All posts by Don Ray

About Don Ray

US retiree living in David, Chiriquí Panama. David, Chiriquí Warden for the US Embassy in Panama City.

The story of milk:
Good milk.
Bad milk.
Disgusting milk.
Dangerous milk.
Cheese!

I love a happy ending.

Not A Great Day – And Yet Better Than It Could Have Been

This morning I needed to run to Boquete to take care of an Embassy case. We left a little early because we needed to run by the bank first. A block from the house, I hear this noise and it sounds like a tire.

Sure enough, I had a flat. I pulled to the side of the road and pulled out the spare and jacked up the car. Then I couldn’t get the lug nuts to budge. As luck would have it, a Panamanian stopped and was wearing heavy duty boots and was able to jump on the lug wrench and loosened the nuts. Whew. Lilliam gave him $5 for his assistance.

Went to the bank on the mini spare and then to a tire repair place next to the new Super 99. The tire fellow pulled out a large nail and patched the tire. He asked Lilliam for $3 and she gave him $4.

Then off to Boquete to pick up items for the Embassy for a US citizen that had died. Continue reading Not A Great Day – And Yet Better Than It Could Have Been

Diet tip: If you think you’re hungry, you might just be thirsty. Have a bottle of wine first and then see how you feel.

Splendid business opportunity for sale!

I received a request to post the following. As I state with all such posts, it is up to the interested parties to do their own due-diligence.

The opportunity of a lifetime! This property/business/opportunity we offer you is approaching its time in development. Our vision for this storage business has steadily continued to grow into different chapters and the growth of this area (with tremendous rise in population) has not disappointed.

In 2007 we realized that there were no public storage facilities in the area yet people were moving here and building homes, especially in Boquete. 8 years later we know we were on the right track – our storage capacity and business has more than doubled since its inception and opening. With the growth of our business also came older age for the 3 owners/partners. We have ideas and ambitions and plans, and will continue with them, but the business now needs some younger blood for continued successful growth.

Today our 1.02 hectare titled property, located on a major new 4-lane highway, prime location between 2 rapidly growing areas of Boquete and David, is 85% leveled, 40% utilized, contains a nice 3 bedroom house our manager lives in, and a 38 foot fifth wheel motor home which sits under a grove of trees, for the owner’s use.

In addition 13 marine containers are divided into 52 storage units of various sizes, and we offer car, boat, and RV storage; an income of over$5,000 monthly is possible. We have always averaged 75-85% occupancy and have expanded as necessary. Every year we have increased our income.

In addition we host a monthly flea market going strong for 4 years now, about 60 – 80 vendors, a nice side income for the owners. We also have a small corner of our property leased for 20 years for an internet tower. In addition to the rent, we also get free internet. We also accommodate RV’s traveling through Panama with camping and hookups. An onsite ozone clinic funded by two of the owners is also available and not included in this sale.

The property is shaded with many trees and plants and features a year round creek running through the property and a creek outside running front of the gate. There is never a water issue as our 40 foot deep well provides us with pure drinkable water all year long.

Above is what we currently have built; below is a look at prospective opportunities for the prospective buyer:

The north end of the property houses the flea market and 3 block and concrete storage units. The storage units currently provide $630 per month in rent and the open flea market area provides approximately $800/mo net to the owners. The total square feet of this area is 30×80 (2400 square feet, including the storage units). (Two of these units measure 15x9x10ft, one measures 30x9x10). Total monthly revenue from this area is currently $1,430 per month.
Suggestions for alternative uses of this space and further development are:
Expand the storage business in this locale, 6 more units (approximately 40 sq. ft.), at a cost of $5, 000 each ($30,000 total), and with 70% occupancy rate you will amortize your investment in two years. After that it is pure profit. Currently we are keeping the flea market as a community service since we’ve initiated Phase II of the business in the back lot.
Alternatively this north area can be converted to a business mall with rents of configured units of approximately $2.50/sf, yielding each unit approx. 270 sf, at a rent of $675/month = $4,050 per month ($48,600/year). This is a prime possibility given the growth in the area north and south, the location, and lack of shops, restaurants, and services.
In the back lies a grassy area and seasonal creek (mostly year round) where 6 condos can easily be built. This is a more ambitious project as the cost of construction is around $100/sf. There are no condos in this area and they would be welcome. Most people now moving to Panama (Chiriqui) are looking to rent or live in a smaller space. Easy for locking and leaving. Also some buy condos as an investment and rent them out. Condos at 1000sf each cost $100,000 and each can sell for $140,000, more or less. Possibly 6 units with a pool and stream running by would be a good project. Total costs equal over $1,000,000 but the return on your money will be at least 10-15%.
Another idea that was presented to us in the same area is a small hotel. Figure a cost of about $1,000,000 again for the construction, and possibly 15 rooms for rent, plus a swimming pool. Rooms about $90 per night each night = $1,350 per night (total capacity), = $40,000 per month, optimum.

All the above have been developments beyond our scope and plans at this time. There is also room for expansion as the lot south of the property is for sale at a very reasonable price.

Note: The cost of operating a business is much less than in the United States or Canada. Our employee earns $22 per day, 6 days a week, plus benefits including the house for he and his family to live in.

Price: $750,000.00 Price Reduced $679,000
Contact Linda 6503-7756 or chiriquistorage@gmail.com for more information

HERE is a Video of the property.

I just heard Lilliam tell our neighbor –

“Love means seeing past their flaws.
Their many flaws.
Their many, many, many flaws. Oh, god … so many flaws.”

Message for U.S. Citizens: Voting Outreach Events

Following is the latest ACS message.

                                           U.S. Embassy Panama City

Invites

U.S. Citizens in Panama to an Absentee Voting Outreach Event for the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election

 

What:   Representatives from American Citizen Services will be available to answer questions about the absentee voting process.

When:  Wednesday, August 31st from 2-3pm (doors open at 1:30 pm).

Where: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Consular Section Lobby.

How:     Please register here by Monday, August 29th. Space is limited to 120 guests. 

 

IMPORTANT:  After registering, you will receive a message confirming your participation. You must present this confirmation along with proof of U.S. citizenship to enter the Consular Section lobby. And remember, no telephones, video cameras, or video recording permitted.

 

We look forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday!

 

Looking for other options? Representatives from American Citizen Services will also be addressing additional U.S. Citizen civic groups in Panama including:

  • The Veterans of Foreign Wars at CELI: Friday, September 5th at 3pm.
  • The Elks Lodge: Saturday, August 27th at 4:30pm.
  • The American Society: Date TBD.

Please contact these organizations directly if you are interested in attending.

YES, WE HAVE NO BANANAS

Well that is not quite true. Lilliam just bought 4 bananas for 90 cents. They are 2 for 50 cents.

Our local food market says that bananas are scarce in Panama at the moment.

An another front, you will get a charge out of this. I had an appointment today and when I went to start me car, the battery was dead. Luckily, I have a battery charger, but it is sort of a trickle charge and the battery won’t be ready until tomorrow.

This is another good reason to live within walking distance of the Rey supermarket and my local fruit stand.

Note to self. Pay attention when parking car in garage to insure the lights have been turned off.

If I work out for the next four years, when the next Olympics comes around I think I can get up from the couch on the first try.

I wish my car had one of those backup cameras so I could see what I hit easier.