Travels With Jim and Rita

Episode 11 - Navigating Real Estate and Retirement: A Look at Ecuador

March 29, 2024 Jim Santos, travel writer and host of the International Living Podcast Season 1 Episode 11
Episode 11 - Navigating Real Estate and Retirement: A Look at Ecuador
Travels With Jim and Rita
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Travels With Jim and Rita
Episode 11 - Navigating Real Estate and Retirement: A Look at Ecuador
Mar 29, 2024 Season 1 Episode 11
Jim Santos, travel writer and host of the International Living Podcast

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Embark with us, Jim and Rita Santos, on a reflective journey through our time on the sun-kissed shores of Salinas, Ecuador. Now, with suitcases almost packed, we're casting an eager gaze towards Mexico. We sit down with Kimberly Kagan-Campbell, our seasoned real estate guide from our Ecuadorian days, to delve into the shifting sands of safety and lifestyle in a place where the air is dense with sea salt and the government's firm stand against cartels. Our conversation spans the evolving tapestry of local haunts, from the buzz around a fresh burger hotspot to the unwavering charm of time-honored eateries, and we ponder the future of slow travel and distant property management—a lifestyle mosaic we're piecing together one adventure at a time.

Join us as we navigate the nuanced rental market of Salinas, contrasting the stability and choices we discovered against our Panamanian experiences. The real meat of our chat, however, is the intricate dance of managing rentals from afar and the cultural quirks that color our interactions with the warm-hearted locals. We'll also pull back the curtain on the latest real estate developments, questioning the impact of looming high-rises on the idyllic coastal skyline of Salinas. Whether you're a seasoned expat, a real estate aficionado, or simply a curious soul bitten by the wanderlust bug, our tales of international living and investment will serve up a hearty portion of insight and experience.

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http://jimsantos.net
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jim@jimsantosbooks.com

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Embark with us, Jim and Rita Santos, on a reflective journey through our time on the sun-kissed shores of Salinas, Ecuador. Now, with suitcases almost packed, we're casting an eager gaze towards Mexico. We sit down with Kimberly Kagan-Campbell, our seasoned real estate guide from our Ecuadorian days, to delve into the shifting sands of safety and lifestyle in a place where the air is dense with sea salt and the government's firm stand against cartels. Our conversation spans the evolving tapestry of local haunts, from the buzz around a fresh burger hotspot to the unwavering charm of time-honored eateries, and we ponder the future of slow travel and distant property management—a lifestyle mosaic we're piecing together one adventure at a time.

Join us as we navigate the nuanced rental market of Salinas, contrasting the stability and choices we discovered against our Panamanian experiences. The real meat of our chat, however, is the intricate dance of managing rentals from afar and the cultural quirks that color our interactions with the warm-hearted locals. We'll also pull back the curtain on the latest real estate developments, questioning the impact of looming high-rises on the idyllic coastal skyline of Salinas. Whether you're a seasoned expat, a real estate aficionado, or simply a curious soul bitten by the wanderlust bug, our tales of international living and investment will serve up a hearty portion of insight and experience.

Support the Show.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/2292506/supporters/new
https://www.jimsantosbooks.com
http://jimsantos.net
https://www.youtube.com/@jimsantos508
jim@jimsantosbooks.com

Jim Santos:

Welcome to Travels with Jim and Rita. I'm your host, jim Santos, and in this podcast series you can follow along as my wife Rita and I work out our crazy plan to outfox the real estate market in the US and actually increase our retirement nest egg by spending the next three years or so living abroad and exploring the world. Are we bold, forward thinking pioneers or just plain nuts? Let's find out together, shall we? Hello everybody, and welcome once again to Travels with Jim and Rita. I'm Jim Santos.

Rita Santos:

And I'm Rita Santos.

Jim Santos:

And we thank you for joining us for this podcast. Pardon the interruption, but we're experiencing a bit of time travel conundrum here. I should explain quickly before we start. This episode was recorded while we were still in Panama, but it made more sense to bump up last week's episode covering a bit of a rebuttal about our Playa Coronado discussion in episode eight. So this is Future Jim in Knoxville for almost two weeks now and with some big news for you at the end of this episode. So, through the magic of podcasting, let's turn things back over to past, jim and join him and Rita back in Playa Coronado. Now we're still in Panama as we record this, but when this episode airs we'll be back in Knoxville, tennessee, hopefully dealing with the sale of our house and the thousand of little things that we have to deal with before we head to Mexico. Rita, how do you think you'll do after 10 weeks of summer weather back in the changeable climate of East Tennessee?

Rita Santos:

Oh, that could be a problem, but I think it's not. It's around sixties, I think, right now, probably probably around off and on.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, we haven't been any colder than 75 here, though, so still going to take some adjustment.

Rita Santos:

I know Not my favorite to be cold.

Jim Santos:

Well, today our topic is Ecuador, a place we came to love during the six years or so that we lived there, and a place that's been in the news lately and not in a good way. To give us an idea of what things are like in our old hometown of Salinas, on the Pacific Coast, we're turning to a former neighbor and the real estate agent who sold us our condo over 11 years ago Kimberly Kagan- Campbell. She's president and owner of Island Estates International, which you can find at ieiequador. net . Kim, welcome to Travels with Jim and Rita and thanks for joining us today.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Thank you for asking.

Jim Santos:

You, of course, as I mentioned, were our agent in Salinas 11 years ago, when we bought in there and you had already been in Salinas for a while. How long have you been in Ecuador now? 15 years this year 15 years, and what brought you there to begin with?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

I was president of an international brokerage company in Chicago, downtown Chicago, and my job was to go to different countries and open projects there for us to sell. Then, when it was completed, I was always there for the final part.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

so I was there for the best parts of it, the beginning at the end and the end of the work in between, when every time I would land in Brazil or Costa Rica or whatever, I kept thinking, oh my gosh, people live in this climate year round. I'm heading back to Chicago and hopefully we don't crash into something on the ice, when I always thought, someday I want to live the second half of my life in another country that's warm most of the time. That's what started it.

Jim Santos:

Well, it certainly is that in Salinas.

Rita Santos:

That's what brought us there actually too, Jim.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, just nice weather year round. Those 15 years you've seen a lot of changes in Ecuador. What's it like there now with all of the things going on? That's in the news right now.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Well, it's humorous because January 9th, when the president declared a state of war whatever he called it against the cartels, I had two clients that were coming in that day. One was flying in and one was coming in on a cruise ship from Manta into Manta. The cruise ship got turned away so they weren't allowed to come in. Oh my gosh, yeah, if you could believe that this was the first time this couple had ever been here. So talk about ridiculously terrifying. But anyway, they ended up being the only client I had that canceled and didn't come. They just continued with their cruise and went around to Argentina and whatever. They could have come back, but they were afraid the media actually hurt Ecuador more than Ecuador.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Is that way you guys have been here sometimes when the package is outside of here, it makes it sound like it's some terrible thing. The other client just didn't fly in that day but came in after, so it wasn't a big deal. But what's happening here is, honestly, we've got a new president. The new president is a young man in his 30s. He took over in October and he has a real passion to stop the cartel. I mean he doesn't drugs here.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

So he's enacted this curfew at night. It started at 11 o'clock at night and now he's got it at midnight, which is the most wonderful thing here, because everything is set down at midnight, which is where it should be. Right, he's keeping those. My father always said nothing good happens after midnight. So true, that's true. So I love the fact that this president is not afraid to go after this. They've done a lot of so. For a person living here, unless you're selling drugs or trying to compete with these drug people, life is wonderful here. The weather has been amazing. You hear about, oh my god. There's crime, sure, but not on the coast, and they're not just what. I love. This sounds terrible, but they don't walk into a place and randomly shoot everyone in the place. I mean, if they're going, if they do shoot anybody. These cartels are after each other. So fine, yeah.

Rita Santos:

Now shooting everybody in the place is the US, correct?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Correct, so they don't. You know people are like don't you feel unsafe? No, I feel 100% safer here, but then again I'm from Chicago, so there's not too many. You know I yeah no, it doesn't happen anywhere though. Yeah, un, הכ, it could happen anywhere and it really isn't. It isn't as bad as the media makes it out to be, it's not at all.

Jim Santos:

So you're not seeing things like shortages in the grocery stores or no produce in the Mercados or anything like that.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

None of that, none of that good.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, it seems to me that when we were there, no matter what was going on in the capital, everything was always business as usual in Salinas, on the coast.

Rita Santos:

I mean it's a resort community.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yeah, I mean I go to Guayaquil. Because I have to for business. Or I was yesterday I was in Olon for business. There is no fear, there's no people worried about or any of that at all.

Rita Santos:

We were never afraid there, not at all.

Jim Santos:

Now. There was a brief time, though, when they were not allowing planes to land.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yeah, I'm, you're talking about this year this year yeah yeah, just the beginning of January, that January 9th Um thing was the only, and they and you know, and rightly so, he was making a stand and that's what he was doing. I mean even the television station thing that happened. I mean, those crazy people you know, take over a television station and and within hours, all 13 of them, or however many it was, are arrested and brought in. So they're like the dumbest people.

Rita Santos:

Yeah, really, let's get, let's get televised yeah.

Jim Santos:

So do you have any advice for people who are thinking about coming to Ecuador, areas they should avoid? Or is it better to fly into Guayaquil or into Quito? You know what there?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

I don't believe there's any issue flying into either place. I would say, as I've always said, I wouldn't just get into a random cab, although I do believe that the cabs at the airport are Secure there, you know, they're tested, they're checked and whatever but they just charge way more. So I would say, if somebody was coming to Ecuador, to let us know, because what we would do is send a driver to pick you up and the driver would bring you here or wherever you're looking to go. So no, there's. People are flying in and out of Guayaquil and Quito every day.

Jim Santos:

like six years or so ago. Is the expat population grown any during that time?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yes, unbelievably, it's still growing. I have yet to have anybody leave Because they're worried, or you know people leave like they did when you guys were here. They leave whether they have new grandchildren they didn't have before, or they have gotten sick and they want to be with their family while they're going through treatments or whatever, or they have an aging parent and they have to go back. But there's been nobody that said I'm getting out of here because things are at all. In my opinion, things are better here, so Good.

Rita Santos:

I have to say I miss it. It was a fun, tom. Yeah, actually for this winter.

Jim Santos:

Our main goal was to get away from cold for the winter months, and the only reason we went to Panama rather than Ecuador is because we hadn't been to Panama yet.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yeah, and how's that Hot?

Jim Santos:

It's hot. It seems hotter here than it was in Salinas. Have you been having days in the low 90s there? I think we've hit 90 a couple days.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

But the worst thing is, this year has been the worst year for humidity. Oh really, yeah which is unusual, as you know. I mean, we used to say there's no humidity, which that's not true either, but this has been the highest humidity year, so it's gone into the upper 80s a lot. And then if you add humidity to it, it's. You know, it's warm, it's warm, but that's unusual for us. That's the problem here.

Rita Santos:

The humidity is just drenching all the time. Yeah, we were in Panama City for a month and that was pretty interesting.

Jim Santos:

There was a lot to do and you know it was an interesting place to be kind of a beautiful area.

Jim Santos:

And we've been out on the coast at Playa Coronado for about five weeks now and it was a little disappointing because we kind of had Salinas in mind so we thought there'd be mercados we could go to, we could go pick up fresh fish and there'd be all these restaurants that we could go to that would have some great seafood and really hasn't been like that. It's more of a. There are a lot of expats here, but they're more interested in a couple of golf courses and basically just hanging out by the pool.

Rita Santos:

Okay, yeah, they're not really they're not really integrated with the community at all, it's just they stick with themselves and that's pretty much it.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yeah, you're right, it is. That is much different here, and there's so many new restaurants here, really.

Rita Santos:

That was. That was a wonderful thing about Salinas.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, we have two, the food was great yeah we have two restaurants.

Rita Santos:

And a mediocre.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, one semi Italian and the others basically bar food.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

No, they've got. I mean, we have a new burger place that opened up. It's called 514 or yes, single Couture say, or something, but the guys from Montreal and that's the area code 514. So that's how he gets his name. But his restaurant, his burgers, are unbelievable. I mean like really good. And he's located right next to where the Cologne hotel, you know right the building. There's actually a sushi place there now and that place and something else I don't know. I haven't gone to the other one, but there's a new gym that opened up at the bar, so low, that whole first floor where the sushi place used to be, that's now a gym and a lot of people are going to that because it's all new, all the equipment's new. Anyway, Salinas is doing really well, really well.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, we would like to stop there again, but it's just right now. There's so many other places that we haven't been yet. We want to see. But you know, I don't know if you've had a chance to listen to other parts of the podcast or seen the article on international living this month, but Rita and I are in the process of trying to sell our house in Knoxville and then spend the next two, three years or maybe longer just traveling around with no real fixed address.

Rita Santos:

How cool That'll be fun.

Jim Santos:

It's called slow travel and there seem to be more and more people doing that. We've been interviewing a few on the show already. So if we were looking at coming to Selenus and wanted to stay like between one and three months, what's the current rental market like there?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Well, it's, I mean honestly, depending on the time of year you come, but we have there are the issue with rentals is there's so many on the market? I have 413 rentals, If you can even believe that oh my.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

God, and they're not all in Selenus, they're not over the country, but the vast majority of them are here and they, I mean I've had a really good. We had a really good season. I mean, a lot of the units were rented, but there's what's nice is for the tenants, there's a lot of choices and the prices haven't changed. I mean, I've got a client that rents in the Portofino building every year and their rent has been 1500 for the last four years because we haven't raised it, because there's a lot of competition, so the owner doesn't want to take a chance on losing them Right? So, and you know, I just rented a two bedroom, two bath in the Castel Mare, which is a new building in San Lorenzo. It's built in 2018 and the tenant paid 500. It's a year long lease but that's pretty cheap.

Jim Santos:

Right.

Rita Santos:

Oh, yeah, yeah, but you know, we, we were in Panama City, was it a thousand?

Jim Santos:

Even with the Airbnb and the cleaning fee. It was, I think, 1156, something like that for the month.

Rita Santos:

Yeah, so it was for a month.

Jim Santos:

That was a one bedroom, one bath. But yeah it was right on Avenida Balboa, where you're looking right out at the Pacific.

Rita Santos:

You're right on the Malicon, so near the fish market and the veggie market, which which we love. And then Casco Viejo was there too, which was nice, but it's hot and humid, very. I can't believe I'm saying that.

Jim Santos:

So, without many places on the market, there are still people that are renting short term, like one to three months.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Oh yeah, oh yeah, constant. I mean I even had a call today for two days. I have a crazy house in San Lorenzo that'll rent for nightly, which kills me. It's a house with a pool, so they get 350 a night, but still, you know, it's, there's a, yeah, there's, yeah, there's still places people rent for short term. I mean, I had a guy here last week. He was just looking for rentals and his friend was looking to purchase and they stayed in a condo in the Aquamera for a week. They paid 220 for the week, which was really cheap, oh my.

Jim Santos:

God, yes. Now, a problem that we've seen in a lot of places, especially tourist areas, is that they're kind of being overrun by Airbnb's, that people are finding that they can get more money if they go through Airbnb rather than than a rental agent. Is that area becoming an Airbnb area or is it still mostly just you know, arranging a rental deal with the, with the landlord?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

I believe that Airbnb has properties here, but the I have owners that, actually a couple owners that'll use Airbnb also but what they've found is they don't like the fact that nobody is checking the place. I mean, like when we do an, you know, when we put somebody in a unit, we are checking them in, we go through the inventory, we do. You know all that stuff and with Airbnb they were finding you know things afterwards. I'm like you know, we, you rented at Airbnb and now there's two towels that are missing. Oh, yeah.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Nobody's. But see the thing is nobody's doing an inventory because they're not. So now I it's kind of hilarious. I have Airbnb clients that have. They pay me the 10% fee that we charge to check someone in and check them out because they want the unit looked after. They want, you know, they still want.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

You know, obviously the advantage of Airbnb for a tenant is that you don't pay anything, it's all included. You just make one payment. You typically, if you rent a month or two or three, you're going to pay the electric and the water. I mean, we make it convenient, they can pay right in our office so they don't have to. You know, a tenant doesn't have to run to the electric company or anything but but still you're, I think. I think some people like the Airbnb option because they can run the air and go to the beach and leave it on all day.

Jim Santos:

Right.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

I mean as an owner. I mean I own. I don't know if I told you guys I bought another condo in the Alamar, a little one bedroom on the 15th floor that I rent out and I I've done I can do Airbnb also and I found that's good. I mean the people are, you know, they keep the unit nice and whatever else. But I'm not checking inventory because I don't care. I mean I don't take off with my TV but but I mean I just don't think it's a but for an owner. You know there's some peace of mind and I'm in that unit all the time because it's in the same building, you know, so I can watch it.

Rita Santos:

Well, that would be a problem. Like, like us, the reason we want to sell our house is there's nobody in that area. That's family we. We don't have anybody who would come and check, you know right, so we couldn't run it out. So, yeah, that would be a problem. I would think for absentee landlords, that they For Airbnb absentee landlords I, we couldn't do that right and that's what they're fine.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

But by the same token, I believe people will tell me I'm at my, I'm at an Airbnb, and you know, then they look for me, they look with me for property, that People that come every year. They don't want to do that, they want someone that if I, if they call me, there's someone there that'll fix their air conditioner or whatever. You know what I mean right, right, right, right. And I mean I believe if they called the owner of an Airbnb, they'd fix it too, because they'll get a bad review otherwise. But I don't know. It's not the answer to your question, jim. I'm sorry it took 10 minutes To answer. It is that I don't. I I believe Airbnb is happening here, but it's not knocking out what we're doing.

Jim Santos:

Yeah right. Yeah yeah, I wouldn't be so sure about getting those air conditioners fixed, because that's exactly the problem. We had here the first two weeks. We spent a lot of that waiting for, you know, guys to show up to to try to repair the air conditioners.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yep, and you know here, these guys, that my air conditioning guys, my, you know, javier, I mean those people, I'm pretty much their salary, you know. So even if it's six o'clock at night, they're showing up. Yeah, they know that, you know they don't want me to switch to somebody else, or they, you know anyway. Yeah, so now it's, that part is really good.

Jim Santos:

So that is nice that you had a unit that's in the same building, like we did when we were there. But a lot of the Airbnb owners are not in the country Like the unit we're in now. They're actually in Canada and they're relying on somebody local to handle things, and that doesn't always work out.

Rita Santos:

Well, there's a lot of Canadians in this building lights that they're snowbirds.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

That's pretty much all that's here right now is Canadian, yeah it's the same.

Rita Santos:

It's the same. Here, I mean I am. I mean there are some People from the US, but, man, I'm telling you, it's mostly snowbirds.

Jim Santos:

Now you mentioned that the prices can change depending on the time of the year. If you come down in the off season, what kind of money can you expect, to say, because even in the off season the weather is pretty nice there?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yeah, well, like the in the Alamar, which, of course, where you guys lived also the unit right below me she typically would get like 1500 during high season, but last year she took a year-long lease for 963. Wow, she wanted to make sure like she was actually 800 plus her eliquid as her HOA fee, but anyway, so off season I mean they people they really will negotiate well, because there's a lot of them. That's the problem, there's too much inventory. So, yeah, people, buyers, and same with selling buyers are getting some fantastic deals because there's a lot on the market and they're just Shooting offers at them and sometimes yeah.

Jim Santos:

Now you mentioned some other locations where you had rentals available along the coast or in the cities.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

I have, like I had a call today. This lady wants me to list her place in. Why you kill, you know, because I've been here 15 years. The Ecuadorians, once you sell or take it, rent or whatever to their family, their entire family calls you, you know. So yeah, I have listing. I have rentals in Quito. I've never even been there and I mean. I've been, though, but I haven't been to the rental Okay.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

But they, because they trust me and you know I always have to say to them Do you have somebody that could let them in and let them out? Because I can't. I mean I'm not gonna fly to.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Edmonton. But I just had a call today from an owner I've dealt with for years. She owns a condo here in the peninsula and she wants me to handle her rental in. Why a keel? So I said, fine, send me pictures and everything, but someone else has to put them in because I won't drive to. Why a keel? On a regular. But you know, I was in Olón yesterday. I just listed a beautiful house right on the ocean 3000 a month, literally on the ocean in Olón. And you know they've got beautiful lots up there. That water is awesome, the beach is great. They've owned the house since 2007. They're actually originally from Illinois also, but so I just met with them yesterday. So, yeah, I get, I get a lot of Rentals up and down because and she was doing it herself, but she didn't like the she wants to be, she wants a barrier between her and the tenant, she wants somebody to facilitate her.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

And yeah, because they say things like hey, I bought something and I'd like you to reimburse me for it. No, and she's like she can't say no, you know what I mean, but I sure can, so don't worry.

Jim Santos:

Is she Ecuadorian?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

No, she's from Illinois, but oh, the tenants from the States also. But they come every year and rent from her. And now I mean it's hilarious because at 3000 a month they're like we just assume you take care of this, we'll pay you the 10% because we don't wanna deal with it. There comes a point. When they moved here she was in her 40s. Well, now she's like I just wanna be able to read and do. The owner lives in Ecuador, but they live in Otavalo, so they kept both places.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

They like the mountains, like the coast.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, yeah, Okay. Yeah, I was asking because when we were there, we noticed that Ecuadorians also don't like to say no.

Rita Santos:

Right, no, they don't, but man, they're such sweet people. Panamanians are a little bit more standoffish than the Ecuadorians.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Okay, I didn't know.

Rita Santos:

I feel that way, Do you, Jim a little.

Jim Santos:

I think the biggest difference here is that you have to say Buenos Dias first. Yes you have to speak first, always. Yeah, if you speak first, then they'll smile and say Buenos Dias. But in Ecuador it seemed like everybody.

Rita Santos:

Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Jim Santos:

Yeah.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Just yeah, I love that, I do too but it's hilarious If you're walking down the street and you and I are talking and you pass and people, you have to say Buenos Dias to all 10s, so you're stopping your conversation. I'm not Good morning, good morning, good morning, but you know what?

Rita Santos:

That is so positive and so uplifting to me. I just think that's great.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yeah, yeah.

Jim Santos:

I guess that's why they shorten it to just Buenos Most of the time, it's just Buenos.

Rita Santos:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jim Santos:

Is there any more building going on? I know when we were there, Chipipe had some new structures going up.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Oh my God, you know what's happening between the Alamar and the Aquamera. They're gonna put a building on that. The vacant lot.

Jim Santos:

Really on that little piece Now wait until.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Okay, this will blow you away. It is going to be a 40 story building, what I'm not kidding. The highest building here is 24. The Perla Sule, a cross from Aquamera. I don't know if you were if that had started when you guys, because it takes him four years to finish a building, but Perla Sule is the newest one and it's across the street from Aquamera, On the opposite side.

Rita Santos:

Oh no, they had started that, I think, when we were there.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Beautiful building and he did a really nice pool in the front instead of in the back, so it's very popular because you can sit in the Jacuzzi and look at the ocean which is small. Yeah, that's only about 12 stories too, wasn't it? No, it's 24 stories. Oh, that one is Okay. Yes, it probably started then. You probably saw it when it was 12.

Rita Santos:

Yeah, I probably did. It went all the way up.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

It's this there are two tall buildings here in Salinas, the Tibu ron and that Perla Sule, and they're both 24, but they're doing a 40 story building between these two and it's gonna be like steps, so like it goes up, and then there's a level and then up, and then a level and up, which is good in that the people in the Aquamera should be able to see the ocean still, because it's not like a building going right up the side of it. You know what I mean.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

It's gonna be a step and from what I understand the steps, different levels and I don't know how many. Maybe it goes up five and then a step and then five, I don't know there's gonna be a pool and level. Wow. So partially, partially, I'm terrified because I think 40 stories that close to the beach, with that many, I don't know, I mean I, I assume they know what they're doing, but you know, you never know, for I think it's ridiculous. It's going to imagine the skyline when that 40 goes above these guys that are, you know, 20.

Rita Santos:

Yeah, yeah.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

It's going to be a little insane, but anyway, that's the story. We'll see if it happens.

Rita Santos:

Yeah, maybe they won't, maybe they won't make it, be that I mean with all the high waves sometimes. That would see how that's weird that they're doing that.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Well, think how deep you have to dig. I mean my hands. Yes, I mean I can't even imagine. I mean I think you're going to run into ocean. Yeah, I think so too. I mean maybe the swimming pool will end up being in the basement. I don't know, but it seems like crazy to me. But he hasn't had anything new. They did the Bahia and the peninsula and then a Punta Pacifico at the end by the military and there's a Punta Pacifico next to it. But that's all the construction right now in Chpepe on the beach.

Jim Santos:

I mean, okay, One of the things that is really nice about Ecuador is that there's really no bad time of the year to go there, because the weather is pretty decent on the coast all the time and it's pretty decent in the mountains all the time. Do you have any idea what the rental markets are like in Cuenca? Or you mentioned Otavalo, Cotacachi and those areas in the mountains?

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

The only one I can talk with some intelligence about is Cuenca, and I can say that because people who can't handle the altitude they go there. They love the city but they can't handle the altitude. They end up coming here and they're shocked by how much more expensive it is on the coast to rent. So I know I get all the time how you could get a three bedroom for 400 or 500 or something in Cuenca. So I understand their rental market is much cheaper than the coast. I am going to Otavalo with. We've rented nine rooms and a 10 room hostel in April. There's a group of us that are going and that'll be the first time. That'll be the second time I've been to Otavalo, but we're going to Cotacachi and whatever and I might have more information for you then. Right at the moment I don't know about those areas.

Jim Santos:

Okay, yeah, those are beautiful areas and Cotacachi is a little bit lower than Cuenca.

Rita Santos:

Yeah, Cuenca actually makes me. I have a hard time in Cuenca. I do, but I don't in Cotacachi.

Jim Santos:

Yeah, so you can save money, as long as you don't mind not breathing for a little while.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

Yeah, well, I mean, even we were in Baños. A group of us went to Baños in January and Crenner remember Crenner and Valerie that owned Second Street. Yes, crenner had some problems with the altitude in Baños and I, you know I, but you know everyone's sensitive to like some people can't go out on a boat, you know, without being right Right. So I mean, everyone's a little different and here it's not like crashing waves when you go out on a boat here, but some people have an issue. So yeah, he had an issue with that.

Jim Santos:

We've been talking with Kimberly Kagan Campbell about Ecuador and Salinas and some of the other locations there as slow travel destinations. You can find out more about available rentals at her website, ieiequador. net . That's I-E-I-E-C-U-A-D-O-R dot net. Kim, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today, and maybe we'll make it back to Salinas one day.

Kimberly Kagan-Campbell:

For sure, that would be great.

Jim Santos:

Thank you so much for the opportunity Before we go. This is Future Jim back in Knoxville, with a quick recap on where we stand on our quest to sell our home and hit the road. There has been a big and scary step taken. We've accepted an offer on our house. The home inspection was just last week. Everything looks like it's all good with the buyers. A couple more steps to go through, but if all goes according to schedule, it means we will be officially homeless on April, the 18th.

Jim Santos:

So we've been going through the process of first getting rid of things we don't want to hang on to, deciding what we need to pack up and put in storage, picking out things that we might want to try to sell and, of course, finding and securing the storage space. A big debate we're still having is what to do with our car. Every slow traveler we've talked to has said that when they return to the US for visits, renting a car is the most expensive part of the trip. Should we store it for nine months or so? What kind of shape would it be in after that time? Fortunately, we don't have to deal with that right away. We'll have just nine days between closing and our scheduled trip to Mexico, so we plan on visiting our daughters and their kids for about a week, then returning to Knoxville to store the car for the five weeks we are south of the border. When we return from Mexico, we'll have some doctor visits to take care of in early June and then we're off to see our sons, First in Oklahoma and then we are a house and cat sitting for the other son in Carmel, Indiana, for about five weeks. We plan to spend the rest of the summer visiting friends and family, so we probably won't have to make a sell or store decision on the car until August.

Jim Santos:

Any suggestions from you would be appreciated. Well, that's it for this week. Thanks for listening to Travels with Jim and Rita. Please like and follow and promote on social media so we can keep on growing. And if you have any questions or comments or you want to tell us about your slow travel experience, email me at jim@ jimsantosbooks. com. And don't forget, you can find my books, audiobooks and short stories on Amazon at jimsantos. net. Until next time, this is Jim Santos for Travels with Jim and Rita, reminding you we travel not to escape life but so that life does not escape us.

Exploring Retirement Abroad in Ecuador
Rental Market in Salinas
Exploring Rentals and Construction in Ecuador

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