Kjetil Haugan, owner of the Vistazul project, where I have purchased condos, recently sent me the note below that sparked some capital income ideas.
Mid coast Ecuador tour delegates visiting Palmazul condos.
Kjetil wrote: Gary, I am getting more and more requests for the time-share units and think I can do quite well with a bit more marketing here in Ecuador. I already have a company interested in working with me to sell the weeks..they sold out Casablanca, a project in the north of Ecuador and another time share development in Esmeraldas and they need more inventory.
If your readers buy a unit I would still sell at $ 89,000 but offer them a quite good return if they offered their unit as time share. If I helped out to sell the high season weeks (let’s say 20 weeks + @ $ 4000 each) they would recover most of their investment and still have 30 weeks for themselves.
This is a speculative capital idea that can create some tax free (in Ecuador) capital gains.
Let me share a few of the reasons why Merri and I are enthusiastic about the Vistazul Ecuador beach condo project.
First, it’s the water.
Most parts of Ecuador’s coast are without a central water supply and water is delivered in trucks like this. That system works okay, is inexpensive and the water is good.. yet to have your own water supply is even better. Vistazul has its own water wells. The water is a bit saline but Kjetil also developed a company that owns several Galapagos cruise ships so has experience with desalination. As you’ll see below these beach condos have their own water… generator and desalination.
Second, we love the warm water and waves.
Merri and I lived on the Gulf of Mexico for many years and love to frolic in the waves… but in the Pacific? Where I grew up in Oregon… the water is just too cold to stay in long. Yet on Ecuador’s Pacific the water is almost as warm as the Gulf of Mexico… yet the waves are good. We can play in the water for hours without getting to cold. We never worry about hurricanes because they do not have them on the Ecuador coast.
Plus the weather is best in the winter when its coldest up north.
Third… the empty beaches and protection from excessive development. You can walk for about 30 miles at low tide. Here is a shot from Crucita. You can walk all the way to the point in the distance (this is where Vistazul is located).
Then once around the point you can walk many miles more… often never seeing another person. Here are Merri and me with our friend Steve Hankins enjoying this broad beach with our hound, Ma.
Fourth, peace & quiet. San Clemente is a small fishing village and Vistazul is on a secluded dead end road… with little traffic and hills behind the condos. The town is quiet and the community concerned with developing tourism… but without destroying the environment. Kjetil spent many hours with community leaders obtaining a consensus on how what and how much to build.
This is the center of San Clemente, very quiet, yet only 45 minutes to central Manta… and all the resources of a major port city.
Local transportation into San Clemente is on foot (Merri and I enjoy ambling on the beach), or in these quaint taxis.
Fifth, fresh seafood… really fresh… really cheap. The fishermen bring in their catch each day and you can buy right from the boat.
Sixth, safety in the fact that your are buying real property… not just a promise. The club house exists… the pool… the tennis courts… the spa, the condos.You are buying completed or nearly completed condos with a title and US title insurance.
Palmazul Spa is Vistazul’s clubhouse. Pool, Tennis, spa and gourmet dining on the beach.
or parties poolside.
Merri and I purchased at the beginning when the project looked like…
this… but now most of the condos are complete and some residents have moved in.
Here is a group of delegates inspecting one of my Ecuador beach condos at Vistazul.
Finally, Merri and I love the sunsets. When we lived in Naples, everyone gathered to watch the sunsets and I thought they could never be better. At the Equator they are!
Here is a group enjoying a roof garden party as…
they enjoy a warm, sea breeze and a sun that sinks gently into the sea.
Vistazul is a great place. So too is the profit potential. Here is how Kjetil explained this capital gains opportunity of buying whole and selling in pieces.
Gary, Here is a quick update on the project. Business has been slow as the government is rebuilding the roads from Manta to this area so we currently have to take a much longer back way to get here from Manta.
This means I get complaints about all the driving time but in the long run the improved road will dramatically enhance value.
I have received a private loan from one of the buyers at Vistazul and should have enough money to complete all the units..I still need a couple of sales to be able to complete all the infrastructure but I am negotiating credits, etc. so I may be able to make it with what I have.
Block 5 is ready..block 4 is painted and with tile and block 2 is almost ready to be painted and for tile to be installed. Block 6 will have the second floor put in next week. I have already contracted a swimming pool and a desalination system that will produce enough portable water for Vistazul and the hotel. We also have a group of 13 carpenters working 14 hours per day to complete all woodwork on all the units so things are going well. In total there are approx. 40 people working at Vistazul right now.
We had a group of Ecuadorians at Vistazul yesterday and they committed to buy 12 weeks for time share..I am making a brochure and planning on a marketing campaign starting in January so I believe the time share idea could work well over time. The downturn is that you will have families with kids times of the year but mainly in July/August when most of the current owners will be back home.
I have mentioned the option to sell weeks to several of the condo owners and they seemed to be interested in the idea. If they pay $ 89,000 and sell the premium weeks + some high season weeks they should be able to recover their investment and still have 30 weeks for themselves. They could even try to sell the 30 weeks over time and make good money if it was only for investment.
We are promoting premium weeks (Christmas, New Year, Carnival and Easter) at $ 6,995, High season (February, March, July, August) at $3,995 and the rest of the weeks at $ 1,995. We charge 10% to sell the weeks and I believe we should be able to sell most of the weeks over time (2 to 3 years). We have already received about 200 inquiries for the New Year weekend at the hotel and we sold out months ago for this date so San Clemente is getting more and more popular with Ecuadorians.
You can see our first offer at our Spanish website for these time shares at www.lacostaecuador.com.
There you have it. beauty… charm and opportunity. There are some risks involved. Once you start selling the time share units… you lose the opportunity to sell as a whole unit… plus you have to manage, maintain and care for this type of ownership. Plus there is no guarantee you can resell enough units this way to recover your whole investment.
On the other hand if you recover your investment selling half the units, this means you end up with half a year of use for yourself free.
There are other ways to profit from an Ecuador beach property like this… such as advance rentals.
A New York Times article entitled “Making Her Dream House Pay for Itself” by Amy Silverman tells how Julie Hampton bought a villa in Tuscany, raising the purchase price by selling three-week stays for $1,000 each.
Here are excerpts from that article: WHEN Julie Hampton was a graduate student, she decided that she wanted to buy a small house in a remote Italian village about a 90-minute drive northwest of Florence. But she didn’t have the more than $80,000 she needed, so she came up with a plan.
She went to the local office of the Small Business Administration and told a volunteer adviser that she wanted to finance the purchase largely by persuading 60 people to pay $1,000 each in exchange for three weeks at the villa. The adviser laughed.
Then he bent over and began searching around her feet. Ms. Hampton didn’t understand why he was doing that, she recalled nearly six years later, sitting in her apartment in downtown Phoenix. So she asked him a question — did he drop his pen?
“And he said, ‘No, I’m looking around for my bucket of cold water.’ ”
But Ms. Hampton was unfazed: “I said, ‘I’m provin’ you wrong, pal.’ ”
So prove him wrong she did. The meeting took place in early 2001. That same year, Ms. Hampton, after coming up with all the money, in exactly the way she planned, bought a 2,500-square-foot house in the medieval village of Vitiana.
She e-mailed the owners and went off to Los Angeles for New Year’s 2001. When she came back, an e-mail response was waiting: “If you can come before Jan. 15, we’ll show you the house.” Ms. Hampton bought a plane ticket and left for Italy within a week. A friend of a friend arranged a place for her to stay in Florence and left a key with a neighbor.
Several days later, she drove to Vitiana with the two owners.
She felt she had to have the house. But she kept reminding herself that she didn’t have the money. Nonetheless, she agreed to buy it, putting down, as a binder, $2,300 — college-fund money that was left after she had paid tuition.
Back in the United States, she found a lawyer willing to help her create a limited-liability company and draw up simple legal arrangements for the transactions that would implement her plan. With only a few weeks to go until a $28,000 down payment was due, Ms. Hampton made a color brochure and offered three weeks at the villa to anyone willing to pay her $1,000. (Not all of the weeks needed to be taken at one time, and if the money was sent before the down-payment deadline, the buyer would get a bonus week.) She also put a six-line classified ad in The New York Times Travel section for four weeks at $270 a week.
She met the deadline — getting all the money from subscribers.
Long before New Year’s 2002, the house was Ms. Hampton’s. She wound up paying $82,000 — including $12,000 from a retirement account, a $6,000 loan from her parents and $8,000 in loans from her credit union. About half the 60 subscribers came from the Phoenix area, and half from responses to the ad.
An Ecuador beach rental would seem to be much easier to rent than an Italian villa in the current depressed economy… closer and far… far less expensive.
If you are looking for a speculation that could bring good capital gains or the use of an Ecuador beach condo for half the year… consider buying whole and selling some of the pieces.
Save even $10,000 more. We have several units reserved for Ecuador Living subscribers at $79,000, $10,000 off the retail price of these Ecuador beach condos. See more details on how to become an Ecuador Living subscriber here.
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Read the entire article: Making Her Dream House Pay for Itself here