Moving to Panama? House or Condo?
A few visits to or vacations in this charming country cemented your decision to relocate to Panama. For remote workers and retirees alike, Panama can be a livable paradise.
Panama has three distinct options to meet your lifestyle requirements.
Panama City is a bustling metropolis, with all the associated advantages and disadvantages. Access to everything, shopping, entertainment, nightlife, is at your fingertips along with traffic congestion and pollution, noise and crowds.
Just ninety minutes down the Interamericana Highway, the beaches area is popular among expats and weekend locals. A stretch of land in Panama Oeste runs from Nuevo Gorgona west along beach front communities with mixed housing options, homes and condo developments to meet and exceed your expectations.
The mountains offer cooler living with communities across the country. Many have large expat communities including Volcan, Boquete in the far west, El Valle near the beach area, and more offering breathtaking vistas with an affordable cost of living.
There are Panama real estate listings of home and condos for sale to satisfy your needs and wants. When buying a home in Panama, the choice between a house or condo will be determined by you.
A typical home in Panamá is built to withstand the elements associated with the tropical climate. Cinder block construction with tin roof and cement floor is the standard. Termite damage, damp rot and fire liabilities are removed and potential for water damage is minimized. Windows may be constructed from decorative cement blocks without glass or screen. Very little wood is used beyond cupboards and doors. Rather than using sheet rock on interior walls, they are coated in smooth cement. Additionally, leather, wood and fabric furniture does not handle the humidity, often the damp air will rot these finishes.
Homes built with North American amenities and high end finishes mix with typical Panamanian homes in the communities so you do not have to leave all the comforts of home behind.
The choice between a house or condo is personal.
Condo benefits include a low maintenance lifestyle, on site security, public areas with golf courses, pools, courts, gyms, playgrounds even helipads. Some include medical stations and mini supers and are communities into themselves. HOA fees will generally include water, gas, golf course access, use of common areas and facilities as well as property management and maintenance.
The benefits of owning a house include privacy, outdoor living with pools, bohios (hut like shelters), outdoor kitchen and shower facilities. Many have casitas for guests or caretakers. Most properties offer space to roam. Many properties have mature gardens with mango, banana, avocado, oranges, limes, coconut, cashew and almonds trees ripe for the picking.
Many houses are built with unique architecture and finding a one of a kind property is not a stretch. Properties for sale are often furnished which simplifies moving from abroad.
Owning a house does not necessarily mean a lot of work for those seeking a less active lifestyle. Housekeeping, gardening and pool maintenance services are readily available and relatively inexpensive. At the higher end, a full time, onsite caretaker and housekeeper can be had for $500 per month though hourly, daily and weekly services may meet your needs more economically.
Panama condos for sale in the city range in price from less than USD $40k to over USD $2M for two or more bedrooms depending on neighborhood. In Panama Oeste, current MLS listings range between USD $140 k in Gorgona to a two story unit in San Carlos for $900k. In the mountains in Boquete, condos range between USD $140 to $400k.
In the house market, Panama property for sale spectrum runs from USD $100k for a 2 bedroom villa near the beach in Gorgona to a USD $2.3 m mountain home in El Valle to a six bedroom mansion in the exclusive Costa del Este with an asking price of USD $4.5m.
It is suggested to rent for a year to get a solid knowledge of the community, a great idea if your budget permits. Find a real estate agent knowledgeable in the market, which Try Panama Real Estate can assist with all your needs and spend time with your viewing as many different types of properties to give you an great understanding of what is available to suit your needs.
At the least, stay overnight in the community to get a feel for the neighborhood. Check out online forums and blogs, each community may have several Facebook pages, join into the conversation, ask your questions and get answers from expats and locals.
With all the choices available across three distinct lifestyles as a bit of effort, you will find the perfect location for you and your family.