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Real Estate

If you want to settle down in Ecuador for good, the process of buying a house is straightforward. "A buy/sell contract is drawn up defining both parties' obligations, a deposit is made, and the deed is transferred by a notario, a kind of super notary public who is also a trained lawyer," Prescher said.

Real estate prices are relatively low. "It is still possible to build new residential construction for under $100 per square foot. But remember, this is local construction... cement or red clay brick. There is almost no wood construction in Ecuador."

Mike Matthews Photography | Getty Images