Ecuador Properties:
Buying a Condo in Ecuador

By Jason Murphy

Ecuador properties offer low prices and high values.  For this reason I moved quickly when I decided to purchase a condo in Ecuador.  

Some of the Ecuador properties best suited to start life in Ecuador are condos.  Condos in Ecuador are great for the same reasons they are great in North America. 

Buy Ecuador Real Estate for a Lower Price

Ecuador is full of condominium projects for sale in the early stages of development.  I purchased my condo in Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador, before construction started at a nice discount. I paid $52,000 (May 2007) for a 1,100 square foot three-bedroom condo in this building.

Construction of this project is still in process and the entire complex will not be complete for another year.  However, the current value of this condo is almost $70,000!  Close to a $20K gain in less than 6 months!  

Price and Value

It is important not to confuse price and value when talking about Ecuador real estate.  Ecuador properties can appear very cheap to North American buyers.  Do not expect high-quality construction just because of a high price.  Although Ecuadorians are known for their artisan handiwork, low-quality construction is common. 

How to Get a Good Deal

Buy during pre-construction for the best condo price.  Ecuadorians are not picky when it comes to construction details and rarely ever complain.  The standard practice is to ignore details when owners are not regularly present. 

If you can be present in Ecuador during construction, speak basic Spanish, and have basic knowledge about construction, you can get a very good deal.  If you don’t know any Spanish, you can hire someone you trust who speaks Spanish to act as a supervisor/liaison between you and the builder. 

Value of Your Time

To save time you may consider purchasing a completed condo.  Find something that makes you happy and you will have saved countless hours supervising construction workers.  However, expect to pay more for this type of property.  Considering the value of your time before a purchase could save a lot of unwanted grief.  Click here to learn more about condos in Ecuador.

Construction Methods

Ecuador properties are built using a mixture of reinforced poured concrete and cement blocks.  This construction method is very solid but more time-consuming than methods in North America.  

This photograph shows the provision for an electrical outlet.  Several such changes to a project can cause major delays. 

Floors are typically ceramic tile in all rooms.  Make sure to watch out for uneven tiles and sloppy joints next to door moldings.  Foreigners tend to pay much more attention to details than Ecuadorians.  Construction in condos is often rushed due to deadlines and the presence of a foreign owner helps to increase the quality of work.

Purchase Process

Condos are very easy to purchase.  During pre-construction only a reservation contract is required.  The selling price is negotiated and the down payment is typically paid by interest-free installment payments until project completion.  The balance due is not paid until the condo is complete, at a time when property values have increased substantially.

However, it is important to recognize that this pre-construction reservation contract is a fully valid, legally-binding purchase agreement.    These contracts typically have penalties associated with termination.  If you need an attorney please send an email to Pro-Ecuador and we will be happy to recommend someone based on your needs.   

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