October 01, 2015

Buying Property on the Ecuador Coast Like the Locals

A recent post on an expat forum talks about how one can go about buying cheap property on the Ecuador coast through a popular online portal, saying it is just how the locals do it. Pardon me, but I doubt the locals, at least the ones that have not been North Americanized, go to these classifieds to buy coastal property. They might advertise their property on there but the locals of the locals KNOW that “word of mouth” is how to get a real bargain, not using the Internet.
Coastal Property
In fact, the Internet is the worst place to find bargains. Not to say, you can’t call an advertisement up and negotiate a fair price after you go look at the property. But let us just tell you this, all the gringos now go to the online classifieds to seek bargains, knowing this, do you really think there is going to be very many good deals? Probably not. Sure, you can find a casa under $35,000 but what kind of work does it need, and would you really want to live in that part of town?

We think the prices on the Ecuador coast are shamefully over priced when you compare Ecuador coast to Ecuador coast. But if one compares the Ecuador coast real estate market to the west or east coast real estate market in the u.s then it seems like you can find some real bargains…but for Ecuador are they truly a bargain?
 

Just a few years ago, prices on the coast were 20% to 30% less than they are now; so what has changed for the price hike? Some of the Ecuadorians did a half attempt at remodeling the kitchens by adding cupboards and painting the rooms, and the once $25,000 to $35,000 dollar 4 bedroom, 2 bath casa’s, 2 rows back from the Malecon in Salinbas are now going for $65,000 to $75,000 and all they did was update the kitchen to almost gringo standards. I know, those prices seem cheap don’t they, but you didn’t see the 2012 prices like we did!
 

But where we are seeing the biggest price hike on the Ecuador coast is in Chipipe, …Unbelievable 50% higher!  Lots of flipping going on in this area right now and that raises prices exponentially. Amazingly, many paradise dwellers in this area are willing to sell out prematurely, at a profit of course.   People have this mistaken idea that all they have to do is update the place a bit and put a price tag double what they paid. And then just resell to the next gringo.  But they overpaid to begin with! We have a lot more to say about this in the DIY Ecuador Coast Guide.
 

Be careful about what you read on the Internet because it is not always what it seems. We encourage you to study the market before buying anything, even if it’s only $10,000.  Other folks will encourage you to buy because they have an agenda. No agenda from us. If you haven’t read how to avoid gringo gouging, then it would be to your advantage to read the rule of 3 and 4 before buying property.
 

Just a few final tips for purchasing real estate on the Ecuador coast: 
  • Go directly to the owner of the property you are interested in, if at all possible and negotiate big time…don’t be afraid to walk away…there’s more bargains to be had. If you see a property you like, ask the neighbors if they know who owns it; put your card on the door with your information...or leave your contact number with a neighbor, maybe the owner will call you, maybe they won't but it's worth the effort.
  • Be really diligent about any property you are interested in and don’t believe anything anyone says about a property, until you see it in writing for yourself.
  • The best deals will not be online and to get the bargains that are out there, you will probably need to know some Spanish! If you don't know enough Spanish to negotiate price with the owner, hire a local young person to help you out and pay them a fee.
  • And finally, don’t buy property thinking you can later just flip it away to another gringo. Buy a property because you actually want to live in that house or on the Ecuador coast. There is way too much flipping on the Ecuador coast already and way too many over-priced properties as well as hustlers dealing in real estate on the Ecuador coast. 
  •  Real Ecuador Coast Life with Discover Cuenca Ecuador (video)
                      
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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