Warning-real estate in Panama is not what it seems

Hi and what did you find in Coco Beach, sence your move?

Hi there, we have not moved to Coco Beach.  We bought a lot but do not intend to live there for full time.  We live in Canada and are just looking to escape our Winters!

Just wanted some feedback on how your trip went in February? I was very close to parting with my money for investment into CoCo Beach.
Glossy pictures all look good, the promise of positive growth in 5 years. So glad I came across this site. By the way - I’m in talks with a lady called Izabella, she claims the developers are Asa’ Viviendas.

Don’t do it, get out ASAP

So you're not purchasing now?  We went in February and are purchasing a lot. We didn't speak to an Izabella. We found the company very transparent and have nothing but good experiences with the staff and owners

Why you say this?

I’ve spent hours and emails going back and forth with this particular project.
So I was and still am very cautious about it. My financial advisor has told me to back away as he has read into how corruption is rife and that the resort itself although a great proposition may not come into completion.
Similarly I have read comments on another forum saying that the proposed development may not even have anything built on it in the next 5 years.
Also political laws are always changing making any business venture difficult. If you like jumping through hoops every time a law changes then you won’t foresee a problem. These are only a few things I have had to find out myself.
Even looked at their face page, and apart from the glossy stuff again, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of how the construction is going or any updates which is why I was compelled to tell it how it was.
But apologies if I came on too strong previously.

Probably one should be very cautious with developers in Panama, reading on internet about experiences people have over there. However, I think it is not fair to think all developers are like this. For me this company is very transparent and I didn't have any negative experiences with them. They work with investors so already have funds to start developing a project, and don't depend on first selling lots like many others. As a matter of fact we are in the designing process of our house and will start building next January. I will keep you guys updated, even if I will have bad experiences. Maybe that's a fair way to judge about them?

Hi Pills, I understand how you feel about putting your hard earned cash into something that may not materialize.  I know a few things for sure that I can comment on.  I do receive regular updates and I have seen photos from the staff at Panama Portfolio and the building is in progress, there are pipes laid and things are definitely going ahead at Coco Beach.  I spent so much time going back and forth with Henri and the team before going into this.  I looked into EVERY aspect regarding the company (Henri jokingly called me 'Sherlock Holmes')

The contract was signed a couple of months ago between Del Monte and the town itself.  There will be banana production once again in the town of Puerto (from what I understand about $1 million into the economy) this will bring more people seeking accommodation etc.

As Lauke said, the money is already there to build, they have investors. I do get why your financial guy is telling you to back away, but in this case it's not required.

Best rules of thumb for judging a project:. How much of developer's own money is put into the initial investment?  Look for close to 20/25 percent  How many projects have they completed in Panama?   How many complaints have been filed with ACCODECO, the so-called Panamanian consumer reporting agency?  (All they do is take reports, nothing is ever accomplished).      If they check out on all these points, then you might have a 50 percent chance of getting a somewhat finished product.   I know too many people who have had horror stories with developers to ever advise anyone to buy anything in Panama.  Anyone who wishes details please feel free to private message me for all the disastrous investments I have heard about first hand.

I am just curious, why not buy once the development is complete?  You are talking about buying vacant lots correct?  Do developers just take deposits and when the developments are complete, then final payments are made when title to property is transferred at closing?  Do you have to put up the entire amount ahead of time or just a deposit? If only a deposit, how much 10%, 20% or more?

What you're probably going to tell me is that you get a better price & selection if you buy off plan and not wait until the development is complete. The only thing about buying off plan is you're taking a big risk of possibly losing your money if the development isn't completed of if it's delayed for several years like the original poster stated, then you have your monies tied up and you cannot invest in any other developments. Just asking???

Also, I see the original posting started in 2013... looks like this is a continuing problem with new people coming in and being taken advantage of by some developers...

Can someone explain a little further about how all of this works in Panama... Thanks...

Hi Lauke,

Thank you, any information you can afford us would be great and would go along way to making my mind up wether to invest or not.
Is there any timelines on the completion of the whole development and what of the surrounding areas to bring tourism in to CoCo beach?

Hi Brummy,

Can you tell me what the name of your contact, the person you are dealing directly with?

Hi Pills,
We didn't buy land in Coco Beach but in the mountain project of Villas de Chica. It's from the same company, Panama Portfolio. About the timeline of this project, construction of the first 5 houses will start in January 2018 (financed with own money). They sell empty lots but also lots with house on it. Construction in the other mountain project nearby will also start in January 2018, about Coco Beach I don't know. They expect all lots will be sold by mid 2018. People who buy an empty lot must complete construction within 5 years. Deposit is normally 30%, subsequent payments will be done according project progress. Last payment will be when lot is delivered.
They have several projects in Panama, I think now 3 of them are under construction, Coco Beach and the two mountain projects in Chica. All projects seem to develop well, actually next week they will raise prices I think for the remaining lots. Area has a great potential, to me it looks like a good investment and I have no complaints about them at all.

Hi Pills, I'd be happy to.  His name is Henri Kerkhof.   Not sure if I've spelled his last name correctly.  He's extremely open and will tell you anything you want to know - my husband and I met with him and his partner at their office in Panama City.  If you want I can get Henri's number and you can contact him directly.  You can private message me if you like too, and just give me your number.  Everything in the contract has been thoroughly okay'd by a Panamanian Lawyer who we trust.  We feel comfortable with our decision.

Cool, thanks bud, keep me posted how it all goes, hope it works out well for you.

Thank you for sharing your story -- mine is similar but worse.  I'll post as soon as I can find the time as I am now wrapped up in cross-border litigation concerning my apartment.   Same sort of things -- delivered late, cheapest quality, persistent leaks, poor engineering, subpar cabinetry, no fixes, no "playing by the rules".  This story is TYPICAL of buying in Panama, and theirs has a sort of 'happy' ending, mine may not.   They actually received an apt.  I could do a tour in Panama from the city outwards, of all of the abandoned projects, with stops in P.C., Chorrera, Arrijian, Chame, Santa Cruz, San Carlos.  And also up in Boquete, David, Bocas.   I am sure neither International Lying nor Panama Relocation Tours includes those in their itineraries.

Sorry to hear..... I was so close to investing, just seemed a little too good to be true, also I’ve heard the bid Deal Del Monte has not be finalised yet and this was also a big incentive for the growth of Panama.

Is that right Pills?  I thought it had been finalized

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