Sunday, May 1, 2011

To Buy or Not to Buy!

Mark and I have talked about buying something in Cuenca, but so far it’s just “talk." It’s not that Cuenca lacks anything in the real estate department; it’s just that we can’t justify a purchase when rent is so cheap. But that hasn’t stopped us from looking!
Every day Mocha and I head down the river trail to “La Paz” where Mocha can play on the grass while I park myself under a tree and do my version of yoga.

On our way down the road, we pass by the same row of houses and have watched three new townhomes pop up. They look very American with their two-car garages, stream-lined kitchens, granite countertops, recessed lighting and comfy lay-out: three bedrooms and  2-1/2 baths.

The guards were kind enough to let me peek in the houses while they worked. I guess I looked pretty harmless sporting my jogging outfit and clutching  a Shih-Tzu puppy in my arms!

This row of townhomes is exactly 250 feet from the  river and the bedrooms have a view of the Cajas. It all looked ideal until I paced out the steps to the river and heard a rooster crowing. It’s not unusual to see a gorgeous chunk of property with a stately piece of architecture accented by a few cows, a couple of pigs, and two roosters. It would be okay if the rooster had his days and nights in the proper order, but unfortunately this rooster was competing with another rooster for a personal best in the crowing department!

The other hang-up with this place is no morning sun. We depend on the morning light to heat up our condo so it stays comfy all day and night. Probably the most overlooked aspect when renting or buying is the availability of light (morning sun) coming into your place to warm up the bricks and cement. There is about a 10-15 degree temperature difference in homes that are warmed by the sun versus those that are not. Our neighbors have gorgeous sunsets, but no morning sun and it’s much colder in their place and they’re right next door!

So here’s my list:

*Morning sun (heating system).

*Free of pesky animal noises (roosters who don’t have their days and nights straight).

*Guard or security gate (preferably both!).

*View of the river, Cajas (or both).

I’m not sure if we’ll ever buy in Cuenca, but it’s sure nice to look. As long as rent is $200 a month with a view of the river and the Cajas, I think we’ll stay parked for a while.

Until next time…hasta luego,


Mark said...

Are y'all paying $200 in rent for something comparable to the townhomes you are describing?

Is $200 a price that people can expect or hope to replicate or is it the result of good luck/circumstances that likely can't be duplicated?

What would you estimate the purchase price would be for the place you rent?

I've read your Kindle book and am looking forward to a visit to Cuenca, hopefully sooner rather than later, and am going back and forth on the rent vs. buy thing if it turns out that Cuenca is the place for us.

Thanks for all the great info.

Connie Pombo said...

Hi Mark,

As far as our rent, I think it was probably good fortune (being at the right place at the right time). However, we know others who have stellar places for $300-$350 (not right by the river, but close). We also met with folks who are renting a 7 BDRM house, 3-1/2 baths for $500 a month (with a yard and large terrace). A little patience and the ability to act quickly when the opportunity arises is the way to get a good deal. All the best to you and "bienvenidos" a Cuenca!

Hwy101 said...

Anymore where you Live? -Hwy101
Didn't see a contack link, so
I'd like to know...

Connie Pombo said...

Hi Hwy 101:
There are always places to buy around our neighborhood. The three townhomes I mentioned are right down the street and the number of the builder (Villavicencio) is on the picture above. A great way to find homes/condos is to walk around the neighboorhood you want to live in. We live on the far west side of Cuenca on your way to the Cajas (next to the Oro Verde Hotel). The river is exactly 50 feet from our balcony. Ahh...we love it!

Lilly said...

Hi Connie, my question is off the topic.
I write a blogs

I would like to put more ads on my blogs, like you do - for example "My Favorites - I recommend."
Can you tell me how you do it, what URL and where you inserted on your blog?
my skype is liliyabykova
I would love to talk with you about it.

Lilly said...

About bying townhouse or condo or house - first floor of the buildings in the mountains are ALWAYS colder than second and upper floors.
Both of our condos in Quito are on the 4th floor and it is very comfy temperature wise.
When one enters first floor apartments, offices, whatever - it is 10-15 degrees COLDER, no matter how good construction is.

Connie Pombo said...

Thanks, Lilly, that's a good point about first floor apts. and condos. Thanks for suggesting that!

Lilly said...

I already figured out how to put more ads on my blogs permanent - so I withdraw my question. Now I have to find out how to do it after every post.
Your blog inspired me (Amazon books and goods)
Thank you.

Connie Pombo said...

Wow, Lilly, and all this time I was trying to figure out how I did it?!? Good for you! ~Un abrazo fuerte -- Connie

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