Great Real Estate Abroad Report

   

 July 7, 2008

 

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Beachfront Property for $100,000

Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

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Laid Back Ecuadorian Resort of Bahia de Caraquez Beckons to Those Seeking Affordable Beachfront Property

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Bahia de Caraquez is a mellow resort city (population 30,000) on a peninsula on the western coast of Ecuador in South America.  This area has seen significant development during the last 20 years, but Bahia, as it is known by the locals, still has a comfortable, small town feeling and is one of the cleanest cities in Ecuador.  It is also very inexpensive, easy to navigate and has a pretty seaside location with white sandy beaches.

 

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Reminiscent of a Greek town on the Aegean, Bahía is a city of whitewash-and-tile roofs, and low home prices are the primary reason to consider buying real estate here, whether for retirement or as a vacation home (Bahia is only four hours from Miami).   Apartments are for sale starting in the $45,000 USD vicinity, and beachfront homes just north of the city can be had for $100,000 USD.  The reason for this is that Bahía was hit by an earthquake a few years ago, and although few of the buildings were severely damaged, many Ecuadorians abandoned the city in fear of another quake.  As a result, many homes are now for sale at bargain prices.  A second result of the earthquake (in 1998) was that the city became a U.N.-recognized ecocity, dedicated to minimizing its energy use and waste output.

 

Foreigners can buy property in Bahia and have the same rights as Ecuadorians.  After buying real estate, it is quite easy to become a resident of Ecuador because purchasing real estate is considered an investment in the country's economy.    Having an income of $800 or a $25,000 cash investment (money market account, savings account, certificate of deposit, etc.) is also a way to become a resident.  To enter the country only a passport and a tourist visa are required.

Bahia has a good combination of resort facilities and city infrastructure (delicious waterfront restaurants, Internet access, daily trash collection, etc.) and has been a vacation destination for Ecuadorians for years.   Everything is inexpensive, from $2 lunches to $1.50/gallon gasoline to a maid for $8 per day.  The city is safe (crime, though, is a problem in some parts of Ecuador, including along the northern border with Columbia) and walkable (flat land), and the residents are welcoming.  

Spanish is the local language, but a few merchants here and there speak a little English.  The U.S. dollar is the currency, and the climate is actually rather pleasant because Bahia is in a narrow, dry tropical belt.  The city averages an hour or two of rain in the evening during the rainy season (December through April), and the average daytime temperature is about 85 degrees with a light daily breeze.

Bahia does not have much in the way of international tourism (and there are no golf courses and cultural facilities are limited) and tends to appeal - even with its newer high-rise condos - to the budget traveler (surfers and backpackers seem to like it here).  It's a laid back place, off the beaten path, and, we are happy to report, not yet discovered by much of the world.  

Contact the local tourism office at 011 593 05 691124 for more information.

 


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