Sunday, February 17, 2008

El Valle for horses?

Only a few days ago I installed a contact form on this blog (upper left corner) so that readers can send me messages or questions, and already I've received a question from a reader:

Hi, Hope you can help us. Is it possible to find 3+ acres with some sort of home on it in El Valle, affordable to working middle class gringos from California?

Is the grass okay for horses?

Thank you !

- Laura

My response:

Hi Laura,

Thanks for your email. To answer your question in a word, maybe. Depends on your particular financial situation.

There are indeed large lots available for purchase in El Valle, particularly on the edges of town. Land here is priced by the square meter (m2), or the hectare (a hectare is 10,000 m2). An acre is 4,046 square meters. So three acres is about 12,000 square meters, or 1.2 hectares.

The going price for land in El Valle is about $30/m2 and up (sometimes as high as $50). At the lowest price of $30, an undeveloped lot of 12,000 m2 would cost you $360,000.

If indeed you could afford it, I would say it's a good buy. Property values in Panama are constantly climbing. And El Valle is an amazingly beautiful place.

There are many horses here. I often see riders on the roads and side streets, and horses can be seen grazing almost any plot of unoccupied land here, so presumably the grass is just great.

Land outside El Valle is much cheaper. You can get land in other parts of the mountains, or in the lowlands around Penonomé (for example) for as little as $5/m2, and in very remote locations it's even cheaper than that. At that price you could get your three acres for $60,000 or less.

Best of luck.


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