Bocas Investment Opp...Good Idea or No?

A buddy of mine is selling his house on a few acres on the mainland not far from Bocas del Toro.  He is asking 65k for it lock stock and fruit trees.  I have visited the area once before.  It is laid back with great ocean vistas.  My main concern was all of the policing going on.  It just feels weird and like a police state at times.  The locals were wonderful aside from some staring.  I am wondering if the investment is worth it just for real estate value appreciation alone.  I'd like to hear from those of you with experience in making investments in real estate in Panama (and resort towns in general).

the whole area is run down
high prices and property taxes
police is everywhere trying to make a buck like in mexico
the ocean is murky all  the islands are sinking
it takes for ever to drive from david to almirante on a bad road

Oh wow... that I did not know!  Do you know anything about O jo de Ag.?   They painted such an idyllic picture of it all.

I wouldn't pick that area. It's so far from everything - shopping, health care, etc. What are sales like in that area? I live in David, not far from Boquete. I know properties up there can be on the market for literally years. In David they often don't sell quickly either. I have no experience in real estate investment so don't take my word for anything. But, I'd want to spend some time in the area and do a lot of homework before making a decision.

We have a lot of police here in David also. At first it freaked me out, but eventually I realized that things are pretty quiet here because they keep an eye on everything. If you talk with them you will likely find them very friendly, helpful, and living their "protect and serve" motto.

Wow I am flabbergasted by the news, but also glad to have read your shared insight.  Thanks again.  I definitely have to do more research on the areas. 
I did not look into Boquete because it was out of my price range as was David.

Flabbergasted by what? That things don't sell quickly? There are few services over there? Police really are good guys?

There seem to be properties in every price range in David depending on where you look, but the cheapest ones might not be where you would want to live. You might also consider smaller towns, Los Algarrobos, Dolego, Portrerillos, etc. or down the road in Concepcion, Bugaba, San Pablo. The more rural and more Panamanian, and the farther from expats you look the cheaper things are likely to be. I think Chiriqui is the most beautiful part of Panama and I like being near David, a growing and booming city. But I'm biased because I live here and love it here :D

It sounds like an exploratory visit might be in order to see what feels right to you? The advice from anyone who isn't trying to sell you something is to live here for a minimum of 6 months. preferably over a year before even thinking about buying something. Panama is very different from the US in many ways and it doesn't work for everyone. I'd hate to see you make a financially and emotionally costly mistake.

Hi I sent you a pm

Take Kris's advice. Live here for a while before you buy. If you are here long enough and meet people they will be the ones to help steer you in the right direction.
Don't be in a hurry...

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