Ecuador has been referred to as one of the lower priced retirement havens on Earth. So then, why does it appear that a lot of people that are moving here are overqualified? Judging by what we’re seeing there’s a lot of people coming to Cuenca Ecuador that could easily be going to a lot of other places, why go to the least expensive retirement haven on the sales pitch of the retirement press? Well duh, it’s cheaper, I hear you saying. Or is it? Please follow me on this.
Update 2016 - Is property cheaper in Ecuador? Well, that depends a lot on where you want to buy and what condition the property is in. Lots and land is out of this world for a developing country!! Cuenca's market is higher than many towns its same size in the U.S. Why do people keep saying the real estate prices are cheaper in Ecuador for? All a person has to do is some online research to see it isn't true.
Update 2016 - When we first visited Salinas in the winter 2012, property prices in Salinas on the Malecon were already somewhat high and now Salinas real estate market "on the Malecon" has almost doubled in price, and...the area the gringos love called Chipipe Beach has also skyrocketed. For an example (wish I would have made a screenshot): in Chipipe you could buy in 2012 a four bedroom three bath house (not on the beach) maybe one to three rows back for $75K. Today that same house is $180K. Chipipe rents and real estate prices are almost comparable to Panama's now. Take a look at this small 1 bedroom, 1 bath 109M Casita, asking 160,000 dollars. Whose buying this stuff?
Two to three rows back from the Salinas Malecon in 2012 you could get a fixer upper house for $25K (seriously) and today (not sure if it is fixed up or not but,) these VERY SAME houses go for $65 to $120K. These homes are nothing special, older homes with out-dated 70's green tiles on the bathroom walls, maybe 140M, three or four bedroom, no green space but a small lot, maybe what they call a "garage", which is actually some tiles. It would need updated and remodeled.
If we were going to buy property in Ecuador, we would first, get to "know the market" and when we found something we liked. we'd make a reasonable offer that coincides with market prices before all the foreigners came. This takes several days of research both online and on the ground but is well worth it in the long run.
Buy property because you want to live in the home and in the area, not because you want to turn around and make a profit...there is already too much of that going on. The markets in well-worn expat areas of Ecuador are already over-priced and that means you might have a hard time getting out.
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