GringosAbroad Ecuador

House, Car, Business – SOLD!

Posted in: Everything Expat, Living in Ecuador

One of the first things we needed to do after we had decided on our destination was get the visa process started.House, Car, Business – SOLD!

When planning on relocating we were faced with a huge question of whether or not to keep everything, putting it in storage, or sell everything. We decided to sell everything, our house, business, car and other belongings – everything that would not fit in our suitcases.

This proved to be a little tricky for us because we were still making mortgage payments.  So if our house sold first, we would have to move everything into an apartment while we waited for our business to sell, way too much hassle!  But if our business sold first, we would start eating into the savings from its sale to pay the mortgage each month, cutting into our precious time in Ecuador.  This was a very anxious time for us, but as it turns out the house and business sold on the same day!!

Now we were faced with getting rid of all our stuff, and oh yes, we were also homeless.  The large appliances went with the house, and the other sizable furniture was sold either online, or to family and friends.  How did we feel as our belongings went walking out the door? Lighter!  We found this experience to be very freeing, almost like a purging, a fresh start, and a brand new slate.

My husband’s parents took pity on us, and we stayed with them for about a month.  During our last month in Canada we had yard sales to get rid of the mountain of smaller belongings we had collected over the ten years of our married life.  Our daughter jumped into this undertaking with both feet.  She sold almost all of her toys and saved the money to buy a special doll to take with her.  She found it fun and exciting because we had to order this new friend through the mail, and it came in just in time.House, Car, Business – SOLD!

We met with a lawyer to get all of our papers in order, wills, power of attorney and stuff like that.  We met with the bank to set up a US bank account, because in Ecuador they use the US dollar, and we needed to be able to transfer money electronically from our Canadian account into the US one.  Now we do all that online, and the ATM spits out our money just like back home.

Being here and not having to worry about belongings back in Canada is a wonderful feeling.  The ups and downs involved made it seem like an eternity, but it all came together in around eight months.  We had some emotional moments as well, but the stress during it all was well worth it.

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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.

10 comments… add one
  • Chelsea May 20, 2011, 4:09 pm

    From deciding we were moving to Ecuador to landing in Quito, the process took us just 3 months! And we have a kid too (age 6 at the time). We sold the house, the cars, the junk, and were “homeless” for a while also. We laugh now looking back on those days when my daughter had to sleep on an inflated pool raft because there wasn’t a spare bed for her! Anyway, this post brought back memories. We are now back in the States but moving back next year to Tena. Then we shall do it all again. Yay. Thanks and keep up the good work on this awesome website!

  • Dorothy & Art Gu Oct 22, 2010, 11:33 am

    We will be young retirees coming to Equador, thank you for helping us choose the city to live in. We find your website very concise answering the questions we are all asking. We still have 2/3 yrs left in the states, so keep us posted!

  • Idea Aug 21, 2010, 12:44 am

    PS. Is there a need to deal with copying any documents before coming to Ecuador. Or all this can be taken care of right there, as it seems by the info given by the USA consulate

  • Idea Aug 21, 2010, 12:41 am

    Hello Brian and Dena,

    THANK YOU for your web site. I had already made up my mind about moving to Cuenca, Ecuador, before coming to your site. You have just helped me to make up my mind about selling everything. 🙂 So, thanks buddies 🙂 🙂

    I have a few questions, if you do not mind.

    1. Judged by the article above, one does not need to open a bank account in Ecuador. Is it correct? Is an USA account and credit cards enough? Well, at least for the first few months?

    2. Did you receive a residential visa before coming? Or did you just come on a tourist visa? I keep finding different information about visas on different blogs. Then, there is a lot of information on the web sites of the Ecuadorian Embassy and the American Consulate. Do I understand it correctly that it is perfectly OK to come with no visa, receive the tourist one, and to apply for a resident visa in Cuenca?

    3. The fantastic apt you mentioned renting for a fantastic price how far is it from the center?
    Do you have any suggestions of how to go about arranging all this for a single person? Better to stay in a hotel, to begin with? Rent some place for a month or a week? Or what?

    If you cannot answer all my questions, then please answer some 🙂 It is Ok to do via my email too. For anybody else who has answers, my email address is ideamerchant at gmail dot com

    • Bryan M. Haines Sep 6, 2010, 3:55 pm

      Hello Idea,

      Wow – thanks. Its great to hear that you're planning to come. Thanks for letting us know of our little share in your plans. Selling everything was the best way to go for us too.

      Sorry for the slow response. As you can see we have been in the midst of a full scale overhaul of our site. is now replacing Destination-Ecuador. Everything is the same but there is significantly more content on the way. This format allows us to cover topics other than just Ecuador.

      No, you don't need an Ecuadorian bank account. We withdraw directly from our USD bank account. The fee of $1.50 – is from the ATM here. Our American bank doesn't charge anything. We are planning to setup an account here later this month – just for convenience, but we have been here over a year and didn't need it. And credit cards are accepted at the major stores, and for some travel expenses – and that's it. We pay cash for almost everything here – in contrast to our previous Canadian life where we paid debit/credit cards for almost everything. You'll get used to having cash in your wallet again. . .

      For more information on visas, you should check with a lawyer. I recommend Idrovo & Velastegui Abogados here in Cuenca. A friend of ours works there. She is American and can help you out.

      For apartments, I think its best that you find a short term place to get started and then start shopping for a long term one – once you're here. The odds of finding an apartment that you want to live in – without seeing it first – is pretty low. There are some beautiful buildings and apartments here – but there are also a high percentage of odd ones too.

      Hope this helps.

      • Daphne Feb 23, 2014, 1:46 pm

        Thanks Idea for asking some of my questions and Thank you Brian for your response. I appreciate all the good information on this site. We are planning our move to Ecuador later this year. We are up to our necks in the “Sell Everything” phase. All though we are planning to settle along the coast, not Cuenca, there is still alot of good general Equador information here. After reading your blog on the Why and How of your move I am very curious of which Resident Visa you were able to obtain. If you don’t mind sharing.
        Thanks Again.

  • glenny Jun 29, 2010, 1:35 pm

    Hi! My husband and I are considering Ecuador as a retirement option. I'm just starting my research and would like to know as much as possible about Ecuador, it's people, best areas (not necessarily a large city) for retirees, etc. Do you need to buy a car Ecuador and are they expensive? My husband plays golf and my hobby is reading and pottery. Are these hard to come by? We do not feel that we can have a comfortable retirement here in the states and would like to find a place that is a little slower paced, interesting, safe to enjoy and relatively easy to navigate on the financial, real estate, etc. levels. Why did you choose Cuenca?

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