Privacy, Security, And Freedom On Panama's Pacific Coast
One of the first buyers at Los Islotes, the beachfront community Lief and I are developing on Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast, was a man named John.
John had two children and a long-term girlfriend, but he came down to visit the property on his own.
John was in his early 70s. Los Islotes was just getting started.
John recognized that the realization of the Los Islotes vision was sometime down the line, but he wasn’t bothered by that. John was wise enough to embrace the long-term opportunity in front of him.
When John returned home and told his family about his investment, they reacted the way families can—with concern. What had John gotten himself into, they wondered.
John’s son-in-law decided to come see for himself. As he admits today, Bruce made that follow-up trip to Los Islotes with the intention of confirming that his father-in-law was being bamboozled and to get his wife’s dad’s money back.
As I said, these were early days at Los Islotes. There were a few basic roads but no other infrastructure or construction. Bruce made the journey from Panama City out to Los Islotes, followed the road up to one of the property’s many peaks, then he stood looking out at the crashing Pacific surf below, the long stretch of coastline, and the rolling hills all around.
Bruce was quiet for a minute, then he turned to Peg, his guide for the day, and said:
“Wow. I guess John knew what he was doing after all. This is Cabo times 10.”
John and Bruce appreciated special when they saw it.
That’s one of the key parts of the Los Islotes vision—extraordinary, unspoiled, pristine natural beauty.
Another key part of the Los Islotes vision is community.
On these beautiful rolling hills with such jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean at nearly every turn, Lief and I have worked with top-tier talent from the United States, Costa Rica, Panama, and beyond to master plan a private, gated, residential community that will include a small Spanish colonial-style town with cobblestoned courtyards and shaded plazas, secret gardens and fountains… plus restaurants, shops, townhouses, and apartments.
Up and down the hillsides behind the ocean and alongside the town we’re building custom houses positioned to take advantage of the ocean views and to showcase the best of classic Mediterranean design. From above, the community will be a sea of red clay-tiled roofs, up close a testament to the skill of our craftsmen.
Attention to detail is paramount… gates of thick wood carved by hand, railings iron and ornate… windows with deep sills and shutters, oversized wooden doors adorned with heavy iron hardware…
Inside, high ceilings and elaborate moldings, plus things like pocket doors and caned archways, polished stone countertops and colorful hand-painted tiles laid out in traditional patterns… outside, white-stone terraces surrounding infinity pools running over, it appears, into that beautiful ocean that’s always just beyond.
Los Islotes will be the preeminent private residential community not only on this coast but in all Panama. Nothing else in the country compares.
Announcing Los Islotes' First Turnkey Casas
And now Los Islotes is offering its first ready-built houses… because we understand that not everyone is up for building their own house in another country. If we’re going to realize the Los Islotes community we’ve long envisioned, we’re going to have to make it easy for those who share our vision to get on board.
So we’ve enlisted help from the primary builder for one of the showpiece communities on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste coast. This has been something of a coup, getting the attention of this guy whose showcase houses are among the most impressive we’ve seen anywhere.
With his help, we’re building turnkey two-bedroom, two-bath houses in Mango Village, a charming Los Islotes neighborhood with a creek running through and nature on three sides. Massive mango trees in the center lend their name to the community as well as shade.
Most of the Mango Village lots have been sold. We’ve decided to reserve five that remain for Los Islotes’ first turnkey “Casas.”
These houses, like everything on the property, will reflect the overall Los Islotes vision. They’ve been designed in the Spanish-colonial style and feature archways, clay barrel-tiled roofs, and, in one of the two models, a small courtyard.
Mango Village Casa owners will have a clubhouse and pool as part of their private neighborhood, plus a central park area defined by those massive mango trees and direct access to the estuary where you can launch kayaks and small boats.
And, of course, Mango Village owners will also have full access to all other Los Islotes amenities, including the beach club, an equestrian center, tennis courts, and an area for playing pétanque (a personal favorite).
These two-bedroom houses are ideal for full-time living or part-time second homes at the beach you can enjoy with friends and family. They’re also great rentals, and, right now, there is a serious undersupply of quality rentals in the area.
Our new Los Islotes Casas are priced from US$235,000.
We at Los Islotes value beauty, history, and tradition. We also prize privacy, security, freedom, independence, and elbow room.
And, yes, we like to be comfortable.
If these ideas appeal to you, as well, we invite you to join us.
You can get in touch here to schedule a personal consultation with a member of our Los Islotes team.
“Lief, I signed a contract for a property in Colombia at your recent conference there. I am considering taking the property in my name so I am eligible for residency. Then getting my wife and daughter residency because they are dependents. It is being recommended that I form a civil trust after that so my wife or daughter could inherit the property without a lot of cost. Does this sound like a solid plan based on what you know about how things work there?
“My concern of owning in my name is liability. Should this be a major concern for me or just the way we all think here in the States? Any input would be appreciated.”
If you’re planning to rent out your apartment when you’re not using it and your liability concerns are related to that, I’d say not to worry. A colleague rented his apartment to a guy who got drunk and fell off of the fifth-floor balcony. The tenant survived the fall and found he had no basis to sue the owner of the apartment, as the accident was his own fault.
The disadvantage to putting the property in your name first to get residency and then transferring ownership to a trust after you’ve obtained residency would be the cost of re-titling.
In addition, you could have a problem when it’s time to renew your cédula/visa, which would occur either once every year or every five years, depending on the visa.
Furthermore, your concerns to do with succession may not be warranted in this particular case. In Colombia, when one owner of a jointly owned property dies, his or her share passes to his child (in this case your daughter), leaving the property in the name of the surviving spouse and the daughter. When the second person dies, their share would go to the daughter, as well. This happens even if there is no will, with little cost. If this is the desired outcome, you could forgo the cost of setting up the trust and the annual fees.
Succession would be an issue in Colombia when two people have children from different marriages, leaving the spouse the odd man (our woman) out.