In many ways, Pedasí, Panama reminds me of small-town America 50 years ago. It’s a friendly village of 2,000 people, downtown is picturesque with a quaint church and colorfully painted town square, and large cattle ranches and corn and hay fields on rolling countryside surround it.
The Pacific Ocean with great fishing, and several peaceful beaches with miles of sand for walking, are only two-and-a-half miles away. The Pedasí area offers excellent surfing, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and hiking. There are many amenities including restaurants, B&Bs, supermarkets, a hardware store, pharmacies, beach bars, and a new medical clinic.
Purchasing real estate requires due diligence and decisions. What price range do you want? What location, in town, on the outskirts, or several miles away? What type of construction and conveniences? What size home? How much ground? Buy an existing house or purchase the perfect lot and build your home?
Because there is no MLS (Multiple Listing Service) in Panama, previous sale prices and other information may be harder to obtain. Potential buyers often rent while they are looking for their new home. This provides the advantage of having boots on the ground and getting word of mouth deals so they can quickly act.
Small lots in and around the town average $50,000. Bigger lots with ocean views range between $100,000 to $300,000, and sometimes higher.
You will get a smaller Panamanian style house for less than $150,000. It may not have amenities such as air conditioning. Most of these houses are located in town on smaller lots. People who enjoy living among the local folks and culture generally love these homes.
A two-bedroom, two-bathroom home can be yours for approximately $110,000. Homes in this price range can also be found several miles outside of town on larger lots—sometimes above average in size. Homes about the same size built by a private builder, not within walking distance of town, but closer to the beach are available for $140,000.
A large two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a carport, storage building, and small rental property—located 20 minutes from town—recently sold for $85,000. This type of home will typically need renovations.
For $150,000 to $250,000, you can pick up a larger home of between 1,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet on a larger lot, generally up to 19,000 square feet. There are several homes in this price range and they are often a short walk to town and are built to American style standards of finish quality and attention to details.
A budget of $250,000 will enable you to purchase a larger home outside of town from 1,600 square feet to 3,000-plus square feet in size. There are two gated communities located two-and-a-half miles from Pedasí with fantastic Pacific Ocean views. These communities have builders or you can bring your own design and builder. The land and home are sold separately so you can buy land now and build now, or later. Resale prices for homes a few years old range from $490,000 to $1 million.
There are also a few dozen large custom homes in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean about six miles from town for $700,000 and up. These homes offer size, location, amenities, upscale appliances, lifestyle, and the views demanded by affluent buyers.
It is highly recommended that buyers hire a good local attorney to do a title search and handle legal details—as many people purchase their homes using a corporation. Closing costs are low and can be shared with the seller. Most of the home sales are to cash buyers as financing for foreigners may be difficult to obtain.
My advice: Come visit us in Pedasí. You will fall in love with our beaches, people, our village, and find your dream retirement location.
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