As I write it is early morning, and I am enjoying the sound of the ocean surf and the cool breeze coming through the windows. We are in an area that it is really hard not to love. This time of year we have a lot of wind which keeps the humidity down. They call it Summer. Since arriving we have not seen a bit of rain, and we have enjoyed the pool or the beach every day. Our windows are always open and there are no screens. At first we couldn’t believe it, but there are no bugs here at ocean front. We absolutely love the balcony in the early morning and late evening, but it gets unbearably hot for a couple of hours in the afternoon when the sun is high, and to the West (our unit has a western exposure). People on the East side of the building say that theirs is hot in the morning. Both have advantages and disadvantages. This is all information valuable when looking for a beach front condo.
We did survive Carnival and hope none of you are expecting to see pictures of parades, floats, and scantly dressed people partying in the street. We did not venture to the activities. It is a party that happens across the entire country. The government closes down and many private business chose to close as well. Traffic is everything we have been told and just moving about during Carnival is near impossible. There were fireworks here in the complex and all our neighbors who own vacation homes were here. That meant that there were several predominant languages being spoken and a few families. The Internationale Highway is a 4 lane divided highway with limited places to cross from 1 side to the other. It is not limited access. When traffic gets heavy they close the places to cross. Just about anywhere you would go involves using this road, so mostly we stayed nearby. Monday we ventured out to take a look at one of the places that may be nice to live. It was to our West and travel there and back was tolerable. I can’t say the same for yesterday when the Panamanians started heading home. We ventured out to see another place early yesterday morning and returning the traffic was gridlocked on the highway. The only way back for us was to get on the Highway heading east toward Panama City, with the traffic, and drive about 30 Km to the first place we were allowed to turn around. When we got back to our road we were not allowed to turn (cross traffic) which caused us to travel back several Km West before being allowed to turn around. When we got way West of Coronado we decided to take a look at another place before heading home. Every trip during heavy traffic has to be carefully planned. We were home by 1:30, had a late lunch and spent the rest of the day by the pool on the roof.
We are sure all of you are interested in what we have found as far as homes go. One thing everyone needs to know is that if you’re planning to move to Panama one should rent for at least a year. This will give time to make sure the place is right for you. It is a buyers market here currently and real estate prices are a little lower than they have been. The buyers market may continue for several years so if you buy now you may lose money if you decide to sell too soon. Many places can be rented out weekly or monthly to tourists, should you decide to move back home. Remember it isn’t easy to be a long distance landlord. All that being said, we are interested in finding out basically what our dollar will buy and learning what is important and not important to us. As we travel and explore the country over the next few weeks we will be taking a look at homes and condo’s to get familiar with the market in each area. If we settle on an area and decide to move we will rent in that area until we find the perfect place to buy. We are feeling like our own episode of House Hunters International right now. I embedded a YouTube video below, which is an episode of that show filmed right here near where we are staying. We met a delightful lady from Canada, who has lived here now for several years. She is a sales agent for the developer who built 2 of the condo projects where we have looked. One of the projects is Bahia and she was the actual selling agent for the guys in this video. We will be touring the condo directly next to them in the next few weeks (it is occupied by tourists now). This video will give you a good feel for the Coronado area. Time will tell, but it may be too busy for us here. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO
We hope you took the 20 or so minutes to watch the video. It really does paint an accurate picture of what we are finding on the ground here. We are continuing with our Spanish tutor today and heading out to the Azuero Peninsula tomorrow. It may a great time to look back at our post of October 24, 2017 when our excursion planning began. On Friday we are planning another visit to a nearby condo project with a local agent. Our friends here are interested in buying there and the agent has come highly recommended. We will keep you all informed as we work through the process of looking for a place where we may one day live.
Thank-you for once again checking out our awesome adventure. We are still in awe of this whole thing. We hope you are all entertained and enjoying as much as we are. Please like, share and post questions. We love hearing from all of you. We just surpassed 2000 visits to our blog and we have new visitors signing on daily. Without all of you, it certainly wouldn’t be as much fun to write.
Greg and Jen