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Buying Real Estate in Cuenca Ecuador? Read This First
Ecuador is often referred to as the low-cost retirement haven on earth. So, why does it seem like so many people hanging around here are overqualified? Considering that we’re seeing a lot of people coming to Cuenca Ecuador who could easily go elsewhere, why settle for the least expensive retirement haven in the retirement press sales pitch? Well, it’s cheap, I hear you say. Or is it? Please follow me on this.
The first real estate book I ever read (are we talking about real estate again?) was William Nickerson’s “How I turned into $1000 million in three years“And if memory serves me right, it came out in the fifties. That’s a long time ago, so forgive me if I’m not remembering correctly, but it looks like in the book he said the income to real estate ratio. , and I think It was 25%. That is, if someone made $25,000 a year, they could theoretically afford a $100,000 home. These figures changed over the decades and the amount of debt North American households took on.
Eventually people took on more and more debt and could only buy homes that were three times their income. Research shows that the historical average for the US is 2.7 times income as the average affordable number. That means multiply the annual household income by 2.7 and this is the maximum amount that can be afforded under the secured loan scheme. That’s just a median figure, so Donald Trump types don’t fit into the equation. This was of course before all the recent banking scams where people who really couldn’t afford houses were put into brand new super expensive houses with no money of their own. The affordability ratio was very low during that period.
While communicating this information to Cuenca Ecuador, my son was in the Cuenca Ecuador newspaper yesterday, looking at the job section. He tells me that there are job offers for Ecuadorians with accounting degrees starting at $1000 per month. Some of the higher paying jobs were for $1500 per month. This is clearly the higher end of the pay scale for the educated.
If you want to assume two high income earners, let’s say $2500 per month family income, I don’t think you can call that “middle income” in Ecuador. I would guess that this would be a higher portion of the earning population. A local told us that a doctor’s salary in Cuenca is $2000 a month. So let’s play with this for a moment: $2500 per month is $30,000 per year multiplied by 2.7 = $81,000.
This is the maximum that high-earning households will spend on housing in this example. Remember folks, it is Maximum affordability for high income households Here at Cuenca. This article doesn’t even begin to address “median” income households, although we’ve written about some such figures on this blog before. Also, professionals like doctors and accountants won’t live in normal houses, so I believe you can find a nice house for that.
A few weeks ago I received an email from a reader asking for a contact to look at homes up to $150,000. He had never set foot in Cuenca Ecuador before. I hope you are starting to see a picture here.
Can anyone spell, bubble? It looks like this, GRINGO. This article is not intended to offend or defame in any way. It’s meant to be reported, and if some gringo avoids getting stuck in real estate they can’t sell to a big idiot later, then I’ve done my job. Oh, I understand that those who get in early can make some money when they sell their real estate. But that’s a guess. Are you an experienced bettor? Or are you just gambling?
Remember when we were in Salinas and we (gringo) asked a real estate agent to show us a beachfront penthouse condo? Well guess what, she was also touting (because we didn’t ask to see…) some “other” used condos owned by gringos who needed to get out of their overpriced real estate. You love these gringos.
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