Many expats moving to Ecuador use property purchase for the basis for their residency visas.
As with most things, there are some specifics to keep in mind.
The rules and nuances of real estate in Ecuador are likely very different from your home country.
In this video interview, Grace Velastegui, an immigration lawyer in Cuenca Ecuador, discusses some of the common issues encountered with buy real estate in Ecuador and how to avoid them.
Ecuador Real Estate Legal Issues
(complete transcript below the video)
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Video Transcript: Ecuador Real Estate Legal Issues
Our specialty is also helping with real estate law. We can assist you with the purchase of a property. Although it is understood that the purchase of property in Ecuador is a very straightforward process, there are some special things that need to be covered. A good title search might be necessary, especially in certain cases for your peace of mind.
The process of purchasing property can be done in one or two stages, depending on the property that you are going to be buying.
If it is going to be a single owned house (owned by an individual) a good title search might be a good idea. You want to make sure that there are no implications in regards to inheritance law or in regard to an ex-wife or ex-husband (for a divorced person) that might be involved in the title. You also want to make sure that the title is free of liens or encumbrances, that there are no mortgages against the building or pending debts with the municipal taxes that have not been paid or paperwork that was not completed or not in order.
So if you buy purchase that is under construction normally (in a condominium for example) the title of ownership is not available yet. Therefore you want to do an agreement to purchase and sell first. This is advisable to be notarized – and not by a private one – unless you pay a very low deposit. If it is a big deposit you want to be insured by a legal instrument that needs to be notarized. In order to have a good, binding document you want to use your own attorney and not use the standard form that the developers might have.
Some people go directly to the notary and legalize the sale or the purchase and they pay the price of the property. Later on they find out that there were some liens or that their title was not possible to be registered in their names or the change of name was not covered or that they had a hidden defects in the title that is not possible to cure.
So in order to ensure the recording of your title, once you have already completed the payment it is a good idea to have an attorney help you do an exhaustive title investigation.
If you purchase a property in Ecuador, you can use the title of ownership to apply for a residency visa as an investor in real estate. You should use a title that covers the requirements in order to apply for a residency visa. So make sure that the paperwork is done correctly for this purpose.
Questions? If you have specific questions, please comment below or contact Grace Velastegui directly.