Monthly Archives: October 2014

Cuenca, Ecuador – Singles Social Mixer with Tapas served

global_319795202Cuenca Singles is sponsoring a Social Mixer for Singles in Cuenca. We have had a large number of new people who have become members in the past few months. Our membership is now approaching 200. We welcome all singles to this mixer as a way to meet new single people, network, and make new friends.

Link to Meetup Cuenca Singles: http://www.meetup.com/Cuenca-Singles/
The mixer will be at Paladar’s Restaurant beginning at 7:00 – 9:00. The $10.00 cover charge covers your first drink and there will be tapas served by strolling waiters during the evening. Reservations are required and should be made at Palaarsdinnerclub.com. Please only make a reservation if you are sure you are coming because food quantities will be planned according to the number of reservations. Music will be available for those who may want to dance and spaces will be available to congregate for those who would just like to socialize. Please contact Bob Higgins with questions.

Checking to buy a home, house, condo, or land….. in Ecuador

After more than 7 years of living in Ecuador, I can honestly say I have a pretty good grasp on Ecuador’s coastal real estate market. Since I have seen property prices rise at a surprisingly rapid rate, I will like to share a great Real Estate NY Times article that I read today and my personal comments on the topic.

For the article visit this link: House Hunting in…. Ecuador

My personal opinion is that the information you receive from online sources and printed material about living or retiring in Ecuador is not current with reality. When they mentioned beach properties in Ecuador between $10,000 to $50,000 US, I would say that in rare occasions you could find a local beach property at that price, maybe you will find a property that is in a remote beach area, or in desperate need of repair, or it has some legal problems and title problems.

Now Ecuador is a great “beach Paradise”, I honestly could say that is still one of the best Latin America destinations to live and retire; just that you have to be ready to pay a bit more than what is advertised at times. If we compare to other retire heavens along Central and South America, I will say Ecuador can offer you more value to your dollar: Political and Social stability, US dollar currency, beachfront property belongs to you, better weather not as humid or hot, growing economy and very warm and welcoming local people.

What you basically have to do to buy at real local Ecuadorian housing price is research the local market, you may have been told that there is no MLS services in Ecuador, but the real truth is that there are plenty of great local MLS services, I know there are in Spanish, but now a days as the industry gets more globalize, I am pretty sure that soon they will be offer different languages platforms.

Here is one Ecuador MLS that I use often for homes, land, condos sale in Ecuador: www.plusvalia.com

I would recommend doing your homework before getting involve with Real Estate agents or Lawyers in Ecuador, you will find a lot of times that this people are not up to date on prices and surroundings areas news. At times even locals or a person like me with years of local experience on developments can oversea markets tendencies or local governments problems, since it is an emerging economy, a lot of local governments are embracing new laws and changes.

This is exactly what happened to Playas just an hour drive from Guayaquil’s airport, it was expected for Playas to be the next beach spot, but Playas has stagnated in time, there has been no improvement on roads and basic services as it was promise, I would say that it has worsen in that past year, and the local Municipality has no mentioned new plans or improvements.

I’m sad since it is a great beach location with lots of sunshine all year round, but unless they are able to overcome their local politics, there is not much that it can be done.

All of these have push all other beach locations along Coastal Ecuador: Santa Elena to increase on price and demand: Salinas, Punta Blanca, Olon and many more are seeing great construction developments supervise by the local Santa Elena Municipality with great basic services improvements.

Few highlights from the NY Times Real Estate article:

  • The housing market in Ecuador, frequently touted as one of the best and cheapest countries worldwide for retirees, has been supercharged for the last five years, with home prices appreciating annually by 10 to 12 percent, Mr. Morrill said. The global real estate crisis of 2008 had no impact on housing prices there, with a large influx of Ecuadoreans returning home helping to maintain a robust market, he said.

  • “Prices are anywhere from 50 to almost 100 percent less than what you’d pay in Panama or Costa Rica, so it’s still very reasonable,” he said. And there are some signs the market may be cooling a bit, with this year likely to see home prices grow by only 7 to 9 percent, Mr. Morrill said. “There are some new regulations that will probably keep the prices pretty stable for a while,” he said. “These are new requirements for developers that will probably keep the inventory reasonable.”

  • Foreign home buyers in Ecuador are predominantly North Americans, though there are also Europeans, Australians and New Zealanders, agents said. There is a significant German expatriate community in Cuenca. Most recently, many Canadians have been in the market seeking homes in the coastal areas.

  • There are no restrictions on foreign home buyers in Ecuador. Bank mortgages are extremely difficult to obtain, and while some of the larger property developers offer short-term financing, it’s largely a cash market, brokers said.

  • A lawyer is not necessary to buy a home, but some brokers recommend that non-Spanish-speaking foreign buyers hire one, which typically costs about $850. The most important way foreign home buyers can protect themselves is by purchasing only properties that can be registered at the Real Estate Public Registry, Mr. Uhe said. “When you read about nightmares with home purchases in Ecuador, it’s all relating to properties that are unregisterable,” he said, which frequently has to do with title issues.

  • In general, closing costs range from about 1.5 to 2.5 percent of the purchase price, Mr. Morrill said. Traditionally, buyers pay the real estate agent’s fee in Ecuador, but that is changing in many areas, agents said. In Quito and Cuenca, sellers now pay that fee, which is typically 3 to 5 percent. In Vilcabamba, buyers still pay the broker’s fee most of the time, Mr. Uhe said.

  • Property taxes on this home are less than $500 a year, and the homeowner’s association fee is about $120 a month, Mr. Uhe said.

Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism: ecuador.travel/en

Home’s website: quintaesencial.com

Ecuador property blog: conquistadorinecuador.blogspot.com

Government of Ecuador:  presidencia.gob.ec

You are invited: Islas Galapagos 3D – Show in Guayaquil

Great event in Guayaquil at the MAC Cinema Malecon 2000 boulevard,  -Galápagos 3D, by famous BBC Sir David Attenborough-  , sponsored by the British Ambassador Patrick Mulle and the Municipality of Guayaquil, all proceeds will go toward the Charles Darwin Galapagos Foundation for the preservation of the Manglar Pizon.

Your contribution will be by purchasing tickets for amazing prizes at an after show cocktail party:

RAFFLE TICKET PRICES
– 1 for $20
– 3 for $50
– 5 for $70
– 10 for $120
– 15+ for $10 each

RSVP: administrativo@camcomeb.comor teléfono 3703870 ext. 6895-6896. (limited seat availability)

MAC event Monday Oct 13

Message from Mr. Nicholas Amrstrong:

Con el apoyo del Embajador Británico Patrick Mullee y la Muy Ilustre Municipalidad de Guayaquil tengo el honor de invitarlo el lunes 13 de octubre a las 19h00 a participar de la proyección del documental, Galápagos 3D, narrado por el famoso presentador de la BBC, Sir David Attenborough en Cinema Malecón (IMAX).

El evento prevé recaudar fondos para la conservación del Pinzón de Manglar. Tras la proyección del film tendremos un coctel donde se sortearán premios:

Main prizes:
– Celebrity Xpedition (4 flights and one night accommodation in Puerto Ayora)
– LAN (2 Flight tickets – San Cristobal)
– Red Mangrove (five nights for two people)
– La Moneda (Night in Mansión Alcázar)
– La Moneda (Night in Tanusas)
– Iguana Crossing (3 Night stay with meals)

Additional prizes:
– Arkrem (Sparkling Wine – 6 bottles )
– Agripac (Galaxy mobile phone)
– Oro Verde (Weekend for two in the Oro Verde Suite including breakfast)
– Oro Verde (Dinner at Le Gourmet for two of our tasting menu including wine)
– Oro Verde (Thursday Extravaganza de Mariscos lunch for two at Le Gourmet)

RAFFLE TICKET PRICES
– 1 for $20
– 3 for $50
– 5 for $70
– 10 for $120
– 15+ for $10 each

Dada la exclusividad del evento, agradecería confirmar su asistencia y la de su acompañante(s)a la brevedad posible al correo administrativo@camcomeb.com o al teléfono 3703870 ext. 6895-6896.

Ecuador Citizenship Law interpretation got updated – October 2014.

You may get a second passport and dual nationality for tax, business or other personal reasons. Maybe you enjoy traveling freely in some countries like China, India, Brazil and Bolivia that charge Americans a stiff fee for entry visas.

The main requirement is you need to be a resident of Ecuador for a minimum of 3 years from the date in which you get your first “cedula (Ecuador ID card)” or 2 years if you have an Ecuadorian kid.

Just be aware of a new Naturalization Law interpretation by the new Director in charge of the Naturalization Department of Ecuador (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana, Departamento de Naturalizaciones – Dirección: Av. 10 de Agosto y Carrión)

If the resident wants to apply for citizenship he/she cannot leave Ecuador for more than 90 days in total for the first 3 years as Ecuadorian residents.

It used to be that the Ministry of Ecuador will issued citizenship to residents that follow the same absence guidelines of the residency visa:

Absences From the Country
The resident visas in Ecuador will grant you permanent residency. That means you’ll be allowed to come and go from Ecuador as you wish. However, you can’t be absent from the country for more than 90 days per year during the first two years of your residency, nor more than 18 consecutive months after your second year of residency.

This previous requirement will only apply to keep your resident visa active, if you are planning to go for dual citizenship and to carry a Passport of Ecuador, you can’t be absent from Ecuador for more than 90 days for the three years. This law has been on the books since 1976, just that the previous Naturalization Department Director have been interpreting the law the wrong way.

The Law: To maintain the residency visas: 90 days a year for two years and 18 months for the third year on.
If the resident wants to apply for citizenship: No more than 90 days for 3 years

Documents usually required for Ecuador Citizenship:

  1. Birth certificate apostilled (if from a country from within the apostille treaty like the US) or legalized by an Ecuadorian consulate abroad and then translated.
  2. Copy of passport notarized and the original with the current resident visa.
  3. Copy of cedula notarized and original.
  4. Certificate from both the SRI (Ecuadorian IRS) and the BIESS (Social Security) stating you have no outstanding debts to either, (Certificacion de no ser deudor).
  5. Movimiento Migratorio y Record Policial from Local Police.
  6. 4 passport photos.

Ecuador income is taxed by the Ecuador government, foreign income consider at all, regardless of if you are a citizen or not.

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