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Turn-Key Casitas At Los Islotes

08 Dec
How To Establish Yourself In A New Country

Your Turn-Key Chance To Join Me On Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast

Since I launched my Los Islotes community on the western coast of Panama’s Azuero Peninsula, I’ve received one question more than any other:

When will a turn-key home option be available?

It is with great pleasure that I write today to answer that question with an enthusiastic:

Right now.

I realize that not everyone is up for building his own home in a foreign country. Some folks would prefer something a whole lot more turn-key. After months of designing and planning, that is precisely what my Los Islotes team and I are now preparing to be able to offer.

Specifically, Los Islotes is undertaking the construction of a series of two-bedroom casitas, as we’re calling them, in the Mango Village section of the property, which is an ideal setting for these little houses.

Mango Village Section

As I said, we’ve been working on the designs for these houses behind the scenes for months. In conceiving this new neighborhood, we’ve had two driving ideas. First, again, we want to be able to offer a no-hassle, ready-to-move-into option for people interested in becoming part of the Los Islotes community but not up for buying a lot and building a custom house.
Second, we want these little houses to be special. We’re not interested in slapping cookie-cutter structures on the beautiful Los Islotes hillsides. We don’t want to build just any old little houses.

The big-picture vision for Los Islotes is to complement the extraordinary natural beauty of this coastal spot with just as impressive architectural achievements. Everything we build here will be in the traditional Spanish-colonial style. This means arched doorways and windows, whitewashed exterior walls, and red clay-tiled roofs. These elements will be part of all construction, from the Founder’s Lodge to the horse stables…and these new casitas.

Two models have been designed, one with a small courtyard in the back (another typically Spanish-colonial element) and the other for narrower lots. Take a look.

Our plan right now is to build five of these casitas. Given the level of interest over the years, we expect these to be sold in very short order.

We’re calling our new houses “casitas,” but they’re more spacious than that may imply. Each is two bedrooms and two bathrooms and includes about 105 square meters (1,200 square feet) of interior space. We’ve designed these to be an ideal size for a retiree looking for a home that is big enough to be comfortable but that doesn’t require extensive care or maintenance. These casitas are also perfect for the second-home buyer looking for an inexpensive place to hang out at the beach now and then that can be rented out when the owner is elsewhere.

While Mango Village lots don’t have an ocean view, this neighborhood will have its own hilltop clubhouse and swimming pool (with an ocean view). In addition, from this area of the property, you can launch a kayak into the tidal estuary and head from there directly out into the ocean.

While the designs for our new casitas have been completed, the construction plans are still in the works, meaning we haven’t yet pinned down final pricing. However, we don’t want to delay the launch of this important new phase any longer, so we’re making these new houses available pre-construction.

While I can’t now quote exact final prices for these first turn-key units at Los Islotes, I can tell you that we intend to bring them in under US$200,000, including the lot fee.

Again, right now, the plan is to build just five of these houses. I strongly encourage you, therefore, if you’ve been watching from the sidelines, waiting for a hassle-free way to become part of the Los Islotes community, to get in touch right now. You can reserve your casita with a fully refundable deposit.

Once we have the completed construction plans and the final price, you’ll have two weeks to review everything. At that time, you can choose to proceed with the house purchase…or not. If you decide for some reason not to move forward, we’ll refund your deposit and move on to the next person on the waiting list.

We expect to have the construction plans and pricing ready by the first week of January, so you won’t have to make any final decisions until after the holidays. Right now, though, you need to get your name on the buyer’s list.

You can do that by getting in touch here.

Lief Simon

Mailbag

“Lief, I am a Canadian citizen thinking of moving to Belize under the QRP program. All my income will come from stock trading with a brokerage account with OneTRADEx in the Cayman Islands. The objective is to be classified as a nonresident of Canada and to live tax-free.

“My question is do I need to have a Belize IBC and Belize trust? What is the advantage of these two compared to opening the bank accounts and trading accounts in joint names with my heirs. The cost to set up a Belize trust is US$1,500 plus 1% of the assets, which would be a substantial amount in my case.”

A.L.

The benefit of a trust is asset protection, which may or may not be an issue for you if you’re planning to live in Belize and most of your assets will be in the trading account.

The IBC wouldn’t give you any benefit (except maybe some asset protection). OneTRADEx does require Canadians and Americans resident in their home countries to trade with them through an offshore entity, but, as you’re moving to Belize, this requirement wouldn’t apply to you.

Note that, living in Belize, I wouldn’t use a Belize IBC. I’d set up a structure in another country (for diversification’s sake).