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Those who own real estate and have experience with homeowners' associations in the States know that they often come with their share of headaches. Collecting dues and making sometimes controversial financial decisions can create contention or even downright hostility among the members.  As many expats live in gated communities in Ecuador, HOA's are a fact of life for many living here.

Live in or Outside of Town?

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Cotacachi is a small town.  That makes it very easy to get anywhere easily on foot.  Unless you are carrying things, it is usually not necessary to ever take a taxi in town.  Just be sure to plan on plenty of time for stopping and visiting with friends along the way.  While there are some housing developments located in town such as Primavera I and Primavera II, many of the expat gated communities are found outside of town.  Is it better to live in or outside of town?

Casa de los Suenos Housing Development

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Sneak peak of the construction of the Casa de los Suenos development in Cotacachi.  More information can be found on the "Homes for Sale" section of this website.

Real Estate On The Rise

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It's no wonder why real estate has been selling so quickly. Cotacachi has sunny days and pleasant temperatures consistently, and there are more businesses opening all the time. Recently, an older development has experienced a sort of renaissance. San Miguel has always been a desirable community with its lovely houses and private walled yards surrounded by mountain views. Now with many new expats in town, more people are realizing its specialness. So much so that three homes and two vacant lots have been resold in the past two months.

Jahua Pacha

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After we had lived in Primavera II for about 6 months, we had the opportunity to purchase a townhouse in a new development called Jahua Pacha, about 2 miles outside of town. The word Jahua Pacha in Quichwa, the language of the indigenous people, means “heaven” and the townhouses are in a truly spectacular location. Built on the mountain side, there are amazing views of both Cotacachi and Imbabura volcanos. We bought the property 4 months before its scheduled completion and were able to move in at the end of February, 2010.

First Apartment

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Since arriving in Cotacachi 15 months ago, Angela and I have lived in four different places. Our first apartment at Primavera II is about 1,100 square feet and has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a terrace. It is difficult to imagine how long it takes to fully furnish and decorate a new apartment here. In the States, it is possible to go to two or three different stores and have everything that you need delivered right to your door. Not so in Ecuador. Everything is painstakingly slow and requires going to multiple stores to get everything that you need.


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Often you will find websites touting fully furnished rentals in Cotacachi for as little as $250 - $300 per month. My wife and I were offered a job managing rental properties for a period of time after we arrived in Cotacachi and learned a great deal about the rental market. Our experience has been that those rentals in the lower price range lack the amenities that many people expect, including hot water, safe wiring, and comfortable furniture. Often, they are located on noisy residential streets with a chorus of barking dogs.

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