Looking to buy property


We currently live on East Coast of USA. We want to buy property, around 10000 meters square or so, in Ecuador and build a house or Possibly with existing house. Not in town centers. Higher in mountains, but within 15-20 mins or so of town. We have a young daughter will be starting school in few years so need town near by with good school. We were there in July as a vacation as well as a exploritory trip. We fell in love with two areas. Banos and Riobamba. We love the view of volcanos, both areas were green, climates, and people.  With our guides help, asking everyone we saw in the Riobamba area we found a property we wanted to buy. Spoke to owners and settled on a price. Luckily we hired a lawyer before leaving to come home. Long story but it has fallen thru. We are now about 4000 miles away and frustrated. I know best way is word of mouth to look for property, but is there anything we can do from here? Craigslist is very limited for those areas. We plan on coming back in November or December again to look for properties, but would love to have some lined up to look at so as to save time. Anyone know of any available property or avenues to try to look? Love those areas. Especially Banos. But willing to look elsewhere. Just in highlands, green.



Alterniflora :

We have a young daughter will be starting school in few years so need town near by with good school.

Unfortunately the only options for good schools are Quito and Guayaquil.

Welcome to the Ecuador forum, Alterniflora.

1.  Forget about Baños.  The scientists say the Tungurahua volcano, which is at the edge of town, could destroy the town if it ever blew.  Think that can’t happen in Ecuador?  Talk to the folks whose properties were devastated by El Niño flooding or the April 16th earthquake. 

And those things happened just this year.  Last year, a different volcano devastated the tourism industry in Latacunga, Ecuador, and forced folks to evacuate other towns too -- many never to return.

2.  Don’t buy or build on property in Ecuador until you’ve lived in the precise target area for at least a year.  That goes double for you with the schooling issue.

Your Riobamba experience perhaps already taught you a lesson in how property deals in Ecuador often go sideways.  Get to know what living in Riombamba -- or wherever -- is like .. before you invest thousands in property there.


I have to respectfully disagree about crossing off your list any location near Baños or any of the other 7 active volcanoes in Ecuador.

Many people live at the foot of the volcanoes and live quite well.

Just as one needs to be aware that Ecuador has earthquakes, it also has volcanoes.  While a code yellow alert is in effect for Tungurahua, Reventador and Chiles-Cerro Negro, this is a fact of life here.  For more on the volcanoes, see … icos-rovig

As for the El Niño here on the coast this past year, all I can say is...the water temperatures were a bit off  for the fisheries, so there was less fishing, but not substantially and actually the skies were clear on the coast with no extended or excessive rainy season.

The problem with these sorts of long-term forecasts, and believe there are certain analyzing nabobs of negativity who adore calculating the next "disaster in Ecuador", is we really do not know how the weather will affect us. 

What we do know is that misrepresenting the weather and claiming that t will be really bad...does wreck havoc on tourism... now THAT had a disastrous Season 2015-2016... because folks changed their plans.  You know what?  They really missed out on some pretty awesome beach weather... and a lot of the tourist industry (that would be the 3rd major industry here) suffered.  That's a lot of Mom & Pop shops that took a nose dive when there was no reason.

Come to Ecuador.  Visit.  If you fall in love with the country, come stay for awhile.

Always enjoy your writings, Susan.  Like your upbeat style.  Planning an exploratory trip fairly soon.... with special interest in Cuenca, Loya, and Vilca.    Would like to find small hobby finca with nice stream or pond to grow fruits, veggies, and enjoy the quiet life with our furry friends. 


Sounds like a great plan Mike...

Come check out the coast too.  Folks forget that right up to the beach we have the Colonches mountains and there is plenty of space to buy a farm.  And of course you do have the beach maybe 5 minutes away.  I think that is the best of both worlds and no altitude issues either.

Chat me up if you want to know more!


Thanks for the heads up on the Colonches, Susan. Having a elevated  mountain retreat  close to the coast sounds  interesting.    Can you point to any English speaking area  that might help bridge the language barrier while assimilating?    Is this - the Colonches coastal locale - where you live?


Yes, this is exactly where I live...hence the name Montañita ;)

And the towns of Olon and Manglaralto would suit your needs for a multi-lingual (folks from around the worls live here and you will hear a polyglot of idioms) area as well to assist you getting over the learning curve.  ALso Puerto Lopez which is on the other side of the Machalilla Reserve, has a large English speaking population


Scott, if you look green land, maybe the link information it can be interesting?

Thanks  Susan- of those villages/cities you mentioned which is closest to the coast?   How bad is the mosquitoe and no-c-um situation there where you live?   What roughly  should I expect to pay for a hector of land with a stream or pond?

The locations I mentioned are all right on the ocean and backed up against the hills.

Mosquitoes become a nuisance after the rains,which occur more or less September through January, although there has been some shifting of that.  Our weather is much more based on ocean currents than on the effect of the angle of the sun caused by changing seasons.

Land prices also differ greatly depending on access to utilities, access to fixed roads, what province you are in (and there are some more developed than others.)

Here is an idea of a local agricultural farm for sale.  Looks like they are also farming fish … 75457.html

Actually, Ecuador has been affected by Fenomeno El Nino in the past.
See a video here:

NOAA expected heavy rains for 2015, they called Godzilla. In Ecuador the rains were more like a "geyco" (LOL)

In order to survive those bad rainy seasons (which does not happen every year) you need to do the obvious:

Don't build or buy or rent in areas that:
-Can be flooded.
-Too steep mountains that could be wash away by heavy rains. If you are considering a hill, be sure that there are natural ways for the rain water go off the hill without damaging it all.
-Too close to rivers, even if they are dry. Just this year happened that someone decided to build near by a river that NEVER over flooded, never had a flash flood. Then 1 night when was raining like crazy, the husband heard noise, went up the hill to check what was going on, it was a flash flood. He tried to run back home but the river were faster, He lost his entire family and his house.

In 2006 the Tungurahua Volcano erupted and made great damage.

Great Damage done by Volcano.

So, why live THAT close to an active volcano?

Tungurahua Volcano Eruption 2006

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