FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As I receive many questions that most of you have in common, I have created a quick FAQ list. If you have a specific question that is not included in this list, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The idea is to offer you a complete platform provided with important information. No need to go back and forth spending hours online looking through different sites where sometimes you wont even find updated information. We’ve got it all here for you.

You are also welcome to come forth with suggestions and we will keep adding to the list as questions emerge.

How can I search for properties your website:
Go to our home page INSIDEPANAMAREALESTATE.COM and notice the colorful map of Panama:

You will notice that every province is separated by color and offers a white circle to click on. When you click on it, you will be immediately directed to all the properties we have available in that exact province.

Other than practical, our idea is to make your search more fun and as a plus, you get a little topography lesson for free.

Will it be advisable to rent first before I buy?
We do recommend this. It will give you some time to get to know and understand the market, and therefor make the best decision possible for a property that fit’s your families needs.

What average prices on rentals:
Here is a link for RENTALS all over Panama.

What average prices on sales:
Here is a link to properties FOR SALE all over Panama.

Choosing a House or a Condo
The question is not whether one is better than the other, the question is which will better suit your needs and wants. HERE you can read our Blog Post that might help you get an idea.

Is it cheaper to build or to buy:
I think over time, buying is better, but I would suggest renting first to be sure you like the location. Following is a Blog Post about “Building in Panama“.

What would the cost be to relocate my family:
The cost to relocate will depend on many factors. Visa, airfare, lodging, transport, etc. Please contact our Associate Ricardo Faraudo for information regarding the Immigration process & costs.

Can we rent a car during our first visit to Panama?
Car rentals are available all over Panama, to name a few: Budget, ThriftyNacional Car Rental. If you are looking for an all inclusive service with a driver, we can send you our recommendations, typical costs of a private transportation company is around $120 a day depending where you will be traveling to. Read more about whether you should rent a car or not in our Blog Post.

What should I do to get my residency started and does one have to present all family members for visa application in Panama, and if so, do all family members have to be present to collect the visas when issued?
Yes all family members, including under aged and elderly individuals, are require to be present at the initial registration as well as upon collection of the residency permits. A handy tip; Make sure you carry passport photos of all members every time you have to go to immigration as they may un-expectidly asked for more photos.

Please contact our associate attorney Ricardo Faraudo for all information about visas.

Permanent Residence Costs:
Single Person: Between $2000 – $3500 ( depending on choice of Attorney doing the process )
Family of 4: Between $6500 – $ 9000.
Company Formation : $1500.00 all included.
Any one with a clean Police Clearance will be accepted.
How do I get a Police Report in South Africa: 
Following is a link to the South African Police Service.

We would need jobs:
It is difficult to come to Panama to “work”, unless you are in a specialized field. You can however open a business. When you open a business, by Panamanian law you require to have a minimum of 10 Panamanian employees.

Please refer to Ricardo Faraudo for more information or to set up your business.

Here is a link to a website with current Job Offers in Panama.

The following link “Work Opportunities in Panama” will explain more about rules, regulations and jobs that are not permitted to be performed by NON-Panamanians.

We do have some businesses for sale, you would have to inquire directly with us as not all business owners have it officially listed as that could potentially hurt a business.

If you are motivated, creative and understand excellent customer service… Really you will do well in any business!

Could I run a B&B?
Starting a B&B is an excellent opportunity in Panama as tourism keeps growing. As a matter of fact, we have a number of B&B’s on the market. Please refer to Ricardo Faraudo for more information or to set up your business.

Should I ship my belongings to Panama?
It all depends how attached you are to your belongings, my recommendation is that you save yourself the hassle and the money of shipping anything unless you really think you cant replace it otherwise. When you consider the cost and hassle of bringing second hand furniture, clearance and storage costs, the fact that appliances here operate on 110V, and that one could be burdened with a load of furniture that is unsuitable for the climate.

Most sales ad rentals come turn key, meaning that it comes fully furnished with appliances etc. Anyways, In Panama you can get anything and if you shop in the right places, you will find you can get furniture and such very economically. There are a lot of good second hand furniture being sold for example by expats that decide to leave Panama. This includes furniture, cars, garden tools etc etc. The list is endless.

Read our Blog Post about Shipping!

Can we bring our pet’s to Panama?
Yes of course, pet’s are part of the family! Following is a link to our Blog Post that explains exactly what needs to be done in preparations to bring your furry friend to Panama!

If you don’t have a pet to bring… Let me tell you and make a suggestion, Panama has a lot of cat’s and dogs that desperately need homes. So adopting a local cat or dog versus buying one, is absolutely recommended. You will have a chance to change a life and it’s the most gratifying act of kindness there is. (Personal recommendation from our team)

Vaccinations, dental and medical records
You are not required to get letters from Dr’s to pass your health status into Panama, nor any dental records. Of course if you have specific health issues on file, it could come in handy if you need treatments here in Panama. Im sure your doctor or dentist could easily email the file once it’s needed, or you just bring a copy.

Panama is a tropical country and you are required to have the Yellow Fever vaccination upon entering. This vaccinations counts for children starting age 1… The vaccine lasts for 10 years, you might find yourself to be traveling throughout Central America/South America, as you will notice it’s quite easy from here to go and explore, it’s just handy to have as most countries have this requirement.

How are the internet, phone and cable services in Panama
Panama offers excellent service when it comes to high speed internet, phone lines and cable service:
Cable Onda: Offers high speed internet starting at 25 Mb (5UP) for $20,15 per month up to 500 Mb (10UP) for $175,00 a month, and every required speed in between. Other than that, they provide phone lines and you can get a cable plan set up through different available plans with options to receive channels from all over the world.
Cable & Wireless is another company that offers full service plans.

What if we don’t speak Spanish, yet:
Most Panamanians today speak very well English, however, I would encourage you to learn the language. Kids pick it up real quick through school and their new local friends.

HERE is a link to a Blog Post to help you learn Spanish in a fun way!

If you are motivated to learn Spanish, HERE we explain why Panama is the best place to learn it!

Panamanians love it when they see the effort foreigners put in to learn the language, it shows respect and trust me you will only be making points. Panamanians however, are in general very shy and humble, they do not want to offend anyone so you will have to insist that they do correct you, otherwise you learn the language backwards LOL.

Are there any English schools:
Following are some links to schools that could be considered, all depending on your personal preference :
Coronado area:
Five Stars Academy. A personal preference from our Inside Panama team: however, because it’s such a good school, they offer limited enrollment spots. Read our Blog Post about this school HERE!
Coronado International School
PCIS Gorgona
Boquete:
Academia Internacional Boquete
Read our Blog Post on this school HERE!The school year for International schools, is the same as in Europe or the US and Canada. They typically start in August and end by late May or early June.
The school year for Panamanian Public schools start after the Carnival holidays, typically end of February early March and ends in December just before Christmas.

What will I do when I move to Panama
Many times when I meet new people who are moving or have moved to Panama one of the concerns they voice is “what is there to do here”? They were very active in their former community and want to continue to remain so. My answer, “you can be as busy or not, as you want to be, it just depends on what you like to do.” Read our Blog Post HERE!

Do you experience, earthquakes, tornados and or extreme weather in Panama? 
Panama does experience earthquakes from time to time but nothing major has ever happened. Usually they are so small you can hardly feel them. Typically we feel the earthquakes that occur in Costa Rica, so the closer to the Costa Rican border, the more likely you will feel something from time to time.

The rainy season or winter, starts approximately in May, making it the longest season of the two. Summer starts in December and only lasts 3 months. Both seasons have great benefits.
Rainy season comes with heavy tropical downpours from time to time, I personally really enjoy it. HERE you can read our Blog Post about the Rainy season.

Humidity is about 80-100% with an average temperature on the coast 22-34°C…. All year round.
The summer period brings along a very strong summer breeze that blows off the mountains. Because the breeze is so cool, you will hardly feel the heat of the actual temperature. So it’s very important to always find shade and protect your skin.

Can you recommend a location where weather is not too humid?
I would recommend Boquete. Read about Boquete HERE!
Following are the Community Profile video’s we created for Coronado and Boquete which are the most popular re-location destinations in Panama.

Is there any racism in Panama?
This is a question that is asked a lot, but from personal experience I will definitely say NO. Panamanians are extremely welcoming to people from all over the world. People from all walks of life; religions, disabilities you name it. Everyone can be assured to be welcomed with open arms. Of course, the treatment you receive depends fully upon yourself as well and that would be for most parts of the world. We respect their customs, make a little more effort to learn the native language (the locals LOVE that) and just remember, we are guests and always will be, in this beautiful country called Panama!

How is the crime in Panama?
Of course, like everywhere else in the world Panama is not excluded from crime. I consider Panama to be safer than my own home country (US). What mostly occurs here if and when there is some sort of crime is petty crime. Usually robbers go after things that they can easily carry; wallets, phones are a big hit, small change, Tv’s, jewellery… When home robberies occur it is typically because the property was not secured well enough, -or people leave their valuables close to windows where you can see them from out side which might motivate a by passer to have a closer look. It has happened that people leave their home keys near a window. As most homes have pools, the robbers have invented this genius idea of using the cleaning pole for the pool to slip through a window crack and grab the keys this was so they can easily let themselves in.

It is extremely important that you exclude any type of invitation for unwanted guests. Don’t leave valuables unattended outside or in your car in a parking lot, lock your doors and windows at night, make sure you have parameter security. Having dogs inside your property will also help scaring unwanted guests away. Basically… You have to secure your property!!
Keep your kids safe, don’t let them wonder around by themselves at young age (like you wouldn’t anywhere else) and don’t loose sight of them in the bigger shopping malls.

Other types of crime which you will notice in the news are mostly drug/maffia related. So unless you are operating and active in that area of business, you have nothing to worry about (Just to be clear, we do not suggest you do!)

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