Casco Viejo real estate is a niche market and, not unlike standing at the shore of a murky lake, it’s important to understand what’s below the surface before you dive in. You think you know Casco Viejo real estate. But you have no idea…
1. Choose your location wisely: Walking through the streets of Casco Antiguo, you will notice somewhat of a disparity between various neighborhoods, and for this reason, you must be diligent in choosing a location you are comfortable with. In some areas, crime and developed tourism locales are in developed stages, while in other areas, these can be issues. Knowing your (and surrounding) area(s) well can eliminate any Casco Viejo real estate surprises down the road.
2. Haste makes waste: Except when it comes to Casco Viejo real estate development. Unlike the speculated-driven real estate markets elsewhere in Panama, Casco Viejo real estate is very time-sensitive and, in many cases, legally enforced. Drawing on facets of Law #9, investors should be aware that there do exist regulations demanding semi-prompt action. Keep this in mind as well with regards to your financing and living plans and remember that nothing in Panama gets done on time, so best to give yourself some padding.
3. Integrate yourself: Part of the beauty of Casco Viejo real estate is the old-world feeling of its tight community, comprised mainly of locals and dedicated expatriates. Unlike the impersonal practice of purchasing real estate elsewhere in Panama, remember that, while not written on paper, there is a sort of moral responsibility that comes with the turf in Casco Viejo real estate. This can take the form of community projects, philanthropy, or simply socializing with residents and is also quite fun and rewarding.
4. Bide your time: As any good real estate investor should know, waiting for the right moment to jump on a deal is paramount. Because many pieces of Casco Viejo real estate are only on the market for a short time, it is important to have your funds and mind in order, so that when that opportunity does come along, you are able to snatch it with the reflexes of a puma cat.
5. Don’t waste your time: Chances are, you are a busy person and if you’re not, you might as well pretend (for the purpose of this article) that you are. Point is, don’t waste your time trying to find the best deals yourself: use a good agent! A good real estate agent or consultant in Casco Viejo real estate is on top of the market, watching for new listings and collecting recent details. You should work to find someone you trust, and then let them do the dirty work: presenting them with your ideal investment and then waiting to see what they can come up with.
6. Strapped for cash?: Because banks in Panama are capping their lending at around $1,500/m2, if your dream is to do renovation with Casco Viejo real estate, chances are you will need additional funds. While still rising, local renovation costs can be upwards of $2,000 which eliminates some buyers from the market. This is just another example of the dedication and uniqueness that characterizes Casco Viejo real estate.
7. Make friends: As with many other facets of Casco Viejo real estate, networking and making contacts is vital for finding a good piece of real estate and developing it the way you see fit. Talk to real estate agents, restaurant employees, locals, really anyone who will listen. Because the community is so closely knit, it’s probable that you’ll start putting together networks and acquaintances in no time.
8. Prepare for the inevitable: Alas, this is Panama and more specifically, a very niche environment, so expecting things to be done on time or plans to be executed without flaws is about as reasonable as you trying to become a tri-athlete. Learn to take deep breaths when dealing in Casco Viejo real estate and learn to prepare for the worst.
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