“Get down, get down, he’ll see you!” My Ecuadorian friend gasped…
…as we both sat in a car outside a gas station waiting for the seller of a property in Ecuador I was interested in.
The seller arrived.
And we didn’t want him to see me.
You see, I wanted my local friend to do the initial negotiation for me so the seller didn’t know a foreigner was interested.
Because I’ve seen that the price can and does rise – SOMETIMES – when the locals see a foreigner is interested in their property.
But more precisely, they often get stiffer with the price and won’t be as quick to lower it cause they think the foreigner will buy anyway.
So that’s exactly what my friend did, he went inside the gas station and sat down with the owner to negotiate, while I stayed in the car.
There’s advantages and disadvantages to being a foreigner in Ecuador.
A big advantage I’ve experienced is in the business world, where you get “instant cred” and people listen to you just cause you’re a foreigner… it’s true! It also helps with the opposite sex to look different than the norm.
But a big disadvantage is that the locals think you have money, so at times, not everyone, will try to charge you more for things, and if buying property that could mean thousands.
This happens everywhere in the world to foreigners.
I lasted all of 5 minutes in Spain before I got ripped off paying about double for a taxi ride than I should have.
Luckily its not that bad in Ecuador compared to some countries I’ve been recently, like India, where many (not all) of the locals are ruthless and work together to extort as much as they can from overly-trustful foreign tourists, particularly the Japanese are the easiest to fool (I saw).
But they got me too, bast@rds!
It is what it is. It’s all part of the fun.
You gotta play the game by the rules.
And that’s what I did this week as I started my newest property search on the coast of Ecuador.
I’m looking for a great deal.
Could be a lot, a fixer-upper, we’ll see what I find.
First I hit the local paper El Universo where in the Sunday Classifieds ads for properties on the coast will often get mentioned.
Now I’ve hit the coast.
First I’m identifying where I’d like to buy, then specifically which property.
People amaze me when they say they saw nothing for sale.
Actually everything is available.
You just have to do some investigating to discover the owners.
That’s how it works down here.
And I have noticed “the spread” is getting bigger in that the range of prices people are asking is widening, with some asking ridiculously high prices, while others ask the same prices as years ago making this a good time to buy and sell in Ecuador!
But this won’t last forever, the window is closing. In nearby Colombia, Brazil and Argentina the prices are already high.
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