It is simple to rent property, and it is advisable to rent before purchasing just to make sure that the area is where you want to live. Landlords will usually insist on three months deposit, which although supposedly refundable, often is not. House purchase is also fairly straightforward, although it is essential to have a good lawyer, to ensure that the whole process is followed through properly as it is not unknown to have scams with people buying properties which do not have the correct title deeds.
It is possible to have many of the comforts of home in that there are international supermarkets in the tourist and expat areas, and the major cities of Santiago and Santo Domingo plus high quality hospitals, although it is recommended to take out insurance to cover the costs of health care. Banking is also to international standards although care should be taken using credit cards as they are often cloned, especially those issued overseas. Internet and telephones are also of high quality with several different providers to choose from. Satellite and cable television is also available with programs in English.
However, there are also issues the prospective expat needs to be aware of. The Dominican Republic is a third world country, and electricity can be sporadic, therefore many people invest in a back up system of inverters or generators. In addition, the driving is appalling on the whole, with the country having the highest number of road traffic accidents per capita in the world so a lot of care is needed when driving, especially at night.
Finally, the language of the country is Spanish, and apart from in the tourist areas few people speak English. For those who live in the country it is very important to at least be able to speak some Spanish and there are courses easily available.