An Easy Way To Build A House in Panama (Puerto Armuelles)
Are you looking for an easier way to build a house in Panama?
– Easier & More Affordable?
Check out the Living In Panama House
We do all the heavy lifting for you.
Only available in the charming beach town of Puerto Armuelles.
Find out more about this delightful tropical house below
(Start slideshow, click on any image)
Easy To Order – 3 Steps
Please read this entire page to fully understand what you will receive when you order a Living In Panama house.
We are very excited about our new beach house. We think you will love it too.
Complete the 3 Steps Below
We have quite a number of wonderful properties for you to choose from.
We think the most beautiful of them all are found at Corazon de Oro (Heart of Gold). You can also browse all of our Puerto Armuelles properties if you would prefer to live in town, or in another location.
Why Buy A Living In Panama House?
Building From Scratch Is Overwhelming
We created this house to meet the needs of our clients.
Many people we speak with are overwhelmed by the idea of building a new house on raw land, especially in a foreign country.
Many expat buyers can more easily visualize purchasing a “fixer” house, even if it needs of a lot of work. This is the main reason why so many folks end up buying an existing house to remodel.
Reasons to Buy A Remodeling Project
- Understandable. If you haven’t done one yourself, you know someone who has.
- Purchase price is lower than a new home
- Availability. In our area, there are almost no new houses for sale.
- Water & electricity at house – No need to get permits, meter, or dig trenches to install
Downside of a Remodel
Often what appears to be a simple remodel,ends up being an expensive and frustrating experience.
- Hidden costs, especially relating to sub-standard work done by former owners
- Extra time, and stress. An ill-conceived remodel can drag on a long time, and you won’t know the final completion date, or the final price tag, until the last coat of paint has dried.
Any Builder Will Tell You:
“It is almost always cheaper to build a new house than it is to remodel an existing house.”
Get Benefits of Remodel – But Without Downside
With the Living In Panama House you get the benefits of buying a remodel, but without the potentially expensive downside of unexpected hidden problems with the existing house.
The Living in Panama House is brand new. It isn’t a remodel. Your finish work is essentially customizing a new house.
The Living In Panama House Offers:
- High-quality new construction. No unexpected structural problems, etc…
- Water & Electricity to house. We obtain permits, deliver utilities to the house, and more (details below)
- Designed specifically for our tropical climate. Architect designed to be passively cooled – as well as A/C when you want it (details below)
- Flexibility and Choice. One size does not fit all. You choose where we build your new beach house. You choose your model (1, 2 or 3 bdrm), paint & roof color, whether to enclose more space, etc… You select your finishes.
- Control your own Budget. You choose the pace of your cash outlay. You can lock in a great investment in our fast appreciating real estate market, yet postpone your finishing your project until you are financially “fit” to do so. You can do the finishing touches yourself, and save even more, or use one of our recommended contractors.
- Design consultation. Have a question about your design wish list? Reyn is available for free design consultations.
- Low Price. You can buy a Living In Panama House starting at only $39,500. We strive to always offer the best quality and value in Puerto Armuelles.
How Do We Keep Our Prices So Low?
- Strong design concept, developed based on our clients’ needs. By having a standard plan, construction time and budget are far more predictable.
- You do the finishes. The biggest variable in the cost of custom residential construction is the client’s choice of finishes. You are in control of this phase of your project. We are available to help you.
We Are Here To Help You
We will be with you each step of the way.
We will walk you through the entire process. We will keep you updated you on your home construction, through email, photos and video.
Our assistance doesn’t end when we hand over your Living In Panama House to you.
- Available to help you select finishes
- Design consultations with Reyn – no charge
- List of contractors as well as skilled craftsmen and unskilled laborers to help you finish your house on time, and on budget.
Our Goal is for you to have a successful construction experience and to love your new home.
Step 1 – Select Your House Model
The Living In Panama House comes in 3 models
- 1 bedroom, 1 bath
- 2 bedroom, 1 bath
- 3 bedroom, 2 bath
The 1 bedroom is 1000 sq. feet, all on 1 floor.
The 2 & 3 bedroom models are 1300 sq. feet, all on 1 floor.
Ample floor plan allows you to get comfortable and enjoy life. But not too much space to clean, furnish, and maintain. Over time, if you discover that you need more room, this style of house is easy to enlarge.
Great effort was made to ensure both the design quality and affordability of the Living in Panama house.
$39,500 – 1 bedroom, 1 bath model
$49,500 – 2 bedroom, 1 bath model
$57,500 – 3 bedroom, 2 bath model
Enclose more space. As you see in the images, the main difference between the 2 & 3 bedroom models is that the 3 bedroom version has more enclosed space than the 2 bedroom version, plus an extra bathroom.
You can decide to enclose even more space – in any model – It’s up to you. Please note, more materials and labor are used when enclosing more space, so the final price tag will increase accordingly. We are happy to talk about the details.
You can also tell us the paint colors and roof colors you want to use. But you won’t need to do that at the time of ordering.
Here’s What You Get
Our Living In Panama House starts you off with the chassis or superstructure of the house.
Specifically, we will provide the following major construction elements:
- Interior/Exterior structure: The structure, including walls and columns, will have a smooth, floated concrete stucco finish.
- Plumbing: City water supply delivered to house. Obtain plumbing permits. Install rough-in: In-wall and In-floor plumbing. All pipes pressure tested and inspected. Everything is set for installation of fixtures of your choice.
- Electrical: Electrical wiring plan. Electrical permit. New electrical meter. City electrical power delivered to the property. All in-floor and in-wall conduit, outlet and switch boxes installed. All ready for you, or your electrician, to install your wiring, plates, fixtures, etc.
- Concrete floor: We pour top quality, 4” plus thick concrete slab. We use only the best materials available in Panama (no local river “ripio” as many contractors here use). Our level and thickness tolerances are also the best available, rarely more than plus or minus 1/4″ from dead level. This will make your tile contractor’s job much easier, of better quality, and far less expensive. This eliminates the necessity of shimming the legs of your furniture (common in Panama). Concrete slab will be ready for you (or your contractor) to install the floor covering of your choice.
- Insulated Roof: Ample roof overhangs and quality roof insulation, provide shade and heat protection from the sun. Structural steel supports are topped with high quality, standing seam, corrosion-treated metal roofing. Available in a variety of colors. This type of roofing is more expensive, but worth every penny. It provides the roof with long lasting protection from the elements, including sea air.
- Paint: All interior and exterior walls are primed and painted. You choose your paint color.
You Do The Finishes
As we described in detailed above, we provide you with the superstructure of the house, rough in plumbing, and more.
Once we are done with all those major items, you are in charge of the putting in the finishes. This both saves you money and gives you control over all the important design details.
Package of Finishes
When we say finishes we are including a full and wide range of items:
Appliances, ceiling fans, A/C units, doors, windows, ironwork, ceilings, plumbing and lighting fixtures, wiring, floor covering (typically tile), and cabinets.
Obviously, if you choose to install the top of the line appliances, expensive tile, and expensive windows, your costs will be much greater than those of someone who chooses more modest finishes.
With the Living In Panama House you are in charge of the final cost. Maybe having a high quality gas range is very important to you, but you are fine opting for standard quality windows. Again, you determine the final cost of your home, by the choices you make.
You also choose both the timing and who will do the finishes. You can postpone some of them, do them yourself, hire a contractor, or serve as your own contractor.
How To Do Your Finishes
There are 3 primary methods to do the finishes.
Method 1 – Hire A Contractor
The most recent information on hiring a general contractor in Puerto Armuelles indicate that finishing project will probably cost between
- $35,000 and $65,000 to finish
Of course, final cost depends upon the finishes you choose and your contractor.
We are happy to provide you with our list of preferred contractors.
Method 2 – Be Your Own Contractor
If you have the skill set and temperament to be your own contractor, you can simply hire skilled and unskilled laborers to work with you. You can save a bundle this way.
Please ask for our suggestions for sub-contractors and laborers.
2016 labor costs in Puerto Armuelles are approximately:
- A full- fledged journeyman – $30-$40 per day
- Laborer – $20 per day.
Depending on your finish details, we would advise you to allow between:
- $20,000 and $35,000 to finish
Method 3 – Do It Yourself
You can finish up your house yourself. Obviously, if you have the skills to do the necessary finishes, you will save the most money.
Depending on your finish details, we would advise you to allow between:
- $15,000 and $30,000 to finish
Keep in mind, that hiring laborers in Panama is very inexpensive. You might want to hire some laborers to help with the more strenuous or simple tasks that you don’t want to do.
Growing Number of Skilled Contractors & Tradesmen
Whichever option you choose, you will be happy to know that there is growing list of skilled contractors and tradesmen, as well as very affordable unskilled laborers for you to choose from.
Fortunately, as Puerto Armuelles continues its rapid growth, and becomes a destination of first preference among expats, there is a parallel arrival of qualified builders from areas such as Boquete, where the expat building boom hit first.
And, of course, our own local builders in Puerto Armuelles continue to gain experience by working with expat builders and clients. Now, more than ever before, there are a number of local contractors and tradesmen capable of building to the standards that the expat market demands. As this pool of talented workers continues to grow, finishing your new home is far less of an “adventure” than it would have been five years ago.
Step 2 – Select Your Lot
Where will you put your new beach house?
We are lucky to own one of the most beautiful properties in Puerto Armuelles– Corazon de Oro.
In phase 1 of Corozon de Oro, we offer 20 lots for sale. Some beachfront, some just back from the beach. Lot prices from $32K to $112K. You can find out more about these beautiful beach properties here
Feel free to have us build your Living In Panama House on any of our other beautiful properties. As you will see on our real estate page, we have many other properties.
- Beach front
- 100 yards (or less) from the beach.
- $32K to $112K per lot
You can see these properties in a downloadable pdf as well. You can download our Puerto Armuelles properties pdf here.
- You can also buy a our property without ordering a Living In Panama House
- Note: Living In Panama Houses are only available on our properties
Step 3 – Sign the Purchase Contract
Our lawyers will draw up the final purchase and sale documents
It is recommended that you have your Panamanian lawyer review any contract, before signing it. If you don’t have a lawyer, we can recommend one from our list of preferred lawyers. You can also look on any of the Panama forums for recommendations.
Signing Contract from Abroad
You do not need to be in the country to sign or pay for the property. Your lawyer can help you with this. We can assist you with details, advise you on what you will need to do.
If you have not been to Puerto Armuelles, or are not quite ready to make a big down payment, you can reserve your property. If this is of interest to you, ask us about this option.
Our Design/Build Expertise
We have the skills, experience, and crew to successfully build these homes.
For over 20 years, Reyn, of LivingInPanama.com, owned a successful design/build firm in Seattle.
In the late 1980s, Reyn attended the graduate school of Architecture at the University of Washington.
In addition, Reyn has intimate knowledge of how to get things done in Panama as quickly and efficiently as possible. He has been developing properties and building projects here in Panama for over 9 years.
Betsy also has significant experience in housing. After getting her Master’s degree in Urban Design & Planning, Betsy worked for many years as a housing planner. For instance, Betsy was both the visionary and the lead in transforming a 22 acre vacant site into a community with cohesive design guidelines, price points, and housing types.
In her early years, Betsy worked with both developers and builders in getting their building permits and dealing with building codes. Later on she developed a program for both for-profit and no-project housing developers to build housing that was both well-designed and affordable.
Both Reyn and Betsy’s knowledge and experience have been impo has been very helpful in creating the affordable and well-designed Living In Panama House.
More About The Living In Panama House
Embracing The Tropics & Nature
Our homes embrace life in the tropics and at the beach. Living In Panama Houses are designed so that you can hear the birds, the ocean waves, and enjoy nature all around you.
Passively Cooled Homes
The Living In Panama House is comprised of 60-70% passively cooled spaces.
What makes a home passively cooled
- Open floor plans
- Unimpeded air flow
- High quality roof insulation
- Big roof overhangs to keep the sun from warming the building surfaces
- Ceiling fans to enhance air movement and evaporation
Unexpected Consequences of Fully A/C Home
Until you experience it, it can be hard to realize how living in a fully air conditioned house can negatively impact your lifestyle.
Here are just 3 of these unexpected consequences:
- Isolation from the sounds of many wonderful tropical birds, ocean waves, and more.
- Reluctance to leave the artificially-cooled air & venture out into the comparatively hotter out-of-doors.
- Difficulty in noticing that a friend has dropped by for a visit, since the visitor cannot be heard above the sound of the A/C within the closed up house. This is especially true if privacy fencing prevents people from knocking on your door.
Air Conditioning In Living In Panama Homes
Some areas of our Beach House are designed for full, artificial, climate control (e.g., bedrooms and media room/office). Even for the purist, sometimes in the dry season, it is really too hot, and one needs a little break. Although, for many folks the cool ocean breezes, which are strongest in the hot dry season, cool the house sufficiently. This is especially true in our houses, which are designed to take full advantage of these refreshing breezes.
Some clients, especially those from warmer climates, may find there is no need for air conditioning at all. Our family uses only natural breezes (and we are from Seattle!) enhanced by electrical fans in our home (although, we wouldn’t mind A/C in our media room for those hottest of afternoons).
If a Living In Panama House fits your needs, we are thrilled. It will be a fun & satisfying adventure for all of us.
The Living In Panama House is easy to order. And we are here to help you all along the way.
A word of caution. Please be sure to visit Puerto Armuelles, before you buy. As I say elsewhere on this site, please make sure that Panama and Puerto Armuelles is the right place for you before buying