What to Look For When Buying or Renting Real Estate in Panama




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If you’re looking to buy or rent properties in Panama, there are many options to suite any taste, or any budget. There are great deals to be had, fantastic areas to live in, and many diverse choices that can fit your need specifically. Just like anywhere else, you need to do a good amount of research and personal introspection before you make your decision when it comes to Real Estate. After all, you’re buying or renting in a foreign country, and you should know the rules before you start.

Finding what area to live in is as important as the property you choose

Panama is a small country, but there are a lot of areas that appeal to expats to relocate to. This is a positive for you and your family. If you’re a big city person in your home country, chances are, you’ll like living in a big city in Panama. As far as this goes, Panama City is your best bet. There really are no other major cities in Panama, and even the 2nd and 3rd largest cities (Colon, David) are not quite up to the cosmopolitan or logistical standards that Panama City is.

Conversely, if you love the beach, or the mountains, or the suburbs of the city, you can find a great fit in Panama. The trick is focusing in on what you want, and then getting to know what you’d be getting into if you moved there. Find an area that gives you the lifestyle you want, but at the same time, gives you good access to transportation, utilities, and comfort.

Don’t commit to moving to Panama without visiting first

It’s very easy to get caught up in the allure of Panama, and may people float the idea of moving here pretty quickly. That being said, you don’t want to jump the gun. We highly recommend visiting first; and usually, your best bet is to spend at least a couple of weeks. If you relocate without visiting first, we highly recommend renting. Rentals can be very affordable here, and short-term leases (3-6 months) are a great way to get to know where you want to live in Panama, without making a long-term commitment.

Securing, and financing your new house or apartment in Panama

If you decide to rent, you have a lot of options as far as leases go. You can sign a lease without permanent residency, but usually need to provide a financial reference as well as a professional one; plus, you will need to leave a security deposit and may pay a significant amount more if you sign for short terms (1-3 months). There are many furnished apartments available for short or long term, so you won’t need to really take the plunge financially if you don’t want to.

If you choose to buy, you need to first secure a Panama Corporation; something we can help you with. Whether you pay the full amount all at once, or finance, it’s important to set up a local presence, or a local bank account. You can also have one of our lawyers help you negotiate your price to make sure you get the best deal, at the bet price. Regardless of what you’re looking for, chance are, you’ll find it here in Panama. 

About Manoj Chatlani


Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, Panama Offshore Legal Services offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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