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Buying Property

Ecuador - Buying Property


When buying property in Ecuador there are a number of fees which are the responsibility of the purchaser. These include a 1% real estate transfer tax, an additional transfer tax of 0.5%, the notary’s fees of 3.75% and legal fees which can be as much as 3%. The seller is only responsible for the estate agents fees and these will vary according to the agency that is being used.

Foreign nationals are allowed to purchase property in Ecuador although there are some restrictions near the borders and the coastline. As property prices are fairly low in the country, it can prove to be a good investment. It is wise when choosing a property to have it thoroughly inspected, particularly if the house is some years old. People in Ecuador are not known for carrying out decent repairs and properly maintaining their homes, so many on the market have problems that will need to be sorted out in order to bring them up to a decent standard. When purchasing you will also need to put down a deposit on the property then the rest can be paid up to 7 years later, either as a cash transaction or a mortgage.

When searching for a property there are numerous estate agents in all the main towns and cities which can help you with your search, although you should be aware that there are large numbers of properties for sale which are not listed. These are just ‘advertised’ through word of mouth. It is a good idea to get the help of someone local who can keep you informed of such properties becoming available.

The property deeds have to be transferred by the Registry of Properties and it is essential that all details are accurate as this is how taxes on the property are calculated. It is possible for a foreign national to obtain a mortgage in another country for a property in Ecuador and mortgages are also possible in Ecuador although there are few deals to choose from. Ecuadorian banks much prefer having short term loans than long term ones. This is to protect themselves from any long term debt problems.

The process of buying a property in the country can take just a few weeks, with the registration process taking a maximum of 21 days.

Expats often find that due to the low cost of living they are able to afford to employ domestic staff and there are agencies which can help you to recruit maids and gardeners. For your own peace of mind, it is recommended that you thoroughly check any references that you are given.


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