What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I wish I'd brought Cooking utensels, Spices for cooking, American Cable TV. There's nothing I wish I'd left behind.
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
I advise you to visit the better area of town which is called Piantini and Naco. They are very cosmopolitan areas, located in District National Santo Domingo along ave Winston Churchill. Ask Apolo Taxi which I discovered to be the most safe and trusted Taxi, to take you to the Blue Mall on Ave Winston Churchill. Also Go to The Acropolis which is a few blocks from the Blue Mall on the same street. Walk the neighborhood for three blocks in each direction from Ave Winston Churchill and you will see many buildings with condo's for sale(vende) or rent ( alquiliar). There is a Holiday Inn Hotel located 5 minutes from this area on Ave Abraham Lincoln. Both malls have resteraunts and movies. Your supermarket is across the street from the mall. there are at least six banks betwee the two malls along with resteraunts and Pharmacies. Everything you can walk to, if you get your apartment there. Plus the area is quiet and secure. You will not have the loud Dominican music playing 24 hours a day. it is a normal tranquile neighborhood. A 3bedroom unfurnished can cost US$800.00 a month. I recommend you do not fall for the fully furnished apt. ads. If you do, make sure you sign a month to month lease. This will protect you from the bad feeling of living in a place with someone's old trashy furniture and having to put up with it until the lease expires. Also be sure to make certain that your deposit is not listed on the contract as a security deposit. Make sure it is listed as your last months rent. Visit the area for a week on each visit. If you decide to live in a Dominican area with the Bodega's and places that sell beer this is good if you are 27 years old, but if you are retired you will dread the day you did this. Trust me. Banking you should open a checking account and only deposit enough for your rent and utilities each month. The banks constantly suspend your account for no apparent reason. Keep the lion's share of your cash in the bank of your country and use your debit card to take money out.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
I live in a furnished 2 bedroom apartment. This is typical of the expats I have met. My next door neighnor have lived in their unit for ten years. They are from Canada/Germany.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
I chose my neighborhood because it is located within walking distance of the Sea and one half block from the Metro/Subway. I found my apartment through a website named Sublet.com
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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
The monthly cost of rent is $550.00 which includes water, gas for cooking, internet and cable tv, with a 30 year old tv supplied by the landlord. I must pay for electric $30.00 a month unless I use the air conditioner which is also very old and will raise my electric bill to over $100.00 a month. There are ceiling fans in every room. i use them in lieu of the air conditioner. I have a land line home phone from Claro for $30.00 a month for 400 minutes. I just signed up for a bundle package of Phone/cable/internet with Claro for $75.00 a month.