Ecuador is famous for being home to the Galápagos Islands but owes much to the fourth-smallest nation in South America. Prices posted online for homes in Ecuador are often high. Areas inside major cities are pricier, which are cheaper outside cities, and can be surprisingly cheap outside the country.
Can Foreigners Buy Property in Ecuador?
The constitution of Ecuador guarantees the right to buy and keep the property for all, citizens and foreigners. Additionally, there is no restriction on beach property as some other countries have. Also, if you purchase a property of US $ 25,000 or more, you will be automatically given a residency visa as an investor in the country after completing the required documents.
All you need is money. There is no restriction against foreigners who own property in Ecuador. You don’t even have to technically set foot in the country – everything can be done abroad on your behalf.
The only small bet for this is an asset that is within the borders of another country or ocean – you will need special permission for that purchase.
It is not usually more complicated, it is a matter of achieving it.
Ecuador real estate is very safe from a legal standpoint – property ownership laws are very well written, understood, and constitutionally guaranteed. However, foreign investors are warned that due to problems with corruption, obtaining protection for property rights from the local court system has at times been complicated or unsatisfactory.
Rental cost in Ecuador
It is the most flexible – and most common – option out of three (Buy, Build, Rent). However, it is a little different from where you used to be.
You can find some beautiful homes and apartments for rent in Ecuador. Fully furnished, beautiful, digestible, and everything in between – price-wise all. For example, you can get a basic 2 bedroom, 1 bath comfortable full apartment in the middle of Cuenca for around $ 250-300 / month + extras. A single furnished apartment can be $ 400-500 / month.
A large house, such as a 3 bed 3 bath, reasonably modern and complete, can run you $ 500 / month. We live in a 4 bedroom, 4 bath, ~ 2400 square foot home with a small yard for $ 390 / month + utilities. It was not complete, and what you can tell is the perimeter highway to Cuenca, about 1.5 miles. So it’s cheap.
- Renting is the least risk. Here the security deposit is one month’s rent.
- This means if you break the contract, or if there is any damage or anything. It’s only going to cost you a month’s rent
- Although, the guard can shut you down, what does the landlord expect from you?
- Typically, in North America, the landlord takes care of any problems with the property. Closed toilets, leaky plumbing, poor electricity, call them and, by law, they are required to be fixed.
- Many found that it is not so here. Often, landlords will expect you to take care of whatever has come up during your tenure.
- When you leave it they can expect to be 100% in the same condition – normal wear and tear is not necessary here.
- Take a ton of photos when you go inside.
- It can also be difficult to withdraw your security deposit. More often than not, they will find a really silly reason to hold it. If you can recover it then just consider it a nice bonus.
For the apartment, you want to know what “Alicotta” is. This is a condo fee. This will cover your shared expenses – security guards, garbage disposal, maintenance, and care.
You can often see this cost anywhere from $ 40 to $ 100, although it may be all over the map.
If you are signing a rental agreement, you should be clear about what is divisible, and if not, how much it will cost.
Cost of buying a house in Ecuador
You will see loads of Ecuadorian homes for sale on the Internet. What you will find is that the prices are all over the map. Property valuation can be a little daunting to determine as an outsider, but Jesse Baird of Ecuador who lives in abundance does a great job of explaining what some factors might be that you don’t notice:
- You see a nice house anywhere in the city, from $ 100k for a nice condo, $ 1,000,000 + for an acre in a large, modern house.
- There are many other associated fees to purchase.
- Property taxes here are good and cheap – usually around 0.1% of the annual estimated value.
- So if your house is worth $ 200k, then you are looking at $ 200 / year in taxes every year.
- Another benefit to buying in Ecuador: there are no capital gains taxes as of February 4, 2018.
- Of course, you will always want to double-check this information before making your purchase with someone capable of providing legal advice.
- Pricing is not straightforward anywhere. Looking online will give you prices across the map.
- If you got the house through an advertisement from the window, then getting the asking price directly is probably like pulling teeth.
- It may make sense for you to ask a local, and it does not mention that you are a foreigner. At least then you can enter into a conversation about what the owner wants to sell.
- However, Ecuador has some beautiful homes. There are amazing views everywhere, be it beaches or mountains.
Construction cost in Ecuador
- This is really where the numbers go crazy.
- You may have heard some people building houses for USD 20k. Some will pay $ 500k.
- I hope you will be careful with your expectations. A $ 20k house is technically possible. For example, you can build a 300-square-foot house made of bamboo and clay for really cheap.
- If you want to build, try to reach people who have done it themselves.
- There are a handful of blogs documenting these experiences, although most of them are several years old.
- See for yourself what they have created, talk to them about the process, and decide for yourself if you are ready for it.