Panama City & Island Real Estate
巴拿马城市及海岛地产

Global Marketing Agent 全球市场代理

Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS)

度假区及第二套房产专栏

National Association of REALTORS® GREEN Designee

美国房地产经纪人协会

PLATINUM SKY CORP.

www.buyhomespanama.com

www.buyhomespanama.com(English website)

1-800-790 2529 (免费电话)

(507) 6231 4301 (巴拿马)

与巴拿马的连接
高端地产

Toll Free : 1 888 8990019 |

Please contact me today for your complementary copy of the October 2013 SnapStats market update to see what is happening re. real estate sales in areas around the Lower Mainland, including in West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Downtown Vancouver and Vancouver West. An informative report giving you a smart, simple, single page summary for each city.

 

 

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Take a look at the following articles:

 

"Is Building a Green Home Becoming More Mainstream?" 

 

This article explores the trend that seems to be gaining popularity in the home building sector - "building green." The use of recycled and environmentall friendly building supplies are becoming a much more accepted practice. The article also explores the advantages of building a green home.


 

 

 

 

"Keep Water in Your Fridge"


This article talks about water and energy savings as well as the benefits to your health of keeping a container full of water in your refrigerator. 

 

 

 

 

 

As a NAR Green Designee, I like to share articles that help you live in a more sustainable way. 

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As a NAR Green Designee, I wish to provide my clients with useful information regarding Green and Sustainable Housing. Please click on the following link for some great information on what you can do to achieve energy and cost savings!:

 

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/construction/green/10-eco-friendly-construction-options-any-budget.htm#page=0

 

*Taken from the Green Resource Council website

 

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As an NAR Green Designee, I would like to share some things that can you can do to make your home more energy efficient as well as save you money.

Did you know about the following incentives / rebates?:

  • ENERGY SAVING MORTGAGES 

         - Financial institutions provide a range of mortgages to home buyers and owners    

           who make their homes more energy efficient. For example, have a look at the

           following 2 links:


http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/bank-and-utilities-incentives.aspx 

http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/mortgages/energy-saver-mortgage.html
=====================================================================

  • LIVE SMART BC: EFFICIENCY INCENTIVE PROGRAM


http://www.livesmartbc.ca/incentives/efficiency-home/index.html

============================================================================================

  • BC HYDRO REBATES


- Fridge Buy-Back Program
- Appliance Rebates

- Home Electronicste Program

- Lighting 

 


http://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/rebates_savings.html

============================================================================================

  • NORTH SHORE TOILET REBATE PROGRAM


http://www.westvancouver.ca/Level3.aspx?id=2690


- click the link on the page to download the brochure and application form.

======================================

  • CITY OF VANCOUVER - GREEN RENOVATION GUIDE:


http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/green-bath-laundry-renovations.pdf

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I watched "Surviving Progress" and it made me think about the ways that I could live a more green and sustainable life. 

 

What does living green mean to you?

 

Are you someone wanting to build an energy efficient home from scratch, retrofitting your home with green features, wanting to improve your home's indoor air environment or simply making your home more energy efficient? If you answered yes to any of the above, you are making a pledge to live a more green and sustainable life.

 

We can all change our habits and ways of doing things. In this blog, I would like to offer a few tips on low-cost ways that you can live a more green and sustainable way of life. There are many larger improvements that you can make to your home and I would like to be your trusted advisor offering you resources and information on green options that are available.

 

 

Recycle Responsibly:

 

  • Dispose of your electronics and household appliances (e.g. televisions, radios, refrigerators, freezers, computers, CFL bulbs, batteries, cell phones etc.) responsibly. Look online for the recycling facility located closest to you.  

 

                              

 

 


Gardening: 

 

  • Water your garden early in the morning to avoid evaporation
  • Use soaker hoses
  • Use native plant species in your garden that do not require much water beyond that of rainfall
  • Use an outdoor water timer to ensure correct amount and frequency
  • Consider composting and mulching which is laying organic materials such as compost, aged wood chips, leaves or grass clippings around landscaping beds and plants
  • Consider rain harvesting or using a grey water system, If your municipality or neighborhood permits this

 

                                                       

 

 


Fertilizers and Pest Control:

 

  • Before resorting to harmful pesticides, try these options:
  •   - Remove dead plants and pull weeds around the property
  •   - Select pest resistant plants
  •   - Use physical traps or barriers (only use organic pesticides as a last resort!)

 

 

                                 

 

 

 


Use Green Cleaning Products:
 

  • Use green seal products or eco-safe products around your house.
     

                                                     



Wood Products: 

 

  • If you are purchasing wood products, choose those that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Also use reclaimed and recycled wood products whenever you can.

 

 

                                   

 




Lighting: 

  • Switch off any unnecessary lights
  • Changing your incandescent bulbs with CFL (Compact Flourescent Lights) or LED (Light-emitting Diodes) bulbs have several benefits from saving energy to reducing energy costs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. CFL bulbs are definitely an upgrade to incandescent lighting (more energy efficient and lowers your lighting cost), however CFL bulbs contain a slight amount of mercury which raises concerns about proper disposal and handling in case the light bulb breaks.

                                                       

 

                                                           CFL Bulb:        

 

                                                      

 

 

  • An even better alternative to CLF's are LED light bulbs. Why are they better and is the initial cost worth it? (you can purchase these at most home improvement stores and cost approx. $20.00 per bulb after rebates). Even though LED bulbs are more expensive, they have an estimated life of 25,000 hours for residential use - that's amazing! To demonstrate their life, an LED light installed in an infant's room would only have to be changed when he/she graduates from college.

                                                           LED Bulb:    


                                                

 

 


Painting around the house / choosing a carpet:

 

  • If you are planning on re-painting your house, choose low- VOC or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and low toxic paints. When choosing a carpet, pick one that is low-VOC. Carpets are sometimes a host to numerous problems and act like a reservior for dust mites, pet dander, pollen, odours and more. Consider having your carpet professionally cleaned on an annual basis. Moreover, carpets are a short-lived product and usually end up in landfills or incinerators, therefore hard flooring options such as bamboo flooring (bamboo is considered a type of grass that grows at a fast rate) are a good alternative. 
     

                                                




Shower heads / low flow faucets:

  • Replace your shower heads and faucets with low-flow equivalents.  

 

 

                                     

 


Replacing Appliances: 
 

  • If you are replacing your appliances, make sure to select Energy Star Appliances.
     

                            



Shop at Your Local Farmer's Market:  

 

Choose natural or organic locally sourced and produced foods at your local farmer's market. There is an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs, poultry, meats and more available at most local farmers markets. By making a pledge to eat local, you are reducing your local carbon footprint and supporting your local economy.    Have a look at the following links to find one near you:  

 

http://www.eatlocal.org/markets.html - Vancouver Area Farmer's Markets http://www.northshorefarmersmarkets.com/ - North Shore Farmer's Markets  

 

Implementing some or all of the above steps is a good way to start being more environmentally responsible and at the same time improving your family's comfort and health.  

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Have a look at these 2 great new listings for sale in the Republic of Panama:

 

Property for sale in Las Lajas Beach 

 

Recently built elegant 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house located in an upscale community in Las Lajas Beach, Chiriqui Province. Steps away from the best beach in western Panama, this home offers great rental potential and more. 

 

Offered at USD $295,000

 

 

 

 

Property for sale in Bocas del Toro (Caribbean) 

 

Recently built 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa located on a picturesque 7 acre property on an island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. The two story house has large decks on each level showcasing spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea.

 

Offered at USD $365,000 


 

 

 

 

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I have posted 3 area videos and thought I would like to share the process of how I made them. I envision providing my clients with information about the different areas of Vancouver. By showing snap shot videos of the different areas, I feel that one is better able to get a feel for what the area looks like (even before arriving in Vancouver).

 

Equipped with a camera attached to my vehicle, I drove around the different areas acquiring quite a bit of footage which then had to be carefully reviewed to only use a small amount of the footage since I wanted these videos to be less than 2 minutes each. 

 

Using an editing program, I added an introduction, effects (including speeding up the video) and music to complement the videos. Stay tuned for more area videos including downtown Vancouver, Vancouver Westside and other areas of the North Shore. 

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Panama City, Panama 


When you are flying above Panama City and you have a window seat, you may think that the city looks like a piece of Manhattan with skyscrapers dotting the horizon, unlike any other city in Central America. 

 

The temperature in the city remains relatively constant throughout the year with an average temperature of 27.3 Degrees Celcius with high humidity all year round, but every building has air conditioning. I visited the city during the rainy season, but it usually rained during the evenings, which was nice since it did not disrupt my daily activities and was quite refreshing. 

 

Panama City is a city of contrasts with hundreds of skycrapers, numerous residential neighbourhoods and old historical areas such as Casco Viejo. Panama City is surrounded by a stretch of tropical rainforest. The city is vibrant and the Panamanian people know how to enjoy life with a good work and play balance. There is an array of restaurant choices available from budget eating to fine dining. Some of my favourite restaurants was a Lebanese restaurant called "Beirut", a seafood restaurant called "Lenos Y Carbon" and "Miato" Restaurant offering international cuisine in Coco del Mar. 


There are also a great number of entertainment areas offering bars, nightclubs, lounges in areas such as Calle Uruguay, Zona Viva on Amador Causeway, Casco Viejo, San Francisco and many more. 


Shopping is great with many options to choose from. Several malls cater towards all kinds of shoppers, from budget shopping to ritzy shopping options offering a handful of designer options. The prices in Panama City vary greatly on where you shop. You can buy a can of domestic beer (called Balboa or Panama) in supermarkets for USD 1$ or a bottle of Californian wine for $4 - $5. One litre of milk costs approx. $1.30 and a 1.5 litre bottle of water can be bought for a dollar. However the designer stores offer their products at a price only a little cheaper than Canada or at the same prices. 


Panama City is a safe city and I did indeed feel safe in the day and at night. There are however, as with other major cities in the world, areas to stay clear of.

 

I visited a great deal of projects and apartments / condos in the city and you will find pictures of some of these below. 


This was a shot that I took of the promenade adjacent to Avenida Balboa


Visited the Santa Maria Golf and Country Club 


A map showing the location of the Santa Maria Golf and Country Club 


This was one of the luxury homes in the Toucan Country Club and Resort

located across the Bridge of the Americas. The Toucan Country Club and

Resort is a 180 acre private gated golf community.

 

This was taken on the roof top deck at the Riverside Building in Costa del Este.

It had beautiful views of the City and Amador Causeway.

 

 

Wow! Look at this gym in the Riverside Building. Imagine working out to views

of the ocean.


Beautiful view of Casco Viejo (the Old City), a UNESCO World Heritage Site

from one of the condos in the Rivage building on Avenida Balboa. 


This was taken from the rooftop deck at the Rivage Building on Avenida 

Balboa. I was amazed how high this was!


A view of Ancon Hill and old Spanish style buildings. I really like the fact that the

city is full of palm trees.   


Getting into the Panamanian spirit with my hat at a market in Casco Antiguo

(in the old town)


There were so many restaurant options in Panama City. Have a look at some of 

the delicious food that I ordered in Casco Viejo.


Corvina (Sea Bass) Ceviche. It was delicious!


Calamari Dish perfectly cooked!


Bisque with a large prawn (Camerones).


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MY TRIP TO BOQUETE, PANAMA

 

Boquete, Panama is a small town located only 30 minutes from David, the capital of Chiriqui Province. It is known to be one of the best retirement places in the world. Contributing factors include:

 

- Boquete's affordability

- There is lots of virgin land where you can grow your own produce. There is also a farmers  market where you can get locally grown fruits and vegetables

- People who moved to Boquete saw an increase in their social lives

- Boquete offers a relaxing lifestyle

 

The town enjoys a comfortable year round climate which is ideal for active retirement living or outdoor adventure seekers looking to take advantage of the ample activities available such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, bird watching etc. 

 

I found the town to be very pleasant with many restaurants, shops,and adventure outlets and it appeared clean. There are also lots of groups for expats, which is great for people who have just moved to the area to feel acquainted to Boquette and to share their interests with other like-minded people. 

 

The houses are built at various altitudes which enables buyers to chose houses at different temperatures / micro climates. 

 

Even though Boquete is known to be a retirement haven, the demographics are changing with more and more young families moving there. 

 

See my photos here-under of my trip to Boquete. 

 

One of my first stops was to one of the only castle homes in Panama 

 

The castle home even had a moat with massive gold fish. The fish would know

you were approaching the moat to be fed through the vibration of your footsteps!

 

The typical setting in Boquete. World famous for its coffee and natural flora.

 

One of the many rock climbing walls in Boquete area. 

 

You can find many waterfalls around Boquete. This one was located in the Palo

Alto region of Boquete.

 

 All roads around Boquete are paved, Very scenic!

 

A Panamanian school kid running by the car - fun for the day!

 

I went to visit the Valle Escondido Gated Community. This community was

featured on HGTV "House Hunters International." It was very well maintained

and surrounded by lush vegetation. 

 

The entrance to the lobby at Valle Escondido

 

Me at the indoor pool at Valle Escondido, Boquete

 

One of the outdoor swimming areas in Valle Escondido

 

Me with one of my counterparts in Boquete at Valle Escondido Gated Community

 

This was one of the many majestic homes in Valle Escondido 

 

 

 

 

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DAVID, LAS LAJAS BEACH & BOCA CHICA 


My trip to David, Las Lajas Beach and Boca Chica, all located in the Chiriqui Region - Republic of Panama.

 

I arrived from Panama City at David International Airport. The airport was clean and was under construction in anticipation for the new international terminal.  Las Lajas beach is located close to David, a major city in Panama and therefore is conveniently located.

 

Las Lajas Beach is a peaceful and there are unspoilt areas with miles and miles of uninterrupted beach. There seems to be a lot of potential for development as there is still lots of virgin land available. See land for sale under the "Las Lajas" properties tab. 

 

During my visit, I felt very safe as with most areas that I visited in Panama. The area is still very basic and there is a shopping area for groceries and other staples quite close to Las Lajas Beach. 

 

Las Lajas Beach seems to be a perfect location for those people wanting to have a vacation home or those wanting to live a simple life in beautiful surroundings. There is also great surfing available for both beginners and experienced surfers. The weather is generally stable, dry and pleasant. Even during the rainy season, one can still expect sunshine and warm weather and it usually only rains in the afternoon. 

 

  • I went to visit various homes and plots for sale in the Las Lajas Beach area.  

 

This picture shows the beautiful secluded beach at Las Lajas 

 

Me driving my rental SUV to the different areas

 

Home in Sol Y Mar Development in Las Lajas Beach. See this property for

sale on my site under the "Las Lajas" properties tab

 

Virgin land in Las Lajas Beach region

 

The road from the virgin land to the Las Lajas Beach Resort 

 

  • After Las Lajas, I went to visit a few properties in Istana Properties

 

Check out this beautiful house - I can envision myself living here!

 

I loved this master bedroom! Beautiful floors and view from the balcony. Imagine

waking up to that everyday. Have a look for this property on my site under the

"Boca Chica" properties tab

 

Me with one of my counterparts in Istana Properties 

 

Had a dinner at Seagullcove Resort and Restaurant in Boca Chica. The setting

reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean and the camarones (prawns)

were excellent. Check out the resorts site at seagullcovelodge.com

 

 

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