Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Ecuador expat newbies

Hi all i have had a few questions sent in lately most are similar,people taking the plunge of coming here and not sure on what it is they are looking for,Ecuador expat newbies  i will briefly speak about certain subjects, but i will create further posts on each point so you are fully aware.

As an expat or future expat newbie, it is always advised to visit the country first, understand what it is you are after, a hot or cold climate, city life,beach life or up in the mountains, once you have decided then  it is time for some research, there are expats dotted all over the place up in Quito, down in Cuenca and a few on the coast,
I live in the Manabi province in a city called Portoviejo, it has everything i want,  and is also a short trip to nearby beaches, such as Manta,Crucita, and San Clemente.

Where ever you go the price of property varies, but primarily  most people rent a place until they commit to buying, if you research this by using the website you can see for yourself the average house price and rentables in any chosen area in Ecuador.

Now it is also a good idea to join an expat page, you can find many on facebook, but what i will say is keep your cards close to you, try and keep your financial and life story to yourself, the reason why i am saying this is, you will find the biggest scavengers craving your money are your own people,
Many come here buy up land build some houses and realise they can´t get the rent they are looking for, as an Ecuadorian will not pay more than $300 unless it has something pretty special,so they see a new expat feed them the paradise pitch and boom you are now paying $600 for a 1 bedroom cottage/appartment,yes that is their business it lines their pockets,but if you have money to waste then this maybe the simplest route to take, but bare in mind an Ecuadorian´s basic wage is $370 per month. so introduce yourself gather as much information as you can and begin making some decisions.even though there are some scavengers, there are actually to nice genuine people.

Ok the next question is what kind of expat are you?
Are you retired and financially sound or are you looking to make a living over here?
This never seems to get mentioned as people assume everyone is retired who come out here,
Well i am not retired so my life is very different to an expat coming here to just sit back and enjoy life.

There are many factors you need to consider if you are not in the retirement category, do you have a profession or are you looking to create a business or a simple job to just get by?
With a profession chances are you should find a job, but don´t expect the same wage you were on back home it will be less,

Creating a business, this really is tough, you must understand the culture and do plenty of market research, what works back home doesn´t work over here, trust me i have tried to bring many ideas from England over here and most have failed. here is more information on this

Although people use the internet for websites like olx or mercado libre, you will find that people don´t like to shop online, a major trust issue from previous and present scams that circulate through out the country.for example if you use facebook as a business page, people will like your products but hardly ever buy unless you have a physical shop that they can visit,

Pricing if you  are selling an item for $80 9 times out of 10 you will get and offer for 40 or 50 dollars, don´t get too upset about this as everyone does this you will rarely get your asking price unless you stick to your guns.

When living over here you must have an open mind an patience,  manana manana is some expat pet hates, knowone is in a rush so don´t expect all your problems to be resolved on that same day, i still mutter a few words under my breath at times.
Poverty is here so don´t be shocked, it will be out of your comfort zone,so try to deal with it best you can,
What is cheap to you is expensive to others, so maybe the great deal you got on your $200k house best be kept quiet,

Blend in try to dress similar or simpler, avoid wearing expensive jewelry  crime is here, but crime is every where in the world, just don´t be the ideal target.

Animals not all dogs are pets, many are street dogs unwanted and left to fend for themselves,some you may see dead on the road, it does pull on the heart strings in a big way, you may feel the need to help or do something about it, but  you are fighting a lost cause even if it is the right thing to do

Money 50 and 100 dollar notes is a no no, try to use $5 or $10 notes even change when walking around, things are relatively cheap most can´t change your money, but if you are in dire straights go to a petrol station they will change it.

Cars some expats prefer to use public transport rather than drive, but for me i prefer to use my own car,This is a big part of your life you must tackle, well for me it is, prices are very high, and it is hard to justify handing over your money to buy a car that you could quite easily get back home for next to nothing, so have a long think about it before going out and guide to buying cars
New cars, big,new expensive cars stay clear of it, why you may ask? because you are showing everyone that you have money, if you are driving a new BMW in Manabi you will be watched envy sets in, which could result in your car being scratched damaged or even stolen, among other things, so i suggest blending in again, you don´t need to go out and buy a banger that will constantly give you heart ache going to the mechanic, but change your buying attitude,a downgrade it will always be in my eyes, gone are the days where i used to drive turbo cars.

I will leave it there for now as there is a lot to soak in, but i will add to this, i am by know means trying to put anyone off, i just want you to have your eyes opened and be prepared, i have found my paradise in Portoviejo you will all find yours, i guarantee you will love this country once you know what you want here, feel free to leave a comment/question and i shall respond as soon as i can.

1 comment:

  1. Very good synopsis of life in Ecuador and especially Portoveijo, I am a little biased as it is my son who is the originator of this report but having visited the country myself I can honestly say that his report is very accurate and extremely informative for anyone wishing to either visit this lovely country either for a holiday or more importantly perhaps wishing to settle down as you will very quickly fall in love with the climate, it's people, and the laid back way of life.It does not matter what age you are as you would be totally captivated by what you see and experience something that dreams are made of. Go Ecuador!