How To Buy Real Estate in Ecuador
In addition to the opportunity to purchase affordable real estate in a spectacularily beautiful country – buying your new Ecuadorian home or investment property can give you the option of a new lifelong adventure i.e. living in Ecuador full-time as a legal resident. Want an idea of what expat life may be like? Blogs About Ecuador
If you purchase property for $25,000 USD or more you are considered an investor in the country and will automatically be granted a Residency Visa after completing the required paperwork.
Buying property is easy in Ecuador. A real estate transaction can be completed from start to finish in less than a month. The main problem you will have difficulties with is deciding what area of the country to live in!
Popular locations to relocate to in addition to the capital city San Francisco de Quito include: Cuenca (third largest city in Ecuador, colonial beauty); Cotacachi (mountain village 2 hours from Quito), Bahía de Caráquez (hub for nearby beach towns such as Canoa), Vilcabamba (hippie-roost, famous for longevity studies) and Montanita (surfer hang-out).
Basic Steps To Buying Property in Ecuador
- Travel to and research locations throughout the country carefully. Similar to searching for property in the U.S., Canada or UK – is a bungalow by the beach going to fulfill your need for year-round entertainment and activities? Or would you be happier settling in a larger city and taking weekend excursions to beach areas and small towns in Ecuador?
- Search for property in your chosen location a variety of ways. Want an idea of what is available in Cuenca and at what price? Click here to view listings on Cuenca Properties.com. Want to buy land in the beach town Canoa? It may be best to visit awhile and make friends with some of the local expats and Ecuadorians to find out what is available. Many properties throughout Ecuador are not formally listed but the owner is interested in selling.
- Hire an Ecuadorian professional - abogado (attorney) or escribano (public notary) or both to assist with the real estate transaction. This goes triple if you are not fluent in Spanish.
- Once you have found a piece of land, apartment or home perform a title search – “Certificado De Gravamenes” – to make sure it is free of any liens. Also ask for copies of the seller´s Cedula (ID) to verify the person selling actually owns the property.
Documents requested by your attorney or notary public will most likely include a Certificado De Registro De Propiedad Actualizado (confirms property is correctly registered with the local government) and Certificado Del Historial De La Propiedad (history of all transactions dealing with the property).
- Unless you are paying the full-amount of the sale price to the seller immediately – your abogado (attorney) or escribano will draw up a Promesa de Compraventa – or promissory note. The document will be signed by both buyer and seller (in the presence of a notary) and outline conditions of the sale including purchase price, when the transaction will be completed and penalties for default.
- Make a down payment if that was agreed-upon (normally around 10% of the purchase price).
- Your attorney will then arrange for the necessary tax payments and register your property at the land registry.
What are the fees for a real estate transaction?
Abogado (attorney) – as agreed-upon, commonly around $250 USD
Compraventa (purchase agreement) - approximately $30 USD
Annual Property Tax – approximately 1.5 % listed value of the property.
Escribano (notary public) - approximately $350 USD
Registering the Property – $350 USD.
Thinking of moving to Ecuador? Get your FREE Living in Ecuador Guide