Leaving a house unattended in panama

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by BEL-AIR, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. BEL-AIR

    BEL-AIR Member

    I wanted to build a new house in Panama perhaps in a gated community near the city, then another vacation home on the outskirts near a resort or beach or something like that.

    These will not be cheap places and the fact that I can't be at both places at the same time gets me wondering...

    So many on here have said if a place is empty for any period of time it will be robbed, ransacked etc.

    Since I have always rented or stayed with people who had condo's inside of Panama city I have zero experience with this topic...

    To make matters worse I often travel for a few months at a time to diffrent countries, so I guess I am really pushing it so to speak LOL....

    I wanted to spend a few months at a time perhaps in Colombia etc.

    So my question is this, is it true that even in a gated community in Panama if you are away from your place for any length of time it will be broken in and possibly damaged, cleaned out etc.

    Also would Colombia be safer for this lets say in a city like Medellín, If anyone has any experience with this place. I liked it there, but again have no experience when it comes to breakins

    If Panama is so bad, and I have to hire a security guard full time to guard my diffrent homes then perhaps Pamana is not for me.

    I don't see the point in living in Panama, if even my homes won't be safe while I am gone.

    I might have to look at other places perhaps Colombia, the only thing I not sure if it is is as bad or worse to Panama though...

    I got more home work to do as you can see.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who may be able to give me insights or info on these area's and topics.
  2. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint New Member

    I have lived both places and i feel Medellin is just as safe or safer than Panama. The incident of crime might be a little more in Colombia but security is far more professional with armed professional guards that don't sleep on the job. You (and your possessions) would just be a target in Panama living in a house and being absent unless you reside in a very high end gated community. Furthermore, a security guard or a maid won't help much because 5 out of 10 would steal from you anyway and they aren't going to be there 24/7. Live in a high to mid rise rise condo with good security, install CCTV Surveillance cameras and a recorder in the city and the beach and pray a lot. I would never consider building my own home in Panama much less live in a homes vs. the high floor of a high rise with magnetic locks on every entrance door, cameras with recorders and security guards/maintenance people in the building 24/7.

    Medellin is a beautiful modern clean city of well educated people but foreign people have better security living in secured high rise condos than homes (just my opinion). Medellin has the best climate I have every experienced. Homes have no A/C or heating system as it's the land of eternal spring. In selected gated communities (higher end homes) in Medellin you would never have a problem especially in Poblado. There were always armed "professional" guards 24/7 in the apartment building I lived in Medellin and the police were minutes away if called. Security is taken very seriously in Colombia.
  3. BEL-AIR

    BEL-AIR Member

    I agree with you that Medellin has the best climate, I love it... It has the best climate...

    Panama However I find is to hot for me in most places and with the rain and heat is very humid and at times I am not that comfortable.

    I also like the women in Colombia more than in Panama, they are easier to date and I enjoy their company more.

    I would have liked to experience the workers of Colombia more to see if they build a better house and are more trust worthy and honest to deal with.

    I have hired workers from Colombia in the past in Canada, and I found them to be honest and hard working. Not sure if they are the same in Colombia or not though. What do others think on here about that?
  4. levelheaded

    levelheaded New Member

    Even some Panama experienced people getting nervous when they more than 10 hours out of their house.
    But it doesn’t wonder me. Foreigners try to push up the prices like crazy what makes the money of the poor worthless and the poor more poor and we have some burglars more.
    The majority from the Panamanians are normally OK and will never even touch your property. But if somebody steals maybe he has even not a bad conscience because he argues, you stolen first my land with all your money.
    With the pushed up prices he is even no more able to pay for only 2000 m2, because a gringo is sitting with his butt on this land and says: "I passed a pleased gringo wind on this land and therefore you have to pay me minimum 90.000$ for the 2000 m2. And if you really hardworking, this means day and night you can pay me that amount for this valuable piece of land (LOL) after 25 years and the lot is yours."

    I understand you very well and no offence, but sorry when I have no mercy. This situation is homemade from us gringos, or some of us and we accepted their behavior.
    Sarcasm on
    But don’t worry when the find nothing in your house they can only steal your cooper cable.
    Sarcasm off

    Maybe viewpoint are right with his "columbia is safer" argument, because that country is not so spoiled from idiots. It's too big that the money grubbing, so called "investors" LOL can spoil it so easely like Panama.
  5. Gwilson

    Gwilson New Member

    It never fails, there's always a post or ten like that following a legit concern. It's irrelevant why the security situation exists, and the juego vivo culture has nada to do with him.

    I would strongly counsel against having multiple properties like that BEL. If you really must, build so you have a rentable apartment on the property and rent that to a gringo. That way you have the security, and a little income. Don't skimp on the cement walls and razor wire. If you're planning to be out of the country frequently and for long periods of time I would suggest an apartment in the city in a decent building, with a metal security door and an exterior metal cage. Those doors go for around $250 in panama and are a bargain for what you get.
  6. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint New Member

    Having said the positives of Medellin I have to say that Panama for business and a place for foreign people to live wears much better than Colombia. English (if that's your native language) is widely spoken in Panama as compared to Colombia and business, banking and commerce is much easier done in Panama than Colombia for foreign people that haven't retired. Panama is a baby-step from the USA and Colombia is an Ocean away. After living here for several years I found that you become climatized after a few years and I feel so good when it's overcast and when it rains as it carries with it a cooling effect and gives the A/C equipment a little less work for that day or afternoon. Medellin gets rain much more than Panama and I am sure the total rainfall in Medellin is much more than Panama City. I moved from Medellin to Panama City for the ease of living and conducting business, banking etc. and of course there was a Panamanian women involved.

    I am not sure I understand what you mention of Panama women as there is every nationality of women in Panama. Panama is like the melting pot of nationalities. If you like Colombian women there are plenty in Panama and if necessary plenty in Colombia that would jump at the chance of living in Panama.
  7. cloudboy

    cloudboy Member

    I've always heard that leaving a nice home unattended was very risky in Panama. And why do think so many homes have bars on the windows and cages around the doors? And it kills the fun of taking a trip if you have to worry the whole time if you will return to a plundered home. So you have to pay for a caretaker (yes, pay someone to live in your nice home for free) or pay extra to live in a gated community and hope the quality of their security is any good.
  8. BEL-AIR

    BEL-AIR Member

    I wanted to actually have a colombian gf come visit me in Panama to live for awhile, but if I can't even leave my house empty for awhile sure seems pointless to have a house...

    I was just hinking, one must have to have an eagle eye on the property while it is being built as well then, other wise someone will come get your cement, cement blocks, bricks etc, or whatever you have around the site, one must have a security guard then, so yet another expense.

    It's so much easier and safer in Canada.

    The reason I wanted my own place in Panama is the rent is so dam high, Panama city is not cheap any more that is for sure compared to a decade back, usa went down in prices Panama went straight up, I surprised real estate has stayed up for so long to be honest.

    I always lived in condo's in the past and had no problems in Panama, but never a house, so I did not know all this was that bad.

    I guess one must build next to some gringo's that will look after each other, that would perhaps help alot if everyone helped to look after the others. If that is possiable, seems you must always live in fear otherwise, seems no paradise to me if one has to always be worried like this.
  9. cloudboy

    cloudboy Member

    BINGO! Plus you haven't even considered the juega vivo and lies and theft you will encounter when dealing with the Panas who will be building your home. Have you ever spoken with anyone who has built or has tried to build a home in Panama? I hear it is a nightmare.
  10. levelheaded

    levelheaded New Member

    Yepp! Pay here, pay there, trust him... and pay this one, pay and pay ... for wall plus electric fence, cameras, plus 3 big dogs
    ... and some crazy guys asking in enquentra24 hundred thousands of Dollar for minor quality property or ask 55.000$ for a summer house, worth 25.000$.
    Do this people really know what they asking?
    All this makes the cost of living here twice as much than in our own first world countries, all that nerves only for having bananas 20 cent cheaper????
  11. BEL-AIR

    BEL-AIR Member

    This is all amazing...

    I left Panama a few years back, and wanted to come back but the rent is so dam high in the city, thought I could build since my money is 0% in the bank anyways. Have a few places enjoy the nature etc...

    So this has been a education....

    Whats the point?

    I mean whats the point of even living or being in Panama any more...

    I really can't think of any of the top of my head anymore.

    Bananna's 20 cents cheaper:)

    Everthing else is high, the rent, electronics, housing etc.

    There were many benifits a decade or more back, with the bank secrecy, lower rents and house prices compared to other places, seems with all the changes not much to write home about any more.

    I know of people who were even being audited a few years back alot more than in tha past as well, so that advantage is mostly gone as well...

    Then the hassles to pay bills, get anything done with the goverment, etc etc all adds to the problems. No wonder they are trying to relax the laws so more people can come in the country, but it comes to a point is who would even want to come if they have money to put up with so much hassles and such low quality on top.

    Now if you add in you can't leave your house unattended or it will be cleaned out, it would be to much on my mind to enjoy.

    Well it's getting harder and harder to justify the reasons if you ask me.

    Am I wrong or write in thinking this?
  12. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint New Member

    wrong !!!!
  13. BEL-AIR

    BEL-AIR Member

    So tell us all viewpoint:)
  14. levelheaded

    levelheaded New Member

    Of course, of course
    but I suppose you're talking to normal people here and not to millionaires.
  15. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint New Member


    If they fixed everything that foreign people might feel is wrong in Panama it would be just like living in the USA. Yes it would be better if Panama had a better Judicial system, police system and infrastructure (and many other things) but one thing that Panama has and the USA has lost is pure Capitalism, less regulation, more personal freedoms vs. the USA branded Socialism, high taxation, excessive regulation and a overgrown governement drowning in debt feeding an every increasing (hands out) population on the receiving end of expanding government assistance sucking $$$ from taxation and borrowing to pay for governemnt rent subsidies, food stamps, disability payments, childcare, extended unemloyment assistance, housing assistance programs, medicare, social security and hundreds or thousands of other programs and overspending that is bankrupting the USA. I never thought that I would see the day that an evergrowing number of Cities in the USA are declaring bankruptcy. It's like a stampede of municpalities filing bankruptcy in the USA due to fiscal mismanagement. In Panama the greatest worry is that Panama uses the US Dollar as it's adopted currency and although it has served Panama well for 100 years it appears on the list of endangered species with a short life expectancy left before hyper-inflation from the printing presses in the USA running 24/7 burn out.

    A foreign person coming to Panama (or Colombia) with no or little financial resources are not going to find Panama (or Colombia) welcoming you with government assistance and high paying jobs. If you come with empty pockets, few skills, no extended education to live off the land (or the government) you will be much better off staying where you live now.

    There are plenty of high paying (by Panama standards) jobs here in Panama that go unfilled because of the lack of (locally produced) educated and skilled employees. Many of these professional jobs are filled by imported foreign employees with the necessary education and skills.

    Finally, if you can't find a reasonably priced rental apartment in Panama City either your standards don't match your pocket book or you are not looking hard enough. If your not happy where you come from you won't find happiness here. I have lived longer than most and complain a lot but my only regret is that I didn't find Panama sooner in my life but at least it's like reliving (the remainder of) my life in the USA during the 60's and 70's rolling back the clock to a time when the USA was a better world for all its people.

    Twenty (20) year real estate tax exoneration on new construction, 7% sales (comsumption tax), $45 month private healthcare or governemnt provided free healthcare, locally produced beef, poultry, fish, fruit, vegetables (at reasonable prices) supplementing the higher cost goods that must be imported and low cost labor (if you can find a way to harness it) and create value.

    Most foreign people (me included until I woke up to reality) come to a foreign country (like Panama) with their home country mindset and try to apply the back home laws, regulations and customs rather than shead their back home mindset as their clear immigration at Tocumen and learn the laws, regulations and customs of their new country and make it work for them.

    Lastly, building a home at this point of time in Panama is like bringing a sandwitch to a banquet. There's so much already built, unsold or vacant for sale residential inventory in Panama (except low income needs) that could can find a already constructed home at a good price from an anxious promoter or seller ready to move into for less than the cost of constructing it yourself.
  16. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint New Member

    I don't think you need to be a millionaire to buy a home in a gated community in Panama and you can certainly live much better on a fixed retirement income in Panama than any of the Western countries.
  17. puzzlecatz

    puzzlecatz New Member

  18. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint New Member

  19. puzzlecatz

    puzzlecatz New Member

    I am not sure about the government assisted loan. You will have to do your homework on that one.
  20. Romeo

    Romeo New Member

    In your website, you say that the minimum requirement for a retired person moving to Panama is $500 / month. You should know that it changed to $1000/month in 2008, but most probably you chose to ignore that info, since it would make it more difficult for people to move to Panama.

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