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Moving to ecuador

Hi so where to start.....
Ecuador probably  was not my first choice  I admit. But circumstances  have kinda forced me to look to residency  here.

Basically  i am in a long term relationship  with a Ecuadorian  woman.  But due to insane and draconian  UK immigration  rules I can not get her over to the UK even for a 1 month visit.

She is more important  than my country  so stuff the UK basically.  And its to the UK loss too me being a science  teacher.
I have a significant sum of money due to a inheritance.

My plan is to buy around 25-hectors of land and growing  coffee and possibly  other crops.  On top of that I would do english  teaching. Plus my girlfriend  works.
I would be looking  to build my own house.
Would be looking at Cuenca or Loja region.

I have been to ecuador  3 times already. Cost is obviously  a lot cheaper than UK (everywhere in the world is).
I get on well with the climate and food.
I have some spanish, though i am far from fluent.....yet.

I have a big advantage  in my girlfriend  who doing lots of research  for me. And we have found plenty  of avaliable  land.

Queations we have really is cost of constructing a 2 bedroom  house with good plumbing,  hot water  and electricity.?


I am looking  foward to the challenge  to honest.

I would think a better possibility might be to buy an existing house and install an on-demand hot water heater.

Even with an Ecuadorian wife helping you, you are likely to be overcharged in the building process for both labor and materials, and still with no guarantees as to quality of construction and moving-in date.

OsageArcher :

I would think a better possibility might be to buy an existing house and install an on-demand hot water heater.

Even with an Ecuadorian wife helping you, you are likely to be overcharged in the building process for both labor and materials, and still with no guarantees as to quality of construction and moving-in date.

Dear Crazy,

Welcome to the Ecuador forum.

Brother Archer is correct .. and is also far milder in his comments than I would be if I answered in full.

To put it briefly... how about living in Ecuador for a while before considering a construction project or buying property....

Brother Archer's points -- the likelihood of being overcharged .. and uncertainty about quality and completion date -- only scratch the surface of the nightmare scenarios you are likely to encounter if you go with your ambitious original plan.

cccmedia

One more thought, Crazy.

You stated on the Guayaquil forum that your Ecuadorian girlfriend's father (supposedly) hates you because of your British nationality.

This family situation, real or perceived, has the potential to jeopardize, if not ruin, your construction project idea.

I recommend that you keep things simple when you arrive in Ecuador, unless that inheritance provided you money to burn. :o

cccmedia

Well the point is  to get going with the coffee plantation  straight  away, dont really  want any dead time, time is money. I am still young , not retiring.

I  have $70,000   put aside for the house (the land itself and buisness  equipment  i have put aside  much more).

As for the family, thats no longer  a issue as my girlfriend  has disowned  them, and if needed we will move to the other side of ecuador.

I dont really  want to buy  a separate  house  in town  as i dont really  want to commute.

Crazyewok,  it's great to have a dream and a plan.  But hopefully you can also learn from the experience of others...almost uniformly bad in trying to do what you propose.

At the very least, live in Ecuador for at least one year before buying property (house and/or land).  Otherwise you risk living up to your username.  You could always rent/lease the coffee-producing land for a year or so - presumably you are not going to start from seedlings, but from trees already full-grown and producing beans (it takes 2 to 4 years from seedlings, before production of harvestable fruit).

But please keep us posted - you could serve as an example, either way it goes, that perhaps others could profit by.

Crazyewok, I would like to share an experience with you. First I want to stress that I admire your goals and I believe no person should be denied their authentic desires because they ultimately lead to one’s happiness.

For a while now, I have being researching starting a business, and just when I thought I knew most of it, I befriended an Ecuadorian who has taught me so much more. This is a person who is already successful in businesses. There were somethings that I overlooked, and this person shed light on. And I’m still learning.

My point here is that Ecuador is a different ballgame and you need to learn, make connections, and see how things work for you to succeed. I believe this is achievable and the only expense is time.

Another issue is with regards to your girlfriend disowning her family. This is very odd in Ecuador but it exists and I have come across some people like that, especially people from towns who have moved to Quito. One such woman is a Gringo lover, and who was estranged from her family. She is now back in her town and living with her family.

As for building a house in Loja, there is a member here, Helen Piovine, who has posted that she built her own house and water system. Try to PM her.

OsageArcher :

Crazyewok,  it's great to have a dream and a plan.  But hopefully you can also learn from the experience of others...almost uniformly bad in trying to do what you propose.

At the very least, live in Ecuador for at least one year before buying property (house and/or land).  Otherwise you risk living up to your username.  You could always rent/lease the coffee-producing land for a year or so - presumably you are not going to start from seedlings, but from trees already full-grown and producing beans (it takes 2 to 4 years from seedlings, before production of harvestable fruit).

But please keep us posted - you could serve as an example, either way it goes, that perhaps others could profit by.

Any chance I could have a link to some of these horror  stories so i can learn off them?

Renting for a year might be away to go. Problem  though is housing........ i ideally want to live on the land.

vsimple :

Crazyewok, I would like to share an experience with you. First I want to stress that I admire your goals and I believe no person should be denied their authentic desires because they ultimately lead to one’s happiness.

For a while now, I have being researching starting a business, and just when I thought I knew most of it, I befriended an Ecuadorian who has taught me so much more. This is a person who is already successful in businesses. There were somethings that I overlooked, and this person shed light on. And I’m still learning.

My point here is that Ecuador is a different ballgame and you need to learn, make connections, and see how things work for you to succeed. I believe this is achievable and the only expense is time.

Another issue is with regards to your girlfriend disowning her family. This is very odd in Ecuador but it exists and I have come across some people like that, especially people from towns who have moved to Quito. One such woman is a Gringo lover, and who was estranged from her family. She is now back in her town and living with her family.

As for building a house in Loja, there is a member here, Helen Piovine, who has posted that she built her own house and water system. Try to PM her.

Sounds no different  than here really. Connections connections connections.    Me and the girlfriend  are already  deeply  at work in this regard.

As for the father issue? Not just because  of me she disowned  him, he was a wife/daughter  beater. I doubt  she will be running  back to him.

All sound advice to my way of thinking Crazy.....Just take it slow and eazy and make friends and work on your Spanish and get some quality beach time in.......and some hiking up in the high country.....enjoy the best that Ecuador has......before you immerse yourself in the quicksand of business investments and potential partnerships, etc........Kick back and drink some of that great micro brew of T.J.s in Montanita or the craft beer bar in Los Baños.........Pick a lot of brains and make a bunch of friends before taking the plunge.........In the long run you will be way ahead...

Crazy told us above that he would like to read about Expat "horror stories" .. and possibly learn from such.

The story of Luna 2 is the cautionary tale of an Expat who pursued a real-estate-and-construction dream in Ecuador several years ago .. only to see the dream become a nightmare.  Eventually, Luna showed up at Expat.com looking to divest from that partially-built project, seeking to recoup the investment....

www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=454463

Thanks.  I hear that hotel buisness  is a tough one. I have a freind  in ecuador  who owns a hotel.

Crazyewok :

Any chance I could have a link to some of these horror  stories so i can learn off them?

Here's another cautionary tale that we encountered on this forum....

A well-traveled USA woman named Lauree signed a contract to buy a fixer-upper in San Clemente, Ecuador, on her first, brief visit to the EC coast.  The project got tied up in red tape before she could get close to taking possession.  See more about this on the thread "Things I Have Learned While Planning My Move to Ecuador" at the link below.

Note that Lauree's Ecuadorian lawyers did not exactly cover themselves in glory in arranging this transaction.  Also, the red tape involving a deceased former owner was just one of many problems Lauree reported.  Note that she was attempting to get the deal to close while she was living outside Ecuador. 

Don't overlook the fact that Lauree eventually realized she would need to put $25,000 into an Ecuador certificate-of-deposit investment .. because the real-estate investment option she was counting on for a visa was more complicated than she expected....

www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=509211

  -- cccmedia

cccmedia :
Crazyewok :

Any chance I could have a link to some of these horror  stories so i can learn off them?

Here's another cautionary tale that we encountered on this forum....

A well-traveled USA woman named Lauree signed a contract to buy a fixer-upper in San Clemente, j

Ecuador, on her first, brief visit to the EC coast.  The project got tied up in red tape before she could get close to taking possession.  See more about this on the thread "Things I Have Learned While Planning My Move to Ecuador" at the link below.

Note that Lauree's Ecuadorian lawyers did not exactly cover themselves in glory in arranging this transaction.  Also, the red tape involving a deceased former owner was just one of many problems Lauree reported.  Note that she was attempting to get the deal to close while she was living outside Ecuador. 

Don't overlook the fact that Lauree eventually realized she would need to put $25,000 into an Ecuador certificate-of-deposit investment .. because the real-estate investment option she was counting on for a visa was more complicated than she expected....

www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=509211

  -- cccmedia

I think i am coming  at it with one advantage......my girlfriend  worked in real  estate  so knows the bullcrap.

As for the visa money  that wont be a problem. I would  be reserving  $50,000  to one side anyway  for emergencies, so that can cover  any visa deposit.

Plus i wont be making  the mistake  of closing any deal while  out of the country.

Good luck with your adventure, I meet some expats looking for living in the country side and it ended bad.
First, locals trying to cheat on the land price or selling other people properties. The fact your girlfriend works in real state is good.

Second, security. A foreigner living in the middle on nowhere is an easy target for robbery.
Try to get a property in a populated area.

vinny66 :

I meet some expats looking for living in the country side and it ended bad....

A foreigner living in the middle of nowhere is an easy target for robbery.
Try to get a property in a populated area.

Exactly right, Vinny.

Maybe you know about the 70-something Expat who bought a rural property outside Cuenca.

He kept a gun on hand, just in case.

Several months ago, when three jóvenes climbed over the fence and made a move on the
house, the retiree reached for his weapon and got into a gun battle with the robbers.

For him, it ended as badly as you could imagine.

His wife and their maid, hiding in a bathroom while the thieves made off with money and valuables, survived.

cccmedia

Yes, I knew about this, and there are other similar stories that luckyly didn't finish this bad

So you think youre better off without a weapon, and just laying down and handing it all over to them? And hoping they dont kill you just for fun and spite?

dumluk :

So you think you're better off without a weapon, and just laying down and handing it all over to them? And hoping they don't kill you just for fun and spite?

More than 99 percent of Expat arrivals in Ecuador wisely choose to live in a populated city or town, not in a remote rural area.

That usually spares them the impossible choice between shooting it out with malditos .. and "laying down and handing it all over to them."

cccmedia

vinny66 :

Good luck with your adventure, I meet some expats looking for living in the country side and it ended bad.
First, locals trying to cheat on the land price or selling other people properties. The fact your girlfriend works in real state is good.

Second, security. A foreigner living in the middle on nowhere is an easy target for robbery.
Try to get a property in a populated area.

Getting a property  in a built up area defeats the entire  point.

I am not a retiree.  I have to be able to make money and i dont fancy scraping away on $600 a month as  just a teacher.  That leaves setting up a buisness to supplement  my income.

There seems  little  to no buisness  opportunity  in the citys unless its hotel  related, and thats not a strength  of mine.  Botany  and agriculture is.

Thanks to the UK basically  forcing me into exile  with the hideous  new immigration  laws on spouses I have few options  which means i have to take some risks.

Well, I have lived in the countryside for most of my 20 something years in central america, and it has not been without its challenges and dangers......Especially on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica......Lotsa bad boyz with big guns and bad intentions over there........But here in highlands of Chiriqui, it is beautiful, the environment pristine and spectacular, the air quality couldnt be better, spring water instead of chlorinated river water, land fertile and cheap compared to the city. And for the most part, peaceful, tranquilo..........Im far enuff up and out that even the serious bad guys dont like to venture out this far......Since living in my finca up here, Ive had virtually no problems, no close encounter, but you better be prepared in any event.....And that means dogs, cameras, and guns..........And I dont imagine its much different anywhere else in latin america..........the worst part about living in the country is the lack of commercial infrastructure.......I do a lot of driving.......more than I like........theres nothing convenient about it........

I think youre at higher risk of being a victim in the city.....Thats where the bad guys mostly live, and where theyre mostly organized bands......They generally dont like to travel too far afield, not to say it doesnt happen......Here in Panama, the great majority of the crime is in the cities....pure and simple......the odds of being targeted are much higher.........I have seen it over time.........less people, less problems..........haha

dumluk :

Well, I have lived in the countryside for most of my 20 something years in central america, and it has not been without its challenges and dangers......Especially on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica......Lotsa bad boyz with big guns and bad intentions over there........But here in highlands of Chiriqui, it is beautiful, the environment pristine and spectacular, the air quality couldnt be better, spring water instead of chlorinated river water, land fertile and cheap compared to the city. And for the most part, peaceful, tranquilo..........Im far enuff up and out that even the serious bad guys dont like to venture out this far......Since living in my finca up here, Ive had virtually no problems, no close encounter, but you better be prepared in any event.....And that means dogs, cameras, and guns..........And I dont imagine its much different anywhere else in latin america..........the worst part about living in the country is the lack of commercial infrastructure.......I do a lot of driving.......more than I like........theres nothing convenient about it........

Yeah the driving will be the biggest pain in the arse. But I cant have everything perfect.

I would likley be a hour and a half to two hours from the city. so pretty out the way.
I plan on getting a gun if I can but if it comes to a home invasion I would likley offer no resistance. It only stuff they take, I can replace that. Plus the only valube thing I will likley have is a TV a PC and some cash as I am not exactly high maintence, , not hard to replace really.If i start a gun fight I would likely end up dead.

But I will likley buy two big dogs.  Plus the  size plantations I am looking at come with a onsite caretaker and I have some  business ideas that will help the local community too so hopefully I will have locals on my side.

dumluk :

I think youre at higher risk of being a victim in the city.....Thats where the bad guys mostly live, and where theyre mostly organized bands......They generally dont like to travel too far afield, not to say it doesnt happen......Here in Panama, the great majority of the crime is in the cities....pure and simple......the odds of being targeted are much higher.........I have seen it over time.........less people, less problems..........haha

Yeah spent some time in Panama with the GF.   I have to say I felt very unsafe in Albrook. We also got mugged for cash in colon.  But in the country I never had a problem.

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