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Expat Advice: Moving to Cuenca, Ecuador

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New Cathedral in Cuenca, Ecuador

Ask expat friends in Cuenca about places to rent to avoid being taken advantage of by other expats and locals. Housing costs are much lower in Cuenca than in the US.

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


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

We wish we would have brought a Leatherman, our Vitamix and a portable water filter. We could have done without so many clothes.

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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?

Get an agreement in writing, at least the basic rules and conditions. Compare and ask questions of expats living here. After paying far to much they demanded we pay for propane to cook, which was to be included. They turned off our gas so we could not cook. Ask if they own the house. They usually do not. If you are robbed or stolen from (it happens) they will not have insurance for you. Ask people living here about places to rent, not those under Air B&B.

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

We are in a B&B and not typical as apartments are every where. You just don't know until you get here.

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

Through the internet we found a person whom totally misrepresented the rental market, however not knowing we were taken advantage of.

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

Housing cost are substantially less than at home. We are moving into a real mansion with full use of the house and our own bath for $210 mo. $200-350 mo is very available. We were taken the first mo. at $550mo and was much less quality. Actually it was horrible.

More Expat Advice about Moving to Ecuador

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Comments about this Report

Feb 18, 2013 08:32

Avoid brokers at all costs. They are grossly overcharging for their minimal services to the point that I call them crooks. Find a relocation expert to help you out. At $12-$20 an hour, they can probably help you find a good rental for under $100. If they want more than that, don't waste your time with them. There a many many rentals in Cuenca. And finally, Cuenca is not that great of a city that everyone says it is. It's cold and dirty. There are much better places to live in Ecuador.

Feb 20, 2013 11:32

What are the "much better places" to live in Ecuador?

Mar 25, 2013 17:20

What does land cost and what about building a house ...any idea how much it costs ? Thanks, Mark

Apr 8, 2013 16:18

Totally disagree with the poster that said "Cuenca is not that great of a city that everyone says it is. It's cold and dirty. There are much better places to live in Ecuador." While there may be much better places to live in Ecuador, we found Cuenca both beautiful AND clean. I mean, they were power washing sidewalks at night! And cold? I guess you need to describe what you think is cold. We live on the coast right on the beach and right now it is hot, hot, and more hot. Oh wait, and very humid! I would take the Cuenca weather during the rainy season on the beach anytime. Actually thinking of renting out our place on the beach in the rainy season and renting a small place in Cuenca. Totally enjoyed all the people (locals and ex-pats), the food is awesome as well, and the architecture is so European in many places. I guess it's all in the eyes of the beholder. Go, check it out, and make your own decision.

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