Sometimes you just have to play the cards you were dealt.
You have to accept the negatives to being a foreigner in Ecuador (one is that you will NEVER get the same prices for most things that the locals get, no matter how long you live here nor how well you speak Spanish. It is what it is.)
And the positives… like that Ecuadorians tend to trust “gringos” more than they do even other Ecuadorians.
Especially in business dealings.
For me, the biggest benefit of this can be translated to rental deals.
Ecuadorians love to rent to foreigners, particularly North American or European ones, much more than they like renting to other Ecuadorians.
We’re known for taking better care of places and paying more promptly and being more serious about the relationship in general.
And we can use that as a good bargaining chip.
I can often get locals to rent to me without even asking a deposit guarantee, when they normally would ask that. I can get other locals who normally are not interested in renting, to rent to me. Others simply lower their rent price.
Really it works. They want you as a tenant. You have leverage. Use it, ask for discounts, perks, late night massages.
Ok maybe not that last one.
So where would I invest on the coast right now in 2013? Which areas are moving and which aren’t? For that see my full 2013 guide to Property Flipping in Ecuador here (now back online).
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