gazebo2Will I have equity in the property or house?

No, but this does create tangible security! A place to live for several years no matter what happens in life or in the world. What you get is rent credit for building it forward. The good part of the deal is it is extremely low rent and locked in rates for the years it takes to complete the rent credit no matter how the market changes in rental rates rising, which is an issue in Ecuador as more foreigners move to this part of the world. Rental rates have doubled in only a year’s time.

The part that is a great deal for you is getting the rental value at half price, locked in rates for several years. The rental rate is frozen for the 3 – 4 ½ years you paid forward for, at an already low rate in the market value today, yet frozen for 3 – 4 ½ more years. This is an incredible value!

A small house in the country on a safe, huge hacienda is a rare thing in Ecuador. What a true opportunity indeed! Your own 2 bedroom house, safe and sound, in the countryside of Ecuador at $300 per month rent! Score! This way you don’t have to buy the land, do all the paperwork, hire the crew, be on the construction site, deal with land registrations and assessments, etc.

This is easy as pie! While you don’t get equity in the property, you get the ease of just paying rent forward and having a place you can count on as if you do have equity in it. While you can’t sell it and make money, you are getting double the value for your rent because you paid it forward.

Knowing you have a roof over your head in a peaceful, beautiful place where the cost of living is cheap, that’s something that feels reassuring. Knowing you are not locked in to it and can sell off the rest of your rent credit to someone else is also reassuring, just in case life changes direction.

Having your rent paid forward is a tangible asset, buying the monthly rental at an extra low rate, securing a safe and beautiful place to live for a period of time. You can’t use your money for anything more secure than that!

Will there be a legal contract?

Yes, documents will be notarized and fully legalized in Ecuador clearly stating the arrangement, what your rights are, what our commitments to you are, how long the contract is to last, etc. It will also state your right to continue renting if you want to after the period of rent paid forward is finished.

When the “rent paid forward” is finished, what then?

Continue to rent if you want to stay. You have first dibs! The new rental rate would be market value, though. What that rate is, it can’t be determined right now, but it will most likely be at least double depending on how inflation has risen.

If life changes direction and it is time to move on at the end of your “rent it forward” period, you will know that you got a great deal to be able to live in a beautiful paradise at $300 per month, literally half the market value, at a time of great economic uncertainty in the world!

Why is the rent so low?

That is our gift to you for paying it forward and building the place you will live in. Instead of giving a loan to us and getting interest, which is usually pretty low for investors, you get double the value in rent for the time you want to be here. You get double the value for your money and lock in a good living situation for yourself for a few years no matter what happens in your life or in the world. That is a good investment.

This is a great value for your own space in the paradise lushness of the Andes mountains in a safe situation. All this without being a yuppie, gated community all piled in too close to each other! This is a rare opportunity indeed!

When does the rent credit start?

It starts when you move in, not while it is being built. It will take 3 – 4 months to build the house, up to 6 months if you get too fancy and spend more, but your rent credit is not counted during that time. Only once you move in and it’s finished!

What if I have to move on sooner than my completion date of rent credit?

If you want to leave early, you will either be reimbursed if funds are available, you may sublet your house to other renters, or maybe someone else might buy out the rest of your share. Your credit is transferable.

If you decide to rent your place out, we can manage your rental for you. We just have to meet the person, and it will be fine. You can also rent to someone who is already renting a room in the community. There will be plenty of people who would want to rent your place. All we ask is that you not jack up the price to make money on it.

Are there rules?

Yes, there are a few rules just to keep everyone respectful to each other’s space, things like no nudity or drunkenness in public areas, be respectful of retreat events when they happen, no loud music, and keep all gates locked, that’s about it. Oh, and no screaming about Martians, either!

Do I have to be a Vegetarian?

No. You do not have to be a vegetarian. It is only the community area that is restricted to no meat cooking. If you want to cook meat at your own house, once you have one, that is fine. We ask that you NOT have outdoor barbeques, as it is a fire danger.

Can I use the hot tubs and sauna? What about utilities?

There is a monthly fee of $35 per month for unlimited use of the saunas and hot tubs, or $5 for day use. The cost of utilities is $50 per month for one person, $75 per month for two people. The prices of fuel, water and electricity fluctuate and change, so these prices are variable as time goes on. If you run an electric heater in your room, it is an extra $30 per month for the extra electricity, which is expensive in the country!

Can I have visitors?

Anyone can visit for a day, and even stay overnight for a night at your place twice per month. If your guest wants to use the spa, he or she would have to pay the day fee of $5. If he or she wants to participate in a retreat, but stays with you in your place, your visitor can get a 25% discount on the event or workshop retreat.

If you want to have a lot of visitors, a lot of repeated visits by one visitor, or a long stay of a visitor, let’s work something out on an individual basis. We have to be careful about anyone making an impact on the community with too many visitors too frequently, but we also want you to enjoy having guests! Don’t worry, it won’t be that much extra. We will work out something that feels fair to you.

What is the rent credit for two people living in a small house we build?

Rent credit is $350 for a couple living in the house. (Rent does not include utilities, $75 for two people, +$50 per electric heater.)­

Children?

At this time, Gaia Sagrada is not able to facilitate children safely, or educate them which is required in Ecuador. We hope that someday we can facilitate children, so check back!

Pets?

Cats are allowed but no dogs. Dogs tend to run around in packs and  make a lot of noise barking across the property at each other, so it just doesn’t work in small communities for everyone to have a dog separately. We have grandfathered in dogs so if you need puppy love, it’s already here!

Can I start my own garden?

There are two choices. You can have your own space, or be part of the community gardens. You can participate in maintaining the gardens, putting in equal hours with everyone else who is participating, and chipping in equal money for seeds and supplies.

Can I use the Community Center?

In order to access internet, you have access to the community center. The community kitchens are for people who do not have their own space for cooking, but if everyone is putting together a communal meal and you want to chip in and be part of it, you can participate that way if you want.

How do I Qualify?

We all have to get to know each other. You have to get to know Gaia Sagrada, and we have to get to know you before we can sign a long term agreement with you! Try it on for size for a little while and see how it fits for you. We just require a person to stay here in one of the rooms or apartment rentals for 3 – 6 months and see how you like it. If you stay for a while, you will know if it is right for you and we will know that you are a great fit too.

How Does It Start? How Does it Get Built? Do I have to be there for building?

If you decide you want to have your own place on the grounds of this secret paradise right outside of Cuenca, we can give you some pre-designed house plans to choose from, or you can make your own. Once everything is agreed on and ready, we have the guys who can build for you.

You can just show up when it’s done, or you can live in one of our rentals while you wait for it to be built. Keep receipts for everything you paid, you will write the checks for the workers who are working on your house, and that’s how much rent you paid forward. From start to finish, it takes between 3 – 4 months, 6 months if you get too fancy!

More questions? Just ask!

Email gaiasagrada@umsonline.org