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Expat Advice: Moving to Cuenca, Ecuador

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Cuenca

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

Being from Australia probably more vegemite. My moisturiser that I used for hundreds of years........but now I have found another here that is just as good. My grown kids :)

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Take your time to look around and if you find something that just jumps out at you take it. You will know if it feels right. Don't wait as if you do when you go back it will probably be gone. If you are looking and coming back to live here at a later date you can always rent it out to other expats. Rentals are in short demand for expats here in Cuenca.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

We live in a large two bedroom two bathroom apartment with views to the mountains and over the river. Yes there are expats in other buildings but we did not come here to live with expats............although we love bumping into them. We only have one other couple (expats) who live in our building. The rest are locals and lovely people and they have accepted us with open arms.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

We made an exploratory trip months before we decided to come and live in Cuenca, Ecuador. We did not really choose the neighborhood we just found the apartment absolutely fell in love with it and the price was just right and the view and everything. It seemed like a good neighborhood as well and we bought it within two weeks of being in this country. To date 18 months later we are still very very happy with our purchase. We have since found it is a great neighborhood close to all amenities but far enough from the centre of the city.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

You can buy a beautiful 2 brm 2.5 bathroom apartment from about $78,000 upwards. If you are looking for a home with a bit of land around you can go about 15 mins from Cuenca and find the most beautiful homes for $150,000 - $300,000 and of course then you have the ones that are even higher. Depending on what you are looking for. There are beautiful pre-construction apartments selling from $60,000 to a large penthouse which has the most spectacular views for under $200,000. I went and paid our phone and electric bill the other day and for the two of us it was $30 for the month. Our apartment taxes are around $30 per year. Our security apartment and gas fees per month are $63.00.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Oct 6, 2010 16:47

very candid and helpful.....thank you

marshajdavis
Oct 23, 2010 13:16

What is the name of the area where you are living? It sounds exactly like what I am looking for? I plan a visit in the spring to check things out, however, my retirement isn't for two years.

guest
Oct 27, 2010 18:37

This report was a big help and the forum itself is easy to maneuver in. I also would like to know the name of the area. Is there a building with a swimming pool close by? Also, 2 other questions. Do you know of a good art supply store in Cuenca and do many/any of the expats play bridge? Thanks for your help.

guest
Dec 1, 2010 15:50

Dear All, I am Lorena Lopez, I am woking in Cuenca Chamber of Commerce, please check out or web site www.cuencaforexpats.com we are giving any kynd of support to all expats or contact me to my emial llopez@cccuenca.com.ec

IndyJones
Jan 17, 2011 12:50

Hello All, Welcome to Cuenca, Ecuador. I would like to invite you to visit, stay and retire in beautiful Ecuador. if youre looking to retire, travel or invest in Cuenca then you came to the right place. Cuenca expat relocation Specialist guide you through all the process in securing your next home away from home. From hooking up the basic utilities to purchasing your next retirement home in paradise. Please contact fedvet2003@yahoo.com for detailed info.

jcksr
Jan 18, 2011 23:22

Direct and to the point. My husband & I are in the process of purchasing property in Ecuador. Helpful information. Thanks!

guest
Feb 14, 2011 23:18

Thanks for the good advice. We will be coming to Cuenca with hopes to relocate this summer. Can you recommend a good realtor?

guest
Mar 1, 2011 21:57

I'd like to see a date on this report, to be able to at least guess at the increase in cost of living, since it was published. You've answered one big question for me, and that is "where to live in Cuenca, AWAY FROM OTHER EXPATRIATES". If I should go to Ecuador to live, I would want to become as Ecuadorian as I can possibly be! Thank you for this report, and for the links to other answers!

HoopersJudge
Aug 14, 2011 09:49

Thank you for your review. Can you suggest some realtors to work with in Cuenca, ones that speak English? Do you speak Spanish? I do not and I wonder how much of a barrier that will be for me. Obviously I will have to learn when I get down there. Do you have any suggestions for that? I also wonder about Gringo prices+ Do you feel that you pay more than the locals for items because you are given stupid gringo prices? Thanks so much!

guest
Nov 8, 2011 13:38

I live in a gated retirement community, Orlando, florida,(1660sf,3 br,double carport,10x25 screened porch overlooking small lake, 3 pools,sauna,2 outdoor hot tubs, no golf). My wife does not want to give up her furniture or of seeing our 2 sons and 3 gran kids. Soooo, I was wondering is there a place where I could go to arrange for a house,or apt. swap for 4-6 mos. I do not want the hassle of a permanent.Any suggestions? Thanks, Tom and Kay

guest
Dec 28, 2011 10:26

I'm surprised by the cost of housing. This is much higher than I have been reading elsewhere.

adminee
Feb 9, 2012 14:58

thank you

adminee
Feb 9, 2012 15:00

thank you

Relocation2
Mar 29, 2012 21:35

We have lived in Cuenca for three years. The first six months is the hardest, everthing is so deifferent. The second six months you frustration is at its height. Then you begin to realize your getting accustom to everything. Don't get upset, it will all work out Becareful of advise check everything out. Confirm negative remarks, it seems to be a gringo pass time to complain and blow things out of proportion. Dont be flashy, in what you wear. The cuenca tourist Association has great english people. Learn the culture and learn to flow with not try to reform it. I have a 16 page briefing on moving and living in Ecuador. petrapresident@gmail.com

richmarano
Mar 25, 2013 04:54

Barret please contact as i am most intersted in moving to Cuenca and want to meet trustworthy friends etc. thank you Rich Marano rbmara360@yahoo.com

Vnemerson
Mar 29, 2013 22:35

Thank you for note on negative gringo-speak. My husband and I are researching move to Cuanco. Regards

martefa
May 4, 2013 09:06

Hello, I am planning to visit Cuenca this coming December and would like very much to know which real estate agencies are the most trust worthy. I would be looking at both furnished/unfurnished apts and or condos with view of lots of trees and mountains. Thinking of relocating from Colombia. Many thanks in advance. Please reply at martefa2@gmail.com

guest
May 26, 2013 23:33

I want to move to Ecuador but I need someone else to go there also not live with no live with but do this together with male or female I live in Arizona

carlfrederick
Jun 4, 2013 10:54

To petrapresident: Thanks for your post. Your "16-page report" on the Country would be much appreciated. I was wondering if I can acquire a "Resident/retirement" Visa PRIOR to leaving the USA, or do I need to enter ERcuador on a tourist Visa and apply for Resident from inside Ecuador? Studio rentals available? Approx. cost per month?

soneal
Dec 8, 2013 15:26

i also am in az---looking for a travel companion

ANITAHAT2
Jul 29, 2014 17:03

you don't need a Visa if US Citizen. I am also looking for travel companion and I'm in NoCal.......how are you thinking of traveling, car, boat or airplane?

PAgringo
Sep 22, 2014 10:41

How long can a person stay on their US visa; I plan to make Cuenca my home. Is it difficult & expensive to become a resident? Citizen? Thanks to all & BEST WISHES. perfect_4_you_2014@yahoo.com (also looking for a marriage partner).

Yogena
Apr 17, 2015 21:41

I am in NorCal myself. I just signed up here. I am going to Cuenca third week of June. I will be going to Ecuador, Galapagos, June 4. Have you made travel arrangements yet?

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