Bala Beach Resort / Portebello / Caribbean

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by BalaBeacher, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. BalaBeacher

    BalaBeacher New Member

    Hello. I'm a new member and have travelled four times to Panama in the past few years. I contracted several years ago for a new unit in Bala Beach (In town of Maria Chiquita, Colon Province, on road to Portobelo). My closing (Building 2) is expected in May or June this year. I would be interested in hearing from others who either are future owners as well or have useful information to share with us. Thanks.
     
  2. Cirederf

    Cirederf New Member

    Hello I am also a Bala Beach buyer. You may contact me if you would like me to share the info I have with you. I just went to their office a few days ago and they gave me an update.
     
  3. BalaBeacher

    BalaBeacher New Member

    Re: Bala Beach Resort / Portobelo / Caribbean

    Thanks. You can email me
     
  4. HKT

    HKT New Member

    Go ahead and share the update with us Cirederf.
     
  5. MRWOOHOO

    MRWOOHOO New Member

    It would be interesting to hear how Bala Beach is doing?
     
  6. BalaBeacher

    BalaBeacher New Member

    Re: Bala Beach Resort / Portobelo / Caribbean

    First, I apologize for misspelling Portobelo in the thread title. I don't like it either.

    Here are my personal impressions of Bala Beach Resort and welcome all comments.

    - If one believes in the saying "no news is good news," then one would have to believe Bala Beach is going well as there certainly seems to be a scarcity of timely information! The developer does the bare minimum in providing updates through the website (www.balabeach.com), which I cannot understand when putting information out there would avoid repeating the same thing over and over again. Some "recent" construction pictures are available at www.cpanama.com and at Bala Beach Exchange. Maybe the prospective purchasers are overly private as a whole or find the entire blogging experience too intimidating. Hopefully we can change this!

    - Closings on units in Building 1 may soon begin. I was told that units in Building 2 will close "around May." Some expect to close in April, I am told.

    - So far no word on the furniture and appliance packages. Again, now is the time to get this out to buyers. I heard from my realtor at Cpanama to expect in a couple of weeks. Those desiring to place their unit in the rental pool must select one of the packages, I understand. Also, there may a choice of management companies.

    - The last sales information seems to be that maybe a few scattered, low level units are available in Buildings 1 and 2, but basically the buildings are sold-out. Supposedly Building 3 is substantially sold and construction will begin on it as soon as 1 and 2 are completed (and, no doubt, balance of purchase prices received by developer). But, this has been the status for quite some time. Before the recession it appeared that the quoted prices had increased quite a bit. I have no idea what the market price is currently.

    - The "road" to Bala Beach actually shows up now on Googe Earth / Google Maps, however, I pretty much bottomed out my rental car last time I drove up and over the mountain, descending on the development, more or less. Maybe its been improved since then.

    - Supposedy the onsite restaurant is under construction. The beach has been cleaned, but the white sand promised to be mixed in the dry beach areas has not been done, but this does not surprise me as I am sure plenty of site work remains.

    - The developer expects to open a model unit / sales office in one of the completed buildings.

    - Searching for resales of Bala Beach units yields very few units. In fact, I only found one - a penthouse unit in Building 1 - although I have heard there are a few. I see that as a positive sign as it appears substantially all purchasers appear "ready, willing and able" to close. The economic downturn has led to Building 5 being put on hold as I understand it, or at least slowed to the point they are not on the near horizon. These were to be low-rise, beach-front units. Frankly, I think Buildings 3 and 4 provide enough inventory for the developer to sell in the current market.

    I hope this is useful.
     
  7. MRWOOHOO

    MRWOOHOO New Member

    Thank you for the update, I know of two people that had purchased in Bala. One of those folks had purchased a penthouse unit. It was my understanding that sales had slowed down towards the end but as long as they are working and finishing the units purchased that is very good. It did seem like the units were fairly small but that also allowed for a reasonable purchase price of a unit so you probably won't have to many people loosing deposits. Once again thanks for giving us the 4-1-1.
     
  8. BalaBeacher

    BalaBeacher New Member

    Yes, units are small. My 2 BR is around only 950 sq ft. The penthouses are nice--2 story plus large private rooftop deck.

    I know the guy selling his penthouse. Might be the same person. Is yours in real estate?
     
  9. Cirederf

    Cirederf New Member

    Thanks BalaBeacher for summarizing your and my information on this thread. The Bala office is supposed to email us updated information this coming week or the next (which would make it the first email directly sent to us in over two years...), and I will gladly share that information on this forum once I receive it.
     
  10. MRWOOHOO

    MRWOOHOO New Member

    This is a pretty small country and no doubt it probably is;). Is the person you are referring to bald?
     
  11. BalaBeacher

    BalaBeacher New Member

    Ha! No. He has a pony tail! "Heavy-set" fellow.
     
  12. MRWOOHOO

    MRWOOHOO New Member

    How many penthouse units were there?
     
  13. BalaBeacher

    BalaBeacher New Member

    Building 1: 4
    Building 2: 8
    Building 3: 8
     
  14. MRWOOHOO

    MRWOOHOO New Member

    Thank you
     
  15. Trott

    Trott New Member

    I was informed last night that my unit in building one should be closing in June. However, about 2 months ago I was told that it should be closing in May. I suspect it wont actually be closing until the fall but as of right now they are saying June for units in building 1. I may travel down to visit in the summer, does anybody have suggestions on where to stay, or what to do while in Panama?
     
  16. Cirederf

    Cirederf New Member

    Hello Trott, I don't think they know with accuracy when they will be able to close, however, I am in contact with one of the engineers there, and will keep you posted (even though it is somewhat difficult to get any kind of precise information). I live in Panama, a few blocks from their main office so it is easy for me to go there. We are still waiting for an email from the Bala team updating us on the project, that email was supposed to be released early Feb. Next week, I will be going to the project and take new pictures. If you would like to contact me directly, let me know, and I will forward my email/phone number to you. Thanks.
     
  17. davidm

    davidm New Member

    Am I the only owner who has grown overly frustrated with this development company (in which I don't foresee ever doing any business with again)? I purchased back in 2007 with estimated completion date to be at the end of 2009. It is now the beginning of 2012 and it is still not done!!! Okay, I can deal with some falling behind, hey it happens; however what makes this even worse than being over 2 years behind is that it is nearly impossible to get any updates or to get employees to give any information. During the past 1 1/2 years, we keep being told that it is getting closer and only a few months from completion (that is when they actually make contact back to us, which generally takes 5 to 10 attempts without response on our side). Back in July or so of 2011, we were rushed with almost no notice to get furniture deposit to them as they were getting ready to open within a month. Then the next month, it was getting ready to open within a couple of weeks. A month later, would be open within a couple of weeks. A couple weeks later, it would be a few more weeks, etc. Then all contact and resposnes to e-mails and phone calls became comletely unanswered starting in October or November timeframe, despite dozens of e-mails and phone calls. We don't know when this is closing as the dozens of previous closing timeframes we have been given have never even been close to accurate. We have so many things to get ready, such as final furniture deposit (last I heard this was due in October 2011 and confirmation details would be sent within few days, which never were and my many attempts to get more information have gone unanswered), final amount owed as we are paying in cash, we want to be down there when it opens (which required plan tickets, rental cars, work vacation time, etc) or work towards getting a lawyer if we can't, but we can't get any current information on anything. Does anyone know anything. Can anyone help. Is anyone else having this issue and as frustrated as me? I have been patient for 4 years, but I mean, come on, enough is enough. Us investors tied up money into this that could have been used elsewhere and at least we could get is current information when previous information changes. I mean, it took them 3 years just to update their website. I've called "contact numbers", "contact us e-mails", I've looked up several e-mails of pretty much every Bala Beach staff who I have had any contact with over the past 4 years with (to include during purchase time) and sent them e-mails and none of them even responded. Ugh, any help would be great.
     
  18. EdBowers

    EdBowers New Member

    Welcome to customer service Panamanian style...
     
  19. Cirederf

    Cirederf New Member

    Hello all,
    I just talked to my contact there, and he said that delivery should happen by the end of January, so to be on the safe side, let's say February. David, you are absolutely right, communication with the Bala team has been extremely frustrating since the beginning, and it is very difficult to get any updates from them, and these updates are generally inaccurate. If it was not for the one contact that I have there, I would have gone mad. Unfortunately, the only thing we can really do at this time is wait until they tell us it is ready and give us the keys (and have us pay the balance, furniture,maintenance, etc...). I have been fooled many times before as well, so trying to figure out a precise date at this time is futile. The good news is, it SHOULD only be a matter of a few more weeks. The most recent excuse/reason for the delay is the unusually heavy rain on the Carribean side that they experienced in December, so putting the final touch to the two towers was slowed down. I am trying to look at the glass half full with this project, but I have to admit, my patience is also being tested. Thanks.
     
  20. Cirederf

    Cirederf New Member

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