A Four-Bedroom Contemporary Home in Ecuador
Perched at the eastern edge of El Cajas National Park, a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve, this contemporary home sits on four undulating acres outside of Cuenca, Ecuador’s third-largest city.
With the 110-square-mile park as its backdrop, the four-bedroom, three-bath house “is isolated and surrounded by nature,” said Ashley Rogers, founder of Ecuador At Your Service and the listing agent. “But in less than 30 minutes, you can be at dinner or the symphony in Cuenca.”
The sellers worked with the Cuenca architect Sergio Zalamea to create “a modern house with nature inviting you in, but a home that’s private, safe, and secure,” Ms. Rogers said. Its design includes underground tanks for fuel and water storage, and a discrete 818-square-foot apartment beneath the 1,830-square-foot main home.
CuencaHighLife, an English-language news site. “It’s a cultural center with a rapidly rising level of sophistication, and it’s relatively comfortable if you don’t speak Spanish,” he said. “You have the big-city advantages without the megacity problems.”
Mariscal La Mar International Airport, about 1.5 miles east of central Cuenca, connects with Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador’s two largest cities.
MLS-Ecuador, an English-language listings and data site.
“It’s a seller’s market if you’re selling to foreigners,” he said. “But for local buyers, who make up most of the market, there’s too much inventory.”
Before the pandemic, “the expat community was mostly retirees seeking small apartments in the low $100,000s,” said Xavier Amoroso, owner of the HouseHuntEC agency in Cuenca. (Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its national currency in 2000.) Most preferred to live in the downtown historic district, the surrounding “new town,” or in condos along the banks of the Tomebamba River. But a wave of younger and wealthier buyers is increasing demand for homes in rural areas, Mr. Amoroso said: “They don’t want condos. We have beautiful mountains here with animals and nature. With a detached house, you can see it from your garden.”