Ecuador Life is Ironic

by | Dec 11, 2007 | Archives

Ecuador has political concerns…yes. What country does not?

As does any place where there are few very rich and many poor there is some tension. Fortunately the country’s new President Correa is looking pretty good so far…young…well educated…worldly…determined.

Only time will tell whether he can succeed. He is a rags to riches story working his way from poverty to a economics masters degree from Belgium and a PHD from University of Illinois and now he is El Presidente! His mom and grandparents live in LA…worked as maids and are still there.

I am not sure that anyone knows how a politician will turn out anywhere. This is why it seems ironic that notes from readers especially in the US ask if the political situation is good in Ecuador . These questions are from a country where George Bush is President? One Frenchman questioned whether Ecuador was safe. Yet isn’t it the streets of Paris that are burning from riots?

Here is an even bigger irony. Many investors have written their worries about losing on real estate investments in Ecuador . They have some odd opinion that the Ecuadorian government might come and take their home? Anyone who has spent much time in Ecuador realizes that this makes no sense…but here is the ironic reality. Ecuador real estate is probably safer than owning property in the US .

Here is a perfect example. One of our readers who had purchased a house lot near us in Cotacachi told us that there was a personal financial mess due to huge losses of Florida real estate value.

The value of the US real estate the reader held in ( South Florida ) had tanked. Guess what saved this reader? Profits from selling the piece of Ecuadorian real estate purchased at San Miguel. At our recent real estate tour several delegates were in a bidding war to buy this investor’s lot…at a hefty profit for the investor I might add.

It’s ironic that investors are being slaughtered in the American real estate market yet worrying about real estate confiscation here when the reality is that Ecuadorian real estate in our area is hot!

Let me tell you a bit more about San Miguel as an example.

This is a gated community in our village of Cotacachi that is owned entirely, I believe, by our readers. Here is the entrance.

You can get more information on a lot for sale here from Calvin and Amy Toole at

San Miguel started a few years ago as a dream by a tour operator who led some of our real estate tours. He bought a nice piece of property next to one of the nicest spas in the world…La Mirage Garden Spa, a Relais and Chateaux spa.

I did not see the potential to be honest. The place just looked like a big field to me. Boy was I wrong.

The tour operator took one of our real estate tours there. The delegates (against my advice) bought about 20 lots.

I thought they were crazy. Most were first time buyers and this was one of the first places they saw. “No! No! NO!” I said.

They did not listen. Now I know how my mom and dad used to feel.

They were right! Wow, I am happy about that. Despite my fears this has turned into one of the nicest projects in the province. Many wonderful houses are rising. Here’s one San Miguel house under construction.

Notice the wonderful thick, adobe walls. The wonderful trim.

Many houses are done. They look great! Here are several.

Notice the great views.

These houses are wonderful outside…and in.

Here are some interior shots.

The thick walls help make the homes silent inside as well. Good for sleep on cool mountain nights!

The homes have some great features as well…all hardwood or tiled floors and little niceties you never see up north… like fireplaces on the porch.

And small architectural details throughout like theses tiny recessions.

All hardwood doors.

And window frames.

These homes are wonderful for sitting in the warm sun to relax and enjoy the world.

Quite a nice secondary market has risen. As the homes go up, more and more people want to be in San Miguel. Recently one reader who decided to move to Argentina to develop a vineyard offered his newly built house. This was snapped up and is under contract I have been told.

Then the reader from Florida mentioned also offered one lot and it sold almost immediately.

Now another couple we know, Hunter and Amy Toole, wish to sell their lot. They are asking $35,580 lot (for #31) plus closing costs. The Tooles have also offered to provide a 1% discount on the price (which we always suggest) to pay Steve, our man in Ecuador , to act as the purchaser’s agent. Steve will help the buyer work through the purchasing process, provide translations and do the general “go for” work we find is usually required.

Here are Calvin and Amy and more info about the lot, San Miguel and Cotacachi:

If this lot is not under contract by late January, we’ll feature it in our real estate tour on January 24-25 tour.


In the meantime, you can reach Calvin and Amy at

However if Ecuador ’s, politics still bother you…it may be better to move to a European sunny clime such as Spain .

But first check out the recent BBC article Steve, our man in Ecuador , just shared that says:

“ Spain is reclaiming its costas by bulldozing many of the concrete tower blocks that erupted along its coastline with the influx of tourism. In the rush to cash in, councils illegally granted planning permission that is now being revoked.

‘One Sunday morning we opened the newspapers, and there it was – a double-page photograph of our building, saying it was going to be demolished,’ says Marisa Toomey whose retirement home is one of those affected.

“It pains her to recall the saga of Banana Beach , a plush seaside development in Marbella , under threat of demolition by Andalucia’s provincial government. Mrs Toomey, who is Spanish, bought an apartment there in 2004 with her British husband John, a retired property lawyer from London . The documents were drawn up by two Spanish solicitors and verified by an independent notary,” stresses John Toomey, producing a wad of paperwork to confirm the apparent legality of the purchase. Only later would the couple learn that the site should never have been approved for residential use.”

The point? We can never predict the total future. What was safe yesterday may not be safe tomorrow. This is why diversification is so vital as is looking at “what is now.” What is now is that Ecuador offers a safe, very low cost, beautiful alternative to north Americans living now.

Until next message, may your alternatives always be good.


Learn how to be happy, wealthy and free though your own international business and investments. Join us this winter in Ecuador .

Jan. 18 – 23 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 24-25 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 18-23 Spanish Course & RE Tour and Jan. 24-25 2008 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Feb. 18-23 Ecuador Import Export Course

Mar. 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador 

Mar. 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour

Mar. 12-14 Coastal Real Estate tour

Mar. 7-9 IBEZ and Mar 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour (or take Coastal tour instead)

Mar. 7-9 IBEZ and both real estate tour