Friday, February 19, 2010

Immersing Ourselves In The Culture

Thus far our trip to Ecuador has been spectacular and every day is filled with new sights and sounds. We knew that one of our main goals would be to immerse ourselves in the local culture in order to get a feel of what it would be like to live here on a day to day basis. For the past two days it has been our main focus to learn about the real estate in Cuenca. We have seen a lot of properties and we were quite surprised at some of the prices. Mom and Bob are looking for something to purchase in the very near future, while our plan remains for several years down the road.

A Bouquet Of Roses Only Costs $1.50

Beautiful Church Doors

It seems the raw land near the city is no cheaper than many places in the states and we have all agreed that we want to be close to the city for convenience. A lot of the houses we have seen in the nicer neighborhoods near downtown are quite expensive and still need a lot of renovation. In fact we have seen some houses in a state of disrepair that were asking the prices of houses you would find in the U.S. in much better condition. It is true though that if you want to purchase a brand new condo or apartment overlooking the river with granite countertops and plenty of square footage, you can get a much better deal than in the states.

The realtor has shown us a couple of properties in the downtown area that have really caught our eye. One of the properties is a huge 10,000 square foot building that is in serious need of renovation. We have nicknamed it the “Ruin,” but it has so much potential and a lot of historical architectural elements. This particular property would be a great investment as it could be turned into retail space as well as living quarters. Mom is really Gung Ho on this property and Rod has already volunteered to offer his remodeling expertise whenever we are visiting as this would be right up his alley.

The Ruin

Inside The Ruin

Another Scary Shot Of The Ruin

The Sky Light Over The Central Courtyard

The second property is just down the block and has five bedrooms and five bathrooms and a common living area all of which can be rented for $650.00 a month. The building has already been nicely renovated and is quite a deal.

The Rental

The Rental Kitchen

After a hard day of looking at properties, we returned to the hotel to freshen up and wait for Carlos to pick us up for dinner. Carlos arrived at the hotel with his adorable daughter Gabby. When we arrived at Carlose’s house his Brother Felipe and Sister-In-Law Maca were there as well. Both Maca and Felipe spoke very good English as they had lived in the States for quite some time. The evening was absolutely wonderful, we enjoyed good food, wine and we made new friends.

The Chefs Hard At Work

A Beautiful Meal Complete With Fresh Juice

Good Friends And Good Conversation

We all decided to invite Carlos, Gabby, Maca and Felipe out to dinner on Saturday to show them how much we appreciated their hospitality and they happily accepted.

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