What to Take, What to Leave

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Global | 1 comment

If you are like many expats, you have probably lived in the same area, maybe the same home, for 30 or more years. This is one of those instances where being a long-term homeowner is not necessarily a benefit unless you have a ton of equity. Those who have made some interim moves may have an advantage, in that they have been forced to discard some incredible amounts of “stuff” that is so easy to acquire over the years.

Most expats I have met have sold their homes in the U.S. once they have decided to move abroad. Then comes the decision whether to buy a new home where they are moving and ship their worldly goods via container, or sell it all and start over in the new home.

Selling It All

No, you can't bring it all Caroline Selfors
No, you can’t bring it all Caroline Selfors

I decided to sell my home and everything in it and moved here with three suitcases plus my small dog. I had moved many times before and shed much of my “stuff” previously.

Here are some of my experience-based suggestions.

If you decide you want to buy a home here in Ecuador, plan to rent for at least one year. There are ample fully furnished rental homes/condos/apartments at reasonable prices. It is going to take time to get used to your new surroundings and find the right area.

Also, real estate laws are very different here, and purchasing property has different ramifications.

Take that from a person who spent 20 years analyzing real estate transactions in the U.S. Having a good real estate attorney is a must, in my view.

Or Store and Ship

Everything in shipshape? by Noble Mitchell
Everything in shipshape? by Noble Mitchell

If you decide you want to bring your worldly goods along, you can store them in the States and have them shipped in containers when you have found the right home.

You can buy decent furniture can for a reasonable price in Ecuador, but appliances can be expensive, and even though we have 120V here, the electrical outlet capabilities can vary due to the age of the properties and other factors.

Another suggestion is to bring your computer(s), cell phones (unlocked), and other tech toys as they are also very pricey.

As I say often, all of these decisions are very personal. I have met many expats who have chosen different methods to get here and start their new life.

It is a part of the journey and can be extremely cathartic.

Let us know what you are thinking and as always, Bienvenidos!

by: Cathy McKay