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3 Ways to Find Rental Property in Cuenca, Ecuador

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Ecuador Real Estate, Living in Ecuador

3 Ways to Find Rental Property in Cuenca, Ecuador

Food, shelter & clothing… those are our basic needs. Finding food in Cuenca is easy. Finding clothes that fit the usually taller and often more “robust” expat population can be a little more challenging in Ecuador.

Finding a house here can be a real challenge at times. When searching realtor websites and online classified ads, it sometimes seems that there just are not that many rental houses available in Cuenca.  When rentals seem scarce, that is when it pays to dig deeper and beat the bushes a little.

Learn more about Ecuador real estate.

Recently, my wife and I spent the entire day with a newly arrived expat family and went house-hunting with them.

We rented a van and picked up the family at 9 a.m. and went to look at the first house we had lined up.  By 6 p.m. we had made numerous phone calls to realty agencies and individual owners and visited a total of 7 houses being offered for rent.

We are not realtors; we simply served as translators between the expat family and the rental owners and pointed out to our guests the pluses and minuses of the houses we found.

So, how does one go about finding a decent rental house in Cuenca when the available rentals may seem to be scarce at times?  There are three methods we have used when looking for rentals:

1. Call a Professional Realtor

Before we went on our house hunting expedition, we spent a couple of hours calling realtors and surfing their web sites looking for rental listings.

We called or visited the web site of every realtor listed in the Cuenca phone book looking for a 4 bedroom, 2 bath rental house with a yard. Out of all the realtors we consulted, we only found two agencies who offered rentals and between the two of them they had only a couple of rental listings that fit the criteria of the family we were helping.

We found that the rental houses the realtors offered were considerably more expensive than the For Rent by Owner houses we had located.  In fact, the most expensive house we look (with an asking price of $700 per month) was a realtor listing.

Despite the higher price, this house turned out to be one of the most run-down and undesirable of the houses we found.

By the end of the day my wife and I had come to the conclusion that it was a basically a waste of time to look for affordable, decent rentals via the realtors.  Most realtors seem to be mainly interested in selling houses or renting houses at what seem to be inflated prices.

2. Local Classifieds Ads

The second method we have used to find rentals in Cuenca is through the local newspaper and online classified ads.

In Cuenca there seems to be a high demand for affordable rentals and they do not stay on the market for very long.

For example, on a recent House Hunting trip we went with some fellow expats to look at a FRBO house listed in the classifieds and were surprised to find a group of people queuing up outside the same house waiting to enter to take a look.

The owner was asking $250 for this particular 4 bedroom, 2 bath and that is a very a decent price for an unfurnished house of that size in Cuenca.  Houses in that price range do not stay on the market for long.

3. Walking and Searching for Rentals

What to do when there seem to be few rentals available? At times the number of For Rent by Owner classified ads are scarce and as I have already mentioned the realtors here don’t seem to be very interested in listing rentals and the few rentals they offer rent for considerably more money than the FRBO houses.

When there seems to be a scarcity of rental listings, there is a third method we have used with success to find rental housing for ourselves and other expats.  We have found a number of nice, affordable rentals by cruising neighborhoods and taking note of the For Rent signs posted in the windows of houses and apartments.

Some owners prefer not to advertise in the paper and for some reason choose not to deal with realtors. They simply put a For Rent sign in the window and wait for the fish to bite.

It takes time and effort to pound the pavement looking for rentals, but we found the house we are currently renting by doing a random search of neighborhoods looking for “For Rent” signs. Our current rental house is twice as large as our last house, less expensive and in a more convenient location.

Doing a “manual” door to door search looking for rentals may not be the quickest or most orthodox way to find a house or apartment, but it does work when rental listing are few.

While at first glance it may appear that affordable, decent rentals are scarce in Cuenca, the fact is that with a little leg work and, if needed, a little translation help from someone with experience in house hunting, expats can find a nice place to rent in Cuenca without having to pay the sometimes exaggerated rental prices that one often finds when surfing certain realtor websites.  Happy house (or apartment) hunting!

This is a guest post by an American expat living in Cuenca since 2007. 

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

43 comments… add one
  • Barbara L Redmon Nov 15, 2017, 3:50 pm

    Just arrived here yesterday and we are loving the city. My question is, how do we know an area is safe etc. Not knowing anything about the area, when it says this area or that and not knowing the language it make looking almost impossible.

    Thank for any insight you may have.

  • Lise Duval Oct 23, 2017, 6:35 pm

    Hi, I’m planning on moving to Cuenca January 2018. However, I will be in Cuenca from November 7th to the 21st of November . Can anyone tell me the best way to find an apartment? Is there anyone you know who can help me maneuver this process. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks, Lise Duval

  • James Nodine Jun 14, 2017, 11:12 am

    I lived 10 years in Quito as an executive many years ago. I am now 76 and no family. I am doing some traveling. Now in Peru. I am considering spending 90 to 180 days in Cuenca because I always liked it. My budget is $2,000 per month. I want a hotel or bed and breakfast. I must be able to easily get around because I will not have a car. I see some advertised in the center at $25 to $30 dollars per day with breakfast,internet, 32inch TV, etc. Is this realistic and can anyone recommend one?

  • Vicky Schiele Sep 5, 2016, 6:23 pm

    My brother is moving to Cuenca and looking for an apt to rent.
    Is it best to make an appt for when we arrive?

  • Bruce Constuble May 10, 2016, 6:44 pm

    Will be in Ecuador (cuenca) in later September. Am interested in a long term rental apt or house. Either one will do. 2 br preferred but 1 will do. I will be there for a month and if I find what I like I will rent it for later when I can move permanitly.

  • kevin krushinski Oct 21, 2015, 7:43 pm

    need information for some listings long term rental

  • Ed Boerst Feb 24, 2015, 3:33 pm

    How do I hook up with someone to go with me to try an find a place? I am working on residency visa and plan to move to Ecuador first part of April. Plan to fly over before to find place to live. Interested in condo or apt.
    Any help will be appreciated.
    Ed Boerst

  • Norma Jun 9, 2014, 8:51 pm

    Hello friends, my husband & I will retire soon & be moving to Cuenca in about a year so serve as need greaters. We have a friendly little dog, well behaved and house trained. We will need somewhere to live temporarily until we find a more permanent solution. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you very much – Juan & Norma Garcia

  • William/Susan Wilson Apr 7, 2014, 7:58 am

    Good Job!! We are working on our paperwork now. Our house is for sale and hope to move to Cuenca soon. Just completed 12 days at Villa Nova B&B. Bill Dixon, Mgr. is great as well as the complete staff. A first, get your feet wet, place to start. See you soon, Bill/Susan Wilson

    • Edward Darlow Feb 15, 2015, 11:32 pm

      The above listed site is Korean.

  • Jim Baker Dec 17, 2013, 1:36 pm

    I still have not gotten a confirmation email for the newletter subscription.


  • Andy Dec 13, 2013, 9:59 am

    Is this more a problem with houses than apartments or condos? They seem to be much more available.

    • Bryan Haines Dec 13, 2013, 10:07 am

      There are lots of both – it seems that the apartments are often overpriced because that is when new expats usually look for. If you can get away from the properties marketed to expats and you’ll find a good deal.

  • Sandy Conn Apr 21, 2013, 8:22 pm

    Brian, My Husband and I are in Cuenca now and would like to know if you could recommend a van service or interpreter to go around with us this week to look for rentals..Any help would be appreciated.

    • Bryan Haines Apr 23, 2013, 10:35 am

      I don’t have anyone to recommend – but I have heard that there are quite a few people doing this. You might stop into a few of the gringo hangouts and see what options are there.

      Hope you enjoy your time in Cuenca!

  • Janette Mar 23, 2013, 1:15 am

    Hi Bryan and fellow gringos,

    I found your blog to be amazing!! I just wanted to ask if you know of any expat families who are looking to rent in guayaquil? I have a beautiful apartment minutes from the Olmedo airport, shopping mall, and supermarket. I know you currently live in Cuenca but you seem to be well connected! Trust me the struggle to find a responsible tenant is just as hard. I would appreciate any feedback!! Thanks

  • Steve Jan 26, 2013, 4:10 am

    Hello Doug,
    My wife,teenage,daughter and I will be ariving in Cuenca late Febuary to find a condo or house then returning to the states so I can have a brain tumor removed (2nd surgery, had the first 6 years ago) then back to become expats. I am permantly dissabled as far as social security is concerned and get 2100usd per month. Do you think that is enough for the three of us to live comfortably and enjoy ourselves. My wife and I have just turned 40 and im sure she will want to find work at some point to keep busy as she is used to working 2 jobs here in the states. Anyway we really just need a place where we can enjoy each others company for whatever time I have left (hopefully i will get another 6 years). We have a small 8lb maltesee dachshound mix that is very well behaved and potty trained and my daughter has a cat that may or may not make the trip? any help getting set up with some spanish speaking expats for help on the ground would be great. We will consider grabbing something before hand if it is the right deal but kind of wanted to spend a month there just to make sure Cuenca is the place for us.
    Thank You and God Bless
    Steve and Heather Rittenhouse

    • Bryan Haines Jan 28, 2013, 4:22 pm

      Hi Steve,

      You will do very will with your social security here. Once you arrive, there are lots of places to meet up with other expats and make friends. Your plan to visit first is a great idea – to make sure that it is right for you.

      All the best on your plans!

  • Shimon Kanar Nov 20, 2012, 8:04 pm

    Dear Gringos!
    Apartment! possible furnished in Cuenca, Ecuador.
    At this point in time I live in a nice two bedroom apartment while I am building my house in Yunguilla not far from Cuenca.
    As my house is very near to be finished and my contract is for another four months
    I need to find a new tenant. The apartment is in a very secure neighborhood and is possible to get it furnished. Please contact me via my email.

    • Harriet Dec 25, 2012, 5:02 pm

      I would like to see some pics. Thank you

  • Judy Collins Oct 25, 2012, 6:44 am

    Doug – We have rented for one year and like our place. It has needed repairs, so we have made them. We hope to sign a 3 yr. lease, but have heard some landlords will give you a fixed rate, while others include a gradual increased rate. If they do the latter, what is the usual amount of increase? We are both retired teachers, so if the rate goes up too much, we might as well move. Thanks for your time.

  • Ed Sep 19, 2012, 11:53 am

    Sorry, make that April 2013 ….. slip of the fingers

  • Ed Sep 19, 2012, 11:52 am

    Hi, My wife and I will be moving to Cuenca in April of 2012, we are interested in corresponding with any readers of this blog re finding rental accomodation. We would be interested in either a house or apartment.

    Thanks Bryan for the great info in your site

  • Hank Aug 16, 2012, 7:58 pm

    My wife Sue and I along with another older couple, Fred & Sandy, will be looking for a nice part time rental from 7 Oct ’12 until 2 or 3 Nov ’12. We are willing to pay a finder’s fee as well a full month’s rent for either a two bedroom, two bath house close in to Cuenca or an apartment with the same in the city. Can you be of help to four expats from Peachtree City, GA?

    • Antonio Sep 7, 2012, 10:40 pm

      I am sorry I can not cater for your specific needs but, should you or any of your friends be interested in renting a two bedroom apartment for a longer period I could offer you one.
      This is a brand new apartment still to be occupied for the first time. It is located close to Cuenca’s town centre and close to Plaza de las Americas Shopping Center comprising a supermarket, banks and first class shops. On ‘Gran Colombia’, the main street you will find banks, coffee bars restaurants and shops. The building is located at the end of a cul-de-sac and therefore very quiet indeed. The building has centralized gas and hot water system, two elevators for 24 apartments,underground parking and store rooms. The apartment comprises: a vestibule, living, dining, kitchen and studio in an open plan, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is on the first upper floor with wide open views to the front.

      • Fleurette Montpetit Nov 16, 2012, 11:30 am

        looking for a 2 bedroom condo apartment with swimming pool from January 23 to February 25th – we are three adults – what is your price and availabilityy

      • Jim C. Mar 5, 2013, 8:15 pm

        Hola, i was reading about the 2 bedroom apartment sounds beautiful and the area and convenience sound well rounded. My self i will not be coming to Ecuador until Jan and Feb 2014 doing a social check and future retirement check.Please what would the cost of that apartment run all included. Jim out.
        Bless your week
        Jim C

  • Miriam Dec 23, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I Offer a rented apartment in urbanization Puerta del Sol in the street ricardo Darquea 2-41 My phone is 098070400 e-mail

  • LoisRoncal Dec 1, 2011, 9:05 am

    Looking for rental property.. I want at least 1800 sq. ft. 850.00 Thanks, DR.Roncal

  • Jeff Seybert Sep 22, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Do you know of, or know of sources for, short-term vacation rentals (apartments/condos/houses) in Cuenca. Thanks.

    Jeff Seybert
    Shawnee, KS

  • Diego Sep 19, 2011, 4:31 pm

    After several months of surfing, I can verify the fact that looking at websites is, for the most part, a waste of time. Organizations that claim inside information on “fantastic deals” are nothing more than marketing entities. I subscribed to one international publication only to find that I was inundated with “property deal” announcements of all types. There are “live in luxury conferences” with $1000+ registration fees, magazines with colorful pictures and articles proclaiming paradise is available at half price and nothing down, and the realty deals from heaven, oh my. I think my wife and I will retire to Newark.

    • Bryan Haines Sep 20, 2011, 7:47 am

      Hi Diego – agreed that there is a lot of bad/tainted information online. The only real way to get a deal (or any reasonable priced property at all) is to be on the ground in the city/area that you want to live. Speaking Spanish, or hiring someone to help you, is essential. Low cost retirement is certainly available, but it isn’t always how the marketing firms portray.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Catalina Bermudez Aug 29, 2011, 10:15 pm

    Furnished condo, two bedrooms one bath acroos the streeth from Supermaxi de las Americas in the city of Cuenca
    The condo has dinning room, with table chairs and coaches
    Kitchen has stove, refrigerator, plates, pots and pans
    Each bedroom has beds and closets, only one bedroom has a tv.
    The apartment has water heather, there is hot water for the kitchen and bathroom
    Internet wi fi modem
    Final price $350 everything included.

    Pictures under request

    • christina Oct 24, 2012, 12:57 pm

      I am looking for a rental in Cuenca starting in the next 2 or so months….plan on using my time looking for property to purchase so I can relocate to Ecuador…
      Any assistance you can offer would be most appreciated.



    • Dave Nichols May 20, 2013, 6:08 pm

      I am very interested in seeing your apartment. I am now living in Cuenca and I am looking for 2 BR apt. My Claro phone is 096-829-4017. Thank you.

    • Mario Escalisi May 22, 2013, 4:27 pm

      Hi Catalina,
      If the apartment is still available, I would appreciate if you send some pictures, and if possible a map with location.

      I everything goes well, we should be there by the end of June. (Just a couple of seniors)


  • Joe Hynes Apr 11, 2011, 3:47 pm

    Nice article, but, best to take ones time looking.

    • Doug Jul 10, 2011, 11:12 am


      I did not mean to give the impression that one should rush when looking for rentals. The fact of the matter is that rental houses generally don´t stay on the market for very long. Right now it seems to be a “sellers” market because there is more demand for rental houses than there are houses. So, while ideally it is good to take your time when shopping for rentals the reality is that the house you look at today will probably not be available tomorrow. When we are asked to help expats locate rentals we make a list of the available listings and then move quickly to view them. We often can view 5 or 6 rentals in an afternoon of house hunting. When we arrive to view a rental, we often find other people waiting to view the same rental. For that reason it is good to move quickly when looking for rentals or you may find yourself staying in a hotel for longer than you wish.

  • Antonio Mar 18, 2011, 12:51 pm

    RE/MAX has just opened an office in Cuenca, for anyone interested their number is +593 98092404

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