Panamanians watched in horror as hurricane Ian made its way across Cuba and then directly onto the West Coast of Florida, near Ft. Meyers. It was sobering to hear about the 125 individuals who lost their lives because of Ian and damages estimated to be over $50 Billion dollars.
Panama does not have hurricanes. For hurricanes to form they need to be at least 10 degrees from the equator and Panama is seven to nine degrees. It takes time for an eye to form over the warm ocean waters and Panama’s location doesn’t allow enough time for an eye to form. There are some impressive rain storms during the wet season of May to November but nothing that causes great damage.
In addition to not having to worry about the destruction caused by a hurricane, especially if you don’t use a Panama property full-time, is not having to worry about high insurance premiums. Floridians already pay about three times what is paid in the other 49 states and much more than expats or anyone else pay in Panama. On average a Panamanian policy will be 0.01%, so if you have a condo valued at $300,000, you’d pay around $300 annually.
State Farm Insurance pulled out of Florida in 2009, even though, at that time they were the dominant insurance company in the state. This was after several very high (think 47% annually) increases for policyholders. Consequently, all other large, well-funded insurance companies followed suit and quit writing policies in the state. Now, it’s not only expensive to have insurance, it’s very hard to find a company solvent enough to withstand costly hurricanes.
The ability to easily obtain affordable home insurance is just one of the many pluses of owning property in Panama. Unless you are looking for snow and ice, you should be able to find whatever type of weather suits your needs. There are places, such as the Pinoalto complex, where one can live halfway up an inactive volcano or a soaring tower loaded with amenities directly facing the Pacific Ocean such as Royal Palm in Gorgona.
Attractive Business Incentives Offered
Costa del Este, a suburb of Panama City, is home to dozens of international companies such as P&G, Dell, Nestle, 3M, FedEx, Pepsico, and Este Lauder. It is the de facto business center for regional offices located in Panama and that presents a unique set of challenges for transferring employees. With businesses from around the world there, diversity is both stunning and enriching. The stable weather is just one of the pluses offered to residents in Costa del Este.
Arcadia, is the perfect residential answer for individuals seeking both short- and long-term options. Each compact home provides a laundry inside the unit, a full kitchen and a master bedroom ensuite with a Jacuzzi and built-in closets. Because the residential units in Arcadia are small, the ensuing price point also makes it attractive for the nomad employees seeking excellent connectivity via the internet.
Matisse, another residential complex in Costa del Este, meets the needs of executives and their trailing families. With over 4,000 square feet of living space and separate maids’ quarters, these residential homes look out over Panama Bay and come with 24-hour security, a business center, and a private entrance for domestic help. All units have access to multiple swimming pools, and private social areas.
Expats and visitors are sometimes surprised by the energy of living in a sophisticated urban center, but only minutes from the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean. Fifteen minutes outside Panama City and on the subway line is a residential tower that looks over the Panama Canal. Casa Bonita, is adjacent to the Playa Bonita Westin Resort, with upscale restaurants, a Clarins Spa, and routine retail outlets such as a grocery, hardware, and pharmacy.
The residences, located in the town of Boquete, near the border of Costa Rica, provide expats and vacationers with consistent spring-like weather. Since Boquete is also the “Breadbasket” of Panama, there is no shortage of fresh, inexpensive vegetables and farm meats. While Boquete is not located directly on the water, it is only 50 minutes to the Pacific Ocean or 2.5 hours to the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. The Pinoalto complex also provides a medical presence on-site, augmenting the high-tech hospital located less than an hour away in neighboring David. Beach lovers are attracted to resort living in Coronado and Nueva Gorgona and those loving the energy of an urban city are finding happiness in Panama City.
An Urban Feel With Frank Gehry
The skyline of Panama City with its skyscrapers and sophisticated retail shops impresses and surprises many visitors. A few years ago Central and South Americans hopped on planes for a quick trip to Miami to shop, but now those shoppers are staying closer to home and buying in Panama City. Michelin-starred chefs are opening amazing restaurants that are being ranked among the world’s best.
Recently a museum was opened that paid homage to what Panama has been to the world and to the females in the life of world-class architect, Frank Gehry. Gehry married a woman from Panama and they had four lovely daughters. Gehry gave his first building in Central America to the country in a way of saying thanks for all the “lovely, fiery women in my life.”