Tag Archive | "real estate broker"

Small Town Benefits


There are many small town benefits.

Because we have a big focus on Ecuador… many readers mistakenly think we are promoters of Ecuador. Actually this is not quite true. We are more lovers of small towns and Ecuador has some great small towns and villages.  Anyone who reads our Ecuador messages will see that we do not write much about living in the big cities of Quito or Guayaquil.

However we have also always had a focus on Smalltown USA and now that real estate prices are so affordable in the US… we are looking at this more.

Merri and I just returned from a West Coast USA trip…. California, Oregon and Washington.

There are some great places there as I thought that the note below from a reader is worth sharing:

smalltown-oregon-real-estate

View of Mt. Hood from small town Oregon property for sale.

Gary, I just joined your Ecuador Living Service and am looking forward to those aromatic  Mother’s Day Roses!   I’d like to start the new membership with my contribution to your Small TownUSA pool of choice properties.

I’m Gary’s age and have been a one woman rodeo, wearing several hats over the decades, TWA instructor, herbalist, Naturopath,  Real Estate Broker, custom log home builder.    Building a log home model, landing a few projects, selling and repeating the process enabled me to live rurally & happily.  I rode with the natural feast & famines, took some falls, got back up, dusted myself off and kept on going.

I’ve finally started listening to my body and realize that it’s been screaming at me for sometime.   I have been so busy with other things and our Non Profit Rescue/Sanctuary that I’ve not taken the time to tune into my own body and the broadcast that it’s been repeating over and over.

Now is the time for me to make some dynamic life style changes, to slow down the pace, stop burning that candle and look more at the quality of life in connection to my body than to look at how much work I can push through in a day.  Even computers have their limits on how much they can multi process.

Rather than incur debt and spend my sacred energy to finish this product, I’d like to be wiggling my toes in the Ecuadorian sand this time next year and be sitting around one of your Shamanic Circles.   I’ve lived in 5 countries, have  traveled to 80 (including Ecuador) and want Ecuador to be our new home.  While a vacation would be an obvious solution, it’s just not practical for us.  I  thought your creative readers might be interested in benefiting from this piece of Small Town USA..

Growing up in Portland you may already know Goldendale?  Unlike Portland, 40 years has not changed many things  here, same dog- same corner!

People still wave at you, still no traffic signals.  The work ethic is strong and cowboys still show up at local restaurants wearing their spurs.   Twice yearly traffic jams may inconvenience you 15 minutes or so while families herd their cattle, on  horses with herding dogs, to the lush high country  spring grass and another 15 minute traffic jam as they  are rounded up and herded home in the fall.

Goldendale is in the Columbia River Gorge area at the base of the Simcoe mountains, where the wet, rainy west meets the moderate, sunny (300 days yearly) central part of the state.   A town with less than 4,000 population may not have everything you want, but it has everything you need, not the least of which is tranquility!

We enjoy the undulating fields of alfalfa,  rodeos, organic cattle ranches, bison,  nearby wineries,  mouth-watering fruit, outdoor concerts, world-class fishing,  birding, hiking, noted observatory, horse trails, rock climbing, petroglyphs, wind surfing, skiing,  snow-mobiling,  golf,  organic foods and more horses than people!

This is the potential ultimate  primary home “get away”,  multi-generation property, corporate retreat or retirement lodge style home offering just about every amenity required in a dream home of dignified proportions and rural surroundings.

smalltown-oregon-real-estate

House front.

An impressive 20 acre site, all usable,  forested with pines in the front and back  for privacy, compelling views of Mt. Hood,  Mt. Adams, the Simcoes,  western sunsets, fantastic sunrises,  pasture & great fertile soil.    Truly  the ultimate for the discriminating home owner near unlimited recreational opportunities and located near the end of a dead end, maintained, gravel road, just 1.5 miles to pavement.

Main portion of home needs finishing with  interior touches  such as flooring, counter tops, professional kitchen range, some paint, closet furniture/doors, baseboard, window trim.  Nothing beyond the average ability of any homeowner.   Exterior needs some 2nd story siding, fascia, some window trim.

Attached/separate  conference/rec room & upstairs suite needs to be finished, it is to the dried in stage.  Handy folks could easily finish this project, estimate including materials for about $50,000, others could spend that much on landscaping.

Property would benefit from expanded photovoltaics & batteries.

Plenty of room for an indoor riding arena to enjoy out-the-driveway-and-to-the-hills-riding.

Replacement costs today, this location including improvements about $763,120, finished listing price would realistically be in the neighborhood of $1,200,000, this type of home appreciates due to:

superior construction
uniqueness
scarcity
multi generational capability
Columbia Gorge area location

Cash is a great motivator, will also consider Ecuadorian property exchange  + cash.

Rustically Elegant Hand Hewn Log Home
12 miles outside Small Town USA
45 minutes to The Dalles Oregon and 2 hours to Portland

20 acres with breathtaking views

Off grid, with Photovoltaic, small wind generators, grid available

4,300+/-sq ft 6 x 14″ ogs
Multi generational capability (Nanny, family, business conference)  separate access suite consists of laundry, bath, kitchenette, bedroom, spacious living room .

Below is a conference/home theater with planned wet bar, framed to dry in stage.

Main portion has 3 bedrooms plus loft, 2 full baths, 2 half baths

Hi tech control center, entire home  “smart” wired rough in,  multiple phones,  data, network, security
Hi speed, wireless internet access, the only one on this street, with 14 mile line of site access

Hand crafted efficient, full  masonry  “Rumford” radiant fireplace w 4 x 4 firebox

soaring interior radiant stone chimney with  stone hearth  & life size metal Bison head on tile border

smalltown-oregon-for-sale

Fireplace not showing 4 x 4 fireplace/hearth.

European style clay  “Bakeoven” for tasty European style breads & pizzas

toasty warm ceramic tile floors with radiant floor heating

8′ wide  front entry steps, 8′ wide rear deck steps

Central vac w kitchen dust bin, rough in, new unit in box

24′ x 48′ shop/barn  with  10′ side extensions for storage or horses

24′ x 36′ upstairs of shop/barn has   “caretaker” quarters, gas hook up,  full bath, kitchen area

50 x 50 Medicine wheel garden & Feng Shui perfect picket fence, with Mt. Hood View through arbor

property fenced with 5′ no climb horse fence/cross fenced, 6′ no climb w rail road ties for stallion area

smalltown-oregon-real-estate

Front pasture gate.

Some interesting websites of the area:

http://www.klickitat-trail.org/                                       Klickitat Trail Conservancy
http://wdfw.wa.gov/viewing/birds/index.htm               Birding in Klickitat County’
http://bchw.org/lnt/main/BCHWhistory.htm                Back Country Horsemen of Washington
http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/                                 Maryhill Museu
m

For details contact Toni Reita at toni@happytailsrescue.com

Neither Merri or I are involved in this offer in anyway and are just passing this along as part of our Smalltown USA focus.

Gary

How We Can Serve You

Small Business Tangled Idea


Here is a tangled small business idea that can untangle complications in your life and career.

Cotacachi-Otavalo

See how this woman may help make your life better… and you hers.

This tangled thought begins with two of the major themes at this site… “turn your passion into profit” and “embrace change”.

Yet momentum off us keeps us locked in a rut… until something like the recent economic crash breaks or ends our routine or job.

Such seeming problems can lead us to our real passions and desires.

otavalo-Ecuador

People like this can make a new business for you fun… and you theirs.

Excerpts from a recent USA Today article “For some, hard times are a gateway to new careers” by Rick Hampson explains how (the bolds are mine): To  cope with the recession, people like Sussy Deleon are coming up with creative ways to make a buck. Listen to Deleon, who was in real estate, describe her new business: selling pinatas handcrafted by artisans in Guatemala.

For millions of Americans, the recession has been a curse. For a relative few, it’s something more complicated: A catalyst for change. An opportunity to grow.  A kick in the butt.

In some cases, economic necessity has been the mother of re-invention. It has forced people to pursue careers they might never have considered if they hadn’t gotten — or quit before getting — the ax.  Their optimism is based on two convictions: That even in hard times, people still will spend on things like their dogs, their kids and their looks; and that things such as flexible hours, casual dress and a shorter commute are worth a few lost dollars.  Above all, they agree that if they hadn’t been pushed, they never would have made the leap.

Andrea Kay, author of Life’s a Bitch and Then You Change Careers, says many people hang onto jobs they don’t like, oblivious to the fact that their unhappiness — which they mistakenly think they can hide — hurts their performance and attitude.

It’s the same in every economic downturn, says David Kyvig, a Northern Illinois University historian who wrote Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940: “When things are going well, we tend to stay with what’s working. When they don’t, we explore something new.”  In a surprising number of cases, we’re happier — “if, after the shock, anger and fear, someone is willing to see there’s an opportunity to do something different,” Kay says. “Then they ask, ‘Why did I wait so long?’ “

Research indicates that workers who change jobs generally are more satisfied in their new positions than their old ones, even though they often take cuts in salary and benefits, AARP economist Sara Rix says.

A new idea

Sussy Deleon got her idea for a recession-proof business at her son’s first birthday party.  The young guests couldn’t break the piñata to get at the goodies. The piñata, made in China, was cardboard, not wire-and-tissue paper like those in Deleon’s native Guatemala.  When the recession dried up her real estate sales practice in Providence, she decided to import piñatas handcrafted by Guatemalan artisans in designs ranging from animals to clowns to spaceships. Deleon, 39, sells them at her new shop, the Piñata Center, for $40 to $50.  “People still have some money to spend, and they’re going to spend it on their kids” — particularly on special occasions, she says.  After four months in business, Deleon’s begun to make enough to cover her costs.

A passion Caroline Blake knew what she didn’t like — her job — and what she did — animals. The result was a new career in pet care.  A year ago, Blake, 29, of Kenilworth, N.J, was a recruiter for an IT consulting firm that was laying people off. Fearing she was next, she quit. She bought a Fetch! Pet Care franchise for $10,000. Some friends were skeptical. “You’re leaving a good-paying job to walk dogs?” she says one asked.

Blake often works seven days a week, starting as early as 6:30 a.m., with a last walk at 11 p.m. She went three months this summer without a Sunday off.  She has integrated pet care into her lifestyle — while sunbathing around the pool or watching TV. She’ll even jog with a dog.
She charges $18 for a 30-minute visit and $55 a night to keep a dog overnight at her home. She also provides overnight sitters. She says she still makes a fine living, about 75% of what she earned as a consultant. “Smartest thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “Every day, a different dog.”

Trying something different Springs, 45, was laid off in April. In her next job she wanted security, and she wanted to make things with her hands. After considering more gender-typical jobs — nursing, teaching — she settled on a six-month welding program at Central Piedmont Community College, with $4,000 in tuition and fees covered by federal stimulus money.  She’s the only woman enrolled in the six-month program. Her first welding job should pay $28 to $32 an hour, about twice what she made as a driver.  “When you get knocked down, you brush yourself off and get up,” Springs says. “My daughter’s watching my response. Does she see me wallow in pity or try something different?”

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business

This course can help you create your own internet business or how to market your prodcut or service over the internet.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course, at no added cost, as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times.

Cotacachi-Otavalo

Meet these Otavalo textiles producers  at our next Ecuador export tour Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Help these wonderful people expand their businesses as you begin yours.

Or come to our January 2010 Ecuador export tour.

May I add that we have done  a pretty good job helping readers start their own business already? Here are a few examples of small businesses that have been started with our help.

From Sandra, a restaurant owner:

“Dear Gary and Merri, yes I did it! Without you and your wonderful writing class I would not have been able to see my potential!! I THANK YOU BOTH! You told me to write about what I know and I did. Thank you for all the encouragement. Starting today, we are taking orders and I wanted you to be the first to know! So here goes…..I have some exciting news to share! I have just written my first book and very much appreciate your help. This book would make a great gift for any bride-to-be or even the parents of the bride (especially if they’re paying the bill)! Please check it out. I genuinely appreciate you helping me spread the word! Thank you!! Sandra”

Recently Sandra wrote again: Hi dear ones,  I just wanted to share an update with you.  Look what we are doing for Feed The Children and introducing our hCard Program to their schools!  Remember it was at your meeting, that Marvin and I met.  He is now our vice president!

Remember the book I wanted to write while attending your class in the mountains…….I did finish it and now it has been “purchased” as an online downloadable version. for a network marketing company.  Learn more about Feed the children and Sandra’s book form Sandra Burnett at sburn10@aol.com.

From Jerusha, an anthropologist:

“Hello Gary and Merri. I am the first in the class to publish! I published a calendar!

“I posted the lulu site on the forum because it looks like a good place to start for people. It is a lot of fun and very easy to do. Jerusha”

From Todd, a wedding photographer:

“Thanks, Gary and Merri name recognition is beginning. Here is my new photoletter that your program helped me develop. I’m getting more clear about my own marketing now, so I may be able to better advantage of it. I am planning now to send out an email once a week showcasing new photos and creating awareness for my products and services. By mid July, I will place my first greeting card order (with a printing company Merri recommended in Cotacachi). So, I will soon have an inexpensive product to offer along with the more expensive prints that I sell. So far, I’ve got 60 opt-on subscribers to my email list, and I am telling everyone I know about it, so it’s starting to grow nicely. My first goal is to have 1000 readers. I’ll see how quickly I can accomplish it. Take care, Todd” Learn more about Todd’s business at todd@toddsmithphotography.com

From Mickey, a real estate broker:

“I want to say thank you for the inspiration and encouragement that I received through your publishing program. I recently published a 28 page booklet” Naples is Priceless “. This FREE booklet is being distributed through the Chamber of Commerce, banks, hotels etc. With over 25 years as a Naples Realtor I can now let potential real estate buyers gain knowledge and inside tidbits about this beautiful area. Again, thank you for helping me develop my potential. Micky”

From Michelle who was on disability: “Hi Guys, I have been working my tail off applying the stuff that I learned from both your publishing seminar. Amazing how much meat I keep pulling out of those conferences! I want you to be the first ones to know that I just finished my first e-book: “A Practical Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits”. I am very excited!

“You have no idea how much I have learned and continue to learn from both of you and how my life has changed since I met you. Having learned from you the basic premise of diversification, how to follow your passion and tap into your personal knowledge base, I seem to have one opportunity after another present itself and I am making the best of it. The really exciting thing is that this has allowed me to build a foundation which I continue to use to launch my new endeavors. The possibilities are endless!

“Here’s an Update : “I get on average 368 – 522 visits per day! And I rank in the top 2 pages of Google search for tons of keywords below are just a few:  holistic living tips 1 and 2 out of 1,620,000 – definition healthy spirit 1 and 2 out of 1,840,000 – emotional healthy living 1 out of 2,060,000 – benefits of Healthy Living 6 and 7 out of 2,420,000 -holistic wealth 3 out of 1,810,000 – definition of healthy 7 out of 2,910,000 – healthy holistic living 2 and 3 out of 1,980,000 – holistic living Google 14 out of 2,300,000 – holistic health tips 10 out of 1,960,000

“ Gary you are right the internet is the Great Equalizer! See what I have published,  My best to you as always, Michelle”

Since sending that note Michelle’s site has grown to over 1,000 visits a day! Learn more about Michelle’s business from her at mtoole2@tampabay.rr.com

We hope to help you take advantage of the great economic shifts we are experiencing now create your own business which is why I am making a special offer below.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to labor at what you love wherever you live. This brings everlasting wealth.

You can now get Tangled Web, How to Have an Internet Business  and my other two business courses described above free.

I am giving everyone who enrolls in all our seminars or tours for any one month, October, November or December 2009, the online courses “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Yet there is even more.

Join our Ecuador courses and tours October, November or December…. but you do not have to.

Head south. Experience Ecuador or…

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Otavalo-art

Meet Ramiro on the export tour.

Otavalo-art

We like his style and…

Otavalo-art

have purchased…

Otavalo-art

many of his works ourselves.

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799

If you cannot attend a 2009 seminar or tour sign up for the three online courses for $299 now and I’ll give you full credit of this amount on any of our seminars or tours in January, February or March 2010.

Ecuador Export & Southern Coastal Tour


We have added an October Ecuador southern coastal and a northern Andes real estate tour to our 2009 schedule.

This southern coastal tour will be conducted just before our final Ecuador export tour of the year conducted October 21 to 25.  The Andes real estate tour will be conducted just after the export tour so you can attend all three.

ecuador-exports

We’ll see fine gold encrusted art on the export tour.

Maggie Beesley conducts our export tours and she just sent me this note.

ecuador-exports

Leather products of all types.

Value, Value, Value.  Today’s economy has us all looking for value in everything.  In reading Gary Scott’s emails for the last two weeks, we are all learning about ways to help our dollars to go farther, as well as how and where to get wise values.

ecuador-exports

Wood carving.

October 21st thru October 24th we will be conducting another Import/Export class in Cotacachi, Ecuador.

If you are a reader of International Living, or Gary’s Ecuador Living, you know Ecuador is rated the number one country in the Retirement Index.

What does this mean?

Value is here, prices are incredible, cost of living anyone can afford and wonderful shopping.

Who should come to the class, why you should come, and what you will learn?

ecuador-exports

Botanical art.

In other words…what is this class all about?

•    Creating income
•    Finding those “one of a kind” treasures
•    Having fun doing the above two things

Of course, those are only three things.  You are going to learn to recognize true “finds”….know what your market will buy, and get all these wonderful treasures in your suitcase home safe and sound.

ecuador-exports

Ceramics.

We all know shopping is much different today than it was this time last year.  Last year we were still charging whatever we wanted.  This year we are paying cash for whatever we want.  People never spend as much if paying with cash.  So our mission in class is to find things for your market that are affordable, attractive, AND your people will happily hand over those hard earned dollars still allowing you a nice profit.

As I said this time last year, the main question I was asked “Do you take credit cards?”

I did a Bazaar yesterday and not one person charged anything.  The phrase of the day was “if I can’t pay cash for it, I won’t buy it.”  So right away I know some of the high end items that were selling left and right this time last year aren’t going to be my main sales today.

What have I learned?

Always be prepared to offer less expensive alternatives…not less quality, just more affordable for this cash market we are in.  The Credit Card Machine that was a must last year is an unneeded start up expense to you right now.

Don’t waste your money.  Plus the beauty of cash is that there are no additional charges from your bank to process those charges.  All a little more profit for you.  Yesterday at the Bazaar there were 16 vendors and I was the only one who had a credit card machine, and it sat, meaning at the end of the month, that “sitting” charge will cost me $48.00.

ecuador-exports

Jewelry

ecuador-exports

of many types.

ecuador-exports

Now for this class there is a little homework, but fun homework.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT…..I want each of you to think about what you would buy today?

I am not talking about groceries.

Ladies, is it that “to die for” pair of boots on sale, perhaps a leather purse, maybe a wrap for early fall, or decorations for the December holidays?

Guys, what would you buy today? Boots, new billfold/wallet, leather sports jacket, sweater? Just think about what you would spend your hard earned dollars on.

ecuador-exports

Top quality hand made suits at really low prices. This suit in french wool cost $135.

Your needs and wants are probably what will sell in your market, and that is what we need to look for.

Knowing your market is probably the most important knowledge you will take with you when making those purchases for resale.  Many of you already know about my red cape.  I love my red cape, however up in the Northeast my buyers are a little more conservative and red is not necessarily their first color of choice.

Gary Scott told me all about knowing my market, but I just love red.  I purchased 6 red alpaca capes plus 1 beige,  1 sage, 1 tan, 1 navy, and 2 black.

Yes you guessed it.

The red capes sat for a bit, but the neutral colors sold instantly and I could have sold more.  So I lost sales, and warehoused those 6 red capes until Christmas.  Moral to this story, please know your market.

ecuador-exports

Flowers.

Your SECOND ASSIGNMENT… Please walk around your shopping areas and notice what colors people are wearing. Go into the stores and see what is on display.  Look at every catalogue you get.  What are those colors everyone is looking at?  Purple is huge again in the catalogues and stores, but do you see your market going with the fashion trends?

Look at accessories.

Scarves, jewelry, purses, shawls and make note of the prices.  Accessories have a very high markup, and this is where we can really make our money.

You all have your assignments, so get to work.  In class I want to see pictures you have cut out of catalogues, and let’s see if we can’t find those same items in Ecuador for much better prices.  It is fun!

ecuador-exports

Textiles of…

ecuador-exports

many

ecuador-exports

types.

Look forward to seeing many of you in Ecuador.  By the way, if you haven’t made your flight reservations, there is what I call an “airplane sale” going right now for flights into South America. Grab those lower prices…and you just saved some money.  Maggie Beesley

ecuador-exports

Crafts of all sorts and much… much more.

You can enroll in the Ecuador Export Tour here.

Before Maggie’s Export tour you can join Amy Pinoargote and Mike Sager  for the Ecuador southern coastal tour.

We have been our expanding our focus in Ecuador and now are helping readers look in the southern coastal areas.

Ecuador beach property has always represented incredible value and this expansion means we can help readers see a much larger part of the Ecuador coast.

We are also adding an October northern Andes real estate tour as you will see below.

ecuador-beach-map

Those who have been reading our messages for any length of time know that we have focused our efforts on the middle portion of Ecuador’s beach from Manta to Bahia in the province of Manabi.

However there are many other great Ecuador beach areas that some of you want to visit.

I recently sent readers an article “SEE SALINAS LIKE A LOCAL” by Amy Pinoargote  that said:

Ecuador-beach-salinas

The Salinas Malecon area has long been a favorite destination.

Salinas is one of the favorite in Ecuador for good reasons.  It has beautiful beaches, with calm waters perfect for swimming, water sports, activities or just relaxing.   Along the Malecon, or beachfront promenade, you will find a variety of restaurants, hotels, bars and other attractions.  During the summer season there is even a giant sandcastle.  If you “tip” the sculptor $1, he will take your photo.  However, to really enjoy all that Salinas has to offer, you need to get to know it like a local.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Pose for a photo by the giant sandcastle

Salinas at a Glance

There are two seasons in Ecuador.  Summer runs from December to April and winter from May to November.  The summer in Salinas is usually sunny, with occasional showers.  Daytime temperatures reach the low to mid 80s and nighttime temperatures run in the low 70s.  The winter tends to be overcast to partially sunny, but not rainy.  The winter is actually the drier time of the year and temperatures run about 10 degrees cooler than during the summer.   Because Salinas is semi-arid, it doesn’t experience sticky, tropical humidity.  This makes a comfortable environment for outdoor activities all year long.

As with most beach towns, the dress code in Salinas is casual.  It is perfectly fine to go from beach to restaurant.  Along with your swimsuit, pack plenty of shorts and short sleeved shirts, plus pants and long sleeves if you are visiting in the winter months.   Have a sweater handy, as some days are cooler than others.

Where to Eat

The Salinas area is a prime spot to enjoy fresh fish and seafood, as well as other Ecuadorian specialties.

A great spot to sample those specialties is Delícias de Ecuador, located near the entrance to the Costa de Oro neighborhood on the main road that runs from Salinas to La Libertad.

Prices here are very reasonable.  The daily lunch special or “Almuerzo” includes a soup, entrée and beverage, usually priced at $2.50.

Don’t ask for changes or substitutions on the lunch special; it comes the way it is.  Other options include Seco de Pollo, which is chicken stewed in a tomato-based sauce, and Menestra, lentils or beans served with your choice of grilled chicken, beef or fish.

If a relaxing lunch at the beach, complete with a hammock for a post-meal siesta is your style, drive about 30 minutes north of Salinas to San Pablo.  In this fishing village you will find cabana style restaurants right on the sand, specializing in fresh fish and seafood.

Las Manabas restaurant is one of the best.  If you can’t decide what to order from the extensive menu, try the Chupe de Pescado (fish stew) or Corvina (a mild tasting sea bass), cooked to order.  Most meals run between $3 and $5.

Ecuadorians typically eat a big meal at lunch and a light dinner.

Roca Parilla is the spot to enjoy an Ecuadorian style dinner.  Located a block off the Malecon, it opens at about 6 p.m.  Place your order at the counter, then take your receipt to the grill.  Specialties, which are typically priced from 50 cents to $1 each, include:

Chuzos -shrimp, chicken, beef or sausage grilled on a skewer
Torta de Papa – potato pancake filled with cheese
Torta de Choclo – corn pancake (this one is usually a favorite!)
Muchín – a yucca croquet filled with cheese

No trip to Salinas is complete without a visit to the Cevicherías, casual outdoor eating areas a few blocks off the Malecon that specialize in ceviche.  Shrimp ceviche in a tangy salsa is a good choice.  Shellfish and fish ceviche are also available.  Be aware that the shellfish or fish will not be cooked in the traditional manner.  The citrus juice in the salsa is said to “cook” the fish.  If you have concerns about eating uncooked fish, go with the shrimp version, which is cooked.

Things to See

If you want to browse for souvenirs, visit Mercado de Artesanias, an outdoor flea market in the Chipipe area of Salinas, where you can buy a variety of Ecuadorian handicrafts.

To get a glimpse of days gone by, visit the Museo de Sumpa.  This small, but well thought out museum features exhibits of artifacts from the early residents of the Santa Elena peninsula, including the Las Vegas culture.  It also features a Las Vegas burial site of the “lovers of Sumpa,” mummified remains of two people that appear to have died in an embrace.  You can also tour a cane dwelling typical of those built by the early settlers.

Enjoy a relaxing evening drive a few miles across the Santa Elena peninsula to the Punta Carnero beach, where you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets in Ecuador.  On your way back to Salinas, pass by the Malecon of La Libertad and stop for an evening stroll.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Whether dining, sunsets or beach activities are your idea of a fun time, you will find it in Salinas.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Gerardo & Amy Pinoargote spend their time between their home in Florida and Salinas and together with relatives are building and managing Spondylus II, a small beachfront development in the Costa de Oro area of Salinas, about 2 miles from the Malecon.

This is an area they like due to its privacy, great beach for walking, sunbathing and water sports. Yet it is just a short ride to dining and shopping in the central area.

Spondylus II  is a family business consisting of three towers. Tower A1 is sold out, except for a ground floor ocean front 1000 square foot unit. Several one and two bedroom suites are still available in tower A2, priced from $49,500 to $50,500.

Larger 1300 square foot units are also still available, priced under $110,000. Tower B has just been release for sale and features larger units (1400 – 1500 square feet), in the $120,000 – $135,000 price range.

Spondylus II offers the following amenities… beachfront pool & social area, a workout center, 24 hour security and the Pacific Ocean as a front yard.  All units feature granite kitchen counter tops, tile floors, tile baths, inset ceiling light fixtures and wooden kitchen cabinets.

Now it is possible to see Salinas like a local with Amy and her husband acting as your hosts and guides.

Amy and Gerardo Pinoargote, along with American real estate broker, Mike Sager, will conduct a Ecuador southern coastal real estate tour October 15th through 18th.

On this tour you can get to know Salinas property and the real estate along the beaches north of Salinas.

This is an opportunity to view more than a dozen properties and get tips from experts who are living in this area right now.  You save time, risk and zero in with help from those “in the know”.

The tour makes your real estate investigation efficient and productive but also allows time for relaxing in the evenings and enjoying the beaches.  Plus as you’ll see in a moment could save you thousands should you ever decide to buy in this area.

Here are a few of the properties you’ll see:

•    New 2 bedroom condo located directly on a tranquil beach in popular Salinas… $55,000.

•    3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with ocean views in the most popular complex in Olon…. $100,000.

•    Large house on a ¼ acre lot near Montanita, complete with basketball court, ample parking and caretaker’s cottage that could be a bed & breakfast… $250,000.

The southern coastal tour package includes three nights accommodations:

Thursday, October 15 –  The tour fee includes a room at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.
Friday, October 16 – breakfast, transportation from Guayaquil to Salinas, lunch, Salinas area property viewings, happy hour and night’s stay at Coco’s or similar hotel in Salinas.

Saturday, October 17 – breakfast, Ruta de Sol property viewings (Ballenita to Montanita), lunch, night’s stay at Charo’s or similar hotel in Montanita.

Sunday, October 18 – breakfast, Olon area property viewings, lunch, tour of Salinas , return transportation to Guayaquil, night’s stay at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.

The tour will be limited in size but you can assure a space and save $100 if you reserve by September 1.

If you enroll today, the fee is $499 for one $998 for two.

Tomorrow the tour fee rises to $599 for one and $1,198 for two.

See how to save even more on multiple tours below.

The tour package does not include your flight.  You should plan to fly into Guayaquil on October 15th and depart from there on the 19th.  If you are attending the export and/or Andean tour we’ll help you join other delegates in Quito.

Save 2% on real estate purchase.

We are promoting this tour in cooperation with Gerardo, Amy and Mike and when we promote outside tours, we always ask for the tour operator to give something special to our Ecuador Living subscribers.

In this case,  Amy & Gerardo will provide Ecuador Living subscribers a 2% discount on any  Spondylus II condo purchase. This is possible because we do not accept real estate commissions and ask that the benefit of exposure to our large readership (this message will reach 16,572 readers) be pass onto our Ecuador Living subscribers.

Your tour does not have to end on the southern beach. As mentioned, you can then continue to Quito and Cotacachi for our October 21 to 24 Ecuador export tour.

Still more… Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Finally you can also join our October Imbabura real estate tour October 25-26, where we have also convinced developers and real estate sellers to pass savings along to our tour delegates in the form of  discounts.  For example the Prima Vera condos also offer a 2% discount to buyers from our tours.

Join us for one, two or all three tours.  Reduced tour fees apply for attending two or three tours.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Gary

Ecuador Property Insights


Yesterday’s message looked at insights on patience and value. If  you missed that message click here.

Patience and the never ending quest for value are vital in investing and buying real estate in Ecuador or anywhere.

Value is really hard to understand in the real estate and equity market now because the bubble of 2007 created many false illusions.  This creates the need for even more patience.

The value of a house is twofold… the value of a roof overhead and the value of whatever price it can be resold.

These are unpredictable times.   Basing a potential resale on previous inflated bubble prices can be a great error.

For example,  after months of searching, Merri and I made our first offer for property in Florida.  Our offer is half the seller’s asking price.

This was really hard for me to do, but after looking at everything I had to come in with this price.  Here is the note I sent to the broker with the offer.

We appreciate your help and attach our offer for the property.

In today’s market, value is really hard to determine because of the economic instability and uncertainty of when markets will rebound. History suggests we won’t see a full recovery for six to ten years… but there is no guarantee.   Because our offer is substantially less than the asking price, I have tried to apply some logic looking at this as a value oriented investor.  So here are the seven reasons for our offer price.

First, our main goal is as investors and we expect to buy at good value. Since there is so much uncertainty we will err on the low side rather than take risk.  We are in no hurry and there are plenty of houses we have seen that we could enjoy for our winters.  If this offer does not work we have several more houses we are ready to make an offer on.    A really fair value is an important part of our offer and in this market we expect to get one.

Second, this property is valued at an even lower by eppraisal.com at realestate.yahoo.com.

Third, we offered more than the lowest appraisal.

There are two other higher internet appraisals but we have gone with the lower of the three for the reasons above and below.

Fourth, as you can see at http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Eustis-Florida/
The median sales price in Eustis has dropped over 35% in the last year and there are 496 properties for sale.

This page says:  “Average price per square foot for Eustis FL was $71, a decrease of 45.8% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Eustis FL for Feb 09 to Apr 09 was $122,000 based on 115 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 35.3%, or $66,600, and the number of home sales increased 42%.

Ecuador-patience

Fifth, we are buying into a market with falling prices so prices may go even lower as you can see in the zillow.com estimate below. This chart estimates the five year value of this house.

ecuador-patience

Sixth, we are buying into a market with a large inventory.

There are currently 496 resales and new homes in Eustis according to Trulia, including 299 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process.

All of this means that this property could be hard to sell and that any price rise could be a long period of time away.

Seventh, this offer is more than the current debt the owner holds so though it leaves them with a loss on their purchase price, it does provide a mortgage payoff and leaves them with some cash. Otherwise they could be holding this property, and all the expenses,  for quite some time.  In a year’s time the property could still be unsold with a lower value and the owners would have had to outlay more in cash.

This places the sellers’ (who bought in 2004) position in a better circumstance compared to having invested in the Dow Jones Industrial Index.
ecuador-patience

As the chart from finance.yahoo below shows had they invested in the Dow instead of the house in 2004 the index was 10,410 then.  The Dow rose to 14,093 by late 2007.  Had they sold then in 2007 they would have gained a 40% profit. Then within a year the index fell to 6,626, 36% below the 2004 level.  A 36% loss in the Dow instead of real estate their investment would be worse then the loss they will take if they sell at the price I am offering.

This stock market comparison is important. As an investor, I have a choice. I can buy property or equities.  If I buy equities they are about 50% less than they were and they are mostly lower than five years ago. 

Now we will be patient.

Before I made the offer, I reviewed the deal with a close friend who has been a real estate broker and developer for many years.

He wrote something worth reading:

“Gary, As a realtor, I rarely find a fellow realtor who has good appraisal methods. The research and valuation methods you have employed in your study are in the 98th percentile of methods used by professional realtors.

If a seller wants to sell, there are three things that do not affect the selling price: (1)What they paid, (2)What they owe, and (3)What they want. Try to explain this to a seller though.

Please stick to your guns because as you pointed out, this is a buyer’s market. Don’t get emotionally attached.  The key is to be ready to offer on numerous properties. As you evidently are. Sometimes walking away and coming back a few weeks later puts the seller in a different frame of mind. Sometimes another property is waiting around the corner.

It is always a good idea to have a neutral party representing the transaction, if not an agent representing your interests only.

Make sure that you choose the title company, not the selling party. This will avoid many conflicts of interest.  Any deposit money should be held in escrow at that title insurance company. Do not give earnest money to any other party. Never give any money directly to the homeowner, no matter what they might request in the contract. Real estate companies should not hold the deposit money because I have seen them try to get a piece of the leftovers if a transaction fails to close. Oftentimes it is not their fault that a transaction does not close. They figure they have already done their work. They still want their fees. Don’t let that become your problem.

Whoever gets the deposit money, ask them specifically if they have any fees due if the transaction does not close. Ask what those fees are. Neither me nor any of my clients have ever paid a fee if the transaction does not close.

This is good advice when you buy property in the USA, Ecuador or anywhere!

Gary

Join us at an upcoming Ecuador or North Carolina course or tour.

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-energy

it is in a quiet place and it has a garden directly below the house.

ecuador-energy

Here are Ecuador real estate tour delegates checking the house.

ecuador-energy

We also look at property around Lake Quicocha for sale.

ecuador-energy

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Ecuador Economic Corrections


Ecuador economic corrections create fear. People retract…shrink and stop doing what they should and…they are wrong.

People in downturns follow the 80% rule. 80% of the people act incorrectly 80% of the time.

We can take advantage of this and use the current economic correction to get ahead.

I know from experience.

Merri and I were sitting at our Hacienda, Rosaspamba, in Ecuador. The time was November 2000. White mists rose over jagged peaks and a huge, multicolored bird suddenly burst from the brush.

I had been bringing investors to Ecuador to show them ways to invest in this economy while it was in ruins. Ecuador had done so many things badly.

There was graft, corruption, political hassles, discrimination and lies that all helped lead the Ecuador economy into shambles. Ecuador had been the first to default on Brady Bonds.

All bank accounts had been frozen.

Two Presidents in a row had been impeached within a couple of years and the public had been demonstrating again and again in the streets.

The worse it got, the more I had advised investors to come with me. The more property I bought myself.

Real estate prices skyrocketed up.

The economy has gained from higher oil prices. (Ecuador is the second largest oil producer in South America.) The new President is looking very capable (perhaps even a little honest) and there has been optimism.

The country dollarized after the economic debacle in 2000.

Real estate prices have risen dramatically. I am hearing stories from investors on how much money they have made in just the past year.

Has the economy slowed where you are? It does not seem to have done so in Manta, Ecuador. Here are shots I took last week of Manta harbor.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

The harbor is packed!

manta-Ecuador-harbor

Luxury boats as well as cargo.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

The beach is thriving.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

On our recent Ecuador coastal real estate tour we met with Pilar Davila, a real estate broker we have worked with for over a decade now.

manta-Ecuador-harbor

Construction is booming…new condos and luxury hotels like this small beach front accommodation where Pilar is standing are up and coming.

We were inspecting this wonderful small hotel in Manta. The central lounge and swimming pool are absolutely beautiful.

manta-Ecuador-hotel

Overlooking the beach and sea.

manta-Ecuador-hotel

Even the business and internet center is filled with charm.

manta-Ecuador-hotel

Pilar reminded me that Manta property that our real estate tour delegates bought in the late 1990s at $.40 cents a square foot is now selling for $9.00 a square foot. Condos that sold for $79,000 during the 1999 depression are $240,000 now.

Here are lots that our Ecuador coastal real estate delegates bought in the 1990s for $2,500. They are for sale now at $17,500.

crucita-Ecuador-land-for-sale

Ecuador real estate prices are still low compared to the US, Mexico or Panama for example…but sometimes I have a hard time keeping my perspective because they are high compared to what they were ten years ago.

Regardless of how bad things appear, there is always opportunity. The sun always shines somewhere.

For this we should be eternally grateful. When events appear gloomy, we should get excited. There is never as good a time to create wealth as when economic conditions are bad. This is especially important to remember as the U.S. economy (which has been feeding global economic growth) slows.

In the months and years ahead our daily publications, newspapers, TV shows, etc. are likely to give us more than our fair share of doom and gloom. Let this be good news! Be thankful. Bad times are the best for making money. If we focus on serving our community, instead of weeping over what newspapers say, it will help us get ahead.

Until next message, may the sun shine for you.

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

On our last coastal real estate tour we viewed this luxury hotel front…

bahia-Ecuador-hotel

and back.

bahia-Ecuador-hoyel

Here are delegates working hard at viewing.

Bahia-Ecuador-Hotel

Plus we saw land and a next door house for sale.

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

We also saw this Bahia Coco Bongo Hostal for sale (the owner says she has $110,000 in it).

ecuador-coastal-hostal-lobby

Here delegates view a 15 room hotel for sale, with an asking price of $60,000.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Plus we saw this potential Bed & breakfast. $90,000 asking.

Ecuador-bed-&-breakfasts

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

Ecuador Crime Update


A number of emails about Ecuador crime have come in such as the one a reader sent below.

The people of Ecuador work hard. The indigenous code is “Do not be lazy – do not lie – do not steal.” The people is what we love most about Ecuador. Yet we get this…

Ecuador-worker

“Gary Recent reports (today) of attempted murder of American tourist.
does little to inspire confidence in Ecuador. You need to publish this story!”

The story is entitled, “Vicious attack turns couple’s dream trip to nightmare
Oregon man critical but stable after being stabbed on Ecuadorian beach”

This article tells about a man who was stabbed in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

You will not read Ecuador crime stories like this at our site. We prefer to publish useful information that help readers avoid crime. “After the fact” horror stories have little value, but shock value.

Ecuador is a country of great beauty. Here is the Cotacachi Cathedral near where we stroll every evening and at dawn.

cotacachi-sunrise

The article above did not help the man avoid being stabbed. Had he read our site (shown below) perhaps he would have had a different experience…impossible to tell.

There is an even deeper issue if you travel to Ecuador…anywhere in the world…or even around your home.

I am not sure why this particular crime became international news. Had this stabbing happened in Oregon, it may not have even made the local news.

I know. I grew up in Portland Oregon and there was plenty of crime there. What city may I ask does not have crime? Where in the US is a stabbing or even shooting (unless it is in a school or involves many people) that makes the global news?

Here is the bigger point.

Anywhere you go, even the city near where you live has places where you are more likely to be involved in a violent crime.

The people of Ecuador are by nature, sweet and gentle…but yes there is crime in Ecuador…like everywhere…just not as much violent crime as in many places.

Cotacachi hombre.

Ecuador-man

I regularly post warnings for my subscribers and recently wrote about Ecuador crime and safety. See a review of this warning here.

However, though one has to be careful wherever you go, that article shows that Ecuador is not even in the top fifty nations for murder rates. Colombia is #1, Mexico is 6th, Costa Rica 19th and the US 24th.

This is one reason why we recommend to our readers not to go too close to the Colombian border when they are in Ecuador.

In fact for the past year we have had a posting at our site (offering our real estate tours) that warns about Esmeraldas (where the man from Oregon was stabbed) in particular. That warning says:

Warning #3: Colombian Guerillas

Plus we avoid Esmeraldas…too close to the Colombian border. When you are in doubt about an area, a simple rule of thumb is …”follow the missionaries”. They are a fearless lot, going places where most people won’t. If missionaries won’t go somewhere, you probably should not either. The Latin America Missionary web site recently wrote about Esmeraldas:

“Miami (LAMNS)—New reported threats against Americans in Colombia are once again causing U.S. missionaries to be careful about their movements. Along Ecuador’s coast near the city of Esmeraldas , Batchelor reported that missionaries have had to take caution.”

See the entire warning and how to join our Ecuador coastal tours here.

Ecuador feels safe. You see children out walking playing, day and night.

Ecuador-children

boys…

Ecuador-children

and girls

Ecuador-child

This is why our Ecuador Living service is so important. I grew up in Portland, Oregon the same state as the man who was attacked. So I know if anyone had asked him about going to Portland he would have warned them to avoid parts of Burnside Street. If one hangs in the wrong places on Burnside, there is a chance to be robbed, stabbed AND shot.

In June when Merri and I were visiting my mom, we had an unusual experience.  We wanted to go to a pharmacy near her house to buy some bandaids but were told my mom that the store only had daylight hours.  Well, that surprised us because we’ve thought that pharmacies would be open 24 hours.  “Not true,” she told us, “too dangerous”.

Our 40 years of experience in global travel and more than a decade in Ecuador means that Merri and I have a lot of safety experience to share.

Many families have moved to Cotacachi Ecuador from the US and Canada. Here is a group on our real estate tour viewing San Miguel homes.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-visit

We have helped over 3,000 people to Ecuador in the past decade and never had a single violent crime. Our close friends in Ecuador run a travel agency and the largest Spanish school for thousands of young people. Ditto…not one physical assault.

This is in part because we know which areas to avoid and we let our readers know.

Esmeraldas is considered dangerous. I know that and so do any readers who read what I write.

Ecuador is not a place of violent crime. Ecuador is also not a place of drugs. This is interesting and some people are surprised. Ecuador is very strict when it comes to crime and drugs.

A September 30, 2008 Miami Herald article entitled “U.S. ambassador says Ecuador solid on drugs” said: “The U.S. ambassador to Ecuador says the country’s anti-drug efforts influenced the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to extend a trade promotion program in Ecuador for another 10 months.”

Ecuador’s government is also cracking down on crime right now.

Another Cotacachi hombre.

Ecuador-man

Recent news articles have interpreted this police crack down incorrectly and claimed that Ecuador’s government had declared a State of Emergency. This is not quite correct.

One great asset Merri and I have developed is an extensive network of friends across the country who can provide us grass roots information. I have asked around, “What does this state of emergency mean?” and here is what a number of our Ecuadorian friends explained:

Our friend and attorney wrote about the State of Emergency:

“The reason is to fight the surge in violent and non-violent crimes in cities such as Manta, Guayaquil and Quito.”

A businessman from Quito wrote:

“This declaration of emergency, must be construed for what it stands. More than a radical mobilization effort (which it does involve among other things), it is a way to bypass bureaucracy in the purchase of equipment for the police.”

Anther coastal businessman wrote: “Yes, there is a state of police emergency due to a wave of violence lately including an attack on a US couple in Esmeraldas. You see more police in the city and more controls.”

An American who lives on the coast wrote: “I have an e-mail from Cuenca stating that he will explain when I get there but not to worry — Ecuador is always in a state of emergency. My friend’s father in law is a cop and hasn’t mentioned anything. Normally they are first to know and wear fatigues when there is a state of emergency. No fatigues.”

Steve, our man in Ecuador, wrote: “Gary this is NOT a ‘State of Emergency’ – which has all kinds of undertones such as curfews, withdrawal of democracy and all kinds of other draconion measures. This is, from my reading of yesterday’s El Commercio anyway, an emergency police operation. Right now there are university student demonstrations in Manta against the violence – in other words they are saying that the police/government aren’t doing enough. Hence, probably, the police operations. A long term resident American with a business in La Mariscal was shot dead last week in Avenida Amazonas in Quito. He was carrying $7,000 takings (!) and probably resisted the robbers. This is not viewed as a big thing here. It was only on page 17 of one newspaper ‘El Telegrafo’ and I can´t find any mention of it at all in La Hora today except they have replaced the two police chiefs in Manta and are tightening up on all report procedures and sending in an elite hit squad to break up organized crime – so there´s a positive – they’re doing something about the problem.”

Another businessman wrote: “Just, just to comment on this email from Steve..the American guy that was shot had a bar in the Mariscal area and it was most likely a contracted job..two men on a motorbike shot him from a distance..I do not think it had to do with the money..at least that is what I heard from my messenger boy who saw the shooting.”

For the record Mariscal Sucre is one of the areas, as is Amazonas Avenue, that we recommend to avoid. We get a lot of flak for this because this is the main tourist area…lots of great bars, hostels, even the Hilton Hotel. So this area is promoted a lot…but we lived there and know that the tourists attract the thieves.

This is another important point about not just Ecuador but all travel and being a tourist. The danger comes from being in places you do not know.

Merri and I know Cotacachi well. Here is Merri with Ma leading some friends into the village.

Ecuador-cotacachi-entrance

The infrastructure is not deteriorating here. More police. Now free education and here is the new road installed in the center of Cotacachi.

Ecuador-street

Some people feel that tourists are target in Ecuador. They are right…but tourists are targeted everywhere because they are in a places they do not know.

Having lived abroad for most of my life, I have almost always been a tourist. When I lived in Hong Kong I was one of the minority…the white, long nose, foreign devil swimming in a yellow sea. There we had to worry about Teddy boys…gangs that fought, and of course being robbed in Wan Chai and the tourist areas.

Here I am with the first Hong Kong sales team I built 40 years ago. Can you spot who stands out?

sales-team

When living in Europe and the UK I was a foreigner there as well…and robbed a couple of times until I caught on. One night I really made mistake in Amsterdam…had to barricade myself in the hotel room…in a district where I should not have been…Oops.

When Merri and I moved to North Carolina, we were foreigners there also. Our real estate broker helped. “See that bar there,” he said. “Do not go in there…unless you want to deal with Bubba and his pool cue when he asks if you’re from around here.” We do not drink so this was not a problem…but it was good to know.

Even stranger, I am now a foreigner in suburbs where I grew up in Oregon. Rockwood Oregon is not like it was. My sister has had to tell me where not to go..my old stomping grounds…and I did not know! My mom has had several break ins at her house of 50 years. We have had no robberies in Ecuador.

There is a huge opportunity these fears about Ecuador crime or anywhere create.
When an area has a problem, most people paint it with a broad brush. Yet most dangerous areas are measured in blocks not miles.

One reader from the Esmeraldas area pointed this out when he wrote:

“Thanks for the follow up and for Steve’s follow up as well. Also, remember we live 25 klicks south of Esmeraldas which in Ecuador is a long distance. I have checked with my contacts in Tonsupa and so far nothing of significance other than a terrific cash offer for a piece of land we own just off the beach.”

You can often find bargains in really safe, good areas that inexperienced investors avoid because they do not know which blocks to avoid and which are good.

This does not mean that Ecuador is for everyone.

I doubt that you will find any place where there is not risk, if you do not take care. Yet I always recommend for anyone to come to Ecuador if it does not feel right.

Go to places that seem exciting to you. Do not travel just because you dislike where you are. Travel because you have overwhelming excitement about where you are going!

Then, wherever you go, be careful. Remember that you have to go through a learning curve in any place that is new.

If Ecuador sounds exciting, please do come, look and see for yourself. Most who do and the many families who have moved here feel pretty darn safe…because we have learned where and where not to go.

If you do come to Ecuador, I have established a full time full support research and assistance team to help Ecuador Living subscribers in any way required. Part of this team are multi lingual Westerners so we understand the Western cultural needs as well as those of Ecuador. We know the typical mistakes that our friends from the US and Canada make when coming down to begin and can help you avoid them.

Here are some pictures that one of our delegates took in Cotacachi.

Ecuador-view

You can subscribe to our Ecuador Living service here.

Regards,

Gary

Join us in Cotacachi this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Ecuadorians love music.

Ecuador-music

They love flowers and beauty.

Ecuador-flowers

They are friendly.

international-club

They are very religious. Here is the cathedral next to our hotel.

multi-currency-Ecuador-cotacachi-dawn

Cotacachi-Statue

Here are Merri and me with our Ecuador family and Godson, “Quinti Ananki” (King of the Hummingbirds).

ecuador-family

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.