Commonly Asked Questions about Coronado

The Coronado property development group have developed a list of commonly asked questions from people looking to move to the area. There is some very useful information here:

1. Where is Coronado?
Coronado is located 50 miles away (about an hours drive) from Panama City.  To get from the City to Coronado is necessary to cross either the Bridge of the Americas or the Centenario Bridge.  After that the Panama-Chorrera Express Way (toll $0.50) will take you to the Panamerican Highway, from which you’ll go trough the towns of Capira, Gorgona and Chame.  Coronado is located 5 minutes away from Chame on the left hand side of the road.  Just follow the signs and you should have no trouble getting there.  Getting to Coronado is really easy; driving around the City can be a little more complicated, so be sure to get good directions on how to reach the bridges before mentioned.

2. Tell me about Coronado and who’s behind this development…
During the first years of the Republic, Don Gustave Eisenmann and Don Carlos Eleta acquired an estate over the Pacific Ocean sector in Panama.  A few years later, this land was visited by Bob Eisenmann, son of Gustave, who was amazed with the tourist and economical potential of the area, making it his main dream to create on this land the first recreational city in Panama.   In 1941, Bob founded the company to develop Playa Coronado and today, thanks to the efforts of his descendents, friends and property owners, this complete coastal development is considered to be the first recreational project in Panama, keeping alive the Bob´s dream.  Nowadays, Coronado still is an ongoing concern for the Eisenmann family, who after four generations of making the dream of a beach retreat  possible for hundreds of costumers, maintaining the kind of relationship with the “Coronadienses” that’s only possible by being passionate about what you do and offering a personalized service.

3. How can I buy a property in Coronado? (payment methods)
First of all, foreigners enjoy the same property right as Panamanian citizens. All property titles are registered at the Public Registry.  The same principle works for properties bought in Coronado.

As in most places you can choose the payment method that better suits your needs.  Some people choose to finance their investment trough the banking system (rates and conditions vary slightly from bank to bank) and banks like Banco General, HSBC, Scotia Bank, Banco Continental and Banistmo have trained personnel ready to tend to the International Investor. Others decide to pay for their little piece of Paradise the old fashion way, without financing.

Another choice is Coronado's financing for their lots. Coronado offers 75% financing for up to 30 years. There's no paper work and there's no need to get aproved. You just sign a contract and you're done. This is a great option for those who have the cash available to pay for the construction of their home. It is important to clear up that when you finance the lot, you cannot get the Deed to the property until you have paid the lot in full, so if you don't mind getting the Deed years later, you have no problem. There are thousands of folks who are paying their lots through our financing and used their own means to build their home.

Whatever you decide to do, we recommend having trusted legal counsel to advise you on local laws and help you establish a banking relationship for future dealings.

4. What kind of properties does Coronado has to offer?
Coronado is a mixture of villas, chalets, duplexes and condominiums; surrounded by the most complete infrastructure in the area. The members of the Coronado Group offer personalized tours for those interested in finding that little piece of paradise they’re looking for.

5. How can I find out about availability and prices?
In our website you’ll find a complete set of available lots, apartments and the price list for all our projects.  Prices and availability are subject to change without previous notice.

6. What infrastructure is already in place?
Facilities include full-scale supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, medical and veterinary clinics; gardening centres, hardware stores and outdoor markets. Members of the Coronado Golf & Beach Resort can enjoy of a championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio, lighted tennis courts, spa, swimming pools, restaurants and bars, conference rooms and playgrounds for kids.  There’s also an exclusive Beach Club and last but not least is the newly built Equestrian Club equipped with world-class facilities.

7. Do you build your own homes?
Yes. You may choose your future home from the following models: Falabella, Lipizano, Percheron and Casa Real.  All you need to do is decide how many bedrooms and baths you want, or if you prefer one or two stories. We take care of the rest.
By building your home with us you’ll save time and have access to very competitive prices, because we’ll follow the progress of the construction from start to finish ensuring that everything is on schedule.  That way you can spend your time exploring everything Coronado has to offer.

Here in Coronado we are aware that a personalized service is very important. That’s why offer an innovative “Turn Key” system, designed to make sure, that from a distance and via the Internet, you can remain on top of the progress of your construction. 
We will also help you equip your residence.  Working in conjunction with various providers, we can offer to help you furnish your new home.  If you need household appliances, Internet service, landscaping, electronics, etc… we’ll help you outfit your home with everything you require.

Another advantage of choosing Coronado as your future home is that we can build any extras that you may want and will help you equip you home.

8. How does the cost of living in Panama compare to the US?
Panama is one of the best places in the world for retirees and investors today, combining a low cost of living, near-perfect weather and one of the world’s best discount programs for retirees, with up to 50% off everything from public transport to movies, mortgage rates, doctor’s visits, electricity, restaurants and airfares. The cost of living in Panama can be up to 30% less compared to most places in the US.

9. What about property taxes?
The actual tax code provides for a 20 year exemption on property tax for new constructions.  After that period taxes are paid as follows:
• Properties with a registered value of up to US$30,000.00 are not subject to real estate tax
• Properties with a registered value ranging from US$30,000.00 to US$50,000.00 must pay real estate tax at a rate of 1.75%
• Properties with a registered value ranging from US$50,000.00 to US$75,000.00 must pay real estate tax at a rate of 1.95%
• Properties with a registered value over US$75,000.00 must pay real estate tax at a rate of 2.10%

One quick note on Income Taxes. Panamanian banks do not report accrued interest to the IRS, they leave that up to you. If you decide to retire in Panama using their pensionado program, as a U.S. citizen living overseas, the IRS still requires you to file an annual federal income tax return, but some expatriates decide not to. All may be well for up to ten years, when they attempt to renew their U.S. passports, which requires providing their SSN. The IRS then checks to see if they are current on filing annual federal income tax returns and paying taxes due, if any. If the IRS finds that they aren’t current, the Department of State will not renew their passport until the IRS receives the returns and/or blood money.

10. What are the maintenance fees for properties in Coronado?
General maintenance fees are paid depending in the area where you buy your property.  In the Golf Development the maintenance fee is included in the $180.00 Resort membership fee.  In the Equestrian Club the maintenance fee is $100.00 for non Resort Members and $50.00 for Resort members.  Owners in the Alcazar will pay a maintenance fee of approximately $265.00 plus the Resort membership fee.

11. Where should I go in case of a emergency or if I’m in need of medical attention?  
Coronado is located 5 minutes away from public hospitals in Chame and San Carlos.  In case of an emergency the local fire department has an ambulance that offers first aid services to the Coronado area.  If  you need specialized treatment in the city, private companies like Alerta and Semm offer ambulance services for really good prices and offer membership packages. For basic medical attention and consultations, Dr. Hermes Montenegro has a private practice in the entrance of Coronado.

12. Tell me about Panama…

Source: CIA World Factbook
Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Currency: US dollar
Area:  total:  78,200 sq km
land:  75,990 sq km
water:  2,210 sq km
Elevation Extremes:  Lowest point:  Pacific Ocean 0 m Highest point:  Volcan de Chiriqui 3,475 m
Population:  3,039,150 (July 2005 est.)
Nationality:  Noun:   Panamanian(s) Adjective: Panamanian
Ethnic Groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%
Languages: Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
Government Type: constitutional democracy
Administrative Divisions (Provinces): 9 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas(Kuna Yala), and Veraguas
National Holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1903)
Legal System: based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Telephone System:
Domestic and international facilities well developed
International: country code - 507; 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave System

13. Tell me about the Pensionado Visa
Without a doubt, Panama's Pensionado Visa is the best program for retirees the world over. To qualify for the Pensionado you must:
• Be in good health
• Have an up-to-date passport from your country of residence.
• Have a verifiable minimum monthly retirement income or pension of $500 from a government or private company fund. For dependents (such as a spouse or children), you must show an additional $100 of income per month for each.
• If you do not meet the monthly pension requirement, you can instead deposit $150,000 in the National Bank of Panama. The interest from this account is proof to the government that you will be guaranteed a steady monthly income. You will have no problem withdrawing these funds should you decide to leave the country permanently.
• No age requirement.
• Have a clear police record for the past five years.
    Once you qualify, you get significant discounts on just about everything in Panama:
• Tax exemption to import a car every 2 years
• Import tax exemption for households up to US$10,000
• Tax freeze on property taxes
• 50% off entertainment including movies, concerts, theatre etc. (a regular movie ticket costs $4 - the retiree price is $2.00.)
• 25% off restaurants
• 50% off hotel accommodations Monday- Thursday
• 30% off bus, boat and train fares
• 25% off domestic airline tickets
• 10% off prescription medicines (much cheaper than US prices to begin with)
• 15% off dental and eye exams
• 50% off closing costs for home loans… and lots more

14. Where to stay while in Coronado?
In Coronado you can find the Coronado Hotel and Resort.  The first 5 star hotel in the area, with 78 comfortable suites and where guest can enjoy of all the facilities of the Coronado Beach and Golf Resort.