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Buying Property Overseas
Buying property overseas can be a once in a lifetime investment opportunity. And, buying property overseas can be an absolute nightmare. Let’s start with defining “overseas.” Overseas or offshore investments are really just investments outside of your nation of birth. There is both opportunity and risk in investing offshore. Many investors seek to protect their hard earned wealth by putting their money in a jurisdiction that is a so called tax haven. In our article, Tell Me about Tax Havens, we review some the benefits and risks of investing or buying property overseas solely based on perceived tax advantages. Whatever you might save in taxes by buying property overseas in a tax haven you may lose when the government collapses, a new dictator decides to void all foreign ownership, or the new parliament forbids you from selling your property, converting your profits into Euros, dollars, or Yen and taking your profits out of the country. With these thoughts, and more, in mind here is a bit about buying property overseas in Latin American, specifically Panama.
Panama: Business or Pleasure
Let’s use Panama City, Panama as an example. Panamanians refer to their capital city simply as Panama. Panama is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, founded in 1519, the same year as St. Augustine, Florida. Panama benefited from the fact that its isthmus is only 50 miles wide. This allowed the Spanish Colonial Empire to bring gold and silver minded in Peru up the coast, carry it across the malaria and yellow fever infested interior, and ship it to Spain. The original route, known as the way of the crosses, can still be followed. However, the modern Panama Canal carries five percent of all world shipping tonnage across the Isthmus of Panama and one can take the expressway from the Pacific coast at Panama to the city of Colon on the Caribbean in less than an hour.
For one interested in buying property overseas. There are white and black sand beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Panama and cool mountain hideaways in the interior. Panama, the city, offers first world services and Latin charm. Panama is a business friendly place to invest, buy property, and do business if your interest is investing in Latin America or gaining Panama residency for retirement in the tropics. Panama of today is a world class destination both for business and personal reasons.
Residency is easy to gain in Panama. Foreigners can own and run businesses. English is spoken, especially by the professional community. However, the odds are that your employees in your new Panama based business will only speak Spanish. That brings us to the question of just what is the best way of buying property overseas in Panama and what kind of property. The best route for many foreigners to invest in Panama is to buy property, have it managed, and collect rent