Home Buying Process in Panama Pt 3

Roof gets the OK

Roof gets the OK

Inspection Day!!  In the US, that would mean that we would be tripping over appropriately labeled, packed boxes because moving day would be right around the corner.  But TIP. This is Panama,

First, there are no inspectors in our neck of the woods.  To inspect plumbing, you turn on faucets and flush the toilets.  We did, and got our first surprise – no hot water in the guest bath.  It’s not a hard fix, just unexpected.  I can’t believe that it exists in a gringo house, but TIP.

Door to the guest bath

Door to the guest bath

Another thing that was shocking, and I cannot believe I didn’t see it on our first visit, is that the only solid interior door is to the master bedroom.  The other two bedrooms and both bathrooms – even the master bath – are glass.  I knew one was glass and it had already been assigned to the den, so no problem.  The others will be ordered ASAP.  Who has a glass doors for bathrooms???

Having no official inspector, we were very, very lucky to know Bob.  He is quite possibly the smartest person I know.  He also has spent decades buying and renovating property and he became our inspector of the day.  He was knowledgeable and thorough.

Most problems were very minor and many can be fixed by

The room is screaming, "Paint Me!"

The room is screaming, “Paint Me!”

cleaning the place.  I think the owners will literally cry when they see what has happened to their property.  The gardens are overgrown and the greenhouse is in shambles.  The owners loved their gardens but they are in desperate need of a lot of TLC.

The water system is fine.  Plumbing, electric, roof are all fine.  Those are the big ticket items so the inspection was almost all good news.

Soon we will be serving Balboas and Abuelo

Soon we will be serving Balboas and Abuelo

Not surprising, the smaller ‘needs’ are many.   It needs paint, in and out.  It needs new lighting fixtures. The patio needs a complete overhaul since no one has ever touched the really cool bar.  It needs a door in the kitchen.  It needs a thorough cleaning.  It needs a new trash bin.  It needs screens.  It needs a patio ceiling.  It needs wrought iron security bars.  Except for the security bars, it’s just some minor work.

We have a great cleaning lady and we have already lined up a gardener.  They have their work cut out for them.  We also have been promised several days of labor from an awesomely great handyman.  We can use every hour they can provide.

So Part 3 of house buying in Panama is complete.  Our contract should be sent to the owners next week.  You will probably be able to hear the screaming as soon as they read it.  Unfortunately for them, the pristine house that they left is not the house that we are buying.    The only thing I can promise them is that we will put it back together.

Other good news!  Our current rental is rented!!!  People who visited a few months ago saw our place and liked it.   They will be moving to Boquete in about 2 months and renting this place.  Perfect timing for all.  The renters in the house we bought are not so fortunate.  Even though he’s a realtor, he can’t find a place to live.  Good rentals are rented before they are advertised (like ours) and prices are going up quickly because of such a short housing supply.

Greenhouse is really green, oh my

Greenhouse is really green, oh my



Great entry

Great entry



I recommend that future expats visit the links below.



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