Purchasing a piece of property now takes 23% longer than it did in 2016.
I wasn’t particularly surprised that it was taking people longer, but that it only takes people about 65 minutes to decide if a property is right for them, as opposed to the earlier 53 minutes. I should add, they found that people need to visit a property 2.4 times, with an average of 27 minutes for each visit, before deciding to sign on the dotted line.
According to the article, the longest time is generally the first visit and then a follow-up second trip to reinforce the initial decision. The statistics varied slightly for different areas on the globe, but when individuals were considering property in a foreign country, that time went up only slightly to about 78 minutes.
No Reason To Rush!
The last thing I think people should do is rush into a decision about buying property. Take as many visits as you need to feel comfortable. It’s a commitment and usually represents a large investment and a prominent portion of an individual’s overall portfolio. I am happy to work with any client or broker, who needs time to look at every option. Taking time always helps ensure the decision is right.
This research only considered how long it took someone to make a decision about a particular property, not the actual decision to buy. That made me feel better because no one should take less than a couple of hours to decide on buying property. The research referenced that much of the increase in time hinged on the uncertainty with Brexit as well as less narrow factors such as over-all economic uncertainty world-wide, the political climate in the States, Germany and China as well as the fact many younger individuals didn’t want to own property at all. I wanted to add to the research that everyone should come and feel what it is like before they even think about buying!
Come Stay Awhile!
When thinking about buying in Panama, I always encourage people to visit and try it out before even considering a long-term purchase. If the property is going to be a retirement home, maybe on the beach, then renting for several months is my best advice. You really can easily try before you buy. Lots of people invest in a property where they want to eventually locate, but rent the unit to help pay the mortgage prior to moving in. That’s a win, win in my opinion.
Things change dramatically when it’s an executive who has been ordered to relocate, as opposed to a personal decision. Deciding what property to purchase usually doesn’t take 2.4 visits or even 78 minutes if people have already come to the conclusion that buying is a better option than renting. Even then, I encourage people to slow down.
Looking At All The Angles
I am obsessive about research and I love the internet. I try to look at all angles about every available property so I can provide as much information as needed to make an informed decision. Buildings have personalities and even though they may be less than a mile apart, with a very similar amenities, there are always distinct things to consider. With a variety of people living in a building, the personality of the building becomes distinct and unique.
Answering All The Questions
Renting for months is rarely the case for relocating executives, so I try to carve out as much time as I think they will need and get everything into a tight package of information. The list of questions is almost always long, especially when executives have trailing spouses and maybe children. What about schools? Proximity to Tocumen International Airport? Can we find live-in help and what is that going to cost? Where do we find good deals on furniture? How do we set up a bank account and what about the telephone and internet?
I may not hand deliver you to the bank or translate your needs to a service provider, but I know great people who do that every day, all day long. I also don’t think you should worry about setting up hotel arrangements when you come into town for a property tour. If you book in the wrong area, we may be wasting a lot of time in rush-hour traffic. That is not a good situation for anyone.
Try Before You Buy!
I love explaining our “Try Before You Buy” program where we encourage people interested in a particular property, to stay at one of our buildings without charge. That way you can get the feel of the property, measure the commute and maybe see what the night life is like. People around the pool generally love to talk and most expats, as well as Panamanians, are very friendly. We encourage you to take your time and chat, sit back and imagine something long-term. For more information on this program, please visit my website: https://www.lizlarroquette.com/try-before-you-buy/.
Bottom line, buying property is generally a big decision. Take your time. Expect someone like me to be able to make finding the facts just a little bit easier. I can arrange a stay for you, a pick-up at the airport and a fast helicopter ride to get you to and from various properties.