Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
After seeing about 20 houses/apartments we realized we would have to go a bit over our original budget to find a place large enough to accommodate us comfortably, that would be secure enough, and that would be in a good location. Saturday we went with a realtor to another home in a place called Pillagua (I am going to try and get some of these locations up on google maps for those who might be interested). It was a beautiful home with a great view, but most of the walls were curved, which wouldn’t leave much room for wall hangings and some of our furniture. We went back to see a house we had seen the previous day but were unsure of because of the price. We had met with the owner’s daughter originally; this time we met the owner.
It’s a 3 bedroom house, with a studio, living room, dining room, and kitchen. It has maid’s quarters with a small room and bathroom, another room that could be used as a workshop, a grilling area and wood fired bread oven outside. It’s even got an old rusty swingset. There’s also a large patio area for line drying clothes. It also comes with the gas tanks included for the hot water system; that saves us about $240 right there, as the tanks are $80 a piece new. The house is in a great neighborhood with green areas, in the valley where it’s warm all the time. Maria bargained with the owner and we got it down to $1100 a month. We will be taking possession as of May 9.
It turns out to be an advantage here to be a foreigner when renting houses; the Ecuadorian owners tend to see foreigners as more serious and with more integrity than their own people. No one checks your credit here when you rent, as a credit bureau system has only recently been implemented, and probably 80% or more of the population live outside of a credit economy anyway. So we shook hands on the deal with the owner and will start the paperwork next week.
We also found a good deal on a car through the US Embassy. Since this is the time of the year many of the diplomats change post, there have been several outgoing people selling their vehicles. In a copy of the Embassy’s weekly flyer we found a 2001 Toyota RAV4 with only 25,000 miles. It’s being sold by the Consul in Guayaquil. I immediately emailed and within a day we had agreed upon a price of $16,000 (original asking price was $17,500). I will go down to Guayaquil towards the end of June with my cousin and we will be driving it back up here, about a five hour trip.