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Overseas Property Advice

Tips for Buying Propery in Ecuador

By zadfrak

An expat in Ecuador offers advice to other expats buying property in Ecuador -- from finding a local lawyer to renting before buying to the best places to buy property in Ecuador.


Popular Areas of Ecuador for Expats

Usually you'll tend to see a proximity to the large cities and the major airports such as Guayaquil, Manta and Quito.

MLS (Multiple Listing Service) in Ecuador

Yes, there is a MLS Service in Ecuador. Although it may show 50% of what is available. Some houses will just have a sign in the window. Just remember that a broker may know about half of what is out there and you'll need locals and natives for the other 50%.

Property Prices in Ecuador

Property Prices in Ecuador

$100-$150k inland for a house. Coastal areas can be similar depending upon the proximity to a large population. Plan on another $50k for coastal area's and be prepared for the pockets of expensive homes.

Advice for Expats Buying Property in Ecuador

Try staying in an equivalent type structure you are considering. For example, if you want a condo in Bahia, stay at a condo in Bahia for a week, Minimum. A house in Cuenca? Rent one for a week.

If you think the weekly rental price is too expensive, you'd better take a hard look at investing 75 to 100 times more than that. So, in actually, it pays to do it.

Should an expat hire a lawyer when buying real estate in Ecuador?

Of course. A local firm only. They can be the only person on your side and even that is not the case in all situations.

Costs Involved in Buying a Property

Usually in the neighborhood of 2-3%.

The 5 Best Places in Ecuador to Buy Property

  1. Mountain Area - Cotacachi, Ibarra, Otavalo. Nice mountain region and towns are sizable enough for everything with Cotacachi being the smallest.
  2. Cuenca - Best combination of everything but may be pricey. Ballenita expanding area with new Malecon (pier & boardwalk) being built
  3. Canoa - Nicest beach in the country & similar to Daytona Beach.
  4. Olon - Getting pricey but surrounding area's still present value for being by the ocean.

For more information on where to live, read 10 Best Places to Live in Ecuador.

Are there any restrictions on foreign property ownership?


7 Steps in Buying Property in Ecuador

  1. Find it first. Easier said than done. Big thing is the water and water supply.
  2. Find an attorney that does real estate in that area - not hours away because they were mentioned on an internet board. Local only.
  3. Have him research everything because it is a buyer beware country with minimal recourse.
  4. If building, be vary wary of partially completed developments -- lots of them go under and you are out of money and luck.
  5. If buying an existing property, try using a popular and major real estate agent. Consider hiring one as a buyer's agent even if you found the place yourself -- you need someone on your side.
  6. Figure out how to pay them for the property. Ecuadorian banks are tough to deal with on transactions. Have a professional figure this part of things out for you and follow it.
  7. Be there for that final period before closing. Too many things can go wrong at the end and you need to be there.

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