For most of us, deciding to become an expat in Cuenca is an easy choice. Great prices, nice people, and year round good weather are all things that are hard to resist. But moving to Cuenca, Ecuador is only the first of many decisions you will face on the way to establishing your new home abroad. In this article we will discuss one of the most important decisions you will have to make when you arrive in Cuenca: Rent . . . or Buy?
The real estate market in Cuenca, Ecuador is very different from real estate markets in the United States or Europe. You must make sure you have a solid game plan in place so you navigate these new waters safely.
Both the rental and for-sale markets have advantages and disadvantages to you as a new arrival. Let’s consider some of the Pros and Cons:
Buying in Cuenca
Pros of Buying
Investment: When you purchase a property in Cuenca, you are investing your money in a real asset that is far less susceptible to the fluctuations of world financial and currency markets than other investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or cash.
Improving your home: Another advantage of buying property is that you have the freedom to make modifications to your home as you like without needing to ask permission from a landlord. These modifications can often add value to a home and as the owner, you will benefit from an increase in the property value of your home.
Easier Fulfillment of Visa Requirements: Buying real estate in Cuenca can make it easier for you to fulfill residency visa requirements. If you are sure Cuenca is right for you, having a property can make the paperwork process go a bit faster.
Cons of Buying
Not liquid: Once you purchase a home, the money you spent will be more difficult to move if you change your mind. While owning property in Cuenca is a fairly safe and stable investment, you no longer have the flexibility of liquid assets.
Harder to Move: If you decided to move down the line you may need to sell the property, which can slow your movements. In Cuenca, the home sales process often takes months, even in the best possible scenarios. You can help your future cause by taking the time to carefully evaluate the property you are buying and its future resale value
Renting in Cuenca
Cons of Renting
More frequent moving: If you choose to rent for the short term you must prepare for the possibility of moving a few times. You might rent a house for a few months and then decide that a condo is more to your liking. Or, you may try out several different neighborhoods before discovering the one you like best. You will want to use each experience to learn more about your ideal living situation in Cuenca.
Not an Investment: When you rent, the money you spend does not create equity for you. Rent to own arrangements are a foreign concept here and are almost never used. As a result, some expats feel that they should buy as soon as possible. Just remember that it takes time settle in and it is worth the time and money to make sure you know what and where you are buying.
Pros of Renting
Small Financial Commitment: Rental rates in Cuenca are very reasonable compared to most places in the US. As a rule, you can rent a place here for 25% – 50% of what you would pay for an equivalent rental in urban US markets.
Adjust to Life in Cuenca: For most of us, Cuenca is quite a bit different from where we spent most of our lives. By renting a house, condo, or apartment you give yourself time to get familiar with Cuenca and the local culture before making a large financial commitment. If this is your first attempt at living outside of your home country it is helpful to have a low risk way to get a feel for how you like living overseas.
Learn the City: Not all neighborhoods in Cuenca are created equal, and your perspective matters too. Renting will give you the chance to explore the city and choose which areas you like the best. If you later decide to buy property, you can narrow your search to your favorite neighborhoods.
For those who do not plan to purchase property in Cuenca, you can take advantage of great rental rates that will allow you to be comfortable and in most cases increase your standard of living.
Even for those who are planning to buy real estate in Cuenca, we feel that renting for 3 -12 months before you choose your permanent home is a smart way to go. The knowledge that you gain in the months that you choose to rent will offset the minor costs that you incur while renting a property in Cuenca. You will have the chance to experience regular daily life in Cuenca and get used to your new surroundings. You can take the time to explore the various neighborhoods, so that when you decide to buy you can be confident that you have chosen a location that will suit you for a long time.Share on Facebook