Before we look at Puerto Lopez and the housing project advertisement now… let’s learn a lesson about global investing… business and life from the past.
A reader sent this note recently: Gary, Where do you live? In Ecuador or North Carolina?
You may have covered this question in previous emails but I am wondering how the next world-wide financial crisis will affect Ecuador? Unlike the first great depression, I believe it will be very bad in the US as people are not used to being out of work or not receiving their welfare checks. Is Ecuador more like the USA of the 1930’s in terms of not being addicted to government money?
I need to make some decisions. I feel the need to leave the USA due to the growing police state and the eventual financial collapse of this country. I am 57 and have 4 kids, 15, 18, 23 & 25 and want to find a place where there are opportunities for living, working and having fun. Some of the Latin American countries are interesting and affordable but the culture shock can be great. I am financially independent and have opportunities but am not sure where to look and since I do not like cold weather, some places are not on my list.
Would you have any thoughts on where a guy like me could land?
My Reply: We have always been a multi national family and have homes in Ecuador (three in fact) one in North Carolina, one Florida, Oregon and in England.
We have always spent our summers for the past 20 years in the North Carolina mountains.
From 2000 to 2007 we sold numerous properties in Florida and bought a number of properties in Ecuador. From 2009 we began selling property in Ecuador and buying again in Florida.
In 2009 we spent much more time in Oregon (sick mom) and have spent more time in Florida the last two years (buying real estate and spending time with a grandson as daughter went though divorce).
Next year I expect England will see more of our backside (two new grandchildren: a granddaughter and grandson!)
Over the past several decades we have lived in (and provided real estate tours) London, Switzerland, Isle of Man and Dominican Republic as well as Ecuador and the USA.
Do not make too much out of where we are. Too many personal factors that would not impact your decisions affect ours. Plus it is in our nature and our business to move around.
With mom being 88 and the grandkids all over the place we are not in Ecuador much, but we still have a 962 acre hacienda, an apartment building as well as a house, beach condo, hotel and foundation that helps the Ecuadorian poor.
Moving around is part of our lifestyle. This has been our business for 42 years, helping people invest, live and earn globally.
Deciding where to live… where to invest… how to do business and refine your lifestyle is a very personal process. Every person needs to make these decisions based on their own circumstances using logic and their own personal method of thinking out of the box.
For example, in March 2001, I posted the following message at this site.
Waves crash on black haystack rocks that grind an aquamarine Pacific into foam and mist of white. It is early March, near the coast of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. We head due west. Merri and I are with friends, sitting on the gleaming 35 foot cruiser. Warm salt air massages our sun drenched skin us as we race west, hypnotized by a sleepy drone from twin Yamaha 115s.
There are many economic opportunities to share in this message, but first let me answer the question that was meandering gently through my mind. “What really is paradise?” I almost nodded off then looked across the sea once more. Eleven shrimpers glowed white as they bobbed on the horizon. Their bird covered arms trailed nets that looked like spidery webs of white. The ocean turned deep indigo as the continental shelf dropped away. Our destination? Isla de la Plata, the Silver Isle, little known but like Galapagos, the home of rare birds ( we saw loads of blue footed boobies in their rookery) and animal life not known elsewhere.
“What really is paradise?” I pondered once more. Walking a broad beach at sun rise to join the villagers for the morning’s catch, which included a monstrous snook? The soft murmur of young lovers as they stroll on a warm evening, holding hands? A billion stars on a clear night? A native market piled high in mangos, papaya, pineapples, custard fruit, bananas in yellow, red and green, blackberries, ovos, plums, beans, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, peppers, cabbages bigger than a bread basket, flowers and other delicious fruits and vegetables, you can’t even imagine as they are endemic only to Ecuador even know, all swollen with vine ripened goodness and priced so low they cost nothing? A cook who prepares these treasures with love and serves them on an open air balcony cleansed by a sweet breeze from the sea? An afternoon sleep in a hammock, soothed by a gentle salt breeze? Riding through a tropical forest? Fresh ground juice at night on the terrace? Village laughter in the darkness heard from a comfortable bed? Friendly, happy faces everywhere?
First let me make a point. If you want the sanitized version of life, switch off now and go to a web site that lists Disney World and places like this. Or go visit American coastal cities like Naples where I have left. Manta, Puerto Lopez and the other Pacific villages Merri and I savored on this trip have dusty roads, unkempt beaches, dogs walking the beach and the people appear poor. Plastic and various other types of debris often line the roads. The water where we stayed was only lukewarm. There are some pathetic sights and pungent smells. Life is rich, ripe and real here, no street signs, no life guards and no lines in the middle of the road.
Yet consider this. In Naples, Florida, I just looked at buying a very small beachfront lot because it was cheap at one and a half million bucks. Here I was looking at a 38 acre tract of coastal land on a brand new highway with a half mile of wide, empty, clean Pacific beach for $15,000 bucks!
In Naples I’ll get fined for parking, taking a dog, glass, or fire on the beach. I’ll be patrolled, warned and controlled by more rules and regulations I can keep track of. Here it’s purely Laissez Faire. Merri and I are pioneers and we love untidy, rambling, ramshackle places. We have made millions buying in such places and then watching them grow up. But you have to love this type of disorder to enjoy the process.
To us this is where the real adventure is・long with the best investment potential. So having said this let’s spend a moment talking about the cash.
Several years ago I began bringing investors to Manta and own to Puerto Lopez telling them it was one of the hottest places around. Merri and I didn’t especially like Manta but saw its potential. I continued bringing investors here through the worst depression in Ecuador’s history, a Presidential impeachment, then a bloodless coup, countless social demonstrations and even a couple of kidnappings on the border. The worse events grew, the more excited about the potential I became. Now places in the south of Manta that were scrub vegetation and wild are gleaming apartments and housing developments with really attractive and grand homes. Prices for land have quadrupled. There is a new road, new water system and though prices in Manta are still much lower than they will become, the miraculous bargains some of my delegates have enjoyed are gone. Some investors have seen their investments grow two, three, even four times in this last two years and values will rise much more! Yet the changes are just beginning. South of Puerto Lopez, Metropolitan Tours have built a new 15 room hotel. This is built by Barro Viejo the same architects that designed Merri’s and my house at our Andean plantation Rosaspamba.
This hotel has a charming design and sits high up cliffs with commanding ocean views. There are whale watching and fishing tours (the fishing is great – snook, snapper, sea bass, the world record Marlin was caught nearby) Plus there are cruises to Isla de la Plata and in season, whale watching where spotting whales guaranteed. Last year we were able to cruise around huge humpbacks at a range of just a few yards.
Puerto Lopez is surrounded by over 100,000 acres of national park and there are also hiking and riding trips in the dry and humid tropical forests of the park.
I recommend this for sea lovers. Real estate in Ecuador is an incredible opportunity now.
Real estate is not the only outstanding business opportunity in Ecuador at this time. Each day we research here, we uncover more great deals.
The lesson is that a decade later this advice has been proved. Prices have risen dramatically but are still at bargain basement values. Where you invest depends on where you are on the curve. Merri and I are pioneers. We get into new ideas very early on and out very early on. Others come in at a far later time… and actually make more.
Know that ultimately you must make decisions for yourself. Know that you can’t know everything. Know that not every decision will be right in that it brings a profit, but also know that if each investment you make whether in time, money or energy feels right for you, you are likely to improve your odds of success.
Answering, “Who am I?” is complicated but easier to understand when we realize that most people fall into one of six categories:
#2: Early Adapters
#3: Early Majority
#4: Late Majority
#5: Deliberate Skeptical Mass
(I advise everyone to read and study all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books…these genius ideas are from The Tipping Point.)
The key is to know where your comfort zone is on the curve.
This is why Puerto Lopez offers extra potential for many now. This is an area Merri and I enjoyed over a decade ago… but has greatly refined since then… better roads… better facilities and greater stability.
A Decade Later
Wow a decade later the Puerto Lopez recommendation has really been proved. Prices have risen dramatically but are still at bargain basement values.
Now a project named TRANQUILO, a four unit housing enclave has started in Puerto Lopez Ecuador.
Tranquilo is a small project consisting of four residential apartments in two buildings.
All units face the beach in Puerto Lopez , a fishing village /tourism town of 15,000 souls on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Puerto Lopez is unique along the 650 mile coast .
It is on a crescent bay, between encapsulating headlands,well protected with limited expansion potential. It has an inherent energy not found in other seaside villages.
Fresh caught fish, Puerto Lopez
Shops for all basic needs, a bank, postal station and a selection of decent restaurants and watering holes.
Fresh fruit in Puerto Lopez
Architect-Builder, John Fisher, selected Puerto Lopez for his first project in Ecuador after traversing the coast top to bottom three times, turning stones in every village en route.
John Fisher is an accomplished and experienced professional with a record of successful projects in Canada and the United States.He has partnered with reknowned Ecuadorean architect Xavier Vargas, to create a small project with a distinctly modern South American look combined with North American planning.
The project has acquired all necessary permits for commencement of construction which is scheduled to begin in September 2011. Only three units will be available for purchase,the owner-architect retaining one unit for his personal residence.
The beachfront building “Beach House” consists of an upper and lower unit, each with private entrance and approximately 1400 s.f of interior living space.
The intermediate floor separating the units has a concrete sound-barrier to ensure quiet enjoyment and privacy for both units.The ground floor unit enjoys direct beach access,with fifty steps or so to the shore. A private ten by thirty foot wood deck patio and front garden provide the perfect setting for hammock-dozing or sunset cocktails.
The interior has a modern kitchen with large breakfast-bar and all appliances. Tiled baths with Euro-glass showers, exotic wood floors and nine foot high wood-beamed ceilings with bamboo inlay provide a luxurious and comfortable plantation-style setting. Two bedrooms with en-suite baths, guest powder room and stacked washer-dryer combo are designed to North American standards.
The living-dining area and master bedroom are both beachfront with an abundance of light and cooling Pacific breezes. The apartment also has separate air-conditioning units for Living and Bedroom areas. This is a one-of a-kind beachfront home with a secure private garage, all modern amenities and a tranquil setting only a five minute walk from town.
The elevated rear building “ Ocean View” house is situated on a plateau sixteen feet above “Beach House”.
It consists of two side by side duplex units separated by a sound-barrier masonry wall.The units are staggered to provide ultimate privacy for outdoor living spaces.The building has four lower-level individual parking garages,one for each unit in the complex. The “Ocean View House” units have an entry-level bedroom floor with two bedrooms,with en-suite baths, laundry and large master-bedroom balcony.
The second floor Living-Dining-Kitchen area has a powder bath and large ocean view balcony. The third floor is an oceanview covered roof terrace, perfect for hammock-swinging, sunset cocktails or quiet enjoyment of the surroundings.The interior finishing is equivalent to “ Beach House”.
There is also entry-level parking from the rear access road providing ease of entry and convenient off-loading of groceries for “ Ocean View” residents. These exclusive “townhome” units cannot be found elsewhere in Ecuador, let alone Puerto Lopez.
Apartment living space in square feet:
Ocean View . Living-Dining and Bedroom floors : 1200 s.f. Roof Terrace : 800 s.f. Balconies (2) 240 s.f. one car garage+ storage
Total indoor-outdoor living area ; 2240 s.f. ( + garage-storage area):
BeachHouse : Ground Floor Unit ; 1470 s.f. Covered Terrace 300 s.f. Total indoor-outdoor living area : 1770 s.f.
Pricing and estimated completion dates to be released shortly.
To see complete floor plans and additional pictures contact John Fisher email@example.com
Join an Ecuador coastal real estate or coastal agricultural tour and add an extra day to see Puero Lopez. Jean Marie Butterlin can make transport arrangements for you.
New 2012 tour dates set. See Jan. Fe. and March 2012 tours below.
Manabi Ecuador farm house. Prices range from $800 to $1,500 an acre for valuable farm land.