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Sunday, August 20 2017 @ 07:50 AM EDT

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Trumping Transparency - How Much Is The "Donald Trump" Name Worth?

Real EstateBy Jacqueline Palank - How much is the Trump name worth? The developer of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower in Panama wants to shield that information from prying eyes during its bankruptcy case.

Newland International Properties Corp. on Monday asked a Manhattan bankruptcy judge “to limit public access” to the licensing and other agreements that enable the developer to use the Trump name for the 2.8-acre tower overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Panama City’s Punta Pacifica Peninsula.

In court papers, Newland said that if confidential terms such as pricing and fees got out, it would put its use of the Trump name in jeopardy and possibly hurt the Donald himself.

“Exposure of this confidential commercial information would be detrimental to the debtor, its estate and creditors, as well as the Trump parties, who are party to various similar agreements with third parties,” Newland said. “The exposure of such terms would be anticompetitive to their business.”

While Chapter 11 is heralded for its transparency, companies can, and often do, ask to shield confidential and proprietary information from public view.

Court papers do show, however, that Newland owes Trump Marks Panama LLC, from which it licenses the Trump name, $15.3 million.

Newland sought Chapter 11 protection last week with a plan in hand to restructure $220 million in bond debt, which a bankruptcy court will consider approving at a May 28 hearing. The developer defaulted on its bond debt in November 2011 as a result of real-estate woes brought on by the global economic downturn.

Trump Ocean Club opened in 2011 and features 630 condo units and 369 hotel condo units as well as various shops, restaurants and offices. A private beach club is slated for completion this September, and Newland is also currently working on adding a 75,000-square-foot casino to the mix. (Wall Street Journal)

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Ave. Balboa - Vista Mar - $285,000

Real EstateThis apartment in the center of Ave. balboa has an amazing view to the Bay of Panama right from the living room and balcony. The Cinta Costera is just across the road, and excellent place for jogging or bike riding.

The building is also located within walking distance to the Calle Uruguay area, where there are many night clubs and entertainment opportunities.

The apartment itself is fully furnished with a size of 108 square meters, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen with all appliances included and a laundry room.

The building has an outstanding social area with a swimming pool, gym and a sauna.

Also the security in the building is 24/7 with a doorman to verify the entry and destination of everyone coming in.

For more information about this property contact don@panama-guide.com or via cell phone at 6614-0451. There are lots of images of this property below. (more)

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Ave. Balboa - Grand Bay Towers - $255,000

Real EstateThis marvelous apartment is located in Marbella right in front of Ave. Balboa with an exceptional view of the city of Panama, from the building itself you can walk to the Multicentro mall in less than 5 minutes.

There is a park in the area with a soccer field and playgrounds for children that has been recently been renovated.

The apartment building is the newest in the area and has excellent security, with a doorman who verifies the entry of all visitors. Apartment owners have a special key to get through the main door.

The apartment itself is 140 square meters with one bedroom and one and a half bathrooms, a very spacious living room with a beautiful view of the city of panama and a counter separating it from the kitchen.

For more information about this property contact don@panama-guide.com or via cell phone at 6614-0451. There are lots of images of this property below. (more)

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Trump Ocean Club Panama Goes Through Debt Restructuring

Real EstateNewland International Properties, Corp., developer of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower Panama seeks to restructure the debt in the bonds.

Panama’s investor community is watching closely to see the outcome that the restructuring of the bonds issued by Newland International Properties, Corp will have on Panama’s iconic development, Trump Ocean Club. The bondholders have until 5:00 pm on April 29th to accept or reject the bond-restructuring plan.

There have been countless calls from investors expressing their concerns and looking for more up to date and accurate information. As the property management company representing the largest group of investors in the project Punta Pacifica Realty aims to provide reliable information based on facts rather than opinion.

The words Chapter 11 has made many investors nervous but this is simply a re-structuring strategy necessary for the bondholders to move forward under new terms. According to Gary Lundgren, an investor closely associated with the project and who serves on the Board of Directors for the Trump Ocean Club project: “The USA Chapter 11 Newland bankruptcy only affects the bonds and NOT the building.”

The reality is that if 96-100% of the bondholders accept the restructuring proposal then the Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not necessary because the only purpose of the bankruptcy is to force the terms of the restructured bonds onto the non-consenting bondholders.

It’s extremely unlikely that 100% of the bondholders will accept a restructuring exchange offer so the Chapter 11 process is necessary to force the restructuring terms on dissenting “holdout” bondholders. The US courts appear to only have jurisdiction over the Newland International Properties, Corp bonds because US law, as structured in the indenture, governs them. This Chapter 11 process is a pre-arranged and pre-negotiated restructuring plan under the laws of New York.

Trump Ocean Club continues to be recognized as Panama City’s premier luxury resort providing solid rental returns for residential owners. Punta Pacifica Realty is Panama’s leading property management company managing the vast majority of residential apartments in the resort and working with the large multinational companies to ensure their executives have the opportunity to enjoy the exclusive Trump lifestyle. (Press Release)

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Red Frog Beach - Villa Cantata Del Mar - $675,000

Real EstateThis beautiful home in Red Frog Beach is surrounded by rainforest and perched on the hillside with unheralded views of the Caribbean Sea. Villa Cantata del Mar is being offered to someone looking for an investment or retirement home in one of Panama’s top destinations. The home includes a private infinity edge pool and is offered with a rental income guarantee and all furniture and decor included.

Since Oceans Group International took over the resort in 2008, the destination has developed into one of Panama’s most unique locations. Set on a Caribbean Island, the beaches and ecology of Bocas del Toro offers adventure, beauty and luxury to owners and those who vacation there.

This home has its own private Infinity Edge pool for those days you just want to relax without having to leave the comfort of your property.

The house also has a Rental Guarantee, if you decide to purchase the property but not reside in it, Red Frog Beach Resort will rent it out for you, if you desire.

The land is 2000 Square meters in size and the house is 288 square meters in size with two floors, four bedrooms, with two and a half bathrooms.

For more information about this property contact don@panama-guide.com or via cell phone at 6614-0451. There are lots of images of this property below. (more)

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Punta Chame Resort For Sale - $899,000

Real Estate For Sale - An operating resort located on the road to Punta Chame, just one mile off of the Pan American Highway.

The current owner had this property appraised within the past 60 days and the report came in at $1.2 million. The owner is motivated to sell for personal reasons and has reduced the price to $899,000. At this price, someone will be realizing an immediate 25% gain on their investment in a property which represents an excellent opportunity for development income.

The overall parcel of land is large, measuring 1.25 Hectares (or 3.08 acres).

The original plan and design called for the construction of a total of fifteen duplex units, each with one house (one or two bedroom depending on design) on each side. So far five of those buildings have been built - or a total of ten duplex units. Of those, seven have been sold to existing residents. The remaining three units are included in this purchase.

Each of the one bedroom duplex units measure a total of 61 square meters of construction space. They have a living room, dining room, kitchen, one bedroom, and a bathroom.

There is a large (233 square meter) swimming pool located in the center of this resort complex, which also serves as the social area for residents.

There's an area to the side with chest deep water with seats - perfect for enjoying an "adult beverage" while staying cool.

One of the buildings next to the pool houses the bar/grill on one end, and the fully equipped gymnasium on the other end. The total construction side of this building is 238 square meters. The gym has modern exercise equipment required to to work out the main muscle groups (machines) as well as free weights. The bar/grill area has enough space to comfortably fit 50 people.

The total area of the social area is of 1,579 Square meters

Another building on this property houses five commercial spaces which front on the road, designed to be rented to small businesses. This feature would also generate additional income.

The rest of the land is already subdivided into lots to allow for the construction of ten more housing units - or a total of twenty additional duplex units.

For more information about this property contact don@panama-guide.com or via cell phone at 6614-0451. There are lots of images of this property below. (more)



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Apartment For Sale In Punta Paitilla - $462,000

Real EstateThis Apartment is located in Punta Paitilla in Building Tamanaco, in the surrounding area there is a large park next to the Club Union and is walking distance to the Super 99 Grocerie Store, Power Club Gym, Multiplaza Mall and Multicentro Mall.

The Apartment has 3 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms and has an outside Terrace.

The View of the city is enhanced because the Building is sitting on top of a hill in Punta Paitilla.

For more information about this property contact don@panama-guide.com or via cell phone at 6614-0451. You can also click on this link to fill out an inquiry form and you will be contacted by a real estate agent who has been assigned to this property. There are lots of images of this property below. (more)

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Altos De Maria - Three Story Mountain Home - $479,000

Real EstateThis three story home in the mountains of Altos de Maria has a breathtaking view of the valley around it. At approximately 900 meters (2,950 feet) above sea level the cooler temperatures are excellent when compared to the heat and humidity in Panama City.

The view from the balcony is tremendous and you can see the Pacific Ocean with fantastic vistas at sunrise and sunset.

This house has a construction size of 427 Square Meters (4,596 Square Feet) and its on a lot size of 2,829 square meters (30,451 Square Feet).

The house has three bedrooms, four bathrooms and two and a half bathrooms. There's enough parking space for six 6 vehicles.

For more information about this property contact don@panama-guide.com or via cell phone at 6614-0451. There are lots of images of this property below. (more)

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Selling your Property in Panama - Exclusivity

Real EstateAs a general rule it is NOT a good idea to sign an exclusive listing agreement with a real estate agent or company. Due the lack of a fully integrated Multiple Listing System (MLS) in Panama, real estate agents and companies are as good as the clients they bring to the table. Sometimes they have the right clients and sometimes they do not. As a seller, you are limiting the exposure of your property by signing an exclusive agreement. If a real estate company insists on an exclusive agreement, they are probably not looking out for your best interests. Additionally, should your property sell during the terms of your exclusive listing period, whether by efforts of the exclusive listing agent or not, you are obligated to pay them a real estate commission, this is not the case with non exclusive agreements.

It all comes down to publicity and exposure. The more exposure the better your chances of selling. We recommend asking real estate companies for statistics on their demographics and reach as well as how they will promote your property.

Taxes due upon Sale

If you are looking to sell your property in Panama, one of the first details you should be aware of are the taxes due upon sale. Whether your property is in the name of a Corporation, or your own personal name, you should contemplate 5% of the final sales price in transfer and or capital gains taxes.

In the case of a share transfer of a corporation that holds a property, the law dictates that the buyer is to retain 5% of the sales price and take responsibility for the payment of taxes. This generally takes place within 10 working days of the share transfer being finalized.

In the case of a transfer of the property then there are two different taxes to consider. One is a 2% transfer tax, and the other is a 3% capital gains tax. Both of these taxes are calculated based on the registered sales price of the property and they must be paid before the transfer of the property can be finalized in the Public Registry of Panama. In cases where the old capital gains tax calculation (10% of the difference between the registered value and sales price) is less than the new 3% capital gains calculation, it is possible to ask for a reimbursement of the difference. This reimbursement generally takes about 4 or 5 months to complete.

Commissions

The standard real estate commission in Panama is 5% of the sale price. In some cases if the property is remotely located or requires special resources to show, such as island properties, it is common for real estate companies to charge a higher percentage to offset the expenses of showing the property. Commissions are generally paid for by the seller. If more than one real estate agent is involved in a sale, for example buyers agent and a sellers agent then they will split the overall commission between themselves.

Setting your asking price

It’s always a good idea to set your price based on a 3rd party property appraisal. There are a number of reputable appraisal companies providing property evaluations that are accepted by most major banks. These companies include: AIR, AVINCO, Zubieta y Zubieta, Panamericana de Avaluos and Panama Florida to name a few. While appraisals are not necessary for all properties, they are a very helpful tool in assessing a realistic market value, and are also vital in cases where the buyer requires bank financing.

When it comes to being competitive in the Panama Real Estate Market the rules are universal. Price yourself competitively with comparable properties, list your property with a few different real estate companies and present it in good showing conditions.

For more information, or to learn more about the real estate process in Panama, please contact: info@panamarealtor.com

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Panama Preconstruction Condo Market Update April 2013

Real EstateThe cranes are back in full force! Panama is experiencing a second wave of pre-construction development and absorption of the new inventory has been strong. According to one builder, pre-sales in their Santa Maria golf community project are coming in at a rate of 5-6 units per month with more than 70% of phase one already sold out. Many believe that the doubling of Panama Canal revenues combined with the completion of the massive infrastructure projects by the end of next year will be the catalysts that drive real estate prices, which is why smart investors are once again looking at projects in construction due for completion around the end of 2014.

Why buy pre-construction? As an investor, the potential upside is huge, but there are also some downsides. If you are in a position to put down 10% on a $400,000 condo to be delivered in — say, three years (which we all know in Panama means four) — you are essentially optioning at 2013 prices and banking on an increase over the time that the project takes to complete. As an investor looking to flip before completion, timing is critical. For the example above, if you sell your position in three years’ time for, say, $440,000 then you just doubled your investment.

Let’s take a look back in time: real estate prices in Panama doubled and in some cases tripled between 2005 and 2007. Pricing on condos for sale in Panama City, Panama have been flat over the last 24-30 months, but we have been tracking a noticeable uptick in certain areas of the city, meaning the timing may be interesting to once again consider an investment in a development under construction.

For the end user, if you are planning on living in your condo once it’s completed, putting down 10-30% towards the purchase price may make financial sense. Maybe you would like to invest the balance of the purchase prior to closing and liquidate when funds are needed, or maybe you are planning on selling other assets between deposit and closing so a longer payment structure suits your financial position.

Either way, there are also risks when purchasing pre-construction condos in Panama. The inherent risk of purchasing pre-construction is that you cannot see, touch, or feel the completed product. The quality of construction and finish level vary tremendously in Panama, and it is important to only consider pre-construction condos from reputable builders who are well funded, have all of their approvals and permits, and who provide detailed, unbiased contracts. Don’t believe the promises about “high quality” building materials, extra amenities, the best parking spaces, etc. and make sure to get everything in writing!

According to a country-wide real estate agent survey conducted by Panama Equity Real Estate last year, the estate agents we interviewed said that the three most reliable developers “completing the best product in Panama” were Bern, Corccione, and Aleman Arias/Grupo Los Pueblos Developers. There are a handful of other reputable builders out there, and there are also several that you should avoid.

Another factor to consider is timing. Most if not all new developments in Panama are delivered late, so don’t plan on two years being two years.

While the benefits of purchasing pre-construction in Panama have proven to be strong, the key to selecting a good pre-construction project is to do your homework and work with an informed, impartial Panama real estate agent.

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