Looking to relocate to Boquete, Panama? Take the Boquete Overview Tour first!

By Terry Richmeier and Manzar Lari

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Considering an international move can be overwhelming. Even the idea of it seems just too far-fetched and unattainable to most people. Here at Casa de Montaña we were once in your shoes as well. We had many questions that permeated our daily thoughts and even took away our sleep on many occasions. These questions took us all over the place – from residency questions to fear based comments of ‘’what the heck are we thinking of doing’’!   We had a long journey ahead of us and we took it one step at a time, starting with the land purchase to designing of our home, building of our home, furnishing our home and then eventually setting up and starting our business as a bed & breakfast. Looking back we can now see how far along we have come but it all started with setting the intention to do something and then staying the course. We are pleased to say that things have actually worked out for us quite well. There are some things we have learned along the way and we continue to learn something new each and every day. We want to help you along your journey as you try to reconcile between your desire for something better or different and the fear of ‘’what the heck are we thinking’’!

First of all, if you have done any level of research about Boquete, you are most probably aware of many of the benefits people write about on the internet such as the spring-like climate, availability of creature comforts, many volunteer opportunities, easy residency qualification, senior benefits, a robust expat community and tranquil living, just to name a few. We want to go deeper. We want to go beyond the basics and really engage in a dialogue or two and see what is truly important to you! (Manzar really cannot help himself… he is a Life Coach and a Psychologist at heart and by profession and is quite passionate about seeing others materialize their dreams).

There is the question of ‘’Do we build a home, buy a home or maybe we just want to rent”? The answer is different for different people. It’s important to know in advance what you may or may not be facing once you move here and see how you want to progress. While it is assumed that there are always some risks involved here since you are not going to be able to know everything ahead of time, it is also advisable to get the “real scoop” from people who are already living here to mitigate those risks.

Of course, a good place to start is with an email conversation or two with us! Feel free to ask away and we will respond with our best knowledge on the subject. We have also put together a ‘’relocation’’ tab on our webpage (http://www.casademontana.com/boquete-relocation/) that will give you referrals to people in their field of expertise to get you started. There are links to some great websites and blogging sites as well. While this is all great information, it is still not going to be a substitute for actually coming and visiting a time or two to really get a feel for Boquete and the many Panamanians and expats that call this place their home. Just makes sure you give yourself several days (a week or more?) so you can experience some of the activities and sites for yourself and visit with some people for heart-to-heart conversations.

While you’re here, let’s sit down during our Social Hour or find some time to answer your questions to the best of our abilities as we have been through this process and continue to keep up on the latest information. From time-to-time we invite some of our many expat friends to join us during the Social Hour to have informal discussions with our guests who are contemplating a move to Boquete. Many of our guests have found these discussions to be very informative and helpful in solidifying their game plan as they formalize their strategy – an informed mind is a restful mind!

While you are staying with us, or even if you are staying elsewhere, set up and plan a BOT – BOQUETE OVERVIEW TOUR ($35 per person, minimum of two people). BOT is designed specifically for you to find out answers about Boquete and the neighborhoods within and surrounding Boquete. From the comfort of our van you will tour through and visit many of the neighborhoods in Boquete and you will learn about the types of housing (for sale as well as rental) available in each of the neighborhoods. We will talk about Boquete’s micro-climates and things to consider before committing to living in a particular neighborhood. The main goal of this 3.5 hour tour is to help you see possible areas and neighborhoods that you could call home here BEFORE sitting down with any of the realtors in town. Why waste your time looking at their computer with multiple listings and visiting potential homes to buy or rent when you don’t even have an idea of the various neighborhoods that may be more to your liking?

Some things to consider prior to committing to live in Boquete area: What kind of residency will I qualify for that will suit my needs? How much will it cost me per month to live in Boquete? What are my healthcare options? What kind of internet and WIFI signal strength is available in an area if I am planning to work remotely while living here? What about the cable service, is it any good? Will I get a lot of channels? Can I rely on the electrical power or should I be purchasing a back-up generator, just in case? Are there water distribution issues and is the water drinkable? Should I be concerned about safety? Are there zoning laws I should be concerned about if I am thinking of starting a business from my future property? Is mold a problem? Are there areas that have extremely high wind certain times of the year? Are there areas that get more rain? We may not have all the answers but we have resources that we can connect you to so that you can find the answers.

So begin with us and the Boquete Overview Tour through Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast and then we can get you connected to the right real estate persons for your needs as well as many of our expat friends. Oh, by the way, some of the real estate agents do rental management as well! Mention that you would like to schedule with us for the tour while you book through our website. Don’t forget to look at our current “specials” before booking your stay with us. They are tailor-made for you. See you soon!

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