July 31st (2015) marks 2 years in Ecuador. Crossing that threshold got me thinking about what it was like when I first arrived. I spent months researching Ecuador before ultimately deciding to make the move and as I look back, very little I read matched up with the real thing.
For starters the weather was not even close to as advertised. If you find yourself making the same decision I made don’t throw away your winter coat like I did. Being born and raised in Boston 68-75 year around sounded REALLY good. In Loja, that is true for about half the year. The other half, it rains fairly often and can get into the 40’s at night. Very few if any homes in the Andean region of Ecuador are insulated, none have heat. Nobody told me that!
Cost of living was another example. Although it’s much lower than the states in general – specifically food, rent, and energy prices, there is an important caveat. Anything imported (which is a lot) has to price in outrageous taxes causing the retail price to be very high.
If you’re looking to buy electronics such as a computer or television, you’re much better off buying them before moving to Ecuador. If you purchase post-move, be ready to pay a significant premium over what you would expect to pay in the US.
One of the few things I found to be accurate was the amount of opportunities to start successful businesses targeted towards a growing number of Expats from North America and Europe looking to relocate to Ecuador.
As a result of that experience, one of our goals we set out to achieve when launching Abundant Living Ecuador was to provide reliable information about living, working, and relocating here.
As we continue to build out our library of information (both original and sourced) I try to keep my eyes out for accurate content. In that effort, I recently came across an e-Book by Viva Tropical called the Top 57 places to Live and Invest in the Tropics.
While there are several places that should also have been included, of the 57 locations, 7 are in Ecuador, several of which we have or are actively seeking listings.
What jumped out at me most was the methodology they used to come up with the list – which is focused around 3 key metrics; Affordability, Real Estate Prediction Meter (probability that prices will rise over the next 5 years) and Quality of life.
I encourage anyone who is looking for more information about living and investing in South and Central America to download a copy. http://vivatropical.com/top57-places-live-invest
For more information about living and investing in southern Ecuador visit us at www.abecuador.com.
Until next time,