Real Estate in Ecuador: An Analysis for the Expat (abundant living ecuador)
Real Estate In Ecuador: an Overview
January 10, 2017
Darnell Dunn – Managing Partner/ABUNDANT LIVING ECUADOR
We are often asked what is needed for foreigners buying real estate in Ecuador. In some ways it is a very straightforward process, in some ways less so.
First and foremost, outside of a simple and easy to get permission to own beachfront and properties bordering other countries, foreigners have the same property rights as Ecuadorian nationals. You can own property outright without being a citizen or resident of Ecuador. All you need to complete a purchase is your passport.
Purchasing a property with an assessed value of $25,000 or more also makes you eligible for a residency Visa. For more details on this topic, please refer to the Visa section.
Although it is a fairly straightforward, there are several major differences in the purchase process when compared with other markets.
Although gaining traction, Multiple Listing Service and online listings are not the norm.As a result it is difficult to get a reliable sense of the market from distance.
Foreigners who are buying their first property in Ecuador are locked out of the domestic mortgage market.If you are planning to purchase property in Ecuador, plan on paying cash or looking for the occasional seller who is willing to hold a debt note.
There is no Title Insurance in Ecuador.Ensuring that the property is free and clear involves researching the title at the property register in the applicable Canton.
Deposits on properties are often given directly to the owner as opposed to being held in escrow.
As a result of these differences the onus is on you to do your due diligence.This can be a challenge in a foreign country, potentially in a second language where you don’t know the landscape and have the personal connections to ensure a successful outcome.
Due to these challenges, we highly recommend hiring a bi-lingual real estate attorney or a buyer’s agent (in the event that the property is for sale by owner) to protect your interests. We stand at the ready to assist you in these processes. READ OUR FULL ARTICLE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PURCHASING PROCESS, PROPERTY VALUATION, CLOSING COSTS, PROPERTY TAXES
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