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Anyone else noticed the (large) number of homes for sale in the Boquete area? Many of these houses are big, beautiful, and expensive. Others, maybe not so much. Lots of variety.

I know many of our friends are returning to the U.S. because of health reasons, others are moving to another country to continue their life journey, and others claim they are tired of  problems with roads and water system.

What are your criteria for where you want to live? Have these items changed since you came to Boquete? What’s right for one group may not work for another. One couple said they have limited funds and costs are too expensive in Boquete to fit their budget. “Nothing new here and too many friends have left” is something else I hear.

Not sure of the reasons or when the property sales will settle. Almost hesitant to visit with friends; afraid to learn their decisions about life in Boquete.

What say you?

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Yes. Several friends have found that it's a good time to buy property.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Eleven years and counting...and couldn't be happier.   Lots of homes for sale and so many being built...so I agree with Keith.  Great time to buy and a wide selection.  

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I suspect you may see a change after May 5th of next year when Panama elects a new president.   The changes throughout the country can be great, due to the way the political system functions (or doesn't).   Since Varela can not be re-elected it would seem possible that the upcoming change could effect policies as great as those that happened after the last presidential election.

In 2009, I did not understand why so many Panamanians were so nervous at election time with all the dramatic changes that might occur.    I saw it again when Varela was elected.   The changes in a relatively small country can be great and affect home sales, business and many aspects of daily life.   Those optimistic about for the next 5 year cycle will see good deals, while others may have had reasons to sell or just wait and see.  

Either way, I suspect that the election of the next president will bring about change that can have a great effect on perceived value of homes and businesses.

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The demographics have changed. When we came expats were largely those with adequate to substantial retirement incomes who built nice homes because the inventory of upscale homes was small. It's been my observation that many if not most of those coming today are trying to stretch their social security checks and therefore are renting instead of buying.

I have lived in Boquete for 12 years and have not regretted making the move. The expat community here is phenomenal, I've indulged my passion for gardening, and I have made many, many friends. I particularly love all the volunteer opportunities here--which makes you feel like you're really contributing to bettering the world in some small way.  It was something I've always wanted to do but was unable to in my working years.

My house currently is for sale and I plan to return to the States because, after my husband died 2-1/2 years ago, I find that I'm getting too old to live alone and don't want to spend my final years so far away from family and friends back home. Perhaps even more importantly, good health insurance (and I believe in good health insurance) has become outrageously expensive at my age, and it's time to go back and cash in on the Medicare I've paid for.

I predict that Boquete will experience a renaissance now that the roads are nearing completion and the Panamonte bridge is operable. But, as Twin Wolf points out, who knows what the upcoming new government has in store and how it will affect expats and potential expats?

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Yes Bonnie.  Your story is common.  Retirement here is bliss until you need medical care and to be close to family.  Even though Bill and I are not ready to return to the USA quite yet we are in our 70's and recognize that the next 10 years may be our swan song here. At that point we'd sell and return back (.....or sooner if God-forbid a serious health issue came into play.)   It's now time for us to think about security in every regard .  ( that's why we bought a new truck for our surf trips to the coast...we want a truck that will be great for us for the next 10 years)   As well, we think about avoiding probate and sale of our home etc etc....not to mention how we want our retirement money to be invested.   All these things we are doing now.  ....and down the line we as well will be headed back to spend the last years in the USA.    It's a cycle here with retired folks .

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Just as Panama and Boquete continue to change and evolve, so does the environment everywhere else. "Going back to the USA and to family" isn't really in the cards, since both have changed since one' last experience with them. And also, so have you.  "No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man"...

It might be a really good idea to explore what a "return" might be like before committing, just as it was when coming to Boquete...

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13 hours ago, Bonnie said:

The demographics have changed. When we came expats were largely those with adequate to substantial retirement incomes who built nice homes because the inventory of upscale homes was small. It's been my observation that many if not most of those coming today are trying to stretch their social security checks and therefore are renting instead of buying.

I have lived in Boquete for 12 years and have not regretted making the move. The expat community here is phenomenal, I've indulged my passion for gardening, and I have made many, many friends. I particularly love all the volunteer opportunities here--which makes you feel like you're really contributing to bettering the world in some small way.  It was something I've always wanted to do but was unable to in my working years.

My house currently is for sale and I plan to return to the States because, after my husband died 2-1/2 years ago, I find that I'm getting too old to live alone and don't want to spend my final years so far away from family and friends back home. Perhaps even more importantly, good health insurance (and I believe in good health insurance) has become outrageously expensive at my age, and it's time to go back and cash in on the Medicare I've paid for.

I predict that Boquete will experience a renaissance now that the roads are nearing completion and the Panamonte bridge is operable. But, as Twin Wolf points out, who knows what the upcoming new government has in store and how it will affect expats and potential expats?

Bonnie,

 

You wrote:

 

"The demographics have changed."

 

You hit the nail right on the head.  I began visiting Boquete eight years ago and moved here about six years ago and that's what I've observed.  Expats early on obtained residency, purchased homes and cars, and ate at restaurants daily.  That doesn't appear to be the norm today.  Especially with the fact of the number of expats working here illegally to make ends meet.  Several of my Panamanian friends have told me that Panamanians in general despise the new crop of expats especially the ones taking away their jobs.  One even pointed out that there are more expats in grocery stores today and less in restaurants where they create jobs.

 

 

 

 

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The oft bashed US dollar makes the following currencies about 30% more expensive: Canadian and Australian dollars. The following currencies have taken a major exchange hit too: Euro, pesos from various Latino countries, etc. People from these places are facing significantly higher cost buying stuff here in Panama. Restrictive border hopping has made residential tourism less attractive. I know of 2 more developed countries where costs are 25 percent lower. There is competition for expat dollars.

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2 hours ago, Jim Bondoux said:

Just as Panama and Boquete continue to change and evolve, so does the environment everywhere else. "Going back to the USA and to family" isn't really in the cards, since both have changed since one' last experience with them. And also, so have you.  "No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man"...

It might be a really good idea to explore what a "return" might be like before committing, just as it was when coming to Boquete...

I agree with you, Jim, about things having changed back home. This is particularly true for those who have been here a long time. In my case, I am returning to be near my son, and he has relocated from our hometown of Tallahassee to Richmond, Va. So it'll be a whole new adventure for me. I have visited a number of times and think I'll be happy there. Of course developing a new set of friends at my age may be a challenge.

Edited by Bonnie

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5 hours ago, Jim Bondoux said:

Just as Panama and Boquete continue to change and evolve, so does the environment everywhere else. "Going back to the USA and to family" isn't really in the cards, since both have changed since one' last experience with them. And also, so have you.  "No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man"...

It might be a really good idea to explore what a "return" might be like before committing, just as it was when coming to Boquete...

Senior living  ( independent living, assisted care) does not exist here. Who takes care of you here when you can no longer care for yourself?  Now Bill and I have cared for  a Ngobe family here and they swear they will attend to us in our old age.....they are hand to mouth, dirt poor.  Should we need a trip to the doctor they might be able to flag down a cab.  It's not something we would elect but still out there I guess.  For us (like so many getting older here,) it's knowing when to pull the plug.  An  Independent Living facility would be our choice back in the USA.   We're looking for one in Florida close to the surf (laughing) that has a good selection of boards for us to use.

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An interesting topic, and some of the replies have caused me to think about things previously not considered.

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