One might assume if you are thinking about buying real estate outside the territorial boundaries of your home country, you are the adventurous type. So what about the Dominican Republic? What is the best option if you are wondering whether to build or buy a home?
If you are thinking about building something in the Dominican Republic, the first thing to consider is a building site. For reference, lot sizes are based on square meters, and one acre of land is 4,047 square meters. For this analysis, let’s assume we are dealing with a half acre, or 2,000-square-meter site. On the lower end, you can find remote acreage (within 5 kilometeres of a town center) for $30 per square meter. A gated community in a remote area will be $50 per square meter. Most likely, the fresh water source would be a local cistern, and in addition, a septic system would be contained on each building site. Generally speaking, this type of site would range from $60,000 to $100,000.
On the higher end, oceanfront property with a sandy beach will run for $500 per square meter. In cases where there is a rocky cliff, or a golf course fairway separating the villa from the oceanfront, the building site may be in the $200 per square meter to $300 per square meter range. This would be considered an ocean view site. So, if a beachfront property is desired, a half acre site could cost $1 million.
For purposes of this analysis, we will use $1,300 per square meter as a building cost. This may or may not include architectural and engineering fees and will also depend on the quality of the finished work. If we assume a building size of 400 square meters (4,306 square feet), the cost of the structure will be $520,000. (We will consider all 400 square meters to be air-conditioned.) On top of this, we should consider additional line items for landscaping, an oversized swimming pool, and terracing around the swimming pool, if applicable. Possible upgrades would be $10,000 for appliance upgrades, $40,000 for swimming pool upgrades, and $30,000 to $100,000 for furniture and accessories.
In the Dominican Republic, the architect, engineer, and builder may be performed by the same company or individual. There are many well-qualified and world renowned designers and builders, and bids can be requested from any of them.
Building a new villa in the Dominican Republic can range, from $450,000 in a gated community within 5 kilometers of the beach or town center, to $1.0 Million for a villa on the beach. Overall, you might plan on spending $2,500 per square meter, which you can then compare to existing villas already on the market. As a side note, new development in the Dominican Republic has been slow ever since the worldwide crash of 2008. So, many existing villas currently on the market are between five and 10 years old.
So, it is up to you! Can you find a motivated seller that has exactly what you want, or are you ready to consider building something new?
William Holden is the exclusive agent representing the Dominican Republic real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listings here.