Panama City Office
Phone (507) 202-2121
Toll Free (US & Can) 1 (877) 716-0699
Balboa Avenue, Multicentro Mall
Main Entrance, Suite 160
Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturdays 9am – 1pm
US Mailing Address
Frank Morrice A.
PTY 317 Siuma Realty (Grupo Semusa)
2250 N.W. 114th Ave. Unit 1P
Miami, Florida 33172-3652
Phone: (877) 7160699
1) Why Panama?
- US Dollar as Official Currency (Safe Investment) – No worry of Currency Devaluations.
- The Panama Canal & its 8 Billion Dollar expansion project.
- Best Retirement Program in the World.
- Real Estate Tax Breaks on Homes and Condos.
- State of the Arte Health Care System – Par with US & European facilities – New John Hopkins Affiliated Hospital.
- Low Cost of Living & Great LifeStyle – Real Estate is fraction of Mayor US Cities & a living maid is $200 a month.
- Great Weather All Year Round. 75 – 85 Degrees on Low Altitudes and 60 – 70 Degrees on its Highlands.
- No Mayor Natural Disasters or Hurricanes.
- Panama has the highest per capita US investment in all of Latin America.
- Low Inflation History, best in Latin America.
- Location – Heart of the Americas. Access from (7) Major US Cities & only 2 ¾ Hours from Miami.
- Full Title on Properties – No restrictions on Foreign Ownership, foreign investors are treated as locals.
- Banking & Financial Center – Panama is an International Banking Haven, Low Mortgage Rates are Plentiful & Movement of Funds has no Restrictions.
- Our Democracy, the government is stable and the business climate is optimistic.
- Tourism Investment Benefits which include no income or capital gains taxes.
- The Kuna Indians of the San Blas Archipelago one of the indigenous colonies in Panama which contributes greatly to the charm of the country.
- Panama has 500 rivers and 1600 islands.
- Great Biodiversity and Rainforest, with over 900 species of birds.
- Many Options – City, Beach, Island, Historical & Highlands communities to choose from.
- Great Infrastructure & Activities – US type Malls, Highways, Big Game Fishing, Diving, Eco-tourism, Surfing, Golfing, Top Notch Restaurants & Nightlife.
- Colon Free Zone – One of the Largest in the Western Hemisphere, the main reason that Panama offers great prices on Goods.
2) What are the Procedures to Purchase Panama Real Estate?
- Select a Trust Worth Real Estate Agency like Siuma Realty
- Create a Relationship with an Agent which clearly understands your needs, the more feedback provided the more effectively we will find your new Dream Property. We offer Buyer Representation.
- Identify different sectors that could be of inters & visit some options.
- Determine which sector to concentrate on.
- View different options within identified sector.
- Select Option and Negotiate Best Possible Terms, through our Buyers & Relocation Representation Agreement we will look after your Interest.
- Sign a Reservation Agreement to secure the property and do the necessary due diligence to proceed with the purchase.
- Sign Promise of Purchase Contract “PPC”, at this stage a 10% down payment will be required payable to Seller (common practice in Panama). Funds can be Wire Transfer to our Account after signing if stated on Terms. In New Development down payment can be up to 30%.
- Present Promise of Payment Letter “PPL” to Seller – About 30 Days after signing PPC.
- If Paying Cash Wire Transfer Funds to Siuma Realty Escrow Account which will request PPL in Behalf of Buyer. This Letter is executed once Property is on Buyers name in the Public Registry.
- If Financing Purchase the Bank will issued Letter.
- Seller will prepare Free of Lean Documents (Real Estate Tax, Condo Association Fee, Water & Property Transfer Tax).
- Preparation & Signing of Purchase Contract (this is done by Lawyer appointed by Buyer)
- Proceed with Registration of Title in Public Registry – Closing Cost are Payable by Buyer and can run from $500 – $2500 (varies depending of value of property).
- Title Dead is Sealed in Public Registry, takes about 10 working days.
3) Can foreigners own Titled Real Estate?
Yes, foreigners have the same rights as Panamanians and Panama has very strict property protection rights.
4) What are Panama Real Estate Taxes?
- There is a Land Tax and Improvements Tax
- Land Tax is exempt for the first $30,000 of value, over $30,000 tax is about 2% of value. Example: On a Lot of $100,000 you will pay a yearly tax of $1,400 ($70,000 x 2%).
- Improvements Tax is Exempt for 20 Years, over this period it is about 2% of value. Starting September 2007 the Tax Brake will vary depending on value of property as shown below:
- Under $100,000 – 15 years
- From $100,000 to $250,000 – 10 years
- Over $250,000 – 5 Years
- Tax Brake on Improvements goes from one owner to other, example if you buy a property built in year 2000 you will still have a Tax Brake of 14 Years.
- There are Special Benefits that apply to working Farms, Right of Possession, Casco Viejo & Tourism Investment Real Estate. Please contact our Agents for more details.
5) Are their any Closing Cost?
Yes, they can vary from $500 to $2500 it depends on value of property. This Cost if paid by Buyer and accounts for Legal Fees, Notary and Registry Cost.
In addition the Seller assumes the payment of a 10% Capital Gains Tax which is equal to the Sales Price minus Registered Price and Sale Cost and the 2% Transfer Tax.
6) What are common Real Estate Cost?
Panama City Land
7) What are Construction Cost?
Can be from $45 to $75 a square foot (varies depending on finishes).
8) Can foreigners acquire Mortgages?
- Yes, Panama has over 100 Banks for you to choose from.
- Rates are similar to US (about 6% – 7%).
- Terms up to 30 years.
- Financing up to 80% of Value of Property.
- Loans on Land are not common.
- Fire & Life Insurance will be required. Life Insurance can go up to 75 years which limits the Term of the Loan.
- Come prepared
9) How do we get to Panama?
Panama is the Hub of The Americas with (7) Direct Flights from the US (Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Newark, New York-JFK, Houston & Los Angeles). Also with direct flights from all the Caribbean, Central & South American Countries and from Madrid, Spain.
10) What sectors of Panama are foreigners relocating to?
- Panama City
- Pacific Beach Sector near Panama City
- Highlands near Panama City like Altos del Maria & El Valle
- Boquete and it’s Surrounding Highlands
- Bocas del Toro
11) What are common maintenance cost (HOA Fee's)?
- On Condos it can be from 0.10 to 0.15 cents per square foot of the apartment. Example on a 2000 Square Feet condo it is around $200 per month.
- On Houses within a Gated Community it is usually less, around $100 per house but it can go up to $300 depending on the amenities.
12) What are the conversions from meters & hectares to feet & acres?
- 1 Square Meter is equal to 10.763 Square Feet.
- 1 Hectare is equal to 2.47 Acres.
- 1 Hectare is equal to 107,639.10 Square Feet.
- 1 Hectare is equal to 10,000 Square Meters.
- 1 Acre is equal to 4,046.85 Square Meters.
- 1 Acre is equal to 43,560 Square Feet.
- 1 Acre is equal to 0.4046 Hectares.
13) Prepare & Make Your Home Irresistible
- Hire a cleaning service. A spotlessly clean home is essential; dirt will turn off a prospect faster than anything.
- Pay attention to the outdoors. Mow your lawn, and be sure toys and yard equipment are put away.
- Serve cookies, coffee, and soft drinks. It creates a welcoming touch. But be sure the kitchen has been cleaned up; use disposable cups so the sink doesn’t fill up.
- Lock up your valuables, jewelry, and money. Although the real estate salesperson will be on site during the open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.
- Turn on all the lights. Even in the daytime, incandescent lights add sparkle.
- Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (a basement or bath), and let the salesperson know where to find them.
- Leave. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.
- Add a touch of color. Use fresh or silk flowers to breathe life and color into the main rooms. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room.
- Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and fancy guest soaps.
- Does it smell good? Set out potpourri or fresh baked goods for a homey smell. Make sure that there are no lingering scents from cigarettes or pets.
- Help them envision living there. Set the table with pretty dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture themselves there. For example, in the basement lay out a chess game.
- Beautify the entrance. Buy a fresh doormat with a pretty pattern or a clever saying.
- Make the rooms feel bigger. Take one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room to create a sense of spaciousness.
- Accentuate counter space. Put away kitchen appliances and personal bathroom items to give the illusion of more counter space.
- Lay logs in the fireplace. Or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.
- Depersonalize the rooms. Put away family photos, mementos, and distinctive artwork.
- The lawn should sparkle. Turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes to make the lawn sparkle.
14) Which are the Incentives for Investing in Casco Antiguo?
- A system of mortgage loans with preferred interests is established for the restoration of real estate in the area of San Felipe.
- The property owners in Casco Antiguo will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax owed at the moment of the transfer (sale) of the property.
- The profits derived from the transfer of real estate will be exempt from paying the Income Tax.
- The land and improvements of restored buildings will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax for a period of thirty (30) years counted as from the restoration of the property.
- The first sale or sales that take place after the completion of the building’s restoration will be exempt from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.
- The profits generated by commercial, professional or industrial activities which are carried out and have their effects in the Casco Antiguo, are exempt from the Income Tax for ten (10) years counted from the restoration of the occupied property.
- The equipment and materials used in the construction, restoration, and equipping, will be exempt from the Import Duties.
- The tenants of the properties in Casco Antiguo can deduct from their Income Tax the rates of rental for a period of five (5) years.
- Those buildings destined for public parking will be exempt from the Income Tax for a period of ten (10) years.
- An indemnity payment is established for those tenants of apartments in Casco Antiguo who must vacate the property because of a restoration project. The restoration project developer will receive a transferable fiscal credit with a value equivalent to the payment done.
- In order to benefit from these incentives, the investments must be made during the ten (10) years following the establishment of the Decree-Law, that is, until August 2007.