By Linda McFarlin
Ecuador real estate is one of the best bargains on the planet and Tierra Firme is one of the best bargains in Cotacachi. There are many reasons why moving to Ecuador is a smart decision and the cost of land and houses is one of them. While the cost of Labor is going up, it is still cheap and construction costs are miniscule compared to costs in North America.
Best of all, the quality of construction is constantly improving. So is the availability of better finishing materials and choice of amenities. The combination of low-cost labor and imported North American construction know-how results in a much finer home construction than ever before.
Tierra Firme, a premier Ecuador real estate residential development two hours north of Quito, was created by 24-year Ecuador resident Clayton Black. It is one of the better reasons for moving to Ecuador and buying real estate here.
This Ecuador real estate project is less than two miles from Cotacachi on the road that connects the town to the Panamerican Highway. Planned for North Americans and Europeans, Tierra Firme is ideally situated for safety, beauty and privacy and caters to the most discriminating of buyers.
Tierra Firme’s beauty is astounding. I love entering the grounds by way of a wide cobbled drive that curves up a hill and through a meadow. Tierra Firme is a world apart, with features that combine the best of a Texas ranch with wide open spaces and a Spanish hacienda.
Driving through a beautiful stone and wood gate and past a large pond with a picturesque stone water course, the road continues further up and around to a stately home.
This two-story traditional home belongs to Clayton and his family, and is the crown jewel of the estate, atop a hill with unbelievable views in all directions.
The ambiance is that of times long past, harkening to a very different way of life. Every time I go there I expect to see a horse-drawn carriage or a garden party on the wide lawn.
Phase I of Tierra Firme contains 22.5 acres to the left of the estate. Years ago when we first set foot on the land, it was a tomate de arbol, or tree tomato plantation.
The land was cleared and transformed into a pleasant configuration of streets and cul de sacs that lead to 23 large lots. All of the developer owned lots have been sold. As of March, 2013, there are 4 resale lots available. Five houses are constructed, and six more are under way.
It’s hard for me to decide which area I find most desirable. At one end of the property is the pond with its ducks and flowered lawn. Water tinkles soothingly into the pond from a hand-wrought stone waterway.
At the other end of Tierra Firme, a steep ravine drops dramatically down to the Ambi River, the perfect place for wiling away an afternoon with a good book or meditating. Sitting here and watching the river roll along and the shepherds tending their cows and sheep below, the problems of the world seem so far away.
The views from these lots are stunningly beautiful,and I have the feeling that I am on the edge of a vast wilderness.
Two green spaces, a nature area and a park with a wooden gazebo form part of this area. Walking trails around the development have been thoughtfully laid out for optimum enjoyment of the views.
In the distance are green fields and the skyline of Cotacachi with its commanding cathedral and colonial buildings. I can see both volcanos and the whispy clouds that often circle the valley in mystical light.
Architectural guidelines are in place and lot sales deeds can be issued in a few days. The guidelines specify a maximum of two-story houses, allowing for one guest house on each lot and landscaping that doesn’t restrict the views of other homeowners. Houses must follow a Spanish motif.
Underground utilities are provided. Owners are free to choose their own architect, although the very successful builder of the sold out Yanapamba I is now building 7 houses in Tierra Firme.
Houses can be built in Spanish Colonial, Spanish Mission, Spanish Eclectic style or a combination of these.
Eagle and Condor Internacional, owner of pro-Ecuador.com, can recommend several highly-qualified architects to meet buyer's construction needs.
Clayton is a transplanted Texan. He previously owned and operated the highly successful Black Sheep Exports in Otavalo, a sweater business with products made by weavers from several nearby villages.
Tierra Firme is Clayton’s second Ecuador real estate residential development. His first is Los Pinos in Otavalo, designed for middle-income Ecuadorians and expats who desire to live in a mixed nationality community.
Los Pinos is one of the first developments of its kind in the area, built in a North American style with two-story single family homes. My favorite feature is a streambed with wooden walkways and extensive landscaping. The tennis and basket ball courts have been a big hit with the residents. House are still available in this development starting around $85k.
Clayton made sure that Tierra Firme adhered to the same high standards and impeccable detailing he provided in Los Pinos.
For anyone moving to Ecuador and wishing to create a life of ease, comfort and style, Tierra Firme is the place to call home. You’ll enjoy a setting of great natural beauty, in a new home complete with all the amenities of modern living.
For more information about Tierra Firma or to arrange a showing of the development, please contact Gary at Eagle and Condor Internacional by filling in the form below.