1. Are there any property taxes that we must pay?
Yes. Property taxes are 1% of the property’s recorded value.
2. Are there monthly maintenance costs in the resort?
Yes. Casa de Campo Resort charges all property owners an HOA fee, referred to locally as “Infraestructura.”
3. What are the maintenance fees like HOA?
a. The HOA is calculated based on the size of your land and the size of construction of your property.
b. We can provide an exact HOA cost for any property that interests you.
c. Estimate that a $ 3M home will have a US $ 1,500 per month HOA, approximately.
4. Many of your listings look very spacious. Are the listings which you present usually one big private house or do you present “community” areas as well?
In general, if a given video is entitled with a property address, the content presented is one big, private home. There may be a few shots of the resort area, but in general we present the homes themselves.
5. Who takes care of the house up-keep and maintenance?
Each home usually has “house staff” who take care of the property and maintenance. But ultimately, you, the home owner, are responsible for the good keeping of your home and property.
6. Who takes care of things like ground maintenance, lawn cutting and pool maintenance and how much does it cost?
a. There are plenty of landscaping companies who offer these services.
b. Or you can have your own gardener.
c. Your own gardener is the best and costs about $ 400 per month + supplies
7. If we only plan on using the home 6 months (or less) per year, what happens during the part of the year that we are not there?
a. Everything stays the same with or without your presence.
b. Staff here is employed all-year round and they take care of your home while you are away.
8. Are there any live-in help / staff? If so, what does it cost?
a. The house staff usually come and go each day, as it is not common that they sleep over, unless the owners require it and the staff agree.
b. The average house staff salary is US $ 450 - $ 500 per month.
9. Are garages permitted?
Yes. An architectural design must be submitted to the architectural board for approval.
10. What are the prices for new vehicles?
a. A new Chevy Tahoe or similar will cost you around $ 75,000
b. A new Toyota Landcruiser or similar will cost you around $ 95,000
c. A new Range Rover Sport or similar will cost you $ 120,000
11. Can we drive our SUV to the house, or do we need to park in a communal lot and walk/take a golf cart to our home?
You can drive right up and park right on your property, or in your garage.
12. I just don’t want any surprises with regards to costs in general.
a. No surprises.
b. But this is not Toronto or New York; this is a mostly lower-economic class and lower education civilization; you should take that into account – life can be much slower here than in Canada.
c. Life here is not inexpensive, but the quality of life is superior to most areas.
d. Household staff, local services and the year-round weather is easily available and make life very enjoyable.
13. Are we allowed guests and family to visit us in the resort? If so, is there a cost?
a. You are allowed as many guests and family that you want.
b. It is your house, and you have full, un-restricted use.
c. If you rent your house, the renters will have to pay a per-day resort fee
14. What is there within the resorts that property owners have access to?
Property owners get use of the entire resort, which has a marina, beach, 5 golf courses, shooting facilities, tennis, spa and every amenity you can think of.
15. Is there a cost for that?
a. The basic costs are covered by your HOA fees.
b. If you want any specific service, like Spa or golf, you pay on a per-use basis.
There is a great gym here, and you can become a member or pay on a per-use basis
17. Are there any horses or stables?
a. We have plenty of horses available here, for rides or polo.
b. They are available on a pay-per-use basis
c. Or you can have your own horses here as well for use whenever you want, simply pay for the costs of maintaining and housing them.
18. I have dogs, are they allowed?
Yes, they are; hopefully they are tame
19. Can I put up a privacy fence to keep them contained?
Yes, you can. There are regulations for the type of fences, but that is easy to work out.
20. What is Life in Casa like?
a. Life in Casa de Campo ® is simple in the sense that you can live here just as easily as you can in your home town. Every service you can need is located right here within CdC.
b. The biggest advantage is the great weather and the availability of affordable household staff.
c. Also, the local people are extremely friendly.
d. Many people live here 6 months per year, or more!
e. There are about 2,000 homes in total.
f. Currently there are about 400 families that live in Casa de Campo full-time, all year long.
g. And there are about another 500 families that live here 6 months of the year.
21. What are typical closing costs?
a. The basic costs are covered by your HOA fees.
b. The seller will have to pay the attorney fee, real estate commissions, and capital gains taxes.
22. How long does a closing usually take?
You can close a transaction as soon as 5 days. The typical closing time is 45 – 60 days.
23. What are the steps involved in closing?
a. Once the buyer and seller have verbally agreed to a purchase price, all parties sign a one page “Property Reservation Form (PRF).”
b. When the PRF is signed, the buyer wires a fully refundable 10% deposit into the escrow company’s account (Stewart Title Latin America or SLRE Dominicana Escrow) and the seller takes the property off the market for 10 – 15 days.
c. Once the deposit is in escrow, the buyer’s attorney and the seller’s attorney discuss the legal terms of the transaction, and prepare an initial sales contract, which is executed no later than 15 days following receipt of the deposit. Once the initial sales contract is signed by all parties, the deposit becomes non-refundable and the seller has a binding commitment to sell upon completion of the due diligence process.
d. Once the due diligence is complete, a definitive sales contract is executed between the parties. Final payment is made and the property is transferred to the buyer.
24. How many real estate brokerage companies list properties for sale?
a. There are about 30 active real estate companies which list properties for sale in the resort.
b. All brokers have access to every broker’s exclusive listings, and it is normal for real estate companies to collaborate and share commissions.
25. What advice do you have for us regarding the various real estate companies?
a. Since all agents have access to all properties regardless of who the listing agent is, find one agent whom you feel is both the most knowledgeable and the most skilled in negotiating (experienced) and work with them exclusively until you have reason not to continue working with them.
b. Build trust. Share with them the links of properties you find on line and that way you can discuss the pros and cons together.
c. It’s better to have one agent working on everything on your behalf rather than having many agents from different companies all trying to “make a sale,” and thus no one really looking out for your best interests.
d. Call Sergio Llach Sotheby’s International Realty to find the best properties, the most knowledgeable agents and folks whom you can build a long-term relationship with, who will always look out for your best interests.