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Housing, Water , Internet, Vehicle, Safety..!?

What is the best way to find a home in the southern part of the country - mountains and small town?  Loja, Vilcabamba area?  Can home prices be negotiated from the list price?

Should we bring our truck - ship it? Or, should we buy a vehicle there?  We know vehicles are expensive in Ecuador or at least that is what we have read.

Is is safe to live in a small country home near a town?  What about water, high-speed internet,  phone line?  We like the idea of a small home outside of town but need to learn more about the amenities that we want/need, too.  We have an internet business.

Any help, ideas, suggestions, people to contact would be helpful!  We'd like to move there in the next 1-2 years, sooner is better. We are excited about the next phase of life!

Thank you.
Robin and Joel

RobinJoel :

What is the best way to find a home in the southern part of the country - mountains and small town?  Loja, Vilcabamba area?  Can home prices be negotiated from the list price?

Especially in this nationwide down real-estate cycle, all properties are negotiable in price.

Don’t buy until you’ve lived in the target area for a year.  By then, you should be aware of ‘the best way’ to find a home in any particular market.

cccmedia

RobinJoel :

Should we bring our truck - ship it? Or, should we buy a vehicle there?  We know vehicles are expensive in Ecuador or at least that is what we have read.

Expats are not permitted to bring used vehicles into Ecuador.

Used trucks can be found at a reasonable price in the weekend vehicle fairs outside Quito.

cccmedia

RobinJoel :

Is is safe to live in a small country home near a town?... We like the idea of a small home outside of town....

Expats are vulnerable if they live outside of town in many parts of Ecuador.  Should you come to Vilcabamba, then buy a truck, buy a home -- the malditos may consider you a rich, desirable target.

As a rule, living in town to start is advised.

cccmedia

Yup, but caution should also be exercised within city limits too. One area of crime that Ecuador is high in is Robbery and I’ve read statistics that 25% of all robberies are inside vehicles I am assuming these are “express kidnappings”, robberies on public transportation, and malditos smashing your window and grabbing something from you while in your car, among other crimes in vehicles.

This past Monday at around 2:00 pm in broad daylight on a busy picturesque day, just down the block from Megamaxi, I saw the aftermath of a hideous crime. A pickup truck had a smashed driver side window, and was positioned perpendicular to the road, half on the street and half on the sidewalk. The street was cordoned off, and a forensic team was on location. What exactly happened I’m not sure, but with CSI unit, I assume it’s never good.

Gee, vsimple, sounds like the US. Word of caution--be vigilant wherever one may reside or traverse. If you read about the crimes committed daily in the US, you'll know what I mean.  As always, appreciate such accurate and reliable tips on this forum. Muchas gracias.
PS

Is the Vilcabamba mountain area just outside of town considered a high crime area?  Simple home and buy a truck outside of Quito?
We really don't want to live in town but want to become part of the town culture to get to know people.

Robin and Joel

Are these concerns applicable in all areas of the country to the extent that thy are in or near the cities?

What about near Vilcabamba or Loja? Smaller home with a truck...(We do need internet for Joel's business.)

Living in town for a  couple months and getting to know the people and culture is great but we want to be in the rural areas and still get to know the town and the people. We don't want to be "Americans" only, we want to be part of the culture!

Thoughts?

Thanks.

Robin and Joel

It’s an issue when people flaunt “wealth”, whether custom houses, vehicles, etc in poorer areas that contradict the local environment and this is true in cities, burbs, or rural areas. As for internet, you have to insure high-speed internet is available not only in the city/town but to your own home. As a last resort you can opt for satellite internet if you require high-speed but don’t mind poor latency.

vsimple :

As a last resort you can opt for satellite internet if you require high-speed but don’t mind poor latency.

I’m dissatisfied with Movistar Internet at my condo in Quito.  Live video streaming is typically not possible.  I have a new computer and new Movistar modem .. and I visited the Movistar tech office near Naciones Unidas, to no avail.  Their ‘improvement’ did not take.

Also, Netlife fiber-optic service is not available in my area.

Fortunately, my two-year commitment with Movistar is up and I am free to make a change while temporarily staying with Movistar month-to-month.

What company in Quito would I contact for satellite Internet at high speed?  To what extent might lack of latency affect my ability to stream video ?

cccmedia

I will be shocked if you have to resort to satellite and only because you live in Quito. Hopefully there are other options with higher speed even if it’s not fiber optic. I remember you posting about the inability of service providers to offer fiber optic in centro historico due to regulations banning overland cables.  But if it’s absolutely necessary puntonet offers satellite internet in Quito and throughout most of Ecuador.

I only recommended satellite as a last resort to the OP because they stated they wanted to live in a rural area and needed high speed for their business. The drawback with satellite internet is very poor latency which affects streaming, gaming, and video chat but for pure download speed it’s good. Another issue is that weather can affect quality and the last drawback might be a quota limit. Living in a remote rural area they might have to settle for that if their business depends on it, and other options are not available. I heard TVcable offers decent speeds without fiber optic, maybe they're an option. Maybe as the fiber optic network in Quito expands it’ll be available in your area in the future.

I have been using TVCable services (in Cuenca) and have been pleased with the reliability and speed. I did not opt for the higher speeds they have available, but I can still view videos without buffering issues.

With CNT (state company) rolling out fiber optic in the past year in Cuenca, Puntonet's prices have dropped  significantly.   It used to be Puntonet was charging 50 dollars for 5 mbps.  Now they have plans for 50 mbps at 60 dollars.  Interestingly CNT  limits upload speeds while Puntonet doesn't.

https://www.puntonet.ec/home/banda-ancha-fibra-optica

https://www.cnt.gob.ec/internet/plan/fi … a-hogares/

Nards Barley :

With CNT (state company) rolling out fiber optic in the past year in Cuenca, Puntonet's prices have dropped  significantly.   It used to be Puntonet was charging 50 dollars for 5 mbps.  Now they have plans for 50 mbps at 60 dollars.  Interestingly CNT  limits upload speeds while Puntonet doesn't.

https://www.puntonet.ec/home/banda-ancha-fibra-optica

https://www.cnt.gob.ec/internet/plan/fi … a-hogares/

You the man Nards! I have puntonet fiber optic, and with your breaking news info I am expecting a big discount under the new prices you posted when my 1 year contract is up.  A brief review on puntonet, it’s simply the best fiber optic provider I’ve ever used in Ecuador or elsewhere. I have experienced a total of 3 down times and never lasting more than 20 minutes in 6 months of usage. Possibly there were other down times at other times when I wasn’t using the net but this is my personal experience. And as for speeds anything over 20 mbps is overkill, we do so much simultaneously as a family from streaming Full HD to gaming to downloading torrents and that has been more than sufficient. 

As for CNT it is absolutely garbage, I’ve had the misfortune of using it in temporary rental apartments, and when it would rain, the internet would be out next morning until at least noon. A friend has it and when his phone rings his internet cuts off, this is however for regular internet and not their new fiber optic service.

I live in the Vilcabamba area a few kms outside of town and feel completely safe.  My neighbourhood has mostly Ecuadorian homes, but presently I live on a mountainside terrace where there are 4 rental homes, simple and uncomplicated, and gringos are living there.  Above us is an Ecuadorian family, then the local chapel. 

On the other hand, there have been bad robberies in high-end areas outside of Vilcabamba, in other neighbourhoods, known for the rich extranjeros or gringos, even within gated community.

Again, I know of at least one person who was robbed while living in the centre of town.

Everything is relative.  Come here, stay awhile and get the skinny on what seems safe.  Not all the gringos are alike, very different kinds of people/s here. 
HPivoine

You may want to consider Malacatos if you are going to have a truck.  This is a very rural area, more so even than sometimes touristy Vilcabamba.  But you will have to speak Spanish to live there.  Few gringos are noticeable on Market day in Malacatos.  I like to visit there as the market is bigger and better than in Vilca.
HPivoine

I was at Puntonet today with a friend who wanted to upgrade his 10 Mbps @ $60 fiber optic plan he had subscribed to back in December of 2015.  He was thinking he was still under contract for a few more months, but they told him that they had automatically bumped up his plan to 50 Mbps for the same $60.  Anyway, he hadn't done a speed test recently so he went home and ran a speed test and is receiving about 40 Mbps download and 47 Mbps upload, which is within the 80% they guarantee.

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