Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here is the House We Rent For $250 a Month in Cuenca!

The house we rent in Cuenca is about 2000 sq ft and was built in 2008. It is a cement home with 3 bedrooms, office, sun room, living room, dining room, kitchen, outdoor laundry patio area under roof, small green area, and 2-1/2 baths. There is tile throughout and the bedrooms and office have hardwood floors. The kitchen has granite counter tops. Living room has a sunken hardwood floor from the dining room, and both of these rooms have about 1/2 thick crown molding and lots of detail. we are enjoying our new rental home in Cuenca. 

UPDATE: You will obviously pay more for amenities such as 24 hour security, or a big yard, or many bedrooms, or furnishings, etc. But you still need to watch out for price gouging. We  live in a wonderful, safe, Ecuadorian neighborhood and we built all of our own furniture, plus we have a beautiful view of the Andes Mountains. This house was renting for $350 but because it had not been rented in awhile we negotiated the price down $100. We also had to sign a lease for one year. Update: we signed a second lease and still rent for $250.

Here are some pictures I took when we first moved in.

Living room looking towards the office and sunroom


Dining room and living room area


another view of dining and living area




kitchen

Another view of the kitchen



Bath 1



Bath 2


Half bath 3


Hall leading to 3 bedrooms


Outdoor laundry area and patio under roof but outside


Each of the 3 bedrooms has its own built in closets just like this one.

Last but not least, this is a propane hot water unit. I know, it looks small but it does heat the water just fine. It costs about $2 to fill the tank (its a big tank, oops forgot to take picture of the propane tank) and with five people taking showers every day, and three sons that take 15 to 20 minute showers, we have had to fill it once a week so far. So, it costs about $8 a month for all of us to take hot showers daily. We're quite happy with that. We've been told that electricity is about $20 a month. Our new stove and oven is propane too. When we get the bill in another few weeks, I'll let you know in a new post all about the utilities costs, including propane usage for a family of five living here in Cuenca.
UPDATE: June 2012 - it now cost $2.50 to fill the gas tank




Here's photos of the living, dining, and kitchen after we built our furniture and settled in.










30 comments:

  1. Hi guys... love your blog.

    I live in NM and am considering a move to Ecuador... maybe Cuenca altho I'm wondering if it is a bit cold?

    How in the world did you find this house or $250...? I guess once you get there you can look in the local papers?

    thanks! Carol

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  2. Hi Carol,

    Most people do not think it is too cold. And the truth is once you go outside and start walking around, and we do a lot of that, you warm up and it is really nice, not too cold or hot. For us, coming from South Carolina the weather was often times so hot in the spring and summer that you couldn't even enjoy the outdoors.

    Frank explained about the weather really well in our video on the 12 annoyances of Cuenca. Frank came first, before the boys and I and he got the house. The listed price was $325 but we got it for $250. It's all about negotiating here and the willingness to walk away if the price is not to your liking.

    All the papers in Cuenca are in Spanish, so knowing even a little bit is quite helpful.

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  3. Thanks Angie...!

    After I posted I did find more info re your house on your blog... which is EXCELLENT by the way. Much more in the way of real info you can actually use than the other expat blogs... so thank you guys for that.

    I did read where you (in particular) are a little put off by the cold (maybe more to do with lack of adequate heat in your house...) and were going to check out Salinas and Manta... I will be very interested to see what you think of those areas.

    I am an artist, and it seems like Cuenca might have a little more to offer in that regard... but Salinas might be good as well.

    I live in Santa Fe NM at about 7000 ft... but of course I'm not on the equator! It's just that SO MANY of the photos I see from Cuenca and even Manta are cloudy and overcast... it's rare to see a photo with blue skies... and I have had SAD so am just trying to get a feel for the cloudiness factor + cold.... sorry to ramble on there...

    Anyway... am really enjoying your blog... I had a thought this morning... perhaps you could open a thrift store? You've probably thought about that... and for the reasons you gave on the 12 annoyances video, maybe there is not enough supply for a thrift store... but I bet there would be good demand!

    Best... carol

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    1. Carol, I lived in NM for 50 years and the last two in Santa Fe. I am pretty sure the weather will be warmer in Cuenca than Santa Fe in the winter, lol, and less windy, too. I am curious if you ever made it to Ecuador. dpcjsr@yahoo.com. Regards, Jim

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  4. Hi Carol,

    An update on the weather, its been chillier here and I read on another blog that last year (2010) October and November were the coldest months in Cuenca! But Yesterday the sun came out and it was a beautiful day--and for the whole day. Today was cloudy again, but it is warmer than it has been. Remember: it is winter here, and it is pretty mild for being winter.

    Yeah, when we first got here and I saw there were no thrift stores I said to Frank, they need a thrift store here. But like you said, where to get the stuff to supply your thrift store with...that's the thing.

    Take care! I'll keep you posted on the weather...it's certainly not that bad once you are outside but I must say, it is not as summy as New Mexico, that's for sure! :-)
    Angie :-)

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    Replies
    1. If you want to open a Thrift Store with excellent used clothing, it's very possible to buy it in the USA and have it shipped in containers to your overseas home location.
      Europe is full of this used clothing stores and all the used clothing is in excellent condition and comes from the USA in shipping containers. Go on the internet and look for used clothes that can be shipped any where over seas via shipping containers! I've seen these stores
      in Europe and they always have customers in the stores
      every day. It would be a fun profitable business and you also need to examine shipping costs & import taxes and then store rental costs and then make a decision. Good Luck!

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    2. this is exactly what I'd like to do. I used to volunteer at Bottomless Closet and learned more about clothes than I ever imagined possible...although I knew a lot already, actually unpacking and handling clothes is helpful too. You are SO right about U.S. clothing ending up in Europe..in the south of France where I lived, the used clothing stalls at the weekly market were always busy.

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    3. this is exactly what I'd like to do. I used to volunteer at Bottomless Closet and learned more about clothes than I ever imagined possible...although I knew a lot already, actually unpacking and handling clothes is helpful too. You are SO right about U.S. clothing ending up in Europe..in the south of France where I lived, the used clothing stalls at the weekly market were always busy.

      Delete
  5. Love your blog.... and youtube videos... I just got back from Cuenca. We are looking to move there next year. We have heard from a few people that the banks give a good interest on deposited funds. Someone told us they were getting 7% return on a $25,000 savings account. Do you know anything about this???? We also heard if you deposit $25,000 or more in an Ecuadorian bank it can help to qualify for legal residency??? Thanks.

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  6. That's correct on both accounts. And...I've also heard there is a place where you can get 10% interest on your money. Right here in Cuenca. Unfortunately,I don't have the details, you'll have to do your own homework.

    Frank

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  7. Since I'm a single woman and completely unhandy, I will have to buy my furniture although I love that you built yours. I find lots of info about the cost of living but very little about the cost of setting up house. I'm not looking for top of the line, nor cheap junk. Particularly, a sofa, coffee & end tables, lamps, computer desk and chair, dining table & 6 chairs, 2 queen beds and good mattresses, nightstands and lamps for the bedrooms and a few rugs. Also, have you seen the type of pull-out sofas we use for guests in the U.S. and how much are they? I appreciate your prices on appliances but I have yet to see prices on furniture but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.

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  8. Hi Diane, thanks!

    The cost for setting up a house is an individual or family thing depending on their needs and lifestyle. Read this post again:
    http://livingfrugalandhappy.blogspot.com/2011/11/cuenca-cost-of-living-index-ambiguous.html

    Furniture prices vary greatly depending on what you want. The cheaper furniture here looks nice, but it is constructed for short people, it is very low to the floor and for some reason it is also hard. The medium end furniture is a little bit better in that area. Expect to pay US prices or sometimes higher.

    Here is a post on some actual furniture prices.
    http://livingfrugalandhappy.blogspot.com/2011/10/furniture-stores-in-cuenca-ecuador.html

    Have not seen any hide-a-beds but that does not mean they are not here. I'll keep my eyes peeled though.

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  9. It all depends on your tastes. Just as a guess--timate, probably $5K for a 2 bedroom, to $7-$8K for a four bedroom. You might do better or much worse than that.

    We have friends in Seattle. Sumter SC and Seattle, hehe two worlds apart.

    There are other towns that we are told are slightly warmer. We haven't been to any of them yet so can't give any details. Sorry.

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  10. I am also looking for sunny place as I am from Florida, that used to be sunny, now it is not so sunny when they do chemtrailing us daily. But it is warm here, some say too hot. I like warm weather and I like sunbathing on the beach. I am not going to have a lots of money as I be living on SS income. So I am going have to be very frugal there. I know how to do it though. Are there any Thrift Stores or second hand stores there? Are there gyms or Health clubs? Can I get somebody from there as my penpall to find out more about Cuenca?

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  11. No thrift stores. See our "12 annoyances video".

    Yes, we've seen gyms.

    You can keep reading there's lots of information.

    Thanks for commenting....

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  12. I LOVE your blog! I love the real information that you give.
    I do have a question. You said in this post that you signed a lease for a year. I was wondering if you could share what sort of visa you have or are trying to get. I don't know if you have already said so in another post, I only recently discovered your blog and I'm trying to read all of your posts but I haven't gotten them all yet.
    Keep up the good work!

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  13. We are thinking of moving to Ecuador and want to know what it is like living there from another expat who has no real investment other than wanting to retire and live comfortable. We lived in Panama for 6 years and loved it but health issues brought us back to the US. Living abroad is what we know we want. Can you tell me what it is like living in Cuenca, the weather, financial, crime, anything and everything possible. How is the climate in Cuenca? Where is the springlike weather they talk about in Equador? Cuenca?

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  14. There's a whole lot of information here, keep reading. Also, be sure to use the side SEARCH BOX just type in a keyword and articles will come up.

    And if you're serious about moving to Cuenca, have you checked the DIYCuencaLandingGuide yet?
    In it we answer all the common questions people seem to want to know, but not only that , it's actually a digital facilitator in that it helps you get settled and gives you a great inside view on life in Ecuador and Cuenca in particular. It is a valuable companion and will save you time and money, in addition to a lot of other valuable information. See for yourself what people are saying about it.

    In addition, when you purchase the DIYCUENCALANDINGGUIDE on the DiscoverCuencaEcuador.com website, we offer free email support.

    Peace,
    Frank Angie and sons

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  15. What neighborhood is this in and what is it close to? thanks

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  16. Hello Anonymous. Sorry, but we cannot divulge where we live over the Internet, or to people we do not know, but we will tell you that it is in a good/safe Ecuadorian neighborhood right next to the river with mountain views and centrally located within walking distance to super markets, restaurants, etc.

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  17. hello --I am thinking about moving to cuenca; I have a 15 year old daughter who will be a high school freshman next year . are there any english or bilingual schools in cuenca ?
    sue

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  18. My wife are both retiring in the next 2 years from teacing ad coaching We are planning to come down to both Cuenca (first choice) and Cotocahi. We have been llooking in to Latn America for over a year. Is there a service we could hire to show us around and guide our visit? marty

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  19. Hi.. Enjoyed reading your blog. I am a retired Canadian gentleman presently living in Guatemala. While I do love living here, because Canada does not have a tax treaty with Guatemala, I lose 25% of my pension monies.
    Three countries that do not penalize me are Argentina (too expensive), Peru and Ecuador. I plan that exploratory journey soon to see which area is best for me.
    I also have a blog I write about Guatemala and if you Google Heartquest Guatemala it will come up.
    Thanks for your info again and I shall perhaps see you in some future.

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  20. Hi: Love your website.

    I am currently retired with my wife of 40 years, We are just starting to put the wheels in motion to retire to Cuenca.

    Just a quick question, any comments, drawbacks about taken our household good with us.
    That includes kitchen appliances, furniture, Living room, dining room, bedroom...

    I'll appreciate any feedback

    Thanks

    Carlos

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  21. Hi. We wrote a bit about that on other posts. You can use the 'search' bar at the right side of the website. Be sure to use several different keywords for the same subject. There are several hundred articles here springing from our experiences.

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  22. Thank you for the information. Would you please answer a couple of questions:

    You say that prices are increasing. Even with the increases, how would you compare Cuenca with US prices?

    Would you still recommend Cuenca to a retiring couple who hopes to move there by the end of 2014?
    Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. We've already written extensively about this subject. One needs only to use the 'search' bar at the top right side of the website.


      Words like, "retirees" and "u.s. prices" and "cheaper" are subjective. Fact is, retirees have lots of options right there in their own country if they will just take a look outside of the area they're in. Especially as in reference to folks from large Metro areas.


      U.s. coastal areas, are much higher priced than say inland areas, Midwest, South, South
      East, etc. If all you're looking for is 'cheaper prices' you can make your own shangrila at home.

      The question here is, cheaper than what? And for whom? The people that rent a large home
      in Tennessee for $800, or the people that are buying in small town Virginia for $560 a month,or people in L.A. paying $2000 a month for an apartment? For which of those would
      Cuenca be 'cheaper'?

      Prices in Florida and Las Vegas for homes have already been reported as cheaper than Cuenca Ecuador....The problem with "cheaper" is that prices keep gong higher and higher here because the price is still 'cheaper'
      than wherever the next Joe is from, which as outlined above, is subjective...


      And that's not even starting with a discussion of the fact that you're comparing
      apples and oranges. Ecuador is not the u.s.a but cheaper. It's a whole nuther animal....
      anyhow, could go on and on but the subject
      has been covered extensively on this website....

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    2. Do you know of any places available of similar quality for about the same price? I may need to rent a place in a month or two. Please email me @ pc575@yahoo.com

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  23. hi frank and angie, i love all the info , you are a great help to all that need it, can you tell me , do you know of any stores that rent furniture , as I am not sure if i will reside there permanantly , thanks for the help Frank

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