Santo Domingo - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Compound housing near the embassy if you are one of the lucky ones to get in. Further out for the rest with heavy traffic and over an hour commute battling motorcycles, cars, trucks and drivers that do not obey traffic laws. - Sep 2023

Embassy compound. Great for families with small children. Plenty for them to do, pool, park, sports areas, etc. Short commute to the Embassy. Negative aspect: it is like a fishbowl, glass doors, everyone looking at what everyone is doing, etc. Singles and smaller families can have apartments outside near restaurants, etc. Negative aspect: a long commute, traffic in DR is terrible. - Oct 2021

Housing is a mix of older standalone homes and smaller, newer apartments. All of them have some sort of household help accommodation. The US Embassy has a housing compound near the embassy - very modern and with lots of amenities on the compound. It is like a subdivision in Miami. Commute time depend on location. Traffic in Santo Domingo is very heavy, so going even a short distance - 1-2 miles - can take 45 minutes or more. - Jan 2021

New housing compound a bit better, service/construction-wise than housing on economy, but you live in a boring area with a bunch of colleagues. Maybe works best for those with little kids looking for playmates. - Jul 2019

New embassy compound is located approximately five minutes from the embassy which is great for your commute but not for your social life. If you are single or have a relatively small family, expect to live in the apartments and not the larger standalone residences. Though the compound is new, folks are already complaining about the quality of work. Several other families live throughout the city. The housing pool is not great in my opinion. - Jan 2019

Houses (in Las Praderas and Cacicazgos, 20-45 min from embassy depending on traffic) and apartments (mostly in Piantini, also 20-45 min from embassy based on traffic). Houses tend to have strange layouts; apartments are modern and spacious. - Nov 2016

The new Embassy compound (moved in June 2014) means an unpleasant commute for almost everyone - not especially long, but unpleasant. Crossing JFK Ave is no fun. Over half the Embassy had far better commutes to the old Embassy. - Apr 2016

We live in a brand new, modern 12 story apartment building in the center of the city. I love our place, it is spacious with nice appliances and a beautiful ocean view. People who live in single family homes are usually in older buildings. The homes are large but dark inside to combat the heat. Most are walled-in for security. My commute time to the embassy is about 15 minutes in the early morning (I start at 7) but can be 45 minutes or longer getting home. And it's only about 5 miles! Traffic here is one of the main complaints that everyone has. Everyone suffers from the noise issue, it's hard to escape. Housing is scattered about throughout the city in the "nicer" neighborhoods (still are not that nice in my opinion). - Jan 2016

An embassy compound is in the works for 3/4 of the community I believe. Most people were not happy with their housing. Not many with yard space, too many bad apartments that also seemed unsafe if there were ever a major earthquake. Overall housing is some of the worst we have seen. - Jan 2016

A huge disappointment. There are apartments and houses. If you don't have kids, they tend to stick you in an apartment. There is some housing close to the Embassy and the commute time with back roads can be as little as 15 minutes. Some of the houses are further out and the commute is a nightmare. Not only do you deal with traffic but you also deal with stupid, careless drivers, bikes and motorcycles. - Aug 2015

Apartments and homes, spread about the city. Anywhere from 15-45 minute commute times. Very few yards. - Aug 2015

There are large homes and high-rises with comfortable square footage ranging from 1,500-3,500 sqft, in the affluent areas of the city (Los Cacicazgos, Bella Vista, Evaristo Morales, Naco, Piantini). Commute times are relatively easy early in the morning (prior to 7am) but if you wait until 7:30-8:00am, a commute of 10 minutes will turn into 60 minutes. - Aug 2014

There are currently apartments, homes in gated communities, and stand-alone homes. I'm not sure what housing will be like after the embassy moves to the northern part of town. We live in a gorgeous 3br apartment with views of the ocean. For people with a young family, I would recommend asking for a house in a gated community, because there are not a lot of playspaces for kids and that will allow them to play outside. - Jul 2013

A mix of houses and apartments. We are a family of four and we have an apartment with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. The apartment is nice, but it doesn't have any outdoor space. - Apr 2013

Housing is a mixed bag. The housing pool is full of properties that are in poor condition. You are very lucky if you end up in one of the nice homes or apartments. The housing pool is also very small, and many people end up in temporary housing for extended periods of time. This is very inconvenient if you're hoping to receive your HHE. Another issue is the commute to the embassy. Many houses are not located near the embassy, and traffic is horrendous. The typical commute time in the morning from our house is 30 minutes to an hour. However, the embassy will be moving to a new location in 2014, and commutes for most people will end up being over an hour. - Apr 2013

Varied individual houses and apartments. Traffic can lengthen commutes, 15 minutes to an hour. - Jan 2013

For the embassy, this will all change will the move to a new facility in 2014. They're building a Little America. - Jun 2012

Commute time and the quality of housing are Variable. The commute was the most despised thing in the DR. Commute time ranges from 10 mins walking to 45 mins driving. - Jun 2012

Housing pool is split between apartments and houses. Commutes can be a short walk or a 45-minute drive. Traffic is a nightmare here, and negatively impacts commute times. We live about 4 miles from the Embassy, and at 6:45 a.m. it takes 9 minutes to arrive, but at 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. it can take over 45 minutes. The New Embassy Compound is being built north of the city, and housing will be centered around it. Completion is estimated to be in 2014.This should alleviate the commuting issue, but will isolate the Embassy community from the commercial centers of the city a bit. - Mar 2012

Housing is mixed with apartments and houses with yards. Most of the apartments are within walking distance to the embassy, most of the houses are a 20-40 minute commute. Generally the apartments and houses are very nice with tile floors, detailed woodwork, modern kitchens and good closet space. - Feb 2012

Varies, personally I think the embassy could do better, as I have seen better and less expensive but I am happy with my house. Problem is sometimes you see families with kids in little apartments, and couples or single people in huge houses, they do not consider very much family size or that the couple has kids, is more about what is available when you come, but it all depends on the organization you are working with. - Feb 2012

Houses are nice, apartments are nicer, commute depends where is your house. If you are North of 27 of Febrero. it will take a while to get to the embassy. South of 27, not to bad. - Oct 2011

Housing is a mixed bag. There are nice apartments (though there are seismic issues) and decent houses. The Embassy does not really take into account family size or preferences when assigning housing. Things break quite often but if you are persistent, you can get them repaired within a week or so (you have to be VERY persistent). Be prepared for water shortages (all houses have a cistern) and power outages (everyone has a generator). We've had our water cut off 4 or 5 times but you can usually call a water truck to remedy the situation. Everyone is placed in at least a 3 bed/3 bath home. The commute can be an issue if you are far away from the embassy (traffic is awful here). - Jun 2011

Houses seem to be nice sizes for people with families and I've heard that folks in apartments consider their places spacious too. Our place is fantastic and although we have had problems with falling ceilings due to humidity, I don't have any complaints. People are placed in various locations - some within walking distance from the Embassy. Commutes range from 10 minutes to 1 hour during rush hour. - May 2011

housing is average to below average.families get houses and they are generally better than the get apartments that range in size and quality.all housing has a lot of issues with plumbing and general poor conditions. - Nov 2010

Housing is a serious issue in Santo Domingo. To summarize, if you live close to where you work, it will be a small apartment. If you live farther out, you will have a house. I suggest living closer to your workplace, since traffic is terrible. A 3 mile drive could take you upwards of 1.5 hours. - Aug 2010

Our house is some distance from the consulate...but if we leave early enough in the morning we can get there in 15 minutes. But like any major city, if we wait till "rush hour' (which is frequent here) it can take over an hour. There are plenty of homes, apartments, etc. that are actually very nice. - Jun 2010

OK housing for US Embassy people -- lots of large houses with gates. Some people still live in highrises. - May 2009

If you're a Carol Morgan teacher, the housing is fair to midland. It's apartment living. A few places have issues with mildew and mold, and to make a change one must complain loudly and often. Most people are pretty content with where they live, however, and the commute is awesome. (I can walk, others take school transportation or drive 5 or 10 minutes). - Nov 2008

Single houses, housing compounds and apartments. Some houses and apartments have pools. Most of the housing--apartments and houses--seems to have routine problems that tend to take time before they"re fixed. Housing is located all throughout the city. Most people deal with "long" commutes. By this I mean anywhere from an average of 30 min. to 1 hour depending on the time of day, but what makes it seem "long" is the traffic itself and the Dominican mentality of driving--which is dangerous because it is counter to common sense and motivated by a self-centered attitude rather than safety. - Oct 2008

Varies greatly. Some folks have great houses, others not so great. General move is to apartments so families with many kids might have problems here. - Aug 2008

Gated communities have the best of both worlds (safety and housing space) for those who can get housing in one. There are some great houses with pools, but not enough of them for everyone. Commute is 15-45 minutes. - Aug 2008

The Embassy seems to be shifting from houses to apartments as an economic measure (though some apartments lack constant power). Typical commute is between 30 and 45 minutes -- to travel 6 miles. Double it if it's raining, which it does frequently. There is no one more self-important than a Dominican driver behind the wheel of his car -- and since everyone feels the same way, expect massive tie-ups, blocked intersections, and complete disregard for traffic laws and common sense practices to make your drive into work hell. - Jun 2008

Apartments are preferred due to security and maintenance issues. Owners of houses promise to do all the work but after a short while it's a nightmare - Feb 2008


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