Fielding Your Questions: expat.com Members Want to Know...

Welcome to the free-wheeling questions area of the Ecuador and Colombia forums, New Members and other inquisitive minds. :)

We notice that many of you need information or want follow-up on your issues. :unsure

Previously, we have pointed out that the New Members introduction thread -- where many of you posted originally  -- is reserved for introductions-only, and that you should post on another existing thread or create a new thread instead.

So here we employ a new tactic, namely this questions-thread for new members not yet up to speed on locating a relevant existing thread or launching a new one.  Longer-term members are also welcome to post here, especially if you were having trouble finding a suitable thread or didn't want to start a new thread.

Scroll down to the latest post on this thread .. and below that you may add you own questions or commentary.

First up:  Webfoot Warrior.

Webfoot wants to know if it's safe to buy a house on land outside of Cuenca, or alternatively to live inside the city.

The fact that this question cannot be reliably answered for most newcomers is one reason for the #1 Rule for Arriving Expats:

Don't buy or build on land in Ecuador until you have lived in the target area for at least one year.

Use that time to make sure that you are adjusting well to the weather, the altitude and the culture, and that the area you choose is right for you.  In Webfoot's case, he could familiarize himself with the in-city/outside-city option in specific neighborhood(s).

We realize that the realities of Ecuador visa application mean that you may have to make more than one trip to EC to complete a full year.

cccmedia in Quito

A poster from Granger, Indiana, said that auto insurance-pays in the U.S. would have eaten him 'alive' if not for help getting re-located to Ecuador.

This statement confused Webfoot Warrior, who wants to know specifically what was meant.

I took it as a metaphor for living costs in North America vs. Ecuador, where most Expats live without a car or car insurance, or, for that matter, a lot of other 'first-world' expenses.

cccmedia in Quito

"Will the influx of Baby Boomers totally ruin" Ecuador by 2027(?), asked new member Bedbug 68.  He's figuring to relocate here in 12 years.

Total ruination is simply not in the cards.  Even if EC's Boomer population doubled by '27, when the oldest Boomers would turn 81, it would still be a tiny fraction of the total population, except for perhaps Vilcabamba and parts of Cuenca.

However, I do predict that Ecuador will have its first Starbuckses by 2027.  Given the success of Sweet & Coffee's existing chain of coffee shops and the generally peaceful nature of current EC Boomers, this doesn't appear to be a recipe for total ruination.

cccmedia in Quito

Robert and Marsha from Quebec posted some questions at New Members:

Q: What cities are recommended for Canadian and USA Expats?

Cuenca and Quito, in that order, have the most Expat meetups, field trips, restaurant outings and Expat clubs.  Naturally, the locals don't want to miss out on the fun, and -- speaking at least for here in Quito -- are welcome and typically present as well.

Q: We'd like to live near the ocean.  How about that?

We get uniformly positive reports about one city in particular:  Bahía de Caráquez.  You might also want to check out the touristy Salinas (where high season is roughly December to May).

Q:  Will we be taxed on our pensions if we apply for citizenship?

The possibility of citizenship is four years away, since you must live in Ecuador for three years before even applying for it.

Currently, residents and the few citizen-Expats typically are not taxed by Ecuador for non-EC pension income.

If your residency visa is based on pension income, it's unlikely you'll find you have the incentive to apply for citizenship down the road.  As non-citizen residents, you'll already get the benefits of access to IESS healthcare, reduced transportation costs and the right to live ongoingly in La República.  Starting in year 3, you may travel or stay outside Ecuador for up to 18 months at a time without losing your residency-visa rights.

cccmedia in Quito

I am currently designing a home to build on our property in Puerto Lopez. Currently live in Florida and want to limit trips down until we are ready to actually start building. The problem is there is almost no information online in regards to building materials (standard construction material sizing, costs, availability) standard window and door openings (want to have blueprints drawn before our next trip down) Typical plumbing sizes and types. Just any general construction information. Already planning on a SCIP house and waiting on prices to get back from M2 for that phase of the project, but want to have a fairly solid budget for materials, I will be doing most of the labor myself. Thank you in advance for any assistance!

Welcome to the Ecuador forum, T-Guy.

You did not mention having consulted with any maestros familiar with building on the coast and with the types of materials appropriate for your project.

For instance, if any woods are used, you may need to know what will stand up best to the salty air near the coast which has historically produced corrosion in vehicles and homes.

Note to other readers:  Puerto López is one of the "Puerto towns and backwater fishing villages" that I have been warning new arrivals to avoid on multiple forum posts during the past year, in part due to undeveloped infrastructure.  Sure, land is cheaper there on average, but the challenges in new construction are greater.  Normally, we advise Expat arrivals not to buy or build on land in Ecuador until having lived in the target area for at least a year.

In your case, T, I realize the ship has sailed, since you already bought the land.

You may have to contact a well-referenced maestro to advise you on building materials.  The people on this forum are fine folks as a rule, but I wouldn't rely on unpaid Expats who have not seen your property and personally assessed the situation...even if they claim they are building or have built in the area previously.

You may have to tap the resources in a larger coast city or even Guayaquil to find an experienced, trustworthy advisor. 

cccmedia in Quito

A: I'm not an "expat" retiree... For one thing I honestly don't like the term "expat"... I'm in my early thirties and have a successful enough business that I can build a second home in Ecuador and Lopez is where I want to be.
B: As far as a "maestro" is confirmed, one of my best friends-in fact the best man in my wedding- has been in lopez for several years, his wife has been there for 11, and though they can certainly direct me to a trustworthy contractor, even on their best day I don't trust an Ecuadorian contractor to my 15 years experience in construction.
C: Backwater fishing village. I grew up in Florida...in several "backwater fishing villages" with not half the beautiful view and climate that Lopez offers...I'll be perfectly comfortable and have done my due diligence in deciding to build there...
D: The ship certainly has sailed, and even if it's an epic failure of a decision, I can stand to lose $5k for a piece of property with a view that would have cost me easily 10 or 20 times as much in the states...and certainly not even possible in flat as flounder Florida.
E: I am exhausting every resource that I can both online and through personal references, one of which is an Australian successfully having his second home built in Lopez by a well referenced "maestro"

The crux of my question involved me getting some specifics that my friends have not really been able to relay to me because they have limited experience in construction and have rested solely on their "maestro" to do. I was hoping to find someone with not only enough of a background in construction to give me some accurate info but that has also had some experience in actually researching and purchasing materials. I have consulted with a local "expat" contractor who has put me in touch with an international SCIP construction manufacturer that has a production facility in Ecuador. But your not exactly going to get a ton of info out of a contractor that's not personally building your home. I will not be using wood for construction, I'm trying to draw plans in AutoCad, but am fairly certain that the standard door and window openings are not quite going to translate.
So that's where I'm at, not mad, totally understand that there's a lot of people on here that don't have the experience that i do and probably need to be told what to do, but I am not one of them, just wanted a little info.
Thank you,
        T-Zo.

TerrazzoGuy :

I'm not an "expat" retiree...I honestly don't like the term "expat"... I'm in my early thirties and have a successful enough business that I can build a second home in Ecuador....The ship certainly has sailed, and even if it's an epic failure of a decision, I can stand to lose $5k for a piece of property with a view...T-Zo.

Actually, T, nobody here called you an Expat or a retiree.  Re-read the post.

The term Expat is overwhelmingly considered a neutral or positive designation.  You posted on a forum of Expat Blog, and over 1.3 million people have become members of EB between its inception and 2015, our 10th anniversary year. :)

Note to other readers:  I stand by my earlier advice not to buy or build on property in Ecuador until having lived here a year.

Good luck with your project, T.

cccmedia in Quito

TerrazzoGuy :

A:

totally understand that there's a lot of people on here that don't have the experience that i do and probably need to be told what to do, but I am not one of them, just wanted a little info.
Thank you,
        T-Zo.

Sounds like you are going to need a lot of help. For starters SCIP is totally unsuitable for the climate. Can try to put you in touch with someone who is building there in Lopez.As far as AutoCad and dimensions you are going to have to actually go to the building supply stores yourself, Hopefully with someone who speaks Spanish so you will not get scammed or end up paying  inflated gringo prices. Ecuador is a 3rd world country as you well know, a totally different ball of wax from Florida. The infrastructure is extremely limited.There are a lot of other threads on the EC Forum discussing construction (on the coast) with others who are doing  it or have tried. Yes , even developers who might have more experience than you

For starters do you have source of potable water, electricity and septic/sewage?

How is your Spanish?

It's also just a suggestion that you reconsider your own attitude about any limits you might have  in a foreign country   and approach the whole thing with a bit more humility

Regards,

O of O

Hey guys sorry I got a little hot last night, just had a kindof frustrating day yesterday. I also felt for some reason that I was immediately being talked down to because I had bought land in Lopez, which really didn't make sense to me...  I do appreciate any advice I can get. I can get by with my spanish, and getting better, my wife is fluent. I'm not sure how SCIP wouldn't be suited to the climate... If anything it's one of the most suitable materials . Water, electricity and septic are all accounted for. As I said before I was hoping to find someone with a little experience in local building materials (mainly just sizing- doors,windows,pipes,etc) so I could make some really accurate estimations before my next trip down. Again, sorry I came in  a little hot last night.
Thank you, T-Zo

I forgive you TZguy.

It is entirely possible that your questions cannot be well answered without boots on the ground in Ecuador. As a small country with 'emerging' infrastructure, their supply chain of available construction materials may vary widely from one week to the next. Tiles that were here yesterday are gone tomorrow and nobody knows anything more than that.

At least this is my experience with such economies.

Though it may not suit your schedule, I suspect you will have to go to the actual place and maestro to iron out these details which elude you. When you say "local building materials" I suspect the only way you will find good information on the subject, is locally. This project may require more of your direct personal oversight than you had initially expected.

That's the way these things often go I think.

gardener1 :

I forgive you TZguy.

It is entirely possible that your questions cannot be well answered without boots on the ground in Ecuador. As a small country with 'emerging' infrastructure, their supply chain of available construction materials may vary widely from one week to the next. Tiles that were here yesterday are gone tomorrow and nobody knows anything more than that.

At least this is my experience with such economies.

Though it may not suit your schedule, I suspect you will have to go to the actual place and maestro to iron out these details which elude you. When you say "local building materials" I suspect the only way you will find good information on the subject, is locally. This project may require more of your direct personal oversight than you had initially expected.

That's the way these things often go I think.

Think what gardener said is probably about spot on.

Jessiekimerling, who is a member on this site, may possibly be able to offer some general information regarding some prices. He has, or had several projects going on. Hasn't been on site in awhile. Think is probably back in the U.S. working at moment, but won't swear to it.

Having a wife fluent in spabish will definitely be a big help. Like gardener said, there is a very good possibility you won't really get much at all accomplished until you are actually there. Just so many unpredictable variables involved. Lots of patience will come in handy. Pretty unlikely things will go as planned or expected. Not a knock on you, or the fine people of Ecuador. That is just how things tend to play out in a developing country.

Just FWIW, realizing that Colombia is not Ecuador (but if anything Colombia has a more well-developed infrastructure and economy in most places but of course everything in both countries can vary dramatically from place to place).

My sister-in-law in Cali, Colombia acted as a general contractor to build this beautiful house for my wife's family just recently, using their own funds, and ours, and a bank loan:

https://www.expat.com/en/picture/145848-new-home.php

She is a very capable woman who learned an awful lot in the painful process but she also had help from her brother in Buenaventura who is a structural civil engineer and who oversaw parts of the construction to make sure it met earthquake standards.  She also had a good design from an architect friend of her brother but by no means were they detailed plans up to US standards.  But she managed the overall and day-to-day budget, locating and purchasing materials, finding, hiring, organizing and supervising the different work crews for demolition of the old home, the new foundation on top of the old, all concrete work, plumbing, electrical, iron work and on and on and on.  And it took daily, constant, on-site supervision for almost a year.

I told her she's now qualified to go into the general contracting business building homes there, and she emphatically said "NO THANKS!"  I think she also made the sign of the Cross to ward me off as if I were the Devil for even suggesting such a thing... :D

But she also agrees it was definitely worth it!  :top:

OsageArcher :

Just FWIW, realizing that Colombia is not Ecuador (but if anything Colombia has a more well-developed infrastructure and economy in most places but of course everything in both countries can vary dramatically from place to place).

My sister-in-law in Cali, Colombia acted as a general contractor to build this beautiful house for my wife's family just recently, using their own funds, and ours, and a bank loan:

https://www.expat.com/en/picture/145848-new-home.php

She is a very capable woman who learned an awful lot in the painful process but she also had help from her brother in Buenaventura who is a structural civil engineer and who oversaw parts of the construction to make sure it met earthquake standards.  She also had a good design from an architect friend of her brother but by no means were they detailed plans up to US standards.  But she managed the overall and day-to-day budget, locating and purchasing materials, finding, hiring, organizing and supervising the different work crews for demolition of the old home, the new foundation on top of the old, all concrete work, plumbing, electrical, iron work and on and on and on.  And it took daily, constant, on-site supervision for almost a year.

I told her she's now qualified to go into the general contracting business building homes there, and she emphatically said "NO THANKS!"  I think she also made the sign of the Cross to ward me off as if I were the Devil for even suggesting such a thing... :D

But she also agrees it was definitely worth it!  :top:

Very cool. That's a beautiful house, is that SCIP construction? I'm looking forward to actually building the home, it won't be my first build. I've already got a good pool of laborers down there to pull from, and the design is pretty basic so it "should" go fairly smoothly. Once you have a design and the knowledge and ability to do the work, the procurement of materials is the real hurdle. That's where I'm at now. I've decided to contact ventanasmagicas.com in Quito for custom soundproof windows, that way I don't have to guess about window opening sizes and thier prices don't seem too unreasonable. The good thing about SCIP is once the slab is in I can "assemble" the entire house by myself in about two weeks. Once it's shot with concrete then it's structurally "done", all the plumbing and wiring is roughed in, and I'm basically just doing interior finish work. Just waiting on a price for the M2 panels to come back, if it's really really overpriced than I'll just go with standard block construction but then I'm looking at more for labor costs and rendering... We'll see and I'll be sure to keep you all informed of any useful information I find. Infact I should probably go ahead and start a build thread once I get a little closer.

TerrazzoGuy :

is that SCIP construction?

No, it is not, just standard construction methods but in accordance with this PDF document in Spanish which gives an overview of seismic construction standards for Colombia:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct= … 9352,d.cGU

If the link above is corrupted you can just search for "colombia estandares construccion terremoto" and it's the top hit, and there are others that may be useful.  Ecuador probably has similar documents regarding seismic construction standards.

I do not have any knowledge about SCIP use in Colombia (or Ecuador) and so far have been unable to find any references to it on the web for those countries.  That's not to say they may not use it, especially for modular home construction which I do know there is some use of pre-fabricated panels etc. but it does not seem to be prevalent anywhere I have seen.

You may not find much interest or availability in SCIP because insulation is not considered that necessary where the climate does not have extreme changes from hot to cold and where standard construction methods provide sufficient strength and plenty of mass in walls and floors to resist and slow any temperature changes that do occur.

Where SCIP might be used is in larger development projects where many homes are being built or for larger buildings, not so much for a one-off project.

At least to some extent, it is the opposite from the US where materials are cheap and labor is expensive - in Colombia and Ecuador it's the labor that is cheap, relatively speaking.

You may find some useful SCIP information on this thread if you are not already aware of it:

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=325947

There is also this link about M2 panels in Ecuador with other links:

https://goodlifeinecuador.wordpress.com … n-ecuador/

OsageArcher :
TerrazzoGuy :

is that SCIP construction?

No, it is not, just standard construction methods but in accordance with this PDF document in Spanish which gives an overview of seismic construction standards for Colombia:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct= … 9352,d.cGU

If the link above is corrupted you can just search for "colombia estandares construccion terremoto" and it's the top hit, and there are others that may be useful.  Ecuador probably has similar documents regarding seismic construction standards.

I do not have any knowledge about SCIP use in Colombia (or Ecuador) and so far have been unable to find any references to it on the web for those countries.  That's not to say they may not use it, especially for modular home construction which I do know there is some use of pre-fabricated panels etc. but it does not seem to be prevalent anywhere I have seen.

You may not find much interest or availability in SCIP because insulation is not considered that necessary where the climate does not have extreme changes from hot to cold and where standard construction methods provide sufficient strength and plenty of mass in walls and floors to resist and slow any temperature changes that do occur.

Where SCIP might be used is in larger development projects where many homes are being built or for larger buildings, not so much for a one-off project.

At least to some extent, it is the opposite from the US where materials are cheap and labor is expensive - in Colombia and Ecuador it's the labor that is cheap, relatively speaking.

You may find some useful SCIP information on this thread if you are not already aware of it:

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=325947

There is also this link about M2 panels in Ecuador with other links:

https://goodlifeinecuador.wordpress.com … n-ecuador/

Good points, although I don't quite understand the point about changes between hot and cold being a necessity for a well insulated house...Puerto Lopez is HOT...and SUNNY... Both two huge factors for me having a well insulated home, especially since I am planning on air conditioning. SCIP is also just plain better structurally then red bricks coated in stucco. Certainly a great alternative for areas with seismic activity. My only real concern right now is just getting a price and having it delivered.

Go with God

Have started a new thread on the topic of building materials/home construction so TZ  can get better play on his area of interest

Expat Mailbag....

Welcome, new members Roger and Coya.

We're transferring your questions and issues here from the New Members intro thread to keep peace with the Home Office in the Mascarene Islands.

Roger, "a young 55," has had enough of the corporate world and bought land to build a house on a coffee farm in EC's Imbabura province (provincial capital: Ibarra).  His online name is mtnman1360.

He has visited Ecuador and South America a number of times and believes his "only challenge will be socializing," as the nearest Expat town is Cotacachi.  Imbabura is a wide province and we don't yet know the travel time from the coffee farm to Cotacachi.

Anyway, Roger, google each of the following for leads...

   cotacachi social group    cotacachi meetup     cotacachi socializers

There are google listings for each, although you'll have to follow up to find out how current those listings are, and whether these groups are active.

cccmedia in Quito

The aforementioned Coya, posting from Maryland as imcoya, finds it fearful living in the U.S. these days and is open to becoming an Expat.

"My father was born in Quito," she says. "I do not speak Spanish.  He did not allow his children to learn his native language.  I wish I had.  I am 63 but still able to learn."

Well, Coya, as my Dad used to say, "Get crackin'!'"  You're running the show now, so if South America is where you decide to move, you can start learning el idioma anytime.

Get tapes, learn on easily googlable sites online and/or get with this Ecuador forum's threads titled Shortcuts to español and español for Gringos.

cccmedia in Quito

Coya also wants to know about obtaining citizenship.

First, you become a resident of Ecuador, which can take several months, and after three years of residing here and meeting the time-in-country rules (90 total days or fewer outside EC during those years), you may then apply to become a citizen.

The most popular residency visas for Expat retirees involve a pension income of $800+ per month or a bank CD at the 25K level.

The Ecuador citizenship thread on this forum has been quite active lately, so use the search function atop this page to navigate over there if you have questions to post.

cccmedia in Quito

Thank you, Ecuador Expert (EE).

I will get cracken on the Spanish.

How about some input to find a location for a woman that likes the country life?  I like to get to the city from time to time.  I have about an acre of land now and I maintain it and my home by myself. I need to feel safe.  I would like a home with a view of the mountains an I enjoy sun and heat, but I must have air conditioning.  Is there such a place for me? 

Also, is it possible to seek dual citizenship if my father was born in EC?

Coya

imcoy :

How about some input to find a location for a woman that likes the country life?  I like to get to the city from time to time....I need to feel safe.  I would like a home with a view of the mountains and I enjoy sun and heat, but I must have air conditioning.  Is there such a place for me?

Air conditioning in the highlands of Ecuador?  Surely you jest. :D

The popular Expat cities in the highlands are Cuenca and Quito.  Of the two, I would recommend Cuenca for a single woman.

IMO you can't just plunk yourself down in a rural location outside Cuenca.  You will probably have to stay at a temporary location in town and feel out the countryside for something that seems safe to rent.  It's Ecuador:  patience is required.

Cuenca is not warm.  Highs in the mid to upper 60s.  Also, nobody can predict how someone from a low-lying place such as Maryland will adjust to high altitudes.  Cuenca and Quito are well above the altitude of Denver, the Mile High City.  So keep the coast as a backup plan for Ecuador.

The coast is warm, being at sea level near the Equator.  It is getting super-hot in terms of Expat interest.  Some folks are buying lots and houses there without getting to know Ecuador first.  Air conditioning is common there.

The conventional wisdom:  visit first, and if you decide to move to Ecuador, rent for the first year, don't buy or build on any property.

cccmedia in Quito

imcoy :

is it possible to seek dual citizenship if my father was born in EC?

Absolutely, Coya.

As mentioned, citizenship is about four years away for a Marylander still deciding about Ecuador.  Residency comes first.

I suggest you post follow-up questions about citizenship at the citizenship thread.  Here is the magical link that will whisk you over there:

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=427632

cccmedia, EE, in Quito

I am relatively new to this forum. I am posting here hoping cccmedia will field my post to the best spot for replies. We are arriving in Loja on July 10th and would like the name of specific (if that is allowed) hotels/hostels to stay at for 3-4 nights. Then we'll be moving on to the Vilcabamba, Malactos area and again interested in specific places to stay. We are not looking for upper class hotels with restaurants, pools, entertainment, etc. and speak fluent Spanish so language is not an issue. However do need a private room w/bathroom, hot water and internet. We'd love even more a little private cabaña to get a real feel for the area's weather and everyday life. Our intent this trip is to get to know the areas we're interested in a little bit before making any decisions about revisiting for a longer period of time and eventually relocating from the US. I've done the usual web searches and checked out Airbnb, but we'd feel more comfortable getting suggestions from people that live there or have had positive experiences where they've stayed. We will be in EC 2 weeks so keeping the cost reasonable is important. If naming specific places is not allowed, please let me know. Thank you.

Welcome to the EC forum, Tony and Pat, and thank you for posting on the Fielding thread.

Visit www.booking.com for rates, reviews and a list of facilities at hotels and posadas in your towns of interest.  There is probably much more there for you than any one or two members of the blog could provide.  The reviews may give you what you need.

cccmedia in Quito

Thank you cccmedia for your recommendation. I will check that out! Very excited about our upcoming visit to EC and looking forward to posting upon our return!

Hello everyone,
I'm new to the forum, and happy to have found it! I've been going in circles trying to determine what the truth really is about importing a car into Ecuador. I haven't even visited before, but believe that a move to Ecuador would come in a year from now if I enjoy my month long trip in December.
Currently I own 2 automobiles...a '95 Honda Accord and a '99 Buick Park Avenue. My plan was to trade both of these cars in for a 3 year old Toyota Highlander to get the tax reduction from a car dealer. However, I've run in to trouble trying to determine the rate at which it would be taxed upon import with my household goods. I have read that the tax rates are anywhere from 27% to 120% of the original cost of the car.
I called the Ecuadorian Embassy here in the states, and they told me I could import the car, but would have to pay tax. Does anyone know how I can determine what that tax amount would be? Are Japanese imports taxed at the same rate as, say, an American made car? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!  :)
Thank You,
emoss28

You may want to read this thread:

http://www.expatexchange.com/expat/inde … id=3370474

The general gist is the rules are different for citizens of Ecuador and anyone else.  Although I would be wary of anything not official, one post says what I have read elsewhere - only returning Ecuadorian citizens may import a vehicle, it must be no older than 2 years, no more valuable than $20,000 new price, no larger engine than 3000cc.

And even the Ecuadorians will pay steep import duties almost as much as the car's original price, plus they must keep it and not sell it for 5 years.  Apparently this was because too many people were bringing in and selling multiple cars for a large profit when the taxes were not high.

I hope someone else will chime in and give you some hard information with some cites and/or references - but they are most likely to be all in Spanish.  I would be wary of what the embassy told you unless you can get it in writing and unless they can reference the section of the laws governing that - the truth is that they can say anything, but once you try to enter the country, SENAE (Servicio Nacional de Aduana de Ecuador, the National Customs Service of Ecuador) is the law.  I understand sufficient Spanish to decipher most documents available on-line but have not found anything definitive yet.

The car cannot be more than 5 years old last time I checked. The rules change like the weather. Get an estimate from  one of the international shipping companies. Port to port. "Destination fees" are I'm sure outrageous.. The shipping companies might give you an idea. Other expats have bought and brought in cars from Brazil.

Have you decided where you are going to live? Most expats don't have or need cars. Buses and taxis are cheap. Hiring a driver also not expensive. And driving in the cities is very dangerous if you are not used to it. It would add a huge expense to your set up money as well

As Osage warned SENAE plays by it's own rules. You could show up and maybe not have the funds to get the car out of customs. It's possible that they could drag their feet and it would sit there. Maybe they even might  charge storage fees.

It's an American thing...we're a  car culture and can't imagine life without it

Give it a good think

OsageArcher :

I would be wary of what the embassy told you unless you can get it in writing and unless they can reference the section of the laws governing that - the truth is that they can say anything, but once you try to enter the country, SENAE is the law.

Outstanding advice, Brother Archer.  :top:

Oracle of Oregon, your second and third paragraphs are sterling, too. :top:

Poster Moss would do well to heed their warnings about SENAE and just drop any plans for an import, especially if it is not of the latest-model-year.  Unless, of course, he wants to make his first weeks or months in Ecuador be about dealing with an opaque and unbending bureaucratic agency.

In any case, visit the Car Lovers thread using the searchbox atop this page.  If you don't get your DMV paperwork done while your are still in the U.S. and also bring in a car against advice, you may lose the legal right to drive it after the first couple of months -- or else have to attend Spanish-language driving-instruction classes.  As visitors to the Car Lovers thread may know, it took me over six months to complete my learning curve and get my U.S. paperwork completed and sent to me.  Visiting that thread could cut your paperwork time drastically.  Get your state certification and apostilling done in the U.S. first regardless of whether you might bring in a vehicle. 

cccmedia in Quito

If you're going to visit in December then maybe you'll get an idea why you are getting this advice.
I'd ask the other members, how do people buy used cars in EC. I know jessekimmerling di and it turned into a a disaster

suefrankdahl :

I'd ask the other members, how do people buy used cars in EC.

Another brilliant suggestion for this thread, Oracle! :thanks:

Expat entrepreneur and blogger Dom Buonamici has posted a concise e-guide titled Seven Steps to Finding the Hottest Used Car Deals in Ecuador.  The link to it is at the bottom of this post.

Some of Dom's tips....

  -- Browse the used car websites including PatioTuerca.com and PatiodeAutos.com ...

  -- Shop in metro Quito, not the coast where salt air rusts out many vehicles.

  -- Read the classifieds in the Sunday El Comercio newspaper.

  -- Skip used car lots and go to used car fairs, often held on the weekend.

http://ecuadorrealestate.org/used-cars- … in-ecuador

                                                                   .

New Member Miguelito56 of Longmont, USA, and his wife are considering some Latin American countries for retirement in a few years.

Miguelito says he is less concerned with natural disasters than with mold in the Ecuador highlands.  He wants to hear from folks who have experience with this.

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When a burst water-heater caused flooding throughout my one-year-old condo last year, I dried out the bedroom's wall-to-wall carpeting as best I could using space heaters.

But weeks later, mold started appearing on the walls and was no doubt coming from the compromised carpeting.

It was only getting worse over time, so I had the carpeting pulled up and replaced with faux wood flooring, and had the MBR walls scraped and re-painted.  Walls between the bedroom and the entrance were also treated and re-painted as the mold had spread to there.  The existing faux wood floors in the areas outside the bedroom were not damaged by the flooding.

Fortunately, all the work and the new water-heater cost a total of about $1,200, and apparently solved all the problems.

I would never carpet an apartment in Quito based on this experience. 

cccmedia in Quito

StarsNmoon2, age 65, has been visiting South America, so far for six months in Panama.

Next stop:  Quito, Ecuador, around August 4th, with a week planned at guest house El Bosque.

Then, Stars'll need a place on a monthly basis.  She is looking for input on that.

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It's not clear how long you'll be in Quito, Stars.  Maybe you don't have a clear idea yourself.

If it was a long-term move, the most cost-effective idea might be to seek an unfurnished apartment via newspaper classifieds and shoe leather during your week at El Bosque.  Trying to do it over the Internet produces two problems...higher prices and you-don't-know-for-sure-what-you're-getting-sight-unseen.

If you want to go month by month, the South American --------- clubhouse has rooms starting around $300 a month ... with unparalleled opportunities to meet other Gringos for that price range.  They now have fiber optic Internet in addition to cooking facilities.

I'm sending you a PM message via this blog with their contact information.

cccmedia in Quito

I come from Tampa, FL and now have a farm in Olmedo, Manabí. However, I'm pretty familiar with Puerto Lopez as I have friends there and in Ayampe, and Puerto Rico nearby. I also happen to know some of the pitfalls of hiring a local builder after watching a friend's wood house go up.

More importantly, I have an Ecuadorian friend who's an architect--lives in Puerto Rico, Manabí. He's familiar with local materials but also American standards and environmentally friendly construction.
He's designing the house for my farm. He speaks both English and Spanish.
If you want to contact him, let me know and I'll give you the info. He can certainly answer questions you've asked

I am a retired Military Army Office with about 33years of service, finally retiring and looking at either Quito or Cuenca, but leaning towards Cuenca.  I have three boys that are 12 years olds and entering the 7th grade.  I plan on living off my Army pension and VA benefits and SS Income.  My questions are this:  is there an international school where my boys can attend; does the curriculum offer compare to American standards, and finally what are the costs associated with sending three 12 year old boys to an international school?

[at]6monthsiniraq
In order to live in Ecuador each one of you would need a permanent residency visa.

You may be better served to start your quest with familiarity of visa types and requirements, and then move on to other concerns after digesting Ecuador's visa requirements.

Start here:
Immigrant Visas
http://www.cancilleria.gob.ec/immigrant-visas/?lang=en

^^^That being said - and based in anecdotal evidence - get in the country, obtain an extension, enroll your boys in school, then apply for a visa. If your kids are enrolled in an ecuadorian school you are "almost" guaranteed a hasslefree visa.

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