Of course for any purchase it’s always better to see the product in person. However, it’s not always necessary. In the case of purchasing real estate in Panama, it is recommended that you see the property in person before deciding on the purchase, but you are not required to be in person to complete the transaction of the property. What turns off many foreign investors from buying real estate in Panama is worrying about having to travel back and forth to complete the process. Here are some options that you have when deciding to purchase real estate in Panama from abroad.
The first option you have is to purchase a piece of real estate in Panama in the name of a corporation, and then have your local attorney appoint your nominee directors to sign the necessary documents on your behalf. This option through a corporation has a larger out of pocket cost, usually running at about a thousand to twelve-hundred dollars per corporation. Plus you will incur yearly renewal fees which generally vary from six-hundred to eight-hundred dollars per year.
However, there are certain advantages to purchasing property in the name of a corporation. First, there is a certain level of asset protection involved when frivolous lawsuits or divorce cases come into play for those people who purchase through a corporation versus their own name. The protection can help save loads of money in these cases, and can save you from losing your property or your piece of real estate in Panama. The second option you have when purchasing real estate in Panama is regarding the possibility of selling your piece of real estate in Panama. If you were to decide to sell the piece of real estate in Panama you would be exempt from the two percent transfer tax on the property. The shares of the corporation which owns the property would be transferred rather than the actual property itself, which is why you are able to be exempt from the transfer tax if you purchased the piece of real estate in Panama in the name of a corporation.
Your second option when purchasing real estate in Panama from abroad is to have a power of attorney issued to a local representative, and have it authenticated by your local authorities. In this case, documents that are issued in one country and need to be used in another country must be legalized before they can be recognized as a valid document in the foreign country. If the country you intend to use the document in is party to The Hague convention, like Panama, then a special authentication by the name of an Apostle will be needed. If you’re a resident of the US, contact the United States of Authentications for further information.