Oceanfront Living – Yes or No?
Like many people, when I first came to Panama I thought to myself “I want to live on the beach, because it just seems like it would be really great.” Well, I looked at quite a few oceanfront listings, and I talked with numerous people who actually live on the beach, and I came to a very definite conclusion: I wouldn't live on the beach in Panama if you paid me. Let’s run down the reasons:
1) Heat. It never lets up on the beach; it’s like living in a preheated oven, even at night. Ocean Ridge Estates is only four miles from the ocean and 400 feet up, but that’s enough to make a significant difference in the temperature – I would say about ten degrees, especially at night. We also get consistent, refreshing breezes that come down from the mountains, but die down completely before they reach the beach.
2) Mugginess. The air just feels heavier on the beach, and it tends to wear on you. The air is definitely drier in the foothills, and it feels much better to be outside.
3) Bugs. The beach always has millions of bugs, and it’s a constant battle. Don’t get me wrong – we have bugs around the project (although no mosquitoes), but nowhere near as many as oceanfront dwellers have to contend with.
4) Saltwater corrosion. This is the 800 lb gorilla that you never hear about, but if you can get people to be honest with you they will admit that it is a nightmare. Anything metal outside is completely corroded within a year, as well as many things on the inside of the house. It’s a constant maintenance issue, and something that we just never have to contend with up in the hills.
5) Title. This may change at some point in the future, but right now you can’t own land within 200 meters of the beach practically anywhere in Panama. There are a very few exceptions, but not many. This is one of the biggest areas of fraud in Panama – many developers will tell you that their oceanfront lots are titled (or in the “process” of being titled), but they are lying to you. It’s actually called Right of Possession, which means that you don’t own it and the government can legally take it away from you anytime they want, for any reason. If you buy one of my titled lots, you own it and nobody can ever take it away from you, just like in the United States. For this reason alone, I think that people who “buy” oceanfront property are nuts, but maybe I’m just paranoid.
6) Views. This is probably a matter of personal opinion, but I think the views around Ocean Ridge Estates are vastly superior to anything on the beach. Sweeping, panoramic mountain views are much more inspiring and interesting to me than simply looking at the ocean. Again, that’s just my personal preference.
The beautiful thing about Ocean Ridge Estates is that you can have an ocean lifestyle, but you don’t have to put up with living on the ocean. You also can have all of the benefits of a mountain lifestyle, and be able to go to the beach whenever you want. It truly is the best of both worlds.
Come on down and see for yourself!