Beachfront Property in Panama

The Dream

It’s 7 A.M. on a Monday morning in January. Your workweek is about to begin. You are staring out of your kitchen window at the cold grey sky, sipping your first coffee of the day, and thinking – no, dreaming – about lying on a warn tropical beach, with a cold drink in one hand, while you soak in the sun before heading back to your own beach front villa 20 feet away for lunch. Wouldn’t it be nice to own that beach and that villa, where it is warm and sunny 12 months a year? Wouldn’t it be nice to retire there, or to have a tropical, beachfront vacation home?

The Reality

This doesn’t have to be a dream. Panama has many such beaches and villas. You can buy a titled, half-acre, beachfront lot in Panama, with electricity and public road access for less than $100,000 U.S. And you can build a beautiful new 2-bedroom villa on that lot also for less than $100,000. So, for under $200,000 US you can own a brand new villa on your own titled beachfront in Panama.

Is this one of those bait-and-switch stories where someone advertises a great property for sale, but it has been sold by the time you call, and all that is left are much more expensive properties?

No. These properties are real, and we can guarantee them because I have a few for sale right now.

Why Invest in Panama Now?

If you live in the U.S., you can expect your taxes to go up dramatically in the next few years. Someone is going to have to pay for those trillion dollar deficits, and it isn’t going to be the Wall Street bankers. It will be you.. The same will happen, to a lesser extent, in Europe and Canada.

This is a good time to get your money out of North America or Europe and invest it in titled beachfront or oceanfront property in Panama.

Why is this a good investment right now? There are many reasons, but here are a few:

  • Panama is a politically and economically stable democracy. While the rest of the world has been recession for two years, the Panamanian economy has kept growing and is projected by the IMF to be the fasted growing economy in the western hemisphere over the next several years.
  • Quality, titled, tropical beachfront and oceanfront property has always been valuable and hard to find, and always will be valuable and hard to find. Why? For the same reason gold is always valuable – both are in short supply. Nature only made so much gold and so many tropical beaches. There isn’t ever going to be any more. People always want them. So they always retain their value.
  • Taxes. Panama does not tax foreign income, and it has strong banking and corporate secrecy laws.
  • Low cost of living. Most things are cheaper in Panama than in North America or Europe. You can probably live well in Panama on less than you are paying for health insurance and realty taxes on your home in the U.S.

Stick with Titled Property

There is an old saying that a fool and his money are easily parted. This is true in Panama, as everywhere else.

I said earlier that titled beachfront land in Panama can be an excellent investment. The word “titled” is important. Most beachfront and oceanfront property in Panama is not titled. It is owned by “Right of Possession”, which means essentially squatters’ rights. This is a risky way to buy property. You don’t actually own the land; you own the right to use the land. There is no central registry for Rights of Possession in Panama. You can spend your hard-earned money buying Rights of Possession only to discover a year or two later that someone else claims to own the same Rights of Possession.

I am not saying that you should never buy right of possession property. There are times when it makes sense, to wit, when when you find a spectacular property at a large discount to the price for comparable titled properties, and you are able to research it thoroughly to ensure that there are no conflicting ownership claims. For the most part, though, unless you have the time to do such in-depth research, you should stick with the safe option, which is titled property, which can be researched online in a centralized data-base in the Public Registry.

Allen Rosen

Chiriqui Coastal Real Estate