I woke up today, plagued by a common thought: Where in the world are the adventurous builders/developers? As I started off my day with a Macchiato cup of coffee, perfectly made, looking over the glorious Pacific Ocean, on yet another sunny day in Salinas, Ecuador, this puzzling question was ever present. Ecuador represents a virtual casting call for global real estate builders and developers.
I looked all around me, the bustling streets along the vaunted Salinas Malecón (Boardwalk) filled with expats from the USA, Canada, Russia and all points in Western Europe. They have arrived throughout Ecuador’s gorgeous Pacific Coast in search of a retirement dream, a new adventure, or just to expand their investment portfolio diversity. Being a real estate investment consultant, many of these fine folks are my clients. However, given my background, heavy in commercial real estate, I couldn’t help but wistfully wonder, “Where are the international builders/developers?”
Ecuador is a land of opportunity, with exceptional values. Note, I said “value”, not cheap. Ecuador is relatively cheap, but more importantly, it is also represents great value. Back in many of the so-called “industrial nations”, or the even more loathsome moniker “First World nations”, construction and development projects, just aren’t what they used to be. Material and labor costs have skyrocketed, profit margins are sharply down, and the plethora of willing buyers, ready to dump cash on the developers doorstep, has long vanished. This is true whether what is being built is the next ritzy condo high-rise, a bucolic suburban gated estates community, or the next major regional retail mall. So, why aren’t more global builder/developers here in Ecuador?
The answer seems quite clear. In a rare reversal of the norm, the “regular Joe” has begun discovering Ecuador, ahead of the alleged “smart money”. If the global builder and developer community were to take a glance at Ecuador, they would find a land with cheap labor, exceptional raw material values and pent up, unmet demand across many real estate market sub-sector categories. Profit margins here are extremely healthy and demand even stronger, for a diverse mix of projects from entry level condos, to gated active lifestyle retirement communities, as well as commercial projects, from Class A office projects to retail strip centers. My real estate firm actually has a confirmed, existing waiting list that grows longer every day, of willing buyers or long-term lessees, for any of the mentioned categories of real estate…and many more.
Now I know what many reading this might be thinking, “Yeah, sure, but what about me? I don’t have a few million dollars just lying about to kick start one of these projects.” Well, you don’t need anywhere near that much. Remember my mention of cheap labor and material costs. A good quality parcel of land, depending on your preferred location of choice, can run you only $25,000 – $100,000. Carrying costs? How about an annual tax payment of $100-$300? Yes, that figure is annual! One can get started small in this market, given all the strong demand. Building a two-story, four unit condo building, done to the right specs, is extremely cost-effective and viable, with exceptional return rates.
Better yet, as I already stated, a built-in client buyer base is already on a waiting list, for the right property. The most astute amongst the readers will ask, “So what constitutes the right property”? Many details go into this analysis and some variables differ, depending on the category of project to be built. If anyone is truly interested in exploring this option to the fullest, as a privilege only to Escape Artist readers, we are offering free consultations. Anyone with a genuine interest in exploring building and development opportunities in Ecuador can contact me, personally, Hector G. Quintana via the form below or our global access number, at +1.786.220.4987.