Expat Exchange
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Real Estate in Ecuador

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Expats and retirees talk about real estate in Ecuador? How do you find a home in Ecuador? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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How do I find a place to live in Ecuador?

Live in Ecuador? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We came to Ecuador 4 times and fell in love with Salinas. We had a realtor help us find our new condo," explained one person living in Salinas, Ecuador.

"Because my Spanish was limited when I arrived I found someone who had helped people in her church find an apartment. We looked at many. Some were terrible and some were ok and by the seventh day, I found the perfect place. She was most helpful and she kept telling me to speak Spanish which was not really easy but I did it anyway," said another expat in Cuenca.

"Can only afford to rent a room so I rent from another Californian (a blessing) in a mostly quiet building of other North Americans. It is a condo. Met the dear lady I rent from at church," remarked another member in Cuenca.

"We are in Puerto Cayo. It is small and I mean small. There are no shopping for groceries or luxury items. It is quiet and on any given day, I am the only person on miles and miles of beach," explained one expat living in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador.

"Not easy... I was offered a teaching job at PUCE , then denied it when my papers came through very late but I knew the barrio where I wanted to live -- however, it has gone up in price and there were few options available. I walked around in the neighborhood I wanted to finally settle in and found what I need. This is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED way to discover a good apt in Quito," said another person in Quito.

"We found a B&B first however the price went up to $550 mo instead of the 300 which was advertised. They said the 300 ones were taken,(not true they didn't exist. We were lucky enough to meet others on the street that told us of better places for $210 mo. We moved. Ask around especially the cab drivers, they know a lot," added another expat who made the move to Cuenca.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Ecuador?

Live in Ecuador? Answer this Question

"If you really want to experience and love Ecuador - or any other foreign - don't make the mistake that too many ex-pats do by surrounding themselves with other ex-pats in an all-ex-pat gated community. Why move to a foreign country only to surround yourself with English-speaking gringos who sit around all day complaining about how everything was "so much better back home"?," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Ecuador.

"I would not say it is not typical. Most expats decide to live in an apartment or penthouse in a primarily English speaking neighborhood with more upscale restaurants. Others will live closer to downtown as it is less expensive. I chose to live in a Spanish speaking neighborhood by one of the rivers and across from the park. The birds sing every morning," explained one person living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

"11th floor 2B/2B condo with river view and 24 hour security guards and underground car parking," said another expat in Cuenca.

"A "suite" or two rooms and bath, lovely little place, good dueno and furnished nicely with condominio fee monthly it's $460. in the swanky neightborhood of Gonzalez Suarez. Noise here is bad," remarked another member in Quito.

"We are in a large home which has separate baths for each bedroom and full use of the house/kitchen. It a beautiful home and the owner lives here as well. You will want to watch how far the bus stops are and markets. The quality is average however has a nice yard also," explained one expat living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

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

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What is the average cost of housing in Ecuador?

Live in Ecuador? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to Ecuador, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"They are much lower. The average cost is hard to say because the range is so broad depending on what you want. I will say the property taxes are 1% of the purchase price per year," added another expat who made the move to Salinas.

"I could never find a place like what I would get in the US. It is probably 3 to 4 less than in the states," explained one foreigner living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

"Housing for expats seems to be going up mostly because new expats will pay the asking prices which are still much cheaper then in the US. Furnished apartments average $500-$700. Unfurnished $300-$500 http://gas2335.blogspot.com/2013/05/update-on-my-cuenca-ecuador-condo.html," said another in Cuenca.

"If you have funds, you can afford to live anywhere in the world. Ecuador can cost almost as much as the U.S. because of "gringo gouging" Best way to find housing is not to read paid ads but to first find a neighborhood and buildings you might like, then look for signs and call the numbers directly. It takes an enormous amount of work to figure out which landlords are honest and fair and those who are not. Even if they seem correct, they may turn on you. The name of the game is $$$ and if you are not on a budget, then nothing really matters and you can pay double or more than a local would... This later remark is noteworthy... paying more contributes to the economy, but also creates understandable resentment among locals," explained one expat in Cuenca.

"Much lower. We paid cash for our land and to build our house. Electric is about 100 per month. We get 2 trucks of water a month roughly and it equates to about $50/month in water. There are no other bills," explained one person living in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador.

"The housing costs here are substantially less than anywhere in the US. Our costs in the US for similar housing would be at least $1500mo," explained one expat living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Should I buy or rent a home in Ecuador?

Live in Ecuador? Answer this Question

If you have not spent a lot of time in Ecuador, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Do not buy anything until you've lived in this country for at least 6 months! And preferably for over 1 year. Rent a house, an apartment, a condo first! Get to know the ENTIRE country. Travel, learn the language, get acclimatized, absorb the culture, and make friends ( both gringos and Ecuadorians ) ... then decide what place really fits you best and where you want to make your home. By then you'll have built up contacts, and learned the real prices ( not the tourist/gringo ones ), Then, and only then, should you consider buying. Once the rose-colored glasses have come off, you can make a sensible and informed decision about purchasing and possible investment. Don't buy a pig in a polk, as they say. Take your time. You'll be glad you did. ¬°Bienvenida y buena suerte," added another expat who made the move to Ecuador.

"Lots of rental and for sale properties everywhere. I rent an apartment. In smaller towns like mine people don't even sign any rental agreements and it is convenient to rent from month to month," explained one foreigner living in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.

"There are many rentals and sale options, we have rented the entire time as we like the security of our apartment while we are traveling," said another in Cuenca.

"Purchased - not a difficult process at all - probably easier than in the USA or Canada," explained one expat in Bahia de Caraquez.

"We bought a home when we made our first trip here about 9 months ago. That is we placed a down payment on an existing but fairly new house. Real estate agents here are a bit of a gamble but we were lucky. The process is very fluid and I'd recommend you keep all your emails and get them to put all the terms in English in email. We came back for a week in January to close on the house and meet with the attorney about the visas. After a month at home to pack our stuff, we came back and moved in. The seller loaned us some basic furnishings and has been very accommodating. All in all, pretty smooth and easy," explained one person living in Manglaralto, Ecuador.

"I rent a two bedroom, two bathroom condo on the 11th floor on the Rio Tomebamba. 24-hour security guards, underground parking I pay $300 a month for rent, gas $8, water $10, cable $52, internet $34 and security is $50," explained one expat living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Why do people move to Ecuador?

Live in Ecuador? Answer this Question

When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Ecuador, they said:

"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," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Ecuador.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Guayaquil, Ecuador

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GET A QUOTE

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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Learn what members have to say about living in Ecuador.

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Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Ecuador on our Ecuador forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

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