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How To Find A $40,000 Beach House In 2008

Jul 17, 2008
Think the phrase "cheap beachfront property" is a thing of the past?

If you paid $40,000 for your beach house, how long ago did you buy it? In the US it would have had to have been 30 years or so ago, in Puerto Rico, over 15 years ago, in Costa Rica, over ten years ago easy.

But we have another chance. Even now in 2008 there is a place a few hours by plane from Miami, with Hawaii-like weather, friendly locals, outstanding beaches and where foreigners are not only welcome to buy, but encouraged.

The place is Ecuador. How it has slipped through the cracks this long is amazing.

So the first step towards your $40,000 beach house is to understand where you can find one. Not in the US (obviously), nor in Costa Rica or Panama, but in Ecuador.

The second step is to define exactly the type of property you would like (condo, plot of land, house) and your budget.

The third step is to go to http://kayak.com and book your flight to Ecuador. From Miami, New York and LA roundtrip flights can be had starting around $400.

The fourth step would be to do some preliminary research on the net. Remember that any listings you may find in English are probably priced for foreigners, sometimes at double or triple the price you could find locally. There are great places online to find listings, but that is covered more thoroughly in the report mentioned at the end of this article.

The fifth step would be to go to Ecuador. Give yourself as much time as possible in Ecuador. A few months are ideal. Make some local friends, get acclimated to the culture and decide if Ecuador is right for you. Easy ways to make local friends would be to go to the local churches, take Spanish lessons, or join local clubs with a similar interest to your own.

Then with a few local allies on your side, ask them to recommend a few trustworthy real estate agents and local lawyers.

The sixth step is to start your house hunt. Go to the coast, decide where you want to live and walk the streets yourself looking for phone numbers spray painted on the sides of buildings indicating they are for sale. Have a local friend help you make contact (so they don't hike the prices up on you when they hear your accent.)

The seventh step would be to have your lawyer check out the papers of the properties that interest you, making sure they are in order. If the papers are in legal order, you make a bid similar to the US, but in Ecuador you will probably be dealing directly with the owner. Locals prefer to sell their houses themselves instead of through agents.

If the bid is accepted, you sign a sales contract similar to those in the US, and the closing of the sale takes only a few weeks in Ecuador. Closing costs and fees are only a fraction of those in the States.

Beachfront land plots in the $20,000 dollar range are still available. Castles on seafront cliffs are available for around $150,000 and attractive little seaside houses can sell for as little as $40,000, but only until the place gets discovered.
About the Author
Domenick Buonamici is the author of the new report "The Insiders Guide to Beachfront Property in Ecuador." It can be found at http://www.EcuadorRealEstate.org
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