If you are buying real estate in Ecuador, the first thing you should do is find a qualified attorney. If you don’t speak fluent Spanish you will need to make sure the attorney speaks English.
The attorney will reearch the property history and papertrail. No money should change hands until that attorney tells you the title is free and clear.
Purchasing Real Estate in Ecuador
Make a verbal offer either in person, through your agent, or through your attorney.
One option is to execute a sales contract to hold the property. This is known as a promesa de compraventa. It’s useful if you need time to gather the funds. It also allows time to specify any special terms or conditions related to the sale. Normally, the promesa, if used, is accompanied by a 10% to 30% down payment.
If you don’t need the promesa, you can go right to closing; which is the signing of theescritura de compraventa at the notary.
Once the escritura is signed, the property must be registered by your attorney. At this time—not before—it’s completely yours. The registered copy of the escritura serves as the deed.
Best Places To Buy Real Estate In Ecuador
The most popular beach town in Ecuador, Salinas is an expat and digital nomad favorite.
Salinas is a relaxed and friendly place to live and retire. Life here revolves around the beach and the outdoors.
Salinas is a popular tourist town. This means prices here are higher than elsewhere along the coast. The plus side to this is rental potential. If you are planning on a part-time retirement in Salinas, you can rent out the property for some extra money.
Cuenca is a city of close to 400,000 people. Like all cities of this size there are good and bad neighborhoods.
The following neighborhoods are popular with expats and have the reputation as being the safest places in the city.
A very popular expat neighborhood. El Centro is (unsurprisingly) in the center of Cuenca. The perfect place for retirees who like to be out and about. You are close to restaurants, bars, museums, and the best of Cuenca. There are also plenty of green areas to relax,
Space is at a premium here and prices are higher than elsewhere in the city. Pollution and traffic are higher too. This is the compromise for the location.
This is the number one expat neighborhood in Cuenca. Full of condo buildings and gate communities, expats living here enjoy facilities similar to in the United States. This is a quiet place to live, away from the bustle of the city.
Ordonez Lasso is a fast-growing area with plenty of new construction projects. Many of the cities expat meetups take place here.
Loja is a small city in the Andes, and one of the last places where you can still find the authentic Ecuador. The expat invasion has not made it here, and the city is all the better for it.
Loja is a quiet and clean city, with plenty of green spaces. There is a nice historic center, and a backdrop of rolling mountains. The weather is a pleasant 73 degrees all year.
The real estate market here is not as developed as in other cities. You will need to come to Loja and spend some time getting to know the region. As a result, you can find some real bargains here. If you are retiring to Ecuador on a budget, Loja is well worth a look.