- Cuenca FAQ
- What is Cuenca Like?
- Retiring or Moving to Cuenca?
- Expats in Cuenca Talk
- Health and Well Being
- Better Health, Better Life
- Marriage Restoration
- DIY Quito Landing Guide
- DIY Cuenca Ecuador Landing Guide
- DIY Ecuador Coast Guide
- Cuenca Ecuador Videos
- FREE Restaurant Guide
- Browse Bookstore
- La Libertad
- Puerto Lopez
- Puerto Cayo
- San Lorenzo
- San Clemete
- Bahia de Caraquez
- San Vicente
- Cost of Living for Family of Five!
- Avoid Gringo Gouging with Rule of 3 and 4
- Retire in Cuenca on $1600 Instead of $900...what?
- Cuenca Ecuador Has Been Discovered!
- Why Cuenca Cost of Living is Ambiguous
- Is it Cheaper to Live in Pennsylvania or Cuenca?
- Cuenca Inflation: Comment from an Ecuadorian
- Don't Move to Cuenca Just Because It's Cheap
- How Much Produce Can You Buy with $26?
- Feed Family for $400 a Month
- Bargaining Is Expected In Ecuador
- Do You Have to Go Frugal in Cuenca?
- Medical Tourism in Cuenca
- All This Food for $20 Bucks!
- Real Estate Purchasing Power and the Fickleness of Cheap Edens
- Buying Real Estate in Cuenca? Read This First
- Do You Want Cuenca to Turn Into a Panama?
- Why We Did Not Accept HHI Feature Offer
- Don't Fall Victim to Overpriced Real Estate
- Real Estate Market up: How to Still Find Bargains
- How Not to Dress Like a Rich American
- Not All Gringos are Rich!
- What Kind of Impact Do Shows Like HHI Make on Small Cities Like Cuenca?
- More Articles About Cuenca RE
- We Rent for $250
- Gringa Expat Rents 3/2 for $200!
- $300 Dollar Cuenca Rentals
- Rental Inflation - Local Cuencana Speaks Out
- Searching for a Local Priced Rental
- Talking with Ecuadorian RE Broker about Expat Relocation
- Beautiful $300 Rental Home Tour
- Can You Still Find $250 Rentals in Cuenca?
- Local Taxi Driver Says, "Don't Pay More than $300 for Rent"
- Pets and Furnished Rentals
- Local Priced Rental Home Tours
- Are You a Responsible Expatter?
- NEGOTIATE Instead of being Gringoed
- How to Get a Good Rental Deal
- Can You Still Find Local Priced Rentals in Cuenca?
- How Do Ecuadorians Protect Themselves from Crime
- How I Got Pick Pocketed on the Bus
- Safe Neighborhoods in Cuenca?
- Petty Theft Crime in Ecuador
- Is It Safer to Live in Gringolandia?
- Why Homes Are Walled and Behind Iron Gates
- Avoid Being a Victim!
- Expat Woman Stabbed on Popular Walking Trail
- Gringos NOT Taking Ecuador Crime Seriously
- What Future Expats Need to Know Before Retiring to Ecuador
- We Answer Readers Concerns
- Stay Vigilant in the Quito and Guayaquil Airports
- How Not to Become a Target of Crime
- Alice Retires in Cuenca and Rents for $350
- Karina Rents Nice Apartment for $200 w/Views!
- Ecuadorian RE Broker Shares Inside Scoop to Expat Living
- Expat Shares His Experience at the Quito Airport
- Expat David Shares His Story at the Quito Airport
- Expat Andrea Shares Her Story with the Ecuadorian Residency Visa
- Meet Expats Jim and Kay and their First Impressions of Cuenca
- DIY Cuenca Landing Guide Video Reviews from Expats
- Shopping in Cuenca
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Real Estate Prices Up in Cuenca: How to Still Get a Bargain when Buying a House
We’ve read that property prices have shot up 20% since Cuenca was first named the best retirement haven in the world in 2009. We’ve been watching the market real close since then and property prices have most definitely increased. But now remember, you cannot go by the listed Internet prices. In other words, the price you see on the Internet is much higher than what the price of a property should really go for.
I do a lot of online research and I have noticed that many of the real estate companies for Ecuador are not even based in Ecuador—they are based in the U.S. Now, what this tells us is a big price mark up. We’re not telling you how to do things but we are letting you know there are other ways of buying properties without going through a real estate company.
If you really want to go through a real estate company make sure they are actually based in the city where you are buying the house from and that no agent living in the U.S will be getting anything from the sale. You wouldn’t believe how many companies and websites that are advertising Cuenca real estate, products and services but do not even live in Ecuador! Not to mention any names, but more than half of the blogs about Cuenca Ecuador are from people based in the U.S.
It’s paradoxical but it is not the Ecuadorians targeting gringos that you have to worry about too much—it’s the gringos targeting gringos! I hope you didn’t miss that. You have to be willing to walk away. There are a lot of folks in the Ecuador real estate market right now because it’s going to be hot and everyone and their grandma wants to get in on the action. It’s sad and unfortunately, it’s true.
As most of you know we are frugal and we like to do most things ourselves without having a middleman involved and it is mostly because of this kind of thing going on…it’s how we gringos get targeted for overpriced properties. Understand this, if the website is based in the U.S someone within the U.S is getting something out of the sale of the property you just bought in Ecuador. Is that how you want to buy a home here?
Remember, you are most likely to overpay if you’re new to Ecuador, and Cuenca. Ms. Diligence asks: Have you lived here for at least a year before making a decision about buying in Cuenca or Ecuador in general?
About listed property prices: You can try and get a better price when you come to visit but it will still be overpriced because the listed price is way overpriced to begin with. Do you see what I’m saying? It’s fun to look at houses online from the comfort of your own home, and it’s nice to have a big list of houses to look at, but it will be much better to come here and then get the addresses to the houses and then go look at them. When you see a home you like, leave a note on the door in Spanish for the owner to contact you directly.
English Speaking Real-estate vs. Spanish Speaking Real-estate
When I look in the Ecuadorian classifieds in the newspaper for homes for sale, more than half say, “Price is negotiable”. Not only that, but home prices are more reasonable. Not all of them, but a lot of them are. This is because their main target is their own people—Ecuadorians targeting Ecuadorians. The best way to find a house bargain here is to not be in a hurry, meet locals, and go out and look at homes every single day. If you do this, you will know the market--then and only then should you think about an offer. You may have to hire a translator if you don’t speak Spanish.
So in a nutshell, talk to some of the friendly locals, get the house addresses and go look at them, leave a note for the owner on the door and find a bargain priced property yourself? It may take months and months of looking and doing research and walking around, but hey, it will be well worth your effort in the end. Once you have actually negotiated a price with the owner then if you need to use the real-estate company the house is listed with there will be no targeting and no agendas.
Most of the real-estate online Internet companies for Ecuador like to give you a good spiel about “how not to get targeted as a foreigner when buying property in Ecuador”. It all sounds good and nice but their prices reflect differently than what they say on their website. They are in fact already targeting you as a foreigner!
A Gringo the other day was bragging all over the blogs and forums about how cheap their beach home is they just bought for $110,000. But get this, International Living brags that you can buy both a beach home and a mountain home here in Ecuador for $125,000. Not if you already paid $110,000 for your beach front home!!
See, those gringos bragging about buying a house on the beach for $110,000 did not buy a bargain. They bought an overinflated 3 bedroom house on the beach, and only think they got a bargain because they compared it to beach front homes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where you cannot buy a tiny lot on the beach for $110,000, let alone a three bedroom home!
A friend who lives in Mexico told us you can get a brand new 200 square meter house built for 70k. And Mexico is more expensive than Ecuador, so how is it that we see houses advertised for twice as much in Cuenca Ecuador on the internet?
The truth is the advertised property prices are not that great here. You got to be diligent and do your own research. Even the more wealthy Ecuadorians who are coming back from the U.S where they have lived and worked most of their adult life are getting targeted with gringo prices! They have not lived here so they don’t know that a beach house for $110,000 should actually only be about $60,000 to $75,000 brand new! They don’t know that. All they know is what they keep hearing and reading in the paper. They keep reading and hearing about this: Cuenca Ecuador best retirement haven in 2011 for the third consecutive year in a row…