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Long-term Accommodation in Quito

There is a variety of housing in Quito for every taste and budget. Most expatriates prefer to live in the neighborhoods surrounding the modernern, northern part of Quito. These include neighborhoods such as: La Floresta, Gu谩pulo, Gonz谩lez Su谩rez, Quito Tennis, near the shopping malls of El Jardin and Quicentro, or near Parque Carolina and Parque Metropolitano. However, the continued efforts to clean up and restore Centro Hist贸rico has made it a popular niche for expatriates who are attracted by the colonial architecture, beautiful plazas, and indigenous markets. In general, Centro Hist贸rico is cheaper than the Northern parts of the city. Families with children often choose to live in the valleys outside out of Quito like Tumbaco, Cumbay谩, and Sangolqu铆 where it is less-congested and some of the top international schools are located.

Long Term Hotel and Guesthouse Rentals

Casa Bambu (Monthly Rentals: $200-300)
A small hotel full of flowering plants, books, games, comfy couches, and outdoor patios with views. Located up a steep hill near Parque El Ejido and close to public transportation. Solano E-527 and Av. Colombia, Tel: 02-222-6738.

Casa Oriente (Monthly Rentals $120-140)
Located between the Centro Hist贸rico and La Mariscal with comfortable mattresses and a large top-floor patio, but unfortunately with a limited kitchen. Yaguachi and Llona, Tel: 02-254-6157, E-mail:

Apartamento Compartido (through Vida Verde school) (Monthly Rentals $200-300)
This group house is located in a residential neighborhood in the north of the city and has all of the basic amenities, including WiFi, for its foreign guests. Shorter stays can be arranged. Madrid E13-137 and Lugo, Tel: 02-252-4333.

A studio apartment for one person or a couple can be found fully furnished for $230 to $350 per month, while a fully furnished apartment for a family can range between $380 and $550 per month. A large family that needs a lot of space may pay between $650-1,000 per month depending on the neighborhood and the apartment itself. Cheaper options can definitely be found, however, through word of mouth, or if you want to furnish an apartment yourself. It is worth noting, however, that unfurnished apartments are really, truly unfurnished; you won't even find a refrigerator or stove in most. You will usually be asked for at least one month's deposit when you sign a lease.

The best place to find apartment listings is in the classified section of the newspaper El Comercio, although if you don鈥榯 speak Spanish you will most likely need a translator to assist you. Finding an apartment via the internet can be tough, though the best resources are:, and

Shared Apartment Rental:

A shared living situation can be a great way to make friends, learn Spanish, and save some money while exploring the city. For shared apartments, or rooms in a house with meals provided, look either at the message boards at the South American Explorers Club house, on their member website, or on message boards at the universities. Alternatively, or is another great way to network with locals or expats. A room in a nice house may cost anywhere from $100 to $250 per month.

Buying a House or Apartment:

El Comercio is the best place to begin looking for apartments or houses for sale. You can buy a modern apartment in either Centro Hist贸rico or the newer parts of the city starting at around $50,000 and in the valleys, houses can be found for $100,000. If you are planning on retiring or raising a family in Ecuador a large house with a pool, gardens, and a tennis court can be had for close to $350,000. On the lower end of the spectrum, nice condominiums are around $35,000.

The Property Buying Process:

With competent legal advice, the process for buying a home or an apartment is relatively simple in Ecuador. Keep in mind, however, that the process is very different than buying property in the US or Europe. Multiple listings, for example, do not exist in Ecuador which means your real estate agent will have no idea what is available in other cities throughout Ecuador, and sometimes not even what other agents in Quito have listed.

Real estate agents often are trained and certified, but many are also just friends of the owners, or people who speak both English and Spanish and recognized an opportunity for making money as an agent. It is recommended to use an agent, ideally one who is a realtor by profession, as many homes are sold by word of mouth and do not even make it onto the listings formally. Sometimes properties will be listed with multiple agents and occasionally at different prices, although that is happening less and less.

Buyer's agents are very common in Ecuador, which means they work solely for the buyers and charge the buyers a commission rather than the sellers. These buyer agents are often able to negotiate better deals and often have a better idea of what expatriates are looking for in a home or apartment.

If you can pay in cash, you can usually negotiate a better deal, and can sometimes pay only 70% or so of the asking price. Other transactions can usually usually be negotiated down about 5 to 10%.

Once you decide on a property, it is common for attorney notaries to ask for a deposit while they wait to receive the papers on the property and tax payments. The buyer and the seller then enter into an agreement of sale where the attorney notary holds onto the paperwork until everything is completed, and then the buyer transfers the money to the seller and the notary completes the transaction. The transaction is filed with the county and city, and the buyer receives the title shortly after transferring the money.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Quito: Maid Services In Quito, Pico y Placa, Education for Kids and Teenagers, Centro Historico Restaurants, Cafes & Bars, Centro Hist贸rico Hotels, History of Quito, Quito's Weather and Climate, Safety, Medical and Hiking Around Quito.

By Jason Halberstadt
After falling in love with Latin America and with teaching as an Instructor at Costa Rica Outward Bound in the mid-nineties, he settled down in Quito...
05 Nov 2013

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