Home News House Hunting in Panama: A Tuscan-Style Villa in the Hills of Boquete

House Hunting in Panama: A Tuscan-Style Villa in the Hills of Boquete

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This 6 bedroom Tuscan style apartment Surrounded by two hillsides in the luxury real estate section of Valle Escondido, a mountain town on the Chiriquí Plateau in western Panama, a luxury community, resort and club near downtown Boquete.

“You overlook the valley,” said Ryan Blush, a sales associate at Casa Solutions, the agency on the list. “The scenery is great, but what the seller wanted was serious privacy.”

Built in 2011 on 1.3 acres, the 11,850-square-foot house has a tiled roof. The wrought-iron gate leads to a long driveway through the equipment and supply building with a standby generator, water and filter system. Beyond the main building, the driveway passes Koi Pond and turns towards a parking lot near the side entrance and a garage designed for two cars and a golf cart.

The three front stairs pass through the fountain and lead to a covered loggia and an arched wooden door adjacent to a matching window. Inside, foyer windows connect the front and backyards, and a large hall connects the north and south wings of the house.

The imported travertine floor has a ceiling of 11.5 feet on the first floor and 12.5 feet on the second floor. The beige walls look like marble. Doors and windows are bordered with dark wood. There are two powder rooms.

The living room has a large fireplace with a beamed ceiling and a wooden mantelpiece. A trio of double-glazed windows with an arched top illuminates the room. Beyond the hall of the banquet-sized dining room is a glass door facing the garden.

The kitchen, accessible from the dining room or the butler’s pantry, features a double-viking cobalt industrial stove, a stainless steel farm sink, a central island with a wooden top, and illuminated glass cabinets. Square tiles, some with a culinary image, decorate the backsplash and countertop. “The appliances are big enough for a large dinner party with 25 people,” Braasch said, adding that the owner “did not expect to cook for himself.”

The stairs go up from the central hall to the 5 bedrooms on the 2nd floor, all with private bathrooms. A separate arch on one side of the hall defines an open “hangout” seating area, and the nearby bedroom is set up as a library / home theater. Featuring a dressing room and walk-in closet, the main suite is located at the southern end of the hall and opens from a double-glazed door to a loggia-style balcony.

The two bedrooms on the opposite side of the corridor face a large balcony. The stairs behind near the primary suite lead to the tower office on the 3rd floor with views of the bird’s nest.

At the south end of the ground floor is a one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and bath. Outside, there is a seating area and outdoor kitchen on a covered terrace, barbecue, cobalt blue tile counters, starfish-shaped cabinet knobs, refrigerators and sinks. The pool area has a separate gym, a dry sauna and a cabana with a full bath.

Papaya, lemon, banana and avocado trees stand near the pond and near the river that borders one side of the site.

The house is a 2-minute golf cart ride from Valle Escondido’s restaurants, bars, resort hotels, chapels, amphitheaters and pro shops. Other facilities include an executive golf course, tennis and a spa. The gated community has about 200 homes, including condominiums, duplex villas, single-family homes, and real estate homes.

About 1.6 km (1 mile) away, downtown Boquete is home to Panama and foreign-owned restaurants, breweries, new squares and parks. Nearby are the coffee plantations and hiking trails of Panama’s highest point, the Volcán Barús National Park. Enrique Malek International Airport in Chiriquí’s capital, David, is about an hour away. The flight from Boquete to Panama-Tocumen International Airport in Panama City takes just over an hour.

Real estate sales expanded following the blockade of a pandemic in Panama, a popular destination among foreign buyers, especially American retirees. However, prices have remained relatively flat, said Sotheby’s International Realty Panama broker owner Rafael Gangi, who described the market as “very active and stable.”

“Depending on the property and its location, sales may have increased by 40%,” said Gangi. “Because many people have moved to live on the beach, along and near beaches across the country.” Sales exceed those of the capital Panama City. “

Inventories have fallen from their peak two years ago, said Michael Vuytowecz, founder of Inside Panama Real Estate. Before the pandemic, he said, “they were choking Panama City’s inventory.” “There was some absorption, but not enough to impact the price.”

Boquete was an exception. Over the past two years, the small mountain towns of the Caldera River have attracted more buyers. Jason Cohen, owner of Casa Solutions, quotes company data and states that prices are rising about 15 percent each year.

“This year is starting to look as good as last year,” Cohen said. This is quantitatively “twice the best year and has been here for 16 years,” he said. “If we had more, we would have sold more. Now we can see people competing for properties.”

The main market has shifted from $ 200,000 to $ 300,000 and from $ 400,000 to $ 500,000 homes. “Inventory is a big factor,” Cohen said. “What was as high as $ 250,000, $ 350,000, or $ 400,000 seems pretty reasonable. People who want more than they used to have now got their price.”

In Boquete, there are four or five gated communities in the Valle Escondido mold, and some homes demand more than $ 1 million. “There are many millionaires on the market,” Cohen said. “I’m waiting to see what happens.”

Before the pandemic, “a crowd of people over the age of 55 had moved to Panama,” said Joanne Hatch, a saleswoman at Inside Panama Real Estate, which sells primarily to foreigners. “The number of people with families is increasing significantly.”

Many are the result of the new remote work economy. “Especially the foreigners who are here now are out of the top of the US market and are coming to Panama, which seems to be cheaper than California and New York,” said Vuytowecz.

Another area popular with foreign buyers is the Gulf of Panama beach town of Coronado. Bocachica in the Gulf of Chiriquí. And Pedasi on the Pacific coast is a paradise for surfing, diving and fishing on the Azuero Peninsula.

Inflation and rising interest rates have not yet affected the market, Gangi said. “Because our currency is the dollar, banks are adapting to new measures and interest rates may be slightly higher, depending on the type of loan.”

According to agents, Panama buyers come primarily from the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America.

Most American buyers are from the East Coast, according to Gangi. Matthew Marx, sales executive at Panama Equity Real Estate, said Canadians are primarily from Toronto and others from Quebec and British Columbia, with a few Koreans buying homes recently. It pointed out.

According to agents, Europeans are mainly from France, Germany, Spain and Romania.

According to Hatch, Israelis buy and build resorts in Pedasi, while South Africans settle in Boquete, some build their own homes, and rent and farm. There are also people.

Foreign buyers may not own land within 6 miles of the border between Panama and Costa Rica or Colombia.

For homes, we recommend structural inspections and new, more accurate surveys of the property. “Old surveys were done on less high-tech equipment,” Cohen said, saying that such expensive homes are likely to be purchased as a corporate transaction.

According to Cohen, lawyers are always recommended for foreign buyers, but notaries are in charge of closing. Notaries cost $ 200 to $ 250, buyer registration fees are about $ 500, and lawyers charge $ 2,500 to $ 3,000.

Getting a mortgage isn’t difficult, Gangi said, but “a significant percentage” of international buyers pay cash “when the closing price is below the market price.”

Spanish; US $

Due to duty-free shopping, the property will be taxed at $ 400 a year over the next nine years, Blush said, “book tax is about $ 13,650 a year.”

The Homeowners Association’s annual membership fee is $ 2,200, including security and maintenance of common areas. Club and golf membership may be available for an additional monthly fee.

Ryan Blush, Casa Solution011-507-720-1331, casasolution.com

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