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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

Luxury Apartments in Olon, Ecuador (Special Promotion)

Olon Beach is one of the favorite stretches of beach along Ecuador’s Coastline. You have 8 miles of beach; also you can be 100 feet into the water and still only be knee deep and no rip tides. This laid-back coastal city sits approximately 195 km north of Guayaquil’s international airport and just 5 minutes from Montanita, another of Ecuador’s most popular beaches.

You can buy your Ocean view Luxury Condo at the best beach location in Ecuador and finance it through construction.
Prices starting from:
Suites: $79,000 US & Apart.: $92,000 US
Apartments highlights:
• Pre-construction SALE
• 2 -3 Total Bedroom(s)
• 21/2 to 3 Total Bath(s)
• Approx. 1950 sq. ft.
• Balcony in each condo
• Luxury finishes
• Appliances included: microwave, stove and refrigerator
• Pre installed ducts for Air Conditioning
• 1 Car Garage
• Infinity Pool and BBQ area on the beach
• Direct beach access
• Building is on a corner lot
• Outdoors Family Area
• Landscaped Garden
• Building Security
• Fabulous Ocean View

Our financing will be for the 60% of the total price, which will be divided in the following forms of payments:

FINANCING 60%
1. 20% at the purchase/sale contract.
2. 40% in quotas during construction period.

The project is held in escrow during the pre-construction phase by the selected title company, which is an insured account that holds your funds until construction starts.

SPECIAL ONE TIME PROMOTION: Inquiries at linalandivar@ecuadorservices.org

 

 

New Lots for Sale in the countryside close to the beach, 30km to the ocean!

IMPORTANT NEWS: New Real Estate Regulations in Ecuador as December 2013

SUPERINTENDENCY OF COMPANIES REGULATIONS FOR THE OPERATION OF REAL ESTATE COMPANIES

 

Source: SUPERINTENDENCY OF COMPANIES

Resolution No. SC.DSC.G.13.014 of the Superintendence of Companies comprising the Regulation for the operation of companies that carry out real estate activities was published in Official Register No. 146 on 18 December, 2013.

In accordance with the Regulation, it is mandatory for companies whose corporate objective is real estate activity in any phase (promotion, construction, marketing etc.) and that receive money from clients in advance to delivering housing and buildings to comply with the following:

  • To own the land on which the project will be developed or to hold the fiduciary rights in the trust that owns the land.
  • To obtain the necessary permission for construction from competent public bodies.
  • To possess an economic budget for each project. This must include the duly assessed financial projection, estimated time of completion of the project, the sale price of each housing unit, and the parameters for achieving the break-even point and profitability.
  • To sign and comply with promissory purchase/sale agreements establishing price, payment conditions, closing date and deadline for signing the public deed, and to sign the final deeds of sale.
  • To follow the requirements of the Superintendence of Companies and comply with all provisions issued by it.
  • If companies carry out their activity through a Escrow Business Trust, they must also comply with regulations issued by the National Securities Council.

The Resolution also establishes that for the development of real estate projects that require “financial resources from promissory purchase/sale agreements for such project’s property units, before entering into the agreement a Fiduciary Escrow Trust must be created allowing a fund and trust manager to manage said resources”.

Companies who carry out real estate activity are, among other things, prohibited to enter into private preliminary reservation or promissory sales agreements; to sign more than one promissory sales agreement for the same asset; and to designate money from a specific real estate project to other real estate projects.

The Ombudsman will receive complaints regarding discriminatory or inequitable clauses, without prejudice to complaints made before the Superintendence of Companies and relevant legal action.

The Superintendence of Companies will carry out inspections to verify compliance with the current regulations by real estate companies. In the case of observations, the Company will have five days to give its view on the matter. If the Superintendence of Companies considers that the Company is involved in one or more grounds for intervention, it will proceed to “declare a state of intervention in the company and appoint an intervention supervisor”. The supervisor will issue a report regarding the general situation of the company. If the company cannot apply corrective measures to overcome a negative situation that presents risks to its clients, or if said measures are not complied with within the given deadlines, the Company may be declared dissolved.

December 19, 2013

Few things to learn before you visit Ecuador.

Few things to learn before you visit and move to Ecuador

I will like to share this article so you can be careful when planning a trip to Ecuador. This beautiful country has a lot of real good reliable local services and professionals, always double check when you search online that you deal with a trusted professional or company. Read on and get you own conclusions…

Original Blog commented previously here : www.iroamtheworld.blogspot.com (Ecuafriendly was anything but…)

Lack of Customer Service in Ecuador

It is well worth checking out the original blog.

Personally, I think this Customer complain should have had a reasonable public online solution, given the differences in opinion. I have heard the business owner side of the story and value their say, (Check at the end an email send to me from the business owners), but I can only add that they need a lot of interpersonal skills improvement after the laud tone use by the gentleman on a phone call made to me and the tone use in their email.

There is well known mantra about the customer always being right… though I might say, customers can sometimes be wrong about all kinds of things. Businesses need to consider how they should respond in the event that people complain noisily, in public, about things that – from the business’s perspective – seem unfair or unreasonable.

Let’s remind ourselves of why consumers use worldwide social media channels for customer service: it is because traditional customer service is not set in place and creating a solution.

It’s so much easier for consumers to complain in public, via channels that they’re already using, than to spend more money on phone calls. I know at times customers can be (totally) unreasonable, but I for one am delighted that in Ecuador there are finally online channels were businesses are finally called out in the public.

Any sane business-minded person knows that the key to long-term profitability is customer retention. That requires quality service, on top of quality products / services / pricing. The substandard service provided by many service providers here in Ecuador are not – repeat not – the consumer’s fault. It is a local cultural business decision to provide poor service. Dress it up any way you want, but that’s what it is. And many expats and foreigners running businesses in Ecuador do take advantage of that fact.

Service is one area that every business should consider investing in. It can be a real differentiator. Consumers demand good service, and they’ll always want to choose the path of least resistance. This is why social media has, for lots of companies, become all about service.

It’s a bit like blogging. Not everybody is going to agree with you, or like your article. And that’s just fine, but if you firmly believe something and then try to pacify or suck up to those with opposing views then I think you’re doing it all wrong.

In Ecuador disgruntled customer do not complaint due to:

  • They don’t think that anyone in the company cares.
  • They don’t know where to register their dissatisfaction.
  • They’re embarrassed to say anything because they know the owner.

And most travelers, expats, retirees or any other foreigner in Ecuador do not know that there are new government venues were you could get help and resolve problems with companies and service providers. Please do not be afraid about the language barrier, one great thing about Ecuador is that you will find many locals that speak English since they study or do business overseas, or in the worse case they will find a person to help you out with the language.

Official sites that can help you:

Ecuador Government Office that deals with consumers issues: www.industrias.gob.ec/programa-de-proteccion-de-defensa-del-consumidor/

Local Lawyers buffet blog: new-consumer-protection-law-ready-for-first-debate

Check for Business or Professional  RUC number in Ecuador

The only way we could transparent all businesses here in Ecuador is to ask if they are legal local IRS contributors, a register business or professional, or work with a legit company. Every business person or company has to provide you with a bill or receipt detailing its RUC number and all yours and theirs contact information. Also you have to check the date of the RUC since they expire every 6 moth to a year.

Unique Registry of Contributors (RUC) for business and persons in Ecuador IRS

The RUC constitutes of a number of identification of all the natural people and societies that are subject of tributary obligations. Through the certificate of the RUC (inscription document), the contributor is in capacity to suitably know their tributary obligations.

The natural people or societies, have two initial obligations with the Service of Internal Rent :

  1. To obtain the Unique Registry of Contributors, unique document that describes and enables you to legally carry out commercial transactions.
  2. The contributors must register themselves to the RUC within thirty working days from beginning their activities.
  3. To update the RUC with any changes from the original data. The contributor will have to make these updates within the thirty working days from the date of the change.

I have my professional RUC here in Ecuador, since I provide Commercial Services to different Local Real Estate developers.

Just one more thing for business owners here in Ecuador, I am including the Ecuadorian Consumer Law Reform Bill, it is in Spanish, since your business is in Ecuador you must be able to read and understand it.

Ley Orgánica de Defensa del Consumidor

El registro. Según la Ley Orgánica de Defensa del Consumidor, las empresas en el país están obligadas a registrar las quejas de los clientes. Para ello, deben llevar un libro de quejas y reclamaciones. El registro de los inconvenientes puede ser físico o magnético y debe estar a disposición del cliente de un bien o producto. De acuerdo con la norma, este es uno de los derechos del consumidor.

La autoridad.  De acuerdo con esta misma norma, la Defensoría del Pueblo, conoce y se pronuncia motivadamente sobre los reclamos y las quejas, que presente cualquier consumidor. Este puede ser nacional o extranjero, que resida o esté de paso en el país y que considere que ha sido directa o indirectamente afectado por la violación o inobservancia de los derechos fundamentales del consumidor.

El reclamo.  Cuando existe una inconformidad con un servicio o un bien, los consumidores pueden iniciar un proceso judicial si no están conformes con un servicio o producto de acuerdo a lo establecido en la ley: producto dañado, publicidad engañosa, servicios defectuosos, suspensión injustificada del servicio, etc. Aunque se establece la posibilidad de llegar a acuerdos negociados.

La asesoría.  Las asociaciones de consumidores tienen la potestad de representar a los consumidores en este tipo de quejas ante proveedores o a través de la vía legal. La Tribuna del Consumidor por el momento solo brinda asesoría en estos temas. “Somos privados sin fines de lucro y no tenemos una persona encargada de eso por falta de recursos”, dice María José Troya de esta organización.

La respuesta.  La ley señala que los consumidores tendrán derecho, además de la indemnización por daños y perjuicios ocasionados, a la reparación gratuita del bien, o cuando no sea posible, a su reposición o a la devolución de su precio en 30 días, si el reclamo ocurrió en el período de garantía del bien, si no es apto para el uso o consumo, o si el contenido del un producto es inferior al ofrecido.

Sanciones.  La Ley de Defensa del Consumidor prevé multas de hasta USD 4 000 por publicidad engañosa. Si no restituyen un bien deteriorado podría ser sancionado con la clausura temporal o definitiva del establecimiento. En tanto, la multa por servicios defectuosos, ineficaces o que no se ajusten a lo acordado es de USD 500, además de la indemnización al cliente, entre otras.

REFERENCE; Diario EL COMERCIO,  http://www.elcomercio.com/negocios/Ecuador-negocios-consejos-clientes-quejas-servicios_0_1009699070.html.

I am in the process of helping a friend getting his money back from a service provider here in Ecuador that completely disappear after getting the first money wire. Once we get this resolve, I will get you all the details for you to be prepare, for now, do not trust anybody that request you to send money by wire or transfer to Ecuador without real background checking. I believe this applies all over the world…

Ecuador has a lot of future, Latin culture it is really interesting!

———————————————

Original email

to:

 “Lina Landivar (linalandivar@ecuadorservices.org)” <linalandivar@ecuadorservices.org>

cc:

date:

 Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 10:34 AM

subject:

 A comment regarding your blog post – from …………….

 

Lina,

My name is ………………… . My husband is ………………… .
We have never met, so I am curious why you would re- post this article to your blog: 

https://ecuadoroverseasservices.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/few-things-to-learn-before-you-visit-ecuador/

The article that you felt compelled to repost was written 3 years ago by a man that tried to mislead and defraud us of rent money due when he stayed at our place in Olón.

The article is fraught with lies , scurrilous and libelous information (really, Todd and I are stealing underwear from guests????  – come on…).
Did you make any attempt to verify any of these facts with either him – or us – before deciding it was worth reposting on your blog?

You don’t know us.  We enjoy stellar reputations, and a great deal of influence in the Olón area, and feel that your only purpose in publishing this was to malign us/and or ride on our coat tails  in order to attract attention to your site (that has garnered 3400 hits).  Or perhaps you have another agenda of which we are not aware.

I’m curious how you would feel if I were to post something similar on my blog ( …………………………………….. ) that included unsubstantiated comments about you.
My blog, by the way has over 57,000 page views, so it reaches a much wider audience than yours. 

Requesting that you retract/delete that post and an apology is in order.

PERSONAL NOTE: Names and business have been blackout as a courtesy so it will not bring their online blog hits to this blog. Anybody could check the original post that I had re-posted here: http://iroamtheworld.blogspot.com/2011/03/ecuafriendly-was-anything-but.html

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