  Contact us today to establish the local connection you can count on. From the moment you plan on leaving, until you return or relocate here as an expat. 

We look forward to answering all your questions. 




Animal Rescue in the Dominican Republic

Animal Rescue in the Dominican Republic

Being an animal lover myself it was quite a shock during my first couple years living here and while learning and adapting to the Dominican Culture. I was frequently observing cruelty and a general lack of compassion towards animals here. It was difficult to understand.

I did not have a complete understanding of the language at that time either in order to ask the questions regarding this attitude, which seemed to be a complete lack of compassion for animals. I am not saying that all Dominicans share this characteristic, but I was encountering more acts of cruelty than one would expect. So, I started investigating for myself what is really happening here.

So let me set the stage and context for you in this theme.  For some, well for many people there are so many other pressing issues that need to be focused on — humans first.  While stray animals go hungry, so do many Dominican citizens, pushing animal welfare to the back of the line. Therefore, many hurdles exist for foreigners in trying to gain local support for animals and their welfare.

It is extremely difficult to speak about animal care in a third world country or a developing nation when there are so many poor people trying to find a daily meal themselves.  Like any social problem, educating the younger generation is one of the best ways to implement change. Gaining support for educational programs on animal rights has proved almost impossible.

Many educators close their doors and their minds when they are approached. Remember they are already fixed in their opinions and deal firsthand with hungry children and therefore they have no time or compassion for stray animals.

So a group of people from various locations around the globe formed RescataMe.org.  It is the only government registered non-profit animal rescue organization in the touristic zone of Punta Cana. They have been instrumental in reducing the overpopulation, and abuse of stray animals here in the zone.

Through their continued educational work, the Dominicans have not only taken much more responsibility for their own, but also the stray animals by sharing their meals with the strays. A great achievement witnessing this, believe me.  At RescataMe PuntaCana there are no obligations or minimum contributions for donations or sponsoring. The amount of the monthly donation amount is your decision, for us a onetime donation of $10.00 dollars is a blessing as well. Every little bit helps.

Everyone should really donate only what can be spared. The monthly costs for food and medical care are of course different for each animal, but on average they go from $20 to $50 per animal. Please take this as a guideline only and not as a compulsory monthly sum! A family also or a group of friends can take over a joint monthly sponsoring if you can afford it and your heart compels you to do so.

I would invite you to follow the link below if this speaks to you personally. There is no better organization to support when it comes to animal rights and care.

Here at Full Service Realty D.R. we are in complete support of this program and one of our realtors has been committed to this organization since the day she moved here.  Volunteering no less than 20 hours weekly to the direct care of stray dogs and cats.  You can imagine what her home looks like.  LOL.

Amanda has a pure heart of gold and it is a pleasure working with her these past 6 months and witnessing the dedication she has placed for this cause.  We hope that this quick overview prompts you to take a look at Rescatame.org and it inspires you to become involved as well.





My Top 10 Favorite Things to Eat in the Dominican Republic.

My Top 10 Favorite Things to Eat in the Dominican Republic.

I will begin by saying everyone’s tastes are different…

So you may very well look at some of my choices and respond no way are you serious??

This is normal and was the same for me until I opened my mind and my stomach to new possibilities.

Living here the first two years was a real challenge as I was starting a new business and was trying to control costs…

My twin boys (14 at that time) who accompanied me here in 2011, had some real challenges as well in relation to finding foods they would eat?

But budgets and desires didn’t usually agree during those initial years.  It did however present some interesting lunch and dinner conversations to say the least.  We did a tremendous amount of experimenting through trial and error, which eventually formed our top 10 list.

Buen Provecho!!!

1. Sancocho


This rich stew is commonly made up of different meats including beef, pork, goat, chicken; alongside plantain, yams, pumpkins, and other roots. It is usually served with a side of white rice and avocado. I add some hot sauce to spice it up a bit more. As an African gift to the continent, many Latin American countries have their own version of Sancocho, but be assured that Dominican sancocho, and its thick broth and seasoning, is truly like no other.

You can find great Sancocho almost anywhere on the island, especially in chilly mountain towns (such as Jarabacoa). The more authentic versions are made in the local comedores, typical restaurants, or a kind neighbor’s house.  Many are eager to share their meals to obtain your opinion on how good it is!!

Finding this recipe was a godsend and it didn’t take long for it to become a mainstay in our meal planning.

2. Tostones

These fried plantains are a popular staple on the island. Tostones are usually eaten as a side to many dishes, or on their own. Frying them is just one of the many ways you can cook plantains and they can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Plantains were originally brought to the island from Africa (by way of Southeast Asia) during the colonization period and have been an essential part of Dominican cuisine ever since.

The most traditional way to eat them? With some fried Dominican salami and a chilled beer. You can find a plate of tostones practically anywhere on the island from your local comedor (local deli/diner) including upscale restaurants.

3. Yuca (Cassava)

Yuca is the root of the cassava plant and even though it’s relatively underrated in Western cultures, it is actually a popular staple for millions of people around the world from Nigeria to the Dominican Republic. You can’t visit DR and miss out on trying this crop which was deemed sacred enough to have its own deity for the indigenous Taino.

With a particular, nutty flavor, the yuca is a versatile and healthy ingredient that will satisfy your appetite and your taste buds during breakfast or dinner.  You can find the root crop at any supermarket and pretty much any hotel buffet, restaurant, or comedor. Eat it with salami, eggs, cheese, or with a dip.

Types of ways to Eat Yuca:

  • Casabe: The native Tainos of the island used to grate yuca and turn it into a hardened flatbread called casabe.
  • Boiled with caramelized onions on top.
  • Fried (like tostones above).
  • Mashed like potatoes.
  • As a base flour ingredient for various dishes (like wheat flour).


4. Freshly Caught Fried Fish on the Beach 

  • Feasting on fried fish with morro, tostones, and salad in Playa Macao
  • Disclaimer: This is not only food for your plate, but it’s an experience for your soul. For this one, I’ll ask you to picture yourself at a beach with water of different shades of blue, the sound of those waves crashing on nearby rocks, and the sun warming your skin. You sit on a table under a parasol and below you: A plate of fried fish (usually seabass, snapper or grouper) with tostones, rice, and salad.
  • Usually paired with a Presidente beer or a freshly cut coconut.
  • Although you will find pescado frito(fried fish) with tostones in almost any coastal town. Some of the TOP beaches to enjoy this beautiful experience are:
  • Macao
  • Bayahibe
  • Esmeralda Bay
  • Bibiagua
  • Playa Blanca
  • 5. Pastelitos & Empanadas

Two savory and inexpensive snack options to offer at a party, or to eat for a quick breakfast at the empanada vendors in the corner of pretty much any street anywhere in the country.

The difference between the two is that empanadas are the shape of the half moon, and pastelitos (pictured above) are round. It is also more common to find baked pastelitos and fried empanadas. Different restaurants, bakeries, and vendors get creative with the filling; you can find some with different kinds of meat, cheese, eggs, or vegetables.

Perfect finger food when you in rush or don’t want to fill up on food saving room for a cold beverage!!

6. La Bandera 

You can almost surely knock on the door of a Dominican family around lunchtime at any given day and the odds are that they’re having La Bandera.

This meal is made up of rice, beans, meat, salad with avocado, and sometimes a side of tostones or fried sweet plantains. Sounds like a lot? Well, it’s supposed to be a filling meal for the hardworking Dominican people.  The culture here is to eat a hearty meal during the day an take a fine siesta before returning to the laborious work that provides their livelihood.

La Bandera means ‘the flag’, which shows how popular this meal is in Dominican households. Moreover, the ingredients are a fusion of our cross-cultural criollo influences. Hence, why this plate is often referred to as “comida criolla“.

You can easily find La Bandera in your Dominican neighbor’s house, a comedor (local deli diner), or any restaurant that sells typical Dominican food.

7. Rice with Pigeon Peas and Coconut

Experience the authentic flavors of the Dominican Republic with this Rice and Pigeon Peas with Coconut recipe (called Moro de Guandules con Coco in the Dominican Republic). Here, tender grains of extra-long rice are cooked with plump pigeon peas, traditional spices and creamy coconut milk for a rice dish that steals the show on the dinner table. Passed down through generations of Dominican cooks, this recipe captures the essence of the island. Key GOYA products make it easy for everyone to make at home.

8. Chimichurri Burger

Chimichurris is a Dominican hamburger characterized by the addition of numerous spices to the meat patty, such as oregano, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes. It is usually not prepared at home, but bought from street food vendors. Like most burgers, chimichurris is served in a bun and topped with a variety of ingredients such as mayonnaise, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, and onions.

This particular meal was a lifesaver during those early years with my twin boys!!

9. Puerco Asa’o (Asado)


Last, and certainly not least, the roasted pig is a treasured staple during the most festive celebrations, especially for dinner on December 24th and 31st.

Since the very beginning, indigenous Tainos had enjoyed barbecuing their meat, including pork which was brought over by the Spanish colonizers. This cross-cultural tradition was passed down from generation to generation and is kept very much alive today. You will find the traditional roasted pig or ‘puerco asao’ in almost every Dominican table during the Christmas season.

10. Suspiritos

(Meringue Kisses)

Suspiritos is one of the simplest Dominican desserts made with a combination of egg whites, lime juice, and powdered sugar. The name of this dessert can be translated as meringue kisses. When prepared, suspiritos are consumed immediately, and they are regularly served at birthdays and baby showers.
Apart from the basic version, there are also varieties prepared with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla.

What is your top 10 list of favorites is anyone’s guess?

But there is only one way to find out.

Experiment for yourself and create your own top 10 list.