Posted on April 4, 2020
One of my first truly amazing experiences after moving here in 2010, was traveling to a series of freshwater springs that formed several natural swimming pools. I had the privilege of my twin boys living with me the first two years after relocating here. I was launching a new service company focusing on environmental compliance in the tourism industry. I was learning rapidly about the local area and experiencing as much as I could with my twins.
We discovered a unique paradise in the middle of the Jungle in Punta Cana. Spring feed water holes that you hike 20 minutes to reach. The water is crystal clear and deep enough allowing you to dive down 15 feet to the bottom. Fresh and cold on a hot summer day – refreshing doesn’t begin to describe the feeling…
Walking through the jungle and mangroves to reach these watering holes is an amazing journey. Seeing the flora and fauna in such natural settings created memories that will never be forgotten. Then arriving at the springs to cool off for a few hours is something my sons often talk about still to this day. You might ask where the twins are now. They were 14 the first time we visited this location at that time and returned to the states at age 16 to finish high school. They are now 23 years of age. They visit me at least once annually and for weeks at a time, when schedules permit.
We have returned to those natural springs many times over the years. Doesn’t this sound like and incredible experience?
Just add that to your list of — off the beaten path of experiences you should try!!!
Until tomorrow enjoy your day!!!
Posted on April 3, 2020
Imagine waking up each morning to the sound of crashing waves on the beach, while watching the sunrise on the horizon. Morning walks on the beach in complete solitude seemed like a distant dream for me 20 years ago. Now I look back and nearly 10 years has past since I made that journey here to the Dominican Republic to make it my reality. I dared to dream and I took action. That is really what it takes a true commitment to yourself to make things happen in your life. Eliminate the excuses find solutions to the barriers that are holding you back from your own dreams. Nothing in life just happens you have to make it happen through action.
The Full Service Realty team is here to help you explore your desires. When we say Full Service Realty that is exactly what your gonna get. Our team has nearly 2 decades of experience living here full time. We can assist you with all your questions to include business opportunities that you may be passionate about. The world has thrown us a curve ball this year with all the Corona Virus pandemonium. Its a scary situation for many people. Nobody wants to get sick, nobody wants to lose loved ones. How do you keep yourself safe and secure especially in the tropics?
Let me tell you that I personally feel blessed to be here during these times. My experience during this global crisis thus far has been one of immense reflection. I am thankful I am where I currently am, being able to feel safe and secure with abundant resources and complete solitude. This is available to you and yours if your willing to take action and plan ahead.
I have learned quite a lot in these past few weeks. Managing the risks and preparing for the worst in this environment was not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. In fact I have had some eye opening experiences to the way society behaves globally and locally. The Dominican Republic offers a completely different environment to those who choose to be diligent in their affairs and manage life for themselves. Instead of letting others dictate it for them.
Do not be afraid to take life into your own hands. Make your own calls and take charge of your future. You wont be disappointed I promise you. You will find that the key to life is knowing you are finally doing what you want to do. Discover new passions whether its in this tropical paradise or some other location, but take action for yourself.
Enjoy the day and think about the possibilities.
Posted on April 2, 2020
Full Service Realty Punta Cana Region Experts Are Here to Guide You.
Living here for over a decade enjoying the many aspects of the Dominican Republic, both my business partner and myself have amassed a massive catalogue of memories we wish to share with anyone who wants experience what this country has to offer. The best approach to living here is to become well informed.
We have been contemplating for some time, whether or not, to share those experiences using a blog platform. What we hope to gain from this is many things, however first and foremost is the joy of just connecting with people from all over the world.
Believe us when we tell you, we have seen and experienced more here in these past 10 years than most have in their entire life. One thing for sure is each day has something new to see and marvel at.
For me it has been one hell of an experience and I am now going to share some of my stories both old and new.
Now where to begin?
The basic facts about the history of this country seems as good as any place to start.
Christopher Columbus choose the DR as his sole residence in the Western Hemisphere after making that historic discovery. A land blessed with fertile soil and gold deposits–Columbus and the Spanish Crown used the country as a launching pad for conquests across the Caribbean and United States. Today, the first city of the Americas, Santo Domingo, is the capital of the DR, and continues to thrive while preserving its history and original Spanish architecture.
Quisqueya, as Dominicans affectionately call their home–meaning “mother of all lands”. This was the first permanent Spanish settlement in the Americas or the “New World,” with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492.
Aside from historic firsts, the Dominican Republic ranks among the most diverse Caribbean countries in geography, nature, and people. Its landscape ranges from the highest peak in the region, Pico Duarte, The highest mountain peak in the Caribbean, rising at 3,087 meters (10,125 feet), to the lowest body of water, Lago Enriquillo. Lake Enriquillo is the largest natural water reserve in the Dominican Republic and of all the Antilles , with an area of 245 km² as of October 2019, [ 2 ] although its area is not constant. It is the rest of an old marine channel that linked the bays of Neiba and Port-au-Prince in the Dominican Republic. Its waters are shared between the Independencia and Bahoruco provinces. It is part of the Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park and the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve .
The D.R. has over 6,000 species of flora and 7,000 species of fauna include cacti flowers, endemic hawks, and humpback whales. The country’s cultural make up is Taino, European, and African–includes a diverse population welcomed in the DR since the 19th century, from Jewish and Japanese communities to UNESCO-proclaimed Afro-Caribbean groups.
The Dominican Republic is a Democratic nation with a population of over 10 million people, which has a territory stretching 48,442 square kilometers (18,704 square miles).
That’s just over twice the size of New Jersey, or nearly the size of Costa Rica. Its coveted shores face the Caribbean Sea in the south, and the Atlantic Ocean in the north.
As of 2019, 7,115,402 overnight visitors and more than 1,300,000 cruise passengers make their way to the Dominican Republic every year.
Whether you choose to visit the shores along the more than 1,600 kilometers (nearly 1,000 miles) of coastline, verdant mountain towns, fishing villages, or the cactus-lined landscape, you’ll uncover a unique side of the DR.
Along the way, you’ll experience a unified passion for the music and dance–merengue, bachata, and the diverse gastronomy taking you beyond rice and beans, to include a love for baseball, family, and hospitality.
Together, they make up the essence of the Dominican spirit.
Now it is time to share daily what it is about island life that fires my passion to initiate a blog – that I hope inspires many more to take on the challenge of living in the here in the Caribbean.
My goal is to embark on this journey of expression to engage people from all cultures, thus creating a relationship that surpasses the normal constraints of just writing a book per se.
A digital journal that allows others to see through my perspective what the Dominican Republic has to offer offers that has captured my soul.
Let me continue by describing my typical day in this Caribbean Paradise.
Each day for me typically begins with coffee on the penthouse terrace which is directly in front of the private beach. Nestled between two resorts, which at the moment are closed due the Corona Virus. This unfortunate crisis will pass… But where there is a crisis there is also an opportunity! I decided make use of this pause in my normal routine, to do what I am doing now. Reflect and contemplate what is next in terms of life challenges. Challenges for me are always welcome. Problem / Solution mentality has always been my strength in each of my self-described lives. Currently in number 3 and preparing for number 4.
I will expand on this later!!! Lol.
So again, my day usually begins with coffee on the terrace, ocean side breezes and sunrises that have been my landscape for the past 7 years. I didn’t start off living here directly on the beach. That was a goal that I worked for putting in 12 hours days the first 3 years upon arriving. I started a company that focused on Sustainability. Environmental concerns in the hospitality market. Specifically, in island nations, which presented some incredible challenges. This also provided some amazing opportunities.
Again, using my problem solution mentality, that then needed an action plan to initiate a real change in the norm. I began by engaging the hoteliers directly, and then created an infrastructure to manage the services that were necessary. I then went to work with the community to create a social change in terms of waste management and recycling. No easy feat by any means. Sponsoring local schools through a foundation I created for education advancements in sustainable practices. This was a profound commitment that provided the resources to assist in obtaining the long-term goal. Connections with local population, being part of a higher cause, and for myself the ability to wake up each morning to the overall dream which is now a reality. The sound of waves crashing at my balcony!
After gulping down a hot cup of coffee, its usually a brisk walk with my feet in the sand.
Normally I see a multitude of people from various corners of the planet here on vacation just taking a break from their daily routines whatever they may be. I usually walk my mother’s dog. Yes, my mom’s dog. Over a year ago I managed to convince my mother to retire here as well. She lives across the pool and that’s perfect for me because there is nothing like home cooked meals to compliment this amazing experience. But let’s get back to the beach and walking the dog.
People see me with a dog on a leash and that is the icebreaker. How did you transport your dog here that’s so cool? Everyone wants to pet your animal and the questions begin. I like that, it starts new conversations without any effort for the most part. Those new conversations create new experiences and believe me, I get my fair share of enjoyment with the questions I ask as well.
Where are you from, how long are you staying, what made you decide on coming here, etc.
I want to be forthright; I have recently opened a real estate company to take my passions in a new direction. With the experiences I have accumulated here in the past 10 years, I realized that the information I have acquired can be extremely useful.
Let’s face it I used that information to convince more than a few to take the leap of faith to make this country their second home or primary residence. I enjoy being that anchor, or rock as a base for others to use. And now I have help to expand that vision.
I partnered up with another expat who I befriended during the hurricanes of 2017. Another fantastic and amazing story!!! I will get to that another time.
Krystal, my business partner and her husband moved here from Canada nearly 5 years ago now, intending on just retiring. LOL!!!
Many do come here and are just fine with retirement living on the beach. Not my partner!! And god bless her for that. I have made an amazing friend which eventually turned into another business opportunity and another business model to be used to again to connect with people.
I figured out a bit late in life, just how rewarding that can be. Connecting with others a passion we both share in unison. We thoroughly enjoy listening to others and their lives and discovering their passions and seeing how we can help them with their dreams, which more times than not include living the island life, whether part time or full time.
If you haven’t figured this out yet, I am crazy about sun, sand, and water.
I grew up in the Midwest, did a lot of traveling as member of the armed forces. Doing my duty as a defender of peace and believing in the constitution. I have always been passionate about the environment, which led me to my third career. Environmental consulting in the tourism industry. However, during the presidential elections of George Bush the second, something very profound occurred. I became awoke, as many have explained. First, I was angry, furious, and determined to take a new direction in life. Politics aside, a necessary evil in my viewpoint, but I wanted to have more control over my decisions and my opportunities. To explain this frankly, I no longer believed I could obtain that in my home country. Listen, I don’t believe this to be true of everyone, it was just my perspective at that moment in life, which motivated me to make some drastic changes.
Problem / Solution. LOL.
I began studying and investigating what my skills had to offer in a different country and how I could take my life in a completely different direction. I spent the next 4 returning to a University. I double majored in international business management and environmental studies as a non-traditional student. I graduated this time at the age of 42. 6 months ahead of schedule. I set a goal and never gave up. All the while focusing on a very clear path of what and how I wanted to achieve my goal…
What came afterwards was more challenging and more rewarding, than I ever thought I could imagine. Living and thriving in the Dominican Republic.
What I am explaining here, is the human spirit when motivated for the right reasons, is capable of anything if you just believe with your entire soul that you can be anything you want to be. It just takes the will, along with action, and again the belief of what you are committed to.
Adversity is not an easy thing to manage, but its part of the package. Nothing worth having comes to you without that. So by no means was this journey a cake walk. However, you can overcome most anything, if it is a true passion that drives your spirit.
What I am now discovering for the fourth time in life is another new passion.
Real Estate, and Island living, sharing the culture in a way that inspires others to dare to dream of living in the Caribbean. Specifically, the Dominican Republic.
Whether you want to spend a few weeks or a few months, or maybe live in the Dominican Republic full time, I believe this blog will be a source of information in which to see through someone else’s eyes daily what that life resembles.
So, where was I?
Oh, walking my mom’s dog on the beach most every morning. Each day is different, each sunrise unique. I take photos, I meet people, then I return home to catch a quick breakfast. Fresh fruit, from local market, fresh eggs that are never refrigerated!!
Let’s expand on that for a moment. I didn’t grow up on a farm as is true of most people these days. One of the first things I noticed when visiting the local stores is all the eggs are not kept in a refrigerator.
I was confused, this prompted an immediate investigation. I quickly learned from a local that if you don’t wash the protective membrane off the egg during collection and transport it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
I didn’t take that at face value, so I looked it up and low and behold I learned something new. Now let’s talk about fresh taste!! OMG. The eggs and the chicken are just one example of the best I have ever tasted. WHY?… because its fresh. Not created in an assembly line manner and fits perfectly in my context of sustainability.
Each day brings a new opportunity to learn something new. To look at life from a different perspective. I truly believe that for me, here I have been able to do just that. Forming unique experiences almost daily, while helping others.
Sustainable living is what I try to share with everyone I encounter. I moved here weighing over 215 pounds in less than a year I lost 25 lbs. due to diet and change of lifestyle. Let me tell you I felt 10 years younger immediately.
I gave up tv and media for 6 full months and this was a conscious choice to limit the what I call PROGRAMMING that most North Americans receive in their daily lives. I wont lie to you… That was tough at first, but I felt after a couple of months very relaxed and less stressed. Nice side effect if you ask me. Can you maintain that connection if you wish? Absolutely. Its all about controlling what you let into your life. Here I have to say it is much easier to do just that. Control the inputs.
So, after breakfast – its computer time. Checking emails, getting connected to new people and answering a multitude of questions from potential clients who are contemplating the idea of living in the Dominican Republic.
The questions are never ending. Most are basic but each person perceives this in a different way…
Its perfectly normal to be cautious. I invite those questions in every way possible. More times than not I have an immediate answer. Where to shop for necessities, where to bank, where to eat, are the hospitals adequate, etc. etc. These are basic… Easy enough to answer for sure.
The harder questions may be — Is this or that community safe, what happens in case of a hurricane, what is the response time in an emergency if one arises. You can imagine so many more.
How do you communicate??
I didn’t speak Spanish for the first 5 years I lived here. I was too engaged in managing my newly formed company and had the luxury that many of my employees knew English and Spanish and spoke for me. Wasn’t the best situation, but I learned many mistakes through trial and error.
The past 5 years I dedicated myself to learning the Spanish language at enough of a level to converse with the locals outside of the tourism districts.
Don’t let that scare you more than 30 percent of the population here does speak English and the Dominican Culture is extremely friendly. In many cases sign language or google phone translator suffices.
I should highlight, I have never in my 10 years been in hostile situation where I felt threatened.
Lately, the questions are more like — what is the risk with Corona Virus, how do you manage that?
Like everyone else. Isolation, and take the precautions when you are forced to go out. This is a global crisis, and everyone is adapting. Not much different here to tell you the truth. Personally, I find it very easy to be occupied in a positive manner. More beach and pool time along with the time to initiate this blog.
However typically, my day would normally continue by engaging my various clients either at a hotel or a local establishment. Enjoy a nice lunch, sometimes showing a few properties and call it the day. On my way home I usually stop by one of my 3 different businesses.
I have a pig farm… I don’t manage it every day personally, but I do own 25% of the business which commands a certain amount of attention from me weekly. How does one acquire a pig farm here in the Dominican Republic, you might ask?
As an environmental auditor and consultant in tourism, I am tasked to look for solutions to environmental concerns. I try to create circular economies in every situation I can. Food waste at all inclusive hotels is a major issue. Thus there was a problem. Again a solution was provided to take advantage of what one entity classified as waste and another entity classified as a resource. Think globally, act locally. That is what circular economies do. They incorporate best practices that are sustainable.
I also own a percentage in a local expat bar. This business model is committed to social impact and engagement. As a collective group, we sponsor community projects, local sports, and schools, as well as employee development. It provides venue that resembles what you might call CHEERS! Where everybody comes to share time together and watch sports from all over the globe, and listen to familiar music.
Some of the people who frequent this establishment have been living here 20 or more years. Some are just visitors from the local resorts. What is unique at this bar which a group of like-minded individuals decided to purchase, is our commitment to social sustainability. Giving back to the community through formal channels, and offering everyone who comes in a friendly atmosphere to just enjoy a familiar beverage and a snack among other expats and locals.
For me after spending a couple hours catching up with my compadres, I usually head on home to either relax by the pool or catch a home cooked meal. MOM STYLE.. LOL.
I teased you with 10 years of experiences previously and that will follow.
For today I just felt the need to give you a general outline of a day in the life of a guy who loves to communicate what its like to live on the beach in the Dominican Republic… Short answer is nothing short of amazing. Never a dull moment here.
I have many stories of triumph and failure. Looking forward to sharing them all.
Follow our blog to experience them as you wish…
Updated on June 19, 2020
FULL SERVICE REALTY D.R.
Questions? Questions? Questions?
You know how it is when you move to a new place, you have so many questions you don’t know where to start and you certainly don’t know who to ask.
Often you don’t even know what your questions are… you just know that you are confused and maybe a bit overwhelmed.
When you embark on a move to any foreign country you have lots of questions to ask. Especially when that country is way out in the middle of the Caribbean and the local language is Spanish. Those questions can really keep you awake at night.
Questions about schools, shops, doctors, housing and, of course, which place is really the place to be. Now you can relax!
Full Service Realty has done the research for you and found you all the names, addresses and phone numbers you need so you can have access to a comprehensive, accessible and practical guide.FAQs by New Expats – moving to and living in the Dominican Republic Full Service Realty team can come to the rescue!
- Where shall we live?
• Where are the schools?
• Where should we shop?
• Where are all the other expats?
• How can we make friends?
• And what shall we do in an emergency?
This is just one of the many benefits you receive when you work with a team that has over 15 years experience living here full time.
Divided simply into sections entitled Who, What, When, Where and How this information pack is without doubt the one-stop resource you need.
We provide this information to all of our clients to help them understand they have an onsite resource that continues far beyond the purchase of a property here. We make it our mission to assist in any way possible during that transition to the lifestyle here with the least amount of stress.
Full Service Realty D.R.
Updated on April 2, 2020
Dear friends and clients,
It is not easy to understand everything that is happening in today’s world.
Although at this moment the situation within the tourist community of Punta Cana / Bavaro is very good, fortunately much better than most places in the world. The government is taking daily precautions one day at a time, focusing on the positive, maintaining clear communications about the strategy to minimize the impact and reinforcing the belief we will get through it together, by making intelligent decisions to safeguard.
Full Service Realty is taking this responsibility as are many others.
In response to the measures that are necessary to protect us all we invite you to take advantage of the power of our “Virtual Platform”, which It consists, in part, of videos, large amounts of photographs and complete useful descriptions of each property we represent.
Our “Virtual Platform” technology tools are here to help you make healthy real estate decisions from the comfort of your home.
As many cities face more difficulties than others, we understand the diverse situations and needs of all of you located throughout the world.
Some our current clients have called and asked for a medium-term rental solutions, others have asked about how to insure a home in a warm, tropical climate, to move back into once the crisis is over. Other clients who are in the purchase market have focused on properties that offer complete isolation from the public that also provides security. We have several options to choose from facilitating that need.
But everyone who has asked us for information, we are hear to respond professionally and ethically. Our team wants to ensure you that our touristic zone has maintained its focus on safety, high quality of life, and ultra-peaceful environment. All of this can be still be found in the eastern touristic district of the Dominican Republic.
When the time is right for you, for anything you may need, related to buying or selling properties we represent, or general questions about visiting or living here, our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to professionally advise you in making your decision.
Full Service Realty Team.