Following Election – Interest in Moving/Investing in Ecuador Peaks

Below is an article Tom published on his LinkedIn page on November 9, 2016.

Change multiplies uncertainty. Now, as greater uncertainty comes into play, US Citizens and International Investors seek ways to hedge existing bets on the direction and volatility of the US and World economy.

The labyrinth of unknowns instantly created by the results of the latest election cycle have brought “thoughtful pause” to many of us looking for a safe, solid ROI and a high quality of life today and through our retirement years. After being blindsided by bubbles and bailouts, we seek presently-undervalued real assets that will maintain or increase their value despite, or as a result of, the ups and downs around us.

Ecuador has been described as Costa Rica with real estate prices 40 years behind the curve. Ecuador recently received a HUGE upgrade in terms of infrastructure (new roads, new hydro plants, new refinery, new airport) and international recognition as the world’s highest-value retirement destination by CNBC, Forbes, International Living Magazine and the New York Times. The official currency of Ecuador is the US Dollar and its two main cities of Quito and Guayaquil are a short (4 hour), direct flight from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale (via Jetblue). Ecuador’s time zone coincides with either EST and CST depending on daylight savings time in the US, making it a viable base for the digitally mobile worker.

Despite all the recent attention and upgrades, Ecuador still has many undeveloped beachfront destinations. You can still have large undeveloped beachfront lots at prices ranging from $35,000-$100,000. Investors can still find large parcels with beachfront at very low prices such as this property we will soon be announcing near the surf town of Canoa:

29-Acres of Gorgeous Beachfront for Sale

This gorgeous property has a brand-new concrete road designed and built complete with a bike-lane by a national government focused on developing tourism along its coastline. Here is a look at the road and the property looking to the north:

Gorgeous beachfront property for sale in Ecuador

 

For those looking to move down soon or buy now and rent until retirement, beachfront condos can provide exceptional value and appreciation. New condo projects are just beginning to become available for the forward thinking retirees and investors along the beaches just outside of the busy cities. One example is our Ensenada del Pacifico project located in San Clemente, Manabi that is now nearing completion. Demand for the first phase of the project was strong and only two units are available as resales at only $154,000. The majority of the project was sold prior to completion.

Beachfront condos for sale in Ecuador

Click here for the listing

And for those seeking a quiet single-family home on or near the beach, we have a number of house listings well-under the $200K mark, including a newly constructed 2 bedroom/2 bath beachfront home in a stunning location:

Beachfront home for sale in Ecuador

Click here for the listing

With the ups and downs of the US and World Economy, purchasing tangible assets in Ecuador in the form of land, investment, or an income-producing vacation property that is presently well-undervalued in the global market might be just the right move for you.

If you are looking for more information about Ecuador for retirement, investment, or both – enter your email by following the link below so we can send you our “Know Before You Go” guide that reviews each town on the Central Coast and provides vital tips for the foreign traveler planning a visit:

"Know Before You Go" trip guide

“Know Before You Go” Guide

Also, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to questions like, “Can foreigners own clear title to property in Ecuador?”:

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Ecuador’s Advances its Capacity for Dealing with Emergencies

Over the last couple of years, Ecuador has significantly advanced security measures to prevent and to better respond to crimes and other emergency situations.

As of October 2013, Ecuador has operated a nationwide 911 emergency call and response system, referred to as SIS-ECU 911.

An advanced, nationwide 911 emergency response system has been in operation since October 2013.

 

As in the US and elsewhere, all 911 calls are free. There are eight call centers throughout Ecuador, representing different regions of the country, with the closest to us in the nearby city of Portoviejo (40 minutes from San Clemente).

The ECU 911 service integrates a host of institutions including the national police, the armed forces, local fire departments, the National Transit System, Ministry of Health, Ecuador’s institute for social security, the Secretary of Risk Management, and the Red Cross as well as other local organizations.

The modern ECU 911 call center in Portoviejo

 

An integral component of the ECU 911 system is the “Transporte Seguro” (“Safe Transit”) program. This program was created in coordination with the National Transit System to reduce the number of road-related emergencies through monitoring and control of commercial transportation services. Part of this program was to install “Kits de Seguridad” (Security Kits) in all public buses and registered taxis in major cities across Ecuador.

Each of these security kits contains two video recording and infrared surveillance cameras and a panic button equipped with a GPS tracking device that immediately notifies 911 responders with the exact location of the vehicle. The system has a battery pack as a back up source of power. Buses are also equipped with sensors to remotely open and close the doors.

So far,  over 17,000 buses and 38,000 taxis have had security kits installed throughout Ecuador.

Schematic of the “Transporte Segura” program designed in part to reduce incidence of crime in public transportation.

 

Another innovative component of the ECU 911 system is a free smartphone app to quickly report emergencies utilizing a smartphone’s geo-referencing capabilities.  The app is called ECU 911 and is available for iPhones, Androids and Blackberries.

I discovered this app when doing research for this post and just installed it on Tom’s and my phone.  It can be programmed in English or Spanish. You do not have to be an Ecuadorian resident or citizen to use it so I would highly recommend visitors to set it up in advance of their trip.  To set it up, I had to input my name, passport or Ecuador cedula number, cell number, emergency contact name and number, select my blood type from a pull-down menu, and list any physical disabilities or allergies.  This app is an excellent option for residents and visitors who are not fluent in Spanish.

View of the new smartphone app to report categorized emergencies to ECU 911. The app is free, easy to use, and immediately sends your exact location to the appropriate emergency responders.

 

And another interesting security advancement I recently learned about was the programming of a panic button on any kind of cell phone. To do this, you take your phone into the nearest police station where they register your phone and your specific home address (well, as specific as possible, anyways). In the event of an emergency at or near where you live, you press a single digit on your phone and it immediately notifies the local police. The cost is a mere $0.05. A recent newspaper article reported an average response time of 3 minutes in Quito! So, in a small town like San Clemente, we should expect a rapid response time as well.

Police station located in San Jacinto with jurisdiction over the towns of San Jacinto and San Clemete.

 

Like in so many other sectors of Ecuador,  technological advances are being made rapidly. As Tom was saying today, some of these changes are taking place so quickly we don’t even find out about them until a few months after the fact! It truly has been fascinating to watch the development that’s taken place inEcuador since we first came in 2006 and we look forward to all that is surely still to come.

Happy About Our Casitas Development, the Weather and Bio-luminescence

Just a quick post of our son Kai enjoying the beach today out in front of our construction project here in Crucita, Casitas del Sol. These beachfront town homes are really looking great! Only two of the five of are still available. And even though the remaining units will be in the second row, they will still have fantastic oceanviews.  Check out our Casitas page to learn more!  http://www.ecuadorbeachfrontproperty.com/casitasdelsol.html

The climate here on the coast this past week is honestly as good as it gets–bright sunny days in the mid-80s.  No rain now for over a week–seems like the rainy season is wrapping up and the nights are beginning to cool down a bit.

One of our buyers of the Casitas project told me today that she and her husband sat on their balcony last night totally mesmerized by the glowing phosphorescence in the waves each time they crashed ashore. Tom and I have seen phosphorescence (also called bio-luminescence) in the Caribbean and in the Gulf of Mexico but were thrilled to learn of it here as well. I guess we haven’t spent enough time gazing at the water at night!

Beachfront condo for $55K

UPDATE: So, about an hour after publishing this post (not exactly a trivial accomplishment with an active baby that is WAY too enthusiastic for opportunities to pound my keyboard and smudge my screen…), Tom tells me that this condo unit is rented by an American couple for the next two years. Anyways, probably a good investment strategy for the owner as beachfront prices are definitely on the rise and it makes sense to hold onto and rent out properties as they increase in value. One thought is that if you want a good buy and aren’t in a hurry to move in, you should lock in this price with the owner now.

 

If you are looking for a simple and affordable beachfront purchase, here is a really
good deal that’s currently available in Crucita: $55K for a 2BR/2BA beachfront condo.

View of the beach from the balcony

Here are the details:

  • Approximately 800 square feet enclosed
  • Located on the ground floor (no stair-climbing required…a good thing since this building has no elevator)
  • Balcony looking out onto the beach
  • Constructed in 2007. The owner is the architect who built the condo building as well as the new condos next door.
  • Basic appliances included (stove/refrigerator)
  • 24 hour security. On-site maintenance available
  • Parking
  • Access to the rooftop terrace for awesome sunset viewing
  • Access to common area of the new adjacent condo building which includes a swimming pool that overlooks the beach
  • Maintenance fees are $25/month
  • Note: this unit is currently NOT plumbed for hot water. The owner has one of those electrical “suicide” electrical heater units attached to the shower head. Those things do work; Tom and I have used plenty of them in our days in Latin America but one may nevertheless consider cutting in a hot water line and installing an on-demand gas powered water heater…

 

For more details and photos, go to: http://ecuadorbeachfrontproperty.com/Condos2.html

Tsunami Report and Condo update: March 10, 2011

Here is a quick photo update of the progress on the Arena, Sol y Mar Condo project featured on our site. The elevator is being installed right now and the pool has already been tiled. The project should be complete soon! Weather has been amazing and we haven’t seen a drop of rain over the past few weeks!

In other news, luckily, the tsunami did not affect us at all. We all evacuated the beachfront and headed up to the safety of the flying hill (where the paragliders launch) to await its arrival. The president flew by in a helicopter to check on the situation and there were many emergency workers, ambulances and a firetruck on standby. We watched the waves but nothing ever happened. Everyone waited for a good hour past the expected arrival and made their way back home. We all slept well after a long day of anticipation and preparation.

Beautiful yet inexpensive beachfront lot – only $11,500!

People often ask what our least expensive beachfront land sells for. Well, the answer is $11,500.

In fact we currently have 2 adjacent beachfront lots listed at this low price. Each lot is 10 meters wide by 20 meters deep for 200 sq m or 2,152 sq ft total. These beachfront lots are located on the southern end of the quiet fishing town of San Jacinto. The lots are perfectly sized for building a small beachouse or to keep as an investment for the future. The lots back up to small a biological reserve and are about a three minute walk to the Portoviejo River.

We are asking $11,500 for each lot or $22,000 for the two together. You’re looking at a price of a little over $5 per square foot of beautiful beachfront land! Imagine finding those kinds of deals nowadays in Costa Rica or Panama!

Consider investing in Ecuador while the prices are still so low!

"Lots 10 and 11"

Learn more about these affordable properties: http://ecuadorbeachfrontproperty.com/Lots10and11.html

An overview of the last two months

Wow! We’ve been busy! We sold most of the lots we had available in May and June and Lynn and I spent the rest of June and a chunk of July in remote regions of the Oriente doing some intense water quality work. We picked up my folks in Guayaquil mid-July and after some whale-watching near Isla de la Plata we’ve been here in Crucita working hard to make more lots available.

I had an interlude with Malaria (picked it up while in the oriente… deep in the rainforest) which I could have done without but now we’re picking up speed again!

We’ve finally got some great beachfront properties back on the market. We’ve focused a bit closer to home and we’re offering lots at the northern (lots 5 and 6) and southern (lot 7) end of Crucita. We think that whomever the new owners will be, they’ll be excited about their new investments! Check out http://www.ecuadorbeachfrontproperty.com/Properties.html to see the latest. We also have a rentals webpage up now and have updated our services page.
I’ll be doing some regular blogs in the coming months and we should have excellent communication over the next few weeks so now is a great time to get in touch regarding lots or any other burning ecuador-related questions you might have. I’ll probably throw in some “retro-blogs” as well to share some of the experiences we’ve had over the last couple months. I hope you enjoy.