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Moving to Panama > Panama City >

An Expat Talks about Moving to Panama City, Panama

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Panama City

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

I would have left everything that wasn't a necessity or too expensive to replace at home. You can find EVERYTHING in any brand in Panama and at prices comparable to the US. If shipping weight is an issue, just leave it and replace it. Perhaps the only exception is personal care items which by definition are very personal and it's hard to switch brands if by some reason, it can't be found at reasonable prices

Moving to Panama

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Get a feel for the area by driving around, gauging traffic (it's terrible in Panama), checking out amenities and entertainment nearby. Stay away from the casino and nighlife streets as the noise and activity (bad and good) is constant all week. Paitilla and Pacifica are close enough so you can sleep in peace and get to your favorite club or casino in 15 minutes.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

High Rise Apartment and very typical. There was a real estate boom in the early Y2ks and high rises went up everywhere. Most of Paitilla and Punta Pacifica residents live in high rises. The views of the Panama bay are outstanding if you are lucky enough to live in an apartment that's not boxed in by other buildings

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

Realtors know where expats should live. They will probably steer you towards Punta Paitilla (Pie-TEE-ya) or Punta Pacifica, the upper class neighborhoods. El Cangrejo is a good choice too for "non-Corporate" budgets, and is a more "Soho-ish", hip part of town.

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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

I would say similar to New York City prices, but much more value in Panama. I had a 3 bdroom, 4 bath, 15th fl apt with a balcony directly on top of the bay for $1200. The price went up about 50% upon me moving. Average is betweem $900-$1500 for 2 bdrooms

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Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
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Expats in Panama enjoy a relatively low cost of living. However, it's important to do your research to make sure you'll actually enjoy those saving while creating a high quality of life as an expat in Panama.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Mar 28, 2011 20:09

For having lived 10 months in Panama city, this report tells it like it is. But, to me paying New York City prices for real estate is padding the pockets of Foreign Developers. If you try to live in neighbourhoods where Panamanians ( good middle class ) stay, you will greatly reduce your cost of living . Good middle class Panama city neighbourhood residents( 35-year old and under young Panamanian lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc) generally live in comfortable homes. For 600-700 dollars a month, such houses can be found 25 minutes away from the city center.seando

guest
Oct 24, 2011 19:02

great input! thanks.

guest
May 30, 2012 19:17

Very honest and helpful insights.

erdocsmom
Jan 29, 2013 20:08

When you say you wouldn't bring anything metal I wondered about our adjustable Tempurpedic bed. It's n adjustable bed with a metal frame. . Also we have a Labrabor retriever and will need at least a small yard for her. How difficult will that be to find? Any idea of prices three bedroom, two bath with a small yard? Good to know if we live a bit farther out the prices aren't too bad.

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Cost of Living in Panama

Expats in Panama enjoy a relatively low cost of living. However, it's important to do your research to make sure you'll actually enjoy those saving while creating a high quality of life as an expat in Panama.

Expats in Panama enjoy a relatively low cost of living. However, it's important to do your research to make sure you'll actually enjoy those saving while creating a high quality of life as an expat i...

Moving to Panama: 7 Things to Know Before You Move to Panama

Do you have to buy a round trip ticket when moving to Panama? How difficult is it to bring my dog? Should I buy a home in Panama? Can I find health insurance that covers me in Panama and my home country when I travel back to visit relatives?

Do you have to buy a round trip ticket when moving to Panama? How difficult is it to bring my dog? Should I buy a home in Panama? Can I find health insurance that covers me in Panama and my home cou...

Moving-To-PanamaExpats Talk about What it's Like Moving to Panama

Already living abroad? Write a report about moving overseas to help people preparing to move abroad.

7 Best Places to Live in Panama

Panama is a great place to live or retire with easy residency laws, warm people and lots of expats. Whether you want to live by the beach in Bocas del Toro or need to live in Panama City for work and schools, there are many places to explore. We highlight 5 great places to live in Panama.

Panama is a great place to live or retire with easy residency laws, warm people and lots of expats. Whether you want to live by the beach in Bocas del Toro or need to live in Panama City for work and...

Panama Guide
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