Why Rights Of Possession Property Is A Risk In Panama

The Problem With Rights Of Possession 
Property In Panama


June 20, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Rights of possession property in Panama comes with particular risks that can’t always be overcome.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

A friend of a friend is trying to resolve some title issues to do with property that the company he works for has purchased in Panama over the past several years. He got in touch this week to ask my thoughts. When we sat down to meet, and he began to present the details of the situation, I realized that he has a bigger problem than I anticipated.

The company has been buying relatively small parcels of land but dozens of them, and every piece is rights of possession. At this point they have not been able to obtain actual title for anything they "own."

Rights of possession (ROP) properties in Panama are complicated. ROP can be registered and transferred, but, unlike with titled property in this country, there is no central registry. Also unlike with titled property, someone else can quickly establish rights on ROP land. With titled land in Panama, adverse possession rights don't kick in until after 15 years.

So in addition to the titling process dilemma, the guys who've been buying up all these remote ROP pieces also have a "maintaining possession" dilemma. Bottom line, they're trying to figure out how to keep invaders at bay.


Food And Travel Along The Canal Du Midi

Cassoulet And The Canal Du Midi

June 19, 2014, Languedoc, France: France’s Canal du Midi is one of the best places to savor French life and cooking, especially the “vrai cassoulet.”


Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

In France, bean stew is an art form.

In the foothills north of the magical Pyrenees, between that range and the lakes and forests of the Montagne Noire National Park, is the long valley, La Lauragais, from Narbonne and Beziers west to Toulouse and Biarritz on the Atlantic. In this valley you find the storied tree-roofed Canal du Midi with its pleasure craft supplanting the working barges that ran from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic starting in the 17th century. 


Why Americans Are Retiring Overseas

"Nobody Can Retire In New York On Social Security"

June 18, 2014, Panama City, Panama: A perfect storm of circumstances is inspiring more Americans than ever to consider the idea of retiring overseas.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

In the past three days, I've been interviewed four times, including twice this morning, first live by WNYC's Brian Lehrer, then later by The Miami Herald.

Is this retire-overseas thing a trend, the interviewers have wanted to know...and, if so, why.

Yes, this is a trend. A trend that is gaining momentum, expanding quickly, and bound to continue for years to come.

Why? Because of a perfect storm of circumstances.


Timing Currency Rates When Investing In Property Overseas

Why I Don't Try To Time The Currency

June 17, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Which is more important when investing in property overseas—market or currency exchange rates?

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The euro is on a downward slide that appears likely to continue in the wake of the recent nominal rate cut by the European Central Bank. Unfortunately for me, I just converted U.S. dollars to euros to buy an apartment in Paris at possibly the worst time in the last two-and-a-half years to have made such an exchange.

As I say often, you can't try to time international real estate buys to exchange rates.

With interest rates so low, why didn't I borrow to buy the apartment? French banks are holding a tight leash on mortgage lending to foreigners...especially self-employed foreigners. The banks prefer if you're working for a large listed company. In their eyes, that suggests stability.

On the other hand, my purchase was well timed from a market perspective (and a personal one). The Paris property market was soft last year, with much of the city seeing slight price declines. Had I waited for currency rates to move in my favor before looking for an apartment, I would have run the risk of prices going back up...as they have done.

I negotiated and locked in the purchase price for this apartment last November. The closing was delayed as I tried to get a mortgage, and we finally closed just a couple of weeks ago. In the interim six months, prices have started moving up again in the arrondissement where I bought. Prices aside, had I held off making the purchase while waiting for the euro to weaken against the U.S. dollar, the apartment I found (and wanted to buy) would have been gone.


Why Nicaragua Is An Emerging Top Retirement And Investment Haven

Nicaragua Rising

June 16, 2014, Granada, Nicaragua: Nicaragua is re-emerging as a top retire overseas choice.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

I visited Nicaragua for the first time more than 20 years ago. Imagine the incredulity I faced when I told my family and friends back then that I was traveling (alone...as a young woman) to Nicaragua.

Arriving on the scene all those years ago, I discovered a country not too far down the road from civil war. Barbed wire wound around the outside of every building, and men and boys walked the streets dressed in army fatigues and carrying automatic weapons. Managua was a shambles. The city had not been restored in any real way following the earthquake of 1972. After the earthquake came the civil war. In the early 1990s, when I laid eyes on Managua for the first time, this city was just beginning to pull itself together.

When I looked beyond all that, though, to the rest of the country and its people, I was won over immediately. I'm a romantic who prizes potential over anything else. In Nicaragua's dramatically beautiful coastline...historic colonial cities...charming mountain villages...and irrepressible, resilient people, I perceived enormous potential.

In the two decades since, I have made many return trips to Nicaragua. I have invested in real estate in this country, big and small. I have operated an office here, in Granada. I have led tours, sponsored conferences, met a president, and made contacts. Most important to me, I've also made friends...who have also bought real estate, invested in property developments, built businesses, even raised families in this country. Now that I take a minute to reflect on it, my experience in Nicaragua has been not only long but also deep.


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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.


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