Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Parade of Homes

Yesterday, Mocha and I were walking in the neighborhood and I came across three homes for rent and today there was only ONE. It happens that fast! One day a “parade of homes” and the next day none.

Mocha and I have been “networking” a bit with the security guards so they don’t arrest me while I’m snapping up pictures of the neighborhood. When one of the guards asked me what I was doing, I had to explain that I was researching an article.


Before he had time to respond, I picked up Mocha and we made a run for it. Spending time in a Latin American prison is nothing I aspire to, so I think this will probably be the last time I poke my lens through an iron gate!

Most of the more stately homes in Cuenca are protected by a cement fortress and an electric fence with broken glass on the top to prevent intruders from “taking pictures.” Other homes are in a gated complex with a guard posted at the entrance and a few barking dogs to keep him company. And then there is the occasional home where you can actually get a decent view of the front door and snap a picture before a team of barking dogs tracks you down.

Cuenca has some of the most beautifully carved doors I have ever seen. I’m not quite sure, but I think it’s more of a status symbol than anything else. Instead of who has the nicest lawn on the block; it’s more like who has the nicest door in the neighborhood. Since most of the homes are made of brick and cement, it’s rather flashy to have something made of wood “hanging on the door.”

Most expats prefer to live in condos, but the trend is changing a bit. If you have a large pet (more than 15 pounds), you might want to look at houses for rent when you first come to Cuenca. That way you can just open up the door to let “Fido” out to do his business instead of waiting for the elevator to pick you up on the 15th floor.

Homes for sale or for rent are found just like condos; you look for the sign on the window that says “se arrienda” or “se vende.” If you don’t want to go through a realtor, just take a walk in your favorite neighborhood and write down the cell phone number(s) posted on the sign. If you don’t speak Spanish, bring along someone who does. We recently talked with an expat at SuperMaxi and he said, “I just paid the taxi driver to take me around all day and translate for me.” Now, there’s an idea! He found something to rent in one day.

Thankfully, I’m not in the real estate business; I’m just a writer reporting on what’s available. So when you arrive in Cuenca (or you’re thinking of arriving), remember that the “parade of homes” will be waiting for you!

Until next time…hasta luego!


David Marshall said...

Thanks Connie, that is very comforting. Hope there is lots of choices in July.

BTW, I too am a photographer. Very interested in wildlife, particularly birds. Looking forward to the Cajas.

God bless, David.

Connie Pombo said...

You won't be disappointed in the birds here, especially the hummingbirds.

Don't worry, there are plenty of houses to rent! Keep me posted on your arrival date and I'll walk the neighborhood for you. ;-)

Charles said...

My family and I have lived in Ecuador for about 2 years now, and we love it here! It is very tranquil here, and life is very enjoyable. In living here I have found out many things about moving and living here, I have a 14 page helpful facts report and if you would like a copy please email me at

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