nvesting and Living in the Dominican Republic with Randy Chavers

RealtyCast Global #5: Investing and Living in the Dominican Republic with Randy Chavers

Welcome to episode #5 of RealtyCast Global – a global connection to all things real estate, hosted by Hugh Gilliam, president of Global Property Pros.

In the latest episode of RealtyCast Global, we delve into the potential of Caribbean real estate with seasoned expert Randy Chavers. Not only is this region a tropical paradise, but it also presents lucrative opportunities for property investment and remote work.

Randy shares his intriguing journey of investing in the Dominican Republic, one of the Caribbean’s most vibrant islands. Replete with geographical splendor, a thriving economy, and a strong tourism sector, the Dominican Republic beckons investors from around the world. Randy provides insight into the region’s undeniable charm and potential for profit, making it a prime location for real estate investment.

The journey of purchasing a property in the Dominican Republic is distinct. Randy emphasizes the importance of finding a reputable real estate broker and attorney. Although the process may seem daunting to some, especially those accustomed to title companies, Randy assures listeners that the Dominican Republic has an excellent system of recording properties, making the purchasing process seamless and secure.

One of the highlights of the episode is when Randy sheds light on the digital wave sweeping across the Caribbean. With the availability of Wi-Fi and the rise of convenient communication channels like WhatsApp, the Caribbean has transformed into an ideal destination for remote work. Randy also points out the prevalence of the English language in the region, making it even more appealing for international remote workers.

Living in the Caribbean is not just about work; it’s also about enjoying the high-quality lifestyle it offers. Randy provides a first-hand account of the local amenities available. He speaks highly of the quality schools, medical facilities, and dental care, indicating that living in the Caribbean does not mean compromising on comforts.

Tourism is a significant factor contributing to the Dominican Republic’s economy. Randy gives listeners a sneak peek into the Airbnb rental market, offering insights on tourist preferences and the allure of the North Shore. With an international airport in close proximity and a growing number of visitors each year, the Dominican Republic presents a prime opportunity for Airbnb rentals.

Investing in Caribbean real estate, particularly in the Dominican Republic, is a strategic move. It’s not just about owning a piece of paradise; it’s also about tapping into a region brimming with growth potential. With a steady increase in its Gross Domestic Product and a rising number of tourists, the Dominican Republic presents a promising future for investors.

This episode of RealtyCast Global offers an in-depth look at Caribbean real estate from an investor’s perspective. From property investment to remote work opportunities, Randy Chavers shares valuable insights that will inspire listeners to explore the possibilities in this vibrant region.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a beginner, this episode is a must-listen if you’re considering making a move in the Caribbean real estate market. It’s not just about investing in property; it’s about investing in a lifestyle and a future filled with potential. So, step into the world of Caribbean real estate with us, and you might just find your next big investment.

Make sure to listen to other episodes of RealtyCast Global.

For real estate agents looking to expand their business internationally, expose existing listings to a global pool of buyers, and connect with new clients, check out Global Property Pros.

For Property Buyers & Sellers seeking assistance in the international market, check out RealtyHive’s property marketing solutions.

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About the Guest – Randy Chavers:
Randy Chavers has 36 years of experience in real estate as an agent, broker-owner, managing broker for major franchises, and executive-level positions in real estate-specific Internet companies. 

Unique skill set combines award-winning performance in brokerage operations management with practical application of Internet strategies for real estate agents and brokers. 

Former Managing Director for Coldwell Banker Island Affiliates, a major franchise covering all Caribbean Islands and Western Atlantic including Bermuda. Licensed Real Estate Broker in Georgia and Florida.

Connect with Randy on LinkedIn:

Contact Randy at:

About the host – Hugh Gilliam:

Hugh Gilliam co-owned a national transportation company, created a land development business, and worked as a general contractor in residential and commercial construction for over two decades. Hugh also co-founded an international distribution company and successfully negotiated and contracted with 135 sales representatives in the United States, Canada, France, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Today, Mr. Gilliam is affiliated with RealtyHive, LLC where he serves as Director of International Real Estate and President of Global Property Pros. His duties include involvement in commercial and residential transactions, plus promoting marketing systems and lead generation platforms.

He is also co-founder of the luxury digital magazine, DOORWAYS INTERNATIONAL, powered by RealtyHive, which serves as a platform for Brokers and Buyers throughout 70 countries.

Hugh’s Designations Include:

  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  • Certified Distressed Property Export
  • Certified International Property Specialist
  • Certified International Investment & Immigration Specialist
  • Transnational Referral Certification

Hugh’s Memberships Include:

  • Georgia Association of REALTORS
  • National Association of REALTORS
  • International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI-USA)
  • Asian Real Estate Association of America
Fern Court, Woodlands, Montserrat

Fern Court • Montserrat: A Case Study

In the summer of 2019, a private seller came to RealtyHive with an interesting property. Named Fern Court and located in the Woodlands area of Montserrat, the seller had inherited the property and had been trying to sell it for years.

Not many people know about the idyllic island of Montserrat. Located in the Caribbean island chain called the Lesser Antilles, this small island is just 10 miles long, 7 miles wide and home to nearly 5,000 people. Montserrat has been nicknamed “The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” for it’s resemblance to coastal Ireland, but unlike Ireland there are no direct flights from the United States, Canada, or United Kingdom to the smaller island nation.

In 1995, the Soufrière Hills volcano, located in southern central region of the island became active and began to erupt. This eruption eventually led to the capital city of Plymouth being covered in more than 39 feet of mud and debris. The seismic and volcanic activity continued for years destroying the island’s airport and ravaging the tourism industry. The most recent period sent pyroclastic flows down several sides of the mountain from November 2009 to February 2010.

This volcanic volatility led to the creation of the exclusion zone encompassing the entire southern half of the island. A variety of settlements were abandoned either by the eruption of 1995 or the flows of 1997 and still more were evacuated and later resettled. Among these is Woodlands.

So here we have a small, hard to reach island with recent volcanic activity and a seller who needs to sell a property worth several hundred thousands of dollars. Challenge accepted. With a few pictures and videos from the on-island agent partner, RealtyHive was able to begin marketing the property.

By the time Fall 2019 rolled around, Fern Court had a verbally accepted offer, but as anyone who has lived in the Caribbean can tell you, things down there tend to happen on island time. By Winter 2019, the sellers had a written contract and in early 2020, the property had closed!

Sip on something awesome: Coffee in the Caribbean


“Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second.” -Edward Abbey

While Americans have enjoyed coffee from airtight tins since the early 1900s, many have not experienced the joy of truly fresh coffee. In 1907, 97% of the world’s coffee came from Brazil, but today many countries, from Ethiopia to Hawaii export these delicious and highly coveted beans. If you’re looking for the best cuppa Joe, here’s what you need to know

coffee being poured into mug
Costa Rica

Costa Rican coffee is known for having a full and rich body with bright acidity and a clean, crisp taste. Costa Rica uses an Arabica bean which is grown at higher altitudes and harvested in winter between December and February. The aroma profile is an intense and fragrant coffee smell with hints of brown sugar, while the flavor leans more toward citrus, tropical fruit, and apricots. The high quality brews these beans create means Costa Rican coffee has gotten a reputation as some of the best in Central/South American and has led to its introduction into Starbucks’ “reserve” program.

beans in coffee cup

Jamaica produces multiple types of coffee, but the most well-known is its Blue Mountain variety. Grown in the region of the same name north of Kingston and south of Port Maria at an elevation of between 3,000-5,500 feet, this coffee has virtually no bitterness, despite the fact that it has an excellently full body and a vibrant, yet smooth, acidity. This brew is also very complex with an unusually sweet flavor that teeters on chocolaty and an aroma filled with sweet herbal and floral notes with nutty undertones. One of the more notable facts about Jamaican coffee cultivation is that nearly all of Jamaica’s coffee plants are direct descendants of the plants the French brought to Martinique in 1723.

hands holding coffee in mug

Historically coffee in Honduras was fairly standard and unremarkable, but in recent years has been receiving more acclaim. Grown at an elevation of between 3,600-5,400 feet, this bean exhibits a round, medium body with a soft acidity and a vanilla/hazelnut aroma. Like the coffee of the nearby Costa Rica, the harvest time in Honduras is from November to April. While the country was slow to take to coffee production, it has been a primary cash crop (along with bananas) since the early 2000s.
coffee with flower drizzle


Known as a “true Central American coffee”, Guatemalan coffee has a full body, rich cocoa-like flavor, and a toffee-esque flavor. The beans here are washed and sun dried and give off citrusy, floral notes when brewed. One of the truly unique properties of Guatemalan coffee is its ability to retain its flavor, even through dark and even espresso roasts. Guatemala’s location between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, consistent climate (it averages 72F year-round!), and volcanic soil makes this an ideal spot for cultivation.
coffee in white cup
While you can buy these varieties of coffee (and many, many) more at your local grocery store or online, experts will tell you to consult a local coffee roaster to obtain green coffee beans which can then be roasted to your specification right before you pick them up. You will then want to leave the beans whole until you are ready to brew a cup and ground coffee goes stale much faster than whole beans. Enjoy!

plan, vacation, map, wanderlust,trip,planning,travel

Central American & Caribbean Vacation Spots

While all-inclusive mega resorts have their time and place, sometimes you want your trips to be a little farther off the tourist path. Whether you’re looking for a less-than-conventional vacation spot, a location for a vacation or retirement home, or are considering an expatriate lifestyle these are some of the best places to check out in 2018.


While the beachy Ambergris Caye gets all the attention — and a lot of tourism — the Cayo District, home to the capital city of Belmopan, is where an adventure vacation awaits you. This jungle-covered landscape is home to many eco-activities and adventures and is dotted with Mayan ruins. San Ignacio, a town with a population of nearly 18,000 serves as the perfect point to launch your trip as all roads and activities branch out from this hub. Here you can find waterfalls, cave exploring expeditions, Mayan ruins and so much more!
Must Try Activity: Explore the hidden depths and crystal clear waters at Actun Tunichil Muknal, a natural wonder featured in National Geographic. From here you can swim into a mysterious cave known as Xibalba, which the ancient Mayans considered to be a portal to the underworld. You’ll have to hike, climb, and possibly even swim, but the history and beauty can’t be beaten.

Costa Rica

If your ideal vacation involves fewer beaches and more jungles, you must check out El Castillo in the Alajuela province. Getting there can be quite the trip as it’s about a 2.5 hour trek by car or bus through Costa Rican jungle roads, but once you make it, you’ll know the trip was worth it.
Must Try Activity: There are a ton of great things to do using El Castillo as a jumping off point, but visiting the hot springs of the Arenal Volcano tops the list. While there are numerous hot springs in the area, those looking for a more intimate and natural experience will enjoy Eco Termales Fortuna, where the number guests is limited per day.
Coming in close behind are the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park and the Sky Adventures Arenal Park (both offer a great view, neither are for those who are afraid of heights!) and the Arenal Ecozoo.

Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago

Scarborough, the capital of the island of Tobago lays outside the hurricane belt in the Caribbean. The population of around 17,000 gives off the smalltown vibes while having a deep-sea port allows for an influx of cruise tourists and a nearby rainforest preserve will make you believe you are in a much more remote locale. English is the official language of the island which makes it easy for Americans to travel around, although tourists should be aware that prices can be quoted in either USD or Trinidad & Tobago (TT) dollars, so make sure to ask which one your purchase is in!
Must Try Activity: Take a glass bottom boat out to Nylon Pool. It’s a shallow area in the ocean that you can bathe in! The “sand” is pulverized coral (so exfoliating!) and people who bathe here are said to return looking 10 years younger! Along the way there are beautiful, tropical fish to see and is very inexpensive with many tours under USD 10. Other notable attractions include Argyle Falls, a three-tiered waterfall with natural rock tubs (great for relaxing!) and swimmable areas and Fort King George, a military outpost from the 1700s with gorgeous sunset views.

Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago

Gasparillo, a small town near Upper Santa Cruz in the San Juan/Laventille region (not to be confused with the town of about 16,000 on the southeastern side of Trinidad), located 5 miles (8 km) from the capital city of Port of Spain.
Must Try Activity: Spend your day lounging on the nearby Maracas Beach, the best place for sun, sand, and surf on the island of Trinidad. When you get hungry, head over to Richard’s Shark and Bake where they sell deep fried shark sandwiches with all the fixings. There are other shark and bake shops, but this is the local favorite!


Jamaica is known for beautiful, turquoise beaches, but almost as well known as the beauty are the hustlers and vendors that crowd the tourist areas trying to vend their goods. Looking for a more unadulterated paradise experience? Set up camp in the town of Green Island, located in the Hanover Parish on the northwestern side of the island.
Must Try Activity: Half Moon Beach is a private beach with a small entrance fee and provides the peace and serenity vacationers are looking for while having an onsite bar and restaurant for those whose version of paradise still includes a well-cooked meal. The beach also offers a nearby healthy reef for snorkeling and a bamboo rafting tour–the only of its kind on the open sea! Other fun vacation activities nearby include the Crocodile Reserve and Bird Sanctuary as well as the Kool Runnings Adventure Park, a theme park based off the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.

outdoor kitchen with overhang and ceiling fans in tropical setting

Breakfast with a View

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahamas, come on pretty mama–it’s time for breakfast! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but breakfast with a view is the ultimate way to start your day off right. If you can’t enjoy an authentic Caribbean spread in Jamaica, Montserrat, or The Bahamas, the next best thing might be a tropical breakfast spread!

Agua Frescas
tropical agua fresca beach breakfast drink
Agua Fresca, literally Refreshing Water in Spanish, are simply unfiltered fresh juices. These tasty beverages can be easily made with any type of fruit, although seedless varieties work well. Popular in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean, Agua Fresca makes a great way to start your breakfast time.


  • Approximately 1 cup peeled fruit (seedless work best– pineapple, mango, papaya, and watermelon are favorites!)
  • 1 cup water (more or less, adjust to desired consistency)
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp sugar, honey, or agave — to taste

Place all ingredients and blend until smooth. If using fruit with seeds (or you really don’t like pulp), strain before serving. Serve cold, without ice.

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

breakfast smoothie bowl with berries and dragonfruit

When you live in a tropical climate, smoothies are year-round fare. While the traditional American breakfast calls for eggs, meat, and potatoes, a tropical breakfast needs to be light and refreshing. After all, you don’t want to be too full when the temps start rising! A smoothie bowl makes a great, light breakfast to start your day off right!


  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp- 1tbsp sugar, agave, or honey (to taste)
  • Fresh berries/fruit/granola/nuts (to top)

Blend the strawberries, coconut milk, and sweetener until smooth. Top with desired ingredients and enjoy!

Bonus: Feeling especially tropical? Try adding Pitaya (Dragonfruit) to your smoothie bowl. This fruit is indigenous to the Americas and has a soft texture and sweet strawberry-kiwi taste!