Househunters International –  Stop Dreaming, Start Doing

The Rainbow Is There - Open Your Eyes

The Rainbow Is There – Open Your Eyes

Dreams can be a wonderful thing.  They can whisk you away from your problems and challenges and let you explore exotic places.  Dreams can give you a small taste of what could have been or what might yet be in your life… if only you can take action.  Dreams let you play armchair quarterback with your life in the safety of your own easy chair or bed.

There probably is no more popular hangout for serial dreamers than the popular cable TV show… Househunters InternationalEach episode of this popular show attracts between 1.5 and 2.0 million viewers… and the network cranks out about 200 episodes per year.  I have no doubt that if these episodes ran on mainstream network TV the numbers of viewers would even double or triple.  So what is the attraction?  Why do so many people spend their time watching other people shop for houses to buy or rent in exotic places?   Why do so many people routinely dream about packing up their families and moving, either full time or part time, outside of their home country?  Could it be:

  • A sense of adventure
  • Lower cost of living
  • Better climate
  • A desire to learn new cultures and languages
  • More affordable healthcare
  • New business opportunities
  • Just a change of pace
Never Ending Treadmill

Never Ending Treadmill

But DREAMS are rarely a solution.  When you wake up, the problems and challenges are still there and you have made very little forward progress.  In a way, dreams are sort of like an architect’s blueprint of what could be.  Those blueprints can hint of a beautiful palace or a simple shelter, but without action to lay the foundation based on those blueprints, nothing really happens.  The ink on the blueprint certainly will not keep you dry or warm in bad weather.

What about you?  Are you a cyclical dreamer that never takes action?  Or do you act on your dreams?  It fascinates me to hear about the millions of people that watch Househunters International-types of TV shows each week.  So many of those people DREAM about a more exciting and enjoyable life for their family, IF ONLY they could jump off the treadmill and live on some tropical island or other exotic hideaway.  They seem to get it.  I think many of them really do understand that their stress levels would melt away and that they could add decades of enjoyment to their lives, yet so few of them leave the comfort or safety of their armchair to actually go explore the world and find out for themselves.


The answers to this simple question fascinate me.  Why are so many of the people that actually understand… frozen into inaction?  Why, when the handwriting is so clearly scrawled on the wall, why won’t otherwise smart and aware people at least go explore the alternatives?

Let me take the first shot at analyzing a few of the reasons WHY, but then I really would like to hear your thoughts on “WHY”.  Leave me your comments.

WHY?  –  Disbelief

Pitch Overload

Pitch Overload

Let’s face it.  We are a society of skeptics.  We have been pitched-to, strong-armed, lied-to, stolen-from and misled so many times that it is sometimes difficult to see or accept the GOOD at face value.  Instead of asking “How I can take advantage of a good thing”…  too many are stuck with “What are they trying to get out of me.”  I am faced with this type of thinking all the time as I try to introduce the north coast of the Dominican Republic to interested but suspicious people.  For some reason some people can’t just accept it for what it is.  I believe that the major world economies are headed for hard times and I believe now is the time for aware people to find some alternative to just sitting it out hoping that things won’t get worse at home.  I happen to believe the north coast of the Dominican Republic is a good place to sit on the sidelines in affordable luxury, but whether it is the DR or some other off the beaten path place, I just hope you can suspend your disbelief long enough to explore.

The best solution to being frozen in disbelief…. get up out of the chair and go find out for yourself.

WHY?  –  Fear

Fear Of A Wrong Decision

Fear Of A Wrong Decision

For some reason most people tend to think of major life decisions as permanent.  I’ll grant you that for many, deciding to buy a home in another country or deciding to move out of your home country is one of those major life decisions that is worthy of careful thought.  But many face decisions like this with a great deal of fear and trepidation.  But WHY?  I think it is because many think of decisions like this as being permanent.  But who says it has to be permanent.  If you move and don’t like it… move back.  If you buy something you later decide was a mistake.  Sell it.  But how else will you know?  There is a reason you dream of a better life or a different lifestyle in a new environment.  There is something missing that only you can discover and satisfy if you tend to be one of the people that is stuck in fear.

The best solution to being frozen in fear…. get up out of the chair and go find out for yourself.

WHY?  –  Confusion

What ARE the facts?

What ARE the facts?

The third and final reason I will explore is confusion… or perhaps misinformation.  Many of the viewers of a program like HGTV’s  Househunters International see a lifestyle and exotic locations that they would like to have, but imagine that surely it would be too expensive for their family.  If that is you, then perhaps you too are misinformed.  If you sit down and run the numbers, you will find that it can be amazingly affordable to live in a tropical paradise when compared to what you call home today.  Of course that is not true of every island, but it is true of the north coast of the Dominican Republic.  Due to the tropical climate and almost constant tradewinds on the cliffsides, you can pretty much eliminate most of your heating and cooling bills.  And property taxes are laughingly low.  For a house that you might pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 in property taxes per year in the United States, you could expect to pay from $300 to $1000 (or less) per year on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.  Quality healthcare costs on the north coast are dramatically lower than any comparable healthcare costs you will incur in the United States.  Fresh organic vegetables,  fruits, seafoods, poultry and beef products are substantially less expensive than in the States.  And housing can be substantially less expensive on a comparable basis.  Take for example a newly built custom home.  In much of the United States, construction costs of a custom home will range between $150 and $225 per square foot (or more).  In Cabrera Dominican Republic you can expect to pay approximately $70 per square foot.

Back Home with The Wife, Chickens, 4 Cats and a dog.

Back Home with The Wife, Chickens, 4 Cats and a dog.

So call it confusion or call it misinformation, for some reason most of the viewers of programs like Househunters International think that surely they could not afford to live or own property overseas.  Wrong.

But the best solution to being frozen with confusion or misinformation…. get up out of the chair and go find out for yourself.

Now, I would like to hear your opinions about why so many people fail to turn their dreams into reality.  Leave me your comments.




Househunters International is a trademark of HGTV.


For now, it’s Barry in DR.

mike July 26, 2014 at 3:07 am

Why are so many of the people that actually understand… frozen into inaction?

being frozen with confusion or misinformation….

The best solution to being frozen in fear

dear Barry ; you could go a lot of ways with this ; the americants are becoming accustomed and used to the Govt-STATE …
In other words : ” the mentality is that ‘how can I not get beaten/taken/robbed/not protected if I live outside the USA?
US is so orderly and enforced people have gotten used to a super police enforcer type rule of law, so how can I ssurvive in the dr if the police and martial law isn’t enforced?
get my drift?

its about money baby.

the americans I know have good paying jobs, high six figure 401k’s and a 400k home and new cars and ‘what would the neighbors think !

ya know barry, the best time time buy options is when volatility is quiet . things are quiet now in the US , the dow is way up, people feel rich again. and doom sayers are just a bunch of kooks.
but all tides eventually turn and it will and wealth will evaporate again.

yaknow barry looking back into past history of boom and bust the people that lived in the 1700’s and 1800’s had the SAME MENTALITY and had the same needs wants and desires that modern now people do– no different , the 20th century people are making the same selfish mistakes that have gone on for thousands of years. — think rome and the fall. Its gonna happen . But when?
my situation the contracts keep coming and the money keeps rolling in — typical for a lot of people.
But I need to offshore for sure and get a backup plan and gonna do the dr tour in October when this job is done , — cant wait. see You and Johny and experience the north coast
this is mike not in the dr and im out………………………………

Dave July 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Awesome post Barry! You hit the nail on the head with all of it. The only thing I would add (and this has been a big issue with us) is the family equation. With a lot of people, when it comes to leaving their family behind, it’s a non-starter. It’s tough to leave everyone you know and love. Especially if you’re expecting things to get bad for them sometime in the future.

But what people may or may not realize is that the world has become a much smaller place. Technology has brought us the ability to stay in touch constantly. In all of my recent travels I may have been on the other side of the planet but I was in contact with my loved ones almost anytime I wanted…for free; sometimes face to face.

And if things ever got so bad that we were not allowed to travel home when we wanted to then it’s probably a good thing that we are somewhere else away from the craziness.

Those are some of the things that we’ve been dealing with while planning our move. No one knows what the future holds. But like you said, you can never know what could have been unless you get up and try.

See you soon amigo

Marcos Aponte January 4, 2015 at 11:51 pm

The problem is money Barry. Dept and how can I move to a place where I don’t know how much I need to start a life there. I’m going soon at the end of march and I will be in Cabrera to see and hopefully meet you and get some anwers. My wife is Dominican and she is new to the US but I would love to learn to grow my own food and live a life in a good community like I see on your videos I have alot to offer skill wise and hopefully I can make a move over there in a near future if money situation don’t hold me back.

Barry January 5, 2015 at 3:14 am

Those questions you’ll find answers to when you visit. For some it will work for others it won’t. That is the same in the over 100 countries I’ve set foot in over my lifetime. Cabrera is no different and while it suites us its a nice place but won’t be a fit for everyone.those decisions have to be made by the individual and were all different. Good luck and I’d be happy to meet you when you visit.

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