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Property Options and TypesBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Panama - Property Options and Types
New builds and homes being bought off-plan are particularly popular at the moment with expats. This is because you get a brand new home that needs nothing doing to it and the larger developments mean that you will have fellow expats as neighbours. In areas such as Panama City, new builds and off plan are mainly apartments, although there are some developments of detached houses too. Areas such as Punta Pacifica and Marbella have large numbers of condo buildings and apartments for sale. Suburban areas are the place to go if you are looking for single family homes, such as Albrook, Altos de Curundu and Amador.
New build properties offer a number of benefits. Many come with fully fitted kitchens including appliances so you do not have to start buying fridges and cookers. You can also decide how you want the property to be decorated and that way when you move in you do not need to change anything.
Resale homes can also be bought for a good price, particularly if you do not mind doing a little renovation work. The older part of Panama City has a large number of homes which are undergoing redevelopment so you could easily find yourself a period property for a bargain price. These are popular with those who do not have a great deal of money to spend and the further away you are from the city centre the cheaper the property.
Outside Panama City you can buy properties close to the beach in towns such as Punta Chame and Farillon or go the other way for a mountain property at El Valle or Altos del Maria. Villa properties close to the beach are particularly popular with those who are moving to Panama to retire.
When you purchase there are three types of property ownership. The first is titled property which is recorded and governed by the Public Registry and may be subject to an annual property tax. Possession rights are granted to those who have lived in a property for a long time and who want to register ownership. This applies to property which has been originally owned by the Panama government. Concession property is land which the government owns but leases out to a company or person for commercial use. This type of property cannot be bought outright.
If you choose to buy a property off-plan in Panama you will find that there are a number of payment schemes that you can opt for. You can often purchase before the property is completed with a deposit of between 15 and 40% of the asking price, which is usually lower than the price would be for the property when it is complete. The asking price for the property can rise at least 15% when it is complete, so you are already in profit. With the large number of developments taking place in Panama, many expats are choosing to buy this way so that they are gaining a property that is already worth more than they have paid for it.
Another type of real estate which is proving to be popular is the ‘condo hotel’. These are mainly being aimed at those who want a second home, or those who do not intend to spend whole years in the country. The owner stays in the ‘condo hotel’ but when they are not there the property can be rented out and the owner takes a share of the revenue. The benefits of this type of ownership are that the hotel has the responsibility for cleaning and maintenance, as well as providing some first class facilities such as restaurants, gyms, spas and concierge services. This type of property may not be ideal for those who have children and who want to work in the country too, but it is becoming increasingly popular with those who are moving there on a retired persons programme. Many will never make use of the rental scheme of the hotel, but will simply enjoy the facilities.
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