Ecuador Real Estate Example

by | Mar 28, 2019 | Archives

See Ecuador first.  Look before you buy.

When Merri and I visited Ecuador in the mid 1990s, we saw incredible real estate value and jumped in.  We invested ourselves and began promoting Ecuador real estate tours.

We took thousands of subscribers to Ecuador, as did some of our friendly competitors.  Ecuador caught on and real estate prices exploded upwards.

That rare amazing opportunity is gone.  This is true in London where we conducted real estate tours in the 1970s and the Isle of Man where we conducted real estate tours in the 1980s and in Naples Florida where we invested in the 1980s.  Ditto for central Florida where we invested during the Great Recession.

Those were special opportunities where prices shot up hundreds of percent in just a few years, but they lasted only a short while.

Merri and I have been so fortunate to have developed habits that have kept us stumbling onto good value real estate, that we also like and enjoy.

Yet in London, in the Isle of Man, in Naples Florida, Ecuador and Central Florida, the real estate markets are different now.  Bargains are not just laying around everywhere.  Finding the good deals requires searching and hard work.

I am often surprised how some people can form strong opinions of a place they have never visited and invest in real estate sight unseen or with little research.

One lesson we learned decades ago is “always go see for yourself and always study a market carefully before investing.

This is also why we advise that  buying a sight unseen property is not a good idea.

The sun always shines somewhere! It is shining now in Ecuador.  There is great weather, a lot of wonderful real estate and still excellent opportunity for those who do their homework.


Ecuador beach real estate.

Look, see… feel and experience before forming opinions. One cannot see reality on the internet.  The World Wide Web is an invaluable resource tool but at some stage, you need to visit.

I was quickly reminded of  this fact while researching real estate in Central Florida. The first property we viewed looked great on the internet… lake front over six acres… professionally landscaped…house and guesthouse only $200,000.

What the website did not show was that over five of the six acres were under the lake.  Professional landscaping probably meant that a professional truck driver dumped gravel over most of the land that was not submerged.

The web listing also did not show the train tracks, industrial park or the tattoo parlor next door.  We did not even bother to inspect inside.


You can’t find property like this in the US.

Merri and I love Ecuador.  We purchased a lot of property on Ecuador’s coast… and in the Andes,  Yet we also invested in North Carolina and Central Florida and as we matured just like Ecuador’s real estate market, life changed.  With children and grandkids spread around the world, the US East coast became best for family and we are mainly here now.

Ecuador real estate opportunity still exists.  For those who treat this as a serious business, research the markets that interest them and trust but verify the professionals they work with there are some excellent Ecuador real estate deals.

We are pleased that Dr. Andres Cordova is helping us with our Ecuador real estate and has been able to help many of our readers.

Here’s an article by Andres on some real estate that’s for sale now.

andres cordova


Dr. Andres Cordova

Several years ago a client told me he wanted to invest $40.000 in Ecuador.  I recommended he buy land in an area near the site of Quito’s new airport.  He said he could afford to wait and I thought the area was a good fit, so I presented him with an opportunity to buy 2.5 acres there.

Now, ten years later, he is ready to sell and the asking price will be $240.000. I will help him in the process. This would be an absolutely stellar 600% return if sold at such asking price.  If it sells at much less, say to prompt a fast closing, the profit would still be significant.

The property has barely accrued expenses during this time so it’s even better.

That deal proved to be exceptional for sure, and it shows the potential of raw land.

We negotiated a rather good price for the purchase and, as the saying goes, you make the profit when you buy.

In areas where growth is foreseeable, where you can detect positive trends, buying undervalued properties should allow for good returns with that extra leverage bringing the possibility of significantly higher profits under the right conditions.

Now lets face it, raw land is not for everyone. These are usually investments for mid to long-term, and are not liquid. Some properties can take months to sell and if a fire sale is needed it can eat up a good part of the profit potential.

However, buying well-selected and negotiated raw land with the chance of appreciation that may reach two digits per year for several years surely beats the paltry 1% to 1.5% you’ll likely get at your local bank. I mean, it doesn’t even compensate for inflation, so you are basically losing money.

Buying land is for those who can afford to wait a few years. It’s as sound an investment as they come.

In my article last Friday I mentioned that we have not truly experienced a real estate bubble in Ecuador. Mentioning this is important, as expectations should be kept in accordance. Not having had bubbles makes for a sounder, more down to earth property market.

I’ve had contacts ask me about the possibility of buying condos at 50% off, perhaps from a developer that’s struggling.  I’ve replied to them that it is extremely unlikely that any developer or desperate owner would go down so much.

Perhaps these deep discounts are common in cities that have seen big-time real estate bubbles where prices inflate rapidly. Under such conditions 50% off is perhaps possible as the discount is considered from the bubbled up price.

Here we don’t have the wild swings were you can make obscene profits in a short time flipping a property bought at pre-bubble prices at the peak of a market gone wild.

When sourcing opportunities, I focus on certain areas that call my attention for some reason or another. I look at their zoning for example. Where it’s restrictive prices are usually low. But zoning tends to ease up every few years and more so in places that have the right conditions for growth. In some areas zoning is revisited every 2 years or so.

Buying in places where you can negotiate really good prices and where you anticipate zoning will start easing up is a way to go. I try to get a more comprehensive picture: Is new infrastructure coming in sometime in the future? Is there a big or fancy development going to take place in the area? Is the area a natural for growth? Is the area is a somewhat undiscovered gem because of it’s surroundings, its views, etc.? Can you boost the potential somehow?

Take Quito for example, it’s cradled by mountains that, while they create a magnificent landscape, also prevent the city from expanding horizontally. This has made prices for land in Quito proper quite high and has prompted significant population growth and development in the neighboring valleys.


Quito is cradled by mountains that provide for magnificent scenery and prompt important growth in neighboring valleys where there’s more available land.


Very exceptional opportunities do surface from time to time; and they usually require lightning-fast action. For example, not long ago I got word of an exceptional opportunity. A gentleman had won a government award for a contract worth millions and needed about $200,000 to be able to issue the paperwork and guarantees required by our public contracts laws. He was severely illiquid at the time and put a prime piece of land valued at $400,000 for sale at half the price. Suffice to say, he sold the land immediately losing $200k in the process but getting a contract worth millions because of it. Under such circumstances I’d readily sell at half price too.

Granted, deals like these are hard to come by. They are an absolute exception. But they do happen. Having a network of realtors and friends that have their radar on for good deals certainly helps.

Out of one of these contacts told me about a very good opportunity. One I recommend.

The property has two really nice houses with wonderful views.



The houses are a major plus considering the price of the whole property is much lower than prices for other properties in the area which are just land.


It’s a 5.4-acre (21.880 square meter) property near Quito in an area that should see sustained growth. While prices have come up in the area, they remain a bare fraction of those in Quito, just 25 minutes away.

Prices in the area hover between $40 to $45 per square meter ($3.73 to $4.2 per sq.f.) and this is basically for just land. This 5.4-acre property can be bought for $28.3 per square meter, a substantial reduction from the usual going price.

But it gets better. This property has landscaped grounds, a small lagoon, a water reservoir, two really nice houses, a BBQ area, a caretaker’s house, horses’ stables and storage rooms. This makes the price – and the opportunity – all the more exceptional.

This is a relatively big piece of land near Quito and at $620,000 it’s no small change. However, it’s going for hundreds of thousands less than comparable properties. There are several properties in the area with asking prices well above one million dollars. The plan is to try and get the property to sell under $600k, making the deal even better.


The property has a beautiful natural setting just 25 minutes from the city.

The houses can be rented.

The area has seen continued appreciation and the trend will go on for sure. Buying at this much-reduced price should allow for good profits down the road, especially for those able and willing to wait. The plan is to try and get the price lowered to $580,000 or less making the deal even better.


Both houses have ample porches where the soothing breeze and manicured gardens can be enjoyed.

The houses have stone archways and 3 bedrooms each.


A full report on the property with pictures is available.

There are other areas I am concentrating on too, where smaller parcels can be bought for less than $100k.

Investing in land in Ecuador is most definitely worth a look. Let us know if you have an interest.

Andrés Córdova

If you are interested in real estate in Ecuador drop a line with the words “RE Report” in the subject line to

Spanish words you can use

Investment – Inversión
Price – Precio
Expenses – Gastos
Discount – Descuento
Money – Dinero


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I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

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See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

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Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

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(1) Benefits-of-bilingualism.html



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