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Panama Real Estate
The property business in Panama is very prosperous and there are a great many real-estate companies, with advertisements all over the place. Interestingly they seem to get on quite well with each other and survive well without the competitiveness falling into bitter rivalry which it does in some countries! There are so many property companies that it would get like the astronomy societies if they were all on this page. However, here are a few, starting with some who were especially helpful on my visit to Panama in 2007.
New World Real Estate
Beyond Bocas.com - a good contact for property in Bocas del Toro
First Panama Investment Corporation - in Panama City, David, and Boquete
Altos del Maria - gated settlement of some expanse up the mountains
Master Key Panama - Boquete and David
Panama All in One - was http://www.panamaallinone.com but now fallen victim to cybersquatters
Montaņas de Caldera - an impressive gated community in Boquete
Opus Panama - was http://www.opuspanama.com/
Casa Solution - helpful contact in Boquete, Chiriqui
Lake View Estates - gated community with good feng shui
Knightsbridge Investment Panama - including some remarkable renovation opportunities in the old city Casco Viejo
Los Molinos - Hacienda Los Molinos - private residential gated community in Boquete
OLMA - Bienes Raices Piedras Gordas
Sunrise Properties Panama - was http://www.sunrisepanama.com
Panama Sol Realty - seems like a very clued-up place
Panama Property & Real-Estate by Renan - was http://www.promoterbook.com/renan
Las Delicias - small community in San Carlos
RE/MAX Panama Beaches and City
Bocas del Toro.net - Island Realty
Panama Experts - Experts with extensive knowledge of property in the jungle of Panama
InterPanama - another friendly helpful place - was http://www.interpanama.com/
If you are looking up Property Agents or Real Estate in the phone book, and the phone book is in Spanish, it's under "Bienes Raices". So, What does BIENES RAICES mean?
This list is being added to. Do you have a business to add?
As with the Costa Rica Real Estate, I've got some helpful advice about buying property. In Panama you have to make sure that you are actually buying the property so you become the sole owner of it. There have been some sad cases of people who've bought land informally only to find that the same land was sold to several other people. This shouldn't happen if you get a proper real-estate agent and a good lawyer!
Also, in Panama, property can be TITLED (where it's actually owned) and ROP - Rights of Possession (where there are some rights but not the same as if it's Titled). You have to be especially careful with islands, as they tend not to be titled. Get proper advice!
Although Panama is a famous tax haven, that is to do with not paying tax on your income, especially if it's international income. There is property tax. However, the property tax is based on the rated value not the sale value, and also there are many properties which have 20 years exemption from property tax. Worth considering when buying property in Panama.
The climate in Panama is hot, but it's not all the same everywhere, and can be quite different just along the road from one place to another. Temperature varies greatly with height, and rainfall varies according to the terrain. So, location is not just a matter of how nice the view is, but also what the weather is like. When viewing, go in the rainy season so you know how wet it can get some of the time.
Planning permission is not like in the UK where you have to go cap-in-hand to the local government to beg permission to build a hut on your own garden. Instead, you can build mostly what you want, but you have to watch out because... so can the neighbours. I have seen a tower block in Panama City whose high-rise apartments had views of the Pacific Ocean, until someone else built another tower block right in front of it!
It's impressive to see how much construction there is going on in Panama, not just in Panama City where the skyline is being embroidered upwards, but also in various districts, some of which have private enterprise projects which are like the construction of private towns. This is surely a good sign that there is prosperity!