Close

Finding the perfect place in Ecuador and Moving

Joel and I just got back from a few weeks in southern Ecuador.  It was our first trip there after lots of research.

We have decided for sure that is where we want to buy a house and live during our retirement - now!  We love the Malacos and Vilcabamba area.  We like to find a place on a mountain side in an area with space around the home.  We loved the small towns but don't want to live in town.

We learned that many places for sale are posted on homes or billboards, etc.  We would really appreciate some more ideas of ways to find a home.

All ideas are welcomed.

Thanks,
Robin and Joel

If you’re this eager to buy in Year 1 in Ecuador, at least consider a lease-purchase where part of your rent in the first year can be applied to a purchase in Year 2.

In the post-April 16th era, the state of the real estate market in EC is such that a potential buyer should have the leverage to insist on lease-purchase on many properties.

You’re potentially exposing yourselves to break-ins or other security problems in the location you described.  You’ll have a much better idea after 12 months of renting whether your new location is secure and comfortable.

You’ll also be aware of your abilities to adjust long-term to living at altitude .. and whether you like the community enough to commit to it ongoingly.

cccmedia

You can also live and rent in the area you want. You’ll know about the locale more, available properties, and possibly find a good deal via an expat who bought/built a home but is looking to leave. You seem anxious and this way you won’t feel like you’re missing out. Don’t get suckered by expats who advertise online and paid top dollar for their homes, they are selling for a reason and probably desperate, take advantage of the opportunity. Best of luck.

Thanks for your suggestions and information.  It is all helpful in making a good long term decision.  We want to find the right place so we don't have to move again.  We are not city people but we do like being close to small towns.   We love the mountains and altitude with cool weather and lots of fruit trees...Ecuador is where we want to retire.
How do we find ex-pats that want to move and have properties for sale - we can work on price when we find something.
All suggestions and things to consider are much appreciated and thought/talked about.
We even wondered about Cuenca - out of the city in a more rule area but we did not have time to investigate that area.  Ideas for locations to check out?
Thanks.
Robin and Joel

RobinJoel wrote:

We want to find the right place so we don't have to move again.

If y’all make buying property in Ecuador ‘Job #1” upon arrival, you may encounter a much bigger problem than moving a second time -- namely, attempting to re-sell in a skewed national real-estate market. 

Even in EC areas outside the earthquake zone, sales of Expat-ready properties has fallen way off since April 16th.  That helps you with price as a prospective buyer, but that could be fool’s gold in the long term.

If the place in Ecuador you choose doesn’t work out for you for any of a hundred reasons, you may be saddled for years with owning a property you don’t want.

In theory, you could have a backup plan that you would manage the property remotely -- by yourselves or a local “property manager” -- while waiting to close on your re-sale.  That is not a good plan for Ecuador.

cccmedia

cccmedia wrote:
RobinJoel wrote:

We want to find the right place so we don't have to move again.

If y’all make buying property in Ecuador ‘Job #1” upon arrival, you may encounter a much bigger problem than moving a second time -- namely, attempting to re-sell in a skewed national real-estate market. 

Even in EC areas outside the earthquake zone, sales of Expat-ready properties has fallen way off since April 16th.  That helps you with price as a prospective buyer, but that could be fool’s gold in the long term.

If the place in Ecuador you choose doesn’t work out for you for any of a hundred reasons, you may be saddled for years with owning a property you don’t want.

In theory, you could have a backup plan that you would manage the property remotely -- by yourselves or a local “property manager” -- while waiting to close on your re-sale.  That is not a good plan for Ecuador.

cccmedia

Good points ccc. Will also add that it's just not expat properties that are hurting. My brother-in-laws mother bought a beautiful penthouse condo not that long ago, and has taken a huge hit on that property. She's also is in the unfortunate position of still owning a house that is sitting empty. Can't find any buyers, or renters for the property. Very bad time to be a seller right now in Ecuador.

We are searching for property but are selling our home in USA.  Well, it is for sale!  We talked about deciding what to keep and store to move to EC but in the meantime - rent in the area.
Your right,  we don't want to make a big mistake.  We will continue to work on our Spanish.

Robin

RobinJoel wrote:

We are searching for property but are selling our home in USA.  Well, it is for sale!  We talked about deciding what to keep and store to move to EC but in the meantime - rent in the area.
Your right,  we don't want to make a big mistake.  We will continue to work on our Spanish.

Robin

Good for you, that sounds like a great plan, renting a house and furnishing it with your stuff. It’s not good to rush into a huge commitment in a strange land. Take your time, learn the ins and outs of life here and specifically the area(s) you’re targeting and you’ll be on top of things. To share something relevant when we moved here, it was love at first sight with the apartment we're renting, and for a moment I thought “why not buy.” I’m glad I didn’t and this is in an area where occupancy is 85-90% at the moment, and where the cap is 5-7%. But we’re not simply looking for an investment property but one we can live in. So to put it simply we learned that living on a high floor in an earthquake zone is not a great idea, psychologically speaking,  :D and while being close to everything is a good thing, when the kids are all off to college we prefer someplace a bit more quiet, that is not only closer to everything we enjoy like Carolina park, modern amenities like malls and cafes but also a Mercado and local flavor areas.

One additional advice is don’t let prices perturb you, they will be all over the place, some owners are in denial and will not sell less than what they perceive to be the market rate. I am observing this in Quito and I’m certain it’s true elsewhere in Ecuador. You have to learn what the true market rate is for the properties in areas you desire. That means you’ll have to do some negotiation and find out what places are renting for, also with limited time try to focus your Spanish on relevant vocabulary to negotiation words. Another thing, go about it like the property is an investment, so when they offer you a beat up place in the middle of no where, for 80k, say something like, for that price I can buy in good area of Quito and get $500 a month, how much can I rent this place for if I don’t want to live here.

The best advice when moving to Ecuador is to rent first. Ecuador is a very diverse country with every kind of weather and topography you can think of, from mountains to beaches. You may find you like the cooler weather of a place like Cotacachi, which has a large Expat community, but you can't handle the altitude. You may like the warmer beaches and sea air, but not the bugs. Travel the country and see as much as you can. Talk to the locals. Stay in hostels. When you find somewhere that you want to check out a little more talk to locals about renting. Most places aren't advertised. Walk the town and look for signs.

Don't even think of buying anything until you are very sure of the local area and culture. Talk to local agents if there are reputable ones to learn about the market. If and when you decide to buy, or even rent, make certain you have someone helping you that understands the language and get it in writing. More than one renter, including me, has been burned by not knowing enough.

Good luck in your new adventure.

New topic

Questions and answers about moving

Ask your question
cccmedia
MegfromCT
Moving arrangements
By MegfromCT
Okie dokie sue
shipping information
By Okie dokie sue
cccmedia
cccmedia
frugalpirate
United States Postal Service and Customs
By frugalpirate

Expatriate health insurance in Ecuador

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Ecuador

Moving to Ecuador

Find tips from professionals about moving to Ecuador

Travel insurance in Ecuador

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Ecuador

Flights to Ecuador

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Ecuador