Moving to Cuenca/Shipping Companies
A clarifying answer from an expat is greatly appreciated.
1. Would it be feasible on our visit this year to get established by applying for a residential visa? Our goal is to live and stay there. We are in our 60s and retired.
2. What are the best companies to use for shipping?
3. Do expats just go there alone and start investigating the how to's? Or is there someone who can meet expats at the airport? We are now doing research and writing things down.
4. Is it possible to rent permanently a nice inexpensive house.
I'll answer your questions in order...
1. It's difficult to say what will be the current state of permanent residency visas and the application process, come the end of the year. The government started a new electronic system in late 2011, then moved the department to a different ministry. The new director then canned the entire new electronic system.
Based on current info and regulations, once you've received your residency, you can only be out of the country a total of 90 days in each of the first two years after receiving your cédula. So if you're thinking of establishing residency and then heading back home for an extended period, you won't be able to do that.
2. Wherever there's money to be made, people smell it and create a business for it. Two years ago, there were perhaps two companies helping people ship their household goods to Cuenca. Now there are at least five. I suggest that you ask for recommendations on the Ecuador Expats Facebook group (you'll have to request to join).
3. Some people do just show up and start investigating, although most have already done a lot of online research. A lot that's online is promotional, stating that Cuenca is nirvana, or Shangri-La, or some other form of perfection. It's far from perfect, and the best way to determine if it's for you is to plan to come for a month or so to find out if it's for you.
Lulie can meet you at the airport and help situate you here, if that's something you need. Use the contact form to reach her.
4. As you probably know, renting is never permanent, wherever you live. Here in Cuenca, there's a good chance of finding a very long-term rental, as Cuencanos invest in real estate instead of leaving their money in the bank. If the kids are all grown, then you may be able to find a house, although not many are inexpensive.
You'll need a lot of connections, and you'll need to do a lot of searching, to find an unfurnished house for less than $500 a month. You should definitely be able to find a nice one for under $1,000 a month, plus utilities.
Many parents buy properties with the plan to give them to one of the children when they marry. So be prepared to move some day if they still have younger and/or still unmarried kids.
I hope that gives you a better idea about moving to and living in Cuenca.
Click the Like button to share this page with your friends...