The first challenge after my wife and I decided to take an early retirement, was to determine where we wanted to live. After much research, we focused in on Ecuador and the coastal city of Manta. Since I had a few more months to complete a project I was working on, My wife decided to take an exploratory trip to verify if we have honed in on the right location. She came across Ecuadorian Coastal Properties by searching the web and based upon the professional feel of their website and the number of properties in our price range they had listed decided to contact the owner, Richard Parker.
That initial contact and subsequent experience that took place over the next several months is why we highly recommend Richard as your “go-to-guy” when considering either a primary or secondary residence in Manta and its surrounding areas. Our plan was to buy a beachfront condo and enjoy the benefits of gaining permanent residency using the Ecuadorian foreign investor program that the government offers. This was ideal was us as we are still both 5 years away from collecting Social Security in the USA. Kim (my wife) booked her flights to Manta and contacted Richard about her pending travel arrangements. From that phone call to today has been one seamless and stress-free series of steps.
Richard arranged for Kim to stay at a beautiful, reasonably priced and well-equipped rental condo for the duration of her stay in Manta, picked her up at the airport when she arrived, and made sure she was comfortably settled before laying out the plan for the remainder of her stay. It is important to note here that when you engage Richard, you also get to work closely with his partner ( son) Garrett Parker. By teaming with both of them you gain a different perspective of what Manta has to offer and what to expect when living in Ecuador on a full-time basis.
The other major benefit of dealing with the Parkers is that they come with a full network of resources required to support your move. Kim was introduced to a very prominent local immigration lawyer s well as the owners of a local moving and storage company. She was even introduced to a local maid and cook (mother and daughter) in case she wanted to employ those types of services. Richard and Garrett spent the next week showing Kim around and narrowing down what was available based upon her, my and yes even our dog’s needs!! Even though Kim did not find what she wanted, she knew that we would be happy in Manta and told Richard and Garrett that she would get back to them when so back to the States.
The next series of events are condensed into a timeline to help explain how easy things happen when you find yourself a trusted Real Estate agent and friend. We do not know if we were blessed by the “Gods of Retirement” and cannot guarantee of results! 1) My wife and I agreed that we would take the plunge and listed our house in South Carolina 2) Our house sold in less than a month. Turn up the heat and bring it on! 3) Booked our tickets to Manta and contacted Richard. Our plan was to rent for three months while looking for the perfect property. Richard arranged for this to happen 4) Richard had the immigration lawyer contact us to clearly articulate the documentation required prior to leaving the states (this step is mission-critical). 5) Richard had the moving and storage company contact us and set a date for packing and storing our goods until they could be shipped to Manta.
All costs for both services were upfront and actually come out to be both underestimate! 6) Arrived in Manta three months after selling our house, two cars, and estate selling two-thirds of our possessions. Hello Manta !! (8-week timeline) 1) Settled into our Rental Condo which was already supplied with the basic foods so we could relax before we could go grocery shopping. 2) Alternated between Richard and Garrett looking properties both in Manta and along the coastline. 3) Met our immigration lawyer to validate the documents that we brought were correct (they were) 4) Found our perfect piece of heaven, made an offer and it was accepted! 5) Closed on the Condo and moved in 30 days after our initial arrival. It was partially furnished so we did not have to wait for our goods from the States. Also, the paperwork to complete the deal is very simple compared to back home. 6) Bought dishwasher at discount through another contact of Richard and Garrett 7) Bought a car through the help of our lawyer and then he took care of all the paperwork for us and dropped it off at our front door. 8) Got our cell phones. The lawyer actually brought a Rep from the cell phone company to our rental condo to do the paperwork for us and then brought us the SIM cards the next day. 9) Opened a local checking account. Again the lawyer did all the leg work for us. 10) Applied for our residence cards. Like all the other steps, it was quick and effortless 11) Had custom local furniture made again at a deep discount! 12) Got our Permanent Residence cards. 13) Furniture arrived and professionally unpacked. I know that this may sound unachievable and I honestly think it would have been except for Richard, Garrett, and their network of friends.
To put this into perspective, Kim and I do not speak Spanish (which we are slowly starting to do) so the hurdle we faced was even more monumental than many other people would face if they knew the language! To add to this, we made many new friends through this process including Richard and Garrett of course. They taught me how to navigate the city, showed us where to eat and how to find certain amenities, went to the Vet with our dog, etc., etc. In all my years of selling and buying real estate, I have never worked with a team so vested into making what we would view as a basic financial transaction turn into a rewarding, fun, and stress-free adventure! We take it by now, that you probably understand the value proposition that Richard and Garrett bring to the table. Ecuadorian Coastal Properties is the only way to go when looking for your retirement or investment property and want a full-service Team to assist you! We have given Richard and Garrett our permission to use this testimonial and we would be pleased to talk to anyone who would like more information regarding how we made our dream come true! Kim, Ben, and Frances Bean the English Bulldog