After launching their InstaCasa modular-housing project, Nick and Santiago re-branded all their businesses under the one umbrella of InstaCasa. However, formerly operating as the Vilcabamba Real Estate Company, they have been receiving glowing references from property buyers and sellers alike, since all the way back in 2008. Feel free to scroll through the assorted testimonials below, at your leisure ... additionally, you can click through to our 38 five-star Google Business Reviews, or to the 4.7/5 rating of the 49 Reviews on our Facebook Page, where we have almost 10,000 followers. Enjoy! 🙂

Nick and Santiago, of InstaCasa Real Estate, came highly recommended to my family, by friends in Vilcabamba when we asked them for help finding a trustworthy realtor to help us find our dream home. From the start, Nick was extremely helpful providing all the information we needed and more, in order to feel prepared to start the process of buying our home. He spent many hours with us looking at homes while we were staying in Vilcabamba, a process we all really enjoyed. Though we did not end up purchasing one of those homes, Nick and Santiago have continued to be gentlemen and we would also highly recommend them to anyone ... especially future expats searching for a home in Vilcabamba. Having Nick and Santiago to help you will make everything so much easier ,especially if your Spanish isn't the best yet.

April, 2019
Paige Soberger -
United States

There are two reasons my wife Dianna and I wrapped up our first visit to the Vilcabamba region filled with more knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of all it offers than when we arrived.

The reasons? Nick Vasey, and VREC.

Nick offers a lot more than the usual real estate jargon and cookie-cutter questions. He takes time to go beyond the “How many bedrooms, condo or single-family, in-town or outside” series of standardized items on the sheets passed out in Real Estate 101 classes.

He actually took time to get to know us. Before he ever showed us any properties, we had dinner and spent a delightful couple of hours talking about the area, lifestyles, why people came, and why some stayed and flourished, and others left. We talked about ourselves and each other.

The next day Nick showed us several possibilities, and each one was spot-on. All were different, of course, but we were more than pleased with the appeal every one offered. And they were ALL within our price range!

You also ought to know we’d let Nick know this first venture to Vilcabamba was only “exploratory” for us……we have a lot to consider and get accomplished (like, for example, selling our current home in the States) before we can move.

That didn’t matter. Nick treated us like the best customers he’s ever had, and made us feel like friends.

If you’re thinking about the Vilcabamba area, get in touch with him. You won’t regret it.

Paul & Dianna Sands

I am pleased to be able to give a very positive reference to Nick and Santiago, of the Vilcabamba Real Estate Company.

They handled the transaction with good communication and showed their concern and professionalism by seeing that some much needed repairs were promptly done in order to keep the property sellable.

Nick makes buying and selling Vilcabamba property easy, with good knowledge of the needed paperwork. I would surely use Nick and Santiago again.

Greg Conlin

Having discovered my partly-completed house was subsiding along one side, I called in Nick & Santiago to assess the situation and provide advice. They identified the problems, explained them clearly to me, and quoted the job at a reasonable price.

I engaged them for the works, at which point they helped repair my foundation, installed footings, and constructed a below-ground retaining-wall the total length of my house.

Despite some inclement weather, the job was done exactly as agreed upon, in the timeframe estimated, and was completed very professionally. The site was also left in perfect order when the project was concluded (kind of a rarity here in Ecuador).

Nick and Santiago and their crew were a pleasure to work with from start to finish. They were always accessible, well informed, and easy to communicate with.

I would highly recommend their building and renovation services to others, and would definitely use their services again (whether for my building or real-estate needs).

Thanks guys, for a pleasant and professional experience.

Paulette Fox, AKA "Fox!" - Vilcabamba Resident.

After spending two days with Nick and Santiago on the tour we just completed (for 35 Natural News clients!) ... I can tell you both Nick and Santiago operated with a level of professionalism and customer-service that's almost unheard of in Ecuador.

They were extremely well organized, generous with their time, and very well informed. They have immensely helped these wonderful people make good sense of the Vilcabamba real-estate scene, and they have been a pleasure to work with.

Mike Adams - "The Health Ranger."

Nick ... thanks a million for all of your quality assistance when I was in Vilcabamba last week. I am really grateful for all the time you set aside to show me properties. My time was very well spent with you.

Prior to this Ecuador trip I was a bit concerned, because I had been warned about how some real-estate agents operate in that part of the world. I was happy to learn that by reputation, and by my own experience, that Nick Vasey and VREC operate with integrity.

I was blessed to have come across a professional who knows the area so well. It was nice to deal with an agent who had the entire day laid out in an organized manner, prior to my arrival there. You helped me make the most of my time in Vilcabamba. I appreciated the fact you were prepared to spend as much time as was necessary, and do whatever it might take, to make things happen for my benefit.

I would offer my reference without any reservation. Thanks again for all your help. I will look forward to doing more business with you as we move into the future.

Dirk Bode - Texas.

Nick ... thank-you for your patience, time, and professionalism with your assistance in areas that were not just real-estate related. you have been delightful to work with, and I am so very grateful we have become friends!

As you know, there have been some stressful times, and I have needed to pop into your office during those difficult days when I felt like a top wound too tight. I have always left feeling more optimistic and lighter (maybe it's the coffee you make so well!) ... whatever it is, I never left your office without a smile. Both you and Santiago have been of tremendous help, and I am ever so grateful.

You were one of the first people I met here who helped me with searching for a property. It didn't take long to fall in love with a couple of areas, and you gave me the time I needed to decide which one was best for me.

The fact you guys are the only licensed realtor in Vilcabamba also made a difference for me. You expedited everything in a timely manner ... good communication was also a plus, since you made sure I received any and all paperwork, and also let me know ahead of time, what I should expect.

You were, and are, upfront and honest, and you get things done. You have become a friend, and gone beyond the call of duty to assist with this entire process ... from notaries, translation, and an array of so many issues that come up with transitioning to Ecuador. Your calm nature helped me during some of the challenges, but you were able to sort things out easily and professionally. Your coffee is the best too! 🙂

Thank-you again for all of your assistance ... I could not have done this without you. My gratitude to you, and I'm honoured to call you and Santiago my friends.

Kim Harker - Vilcabamba Resident.

I became interested in Ecuador and VREC Properties after viewing the International Living website. I was in my 74th year, and felt the need for one last real great experience. I began reviewing the VREC website and the properties Nick Vasey had for sale, then corresponding with Nick via email. He was very helpful, always answering my queries, making suggestions.

Over the next four months or so I decided to make the trip to Vilcabamba, where I met promptly with Nick. He immediately made me feel at ease, and provided a sense of trust you seldom get with someone on a first meeting. I also met his associate, Santiago, and their administrative-assistant, Paola.

After completing a detailed questionnaire, Nick showed me several properties based on my answers. Of the many, I selected two adjoining properties. In what I am told can be quite the bureaucratic quagmire, he made everything transparent and quite simple.

Throughout this journey, Nick, Santiago, and Paola have always made themselves available to assist with me getting acclimated and settled. I highly recommend Nick and the VREC team.

Michael Shinholser - USA.

The VREC mission-statement in my opinion really does sum up our experience of Mr. Nick Vasey, of VREC Properties.

Let's get real. Whether we are initiating relationships, CV profiles, in process of employment interviews, or, God forbid for many, being thrown into the kind of spotlight that might require "media attention" ... we will seek to put "our best face on" ... and if we're honest, usually tell a few fibs, or leave out some "less than desirable" data ... in order to "get the date," or "look our best" or "fake it till we make it" ... with a prospective employer or client.

Whether this is due to our movements on the arc of some inner psychological-pendulum, swinging from "ain't good enough" to "they/it ain't good enough for me" (and all points in between!) ... or not! ... these pretences and facades tend to lead, to a lesser or greater extent, to a sense of broken promise/s, expectation/s, hassle/s ... within the context of the relationship/s that we hope to, or do, subsequently enter into. Smile!

With Nick at VREC, it is our experience that "what you see is what you get." The mission-statement is definitely an accurate summation of intent, and the nature of the service rendered. Nick fulfilled all this in his interactions with us ... in a considerate, sequential, and comprehensive manner ... given the timeframes we had presented to work within.

Nick quickly noted and understood our needs and objectives, and threw himself wholeheartedly into lining up opportunities to view existing properties, and to mapping out the basics (from his own hard-won storehouse of accumulated knowledge and know-how) of construction options in this area of Ecuador also.

Also, it was very interesting for us to witness, wherever Nick went in the Vilcabamba area, that he was met with warm smiles, often hugs, and the feeling that "he'd left the place better than he'd found it." This always occurred in a very spontaneous and completely fluid, natural manner ... in short, obviously Nick Vasey was loved and appreciated by many in this area. We concluded this must have been due to the fact that he'd helped and maybe guided many folks in some kind of worthwhile and truly beneficial manner over the years he has been a resident and business-owner there.

For us, Nick's VREC mission-statement is not hype, BS, or in any way shape or form misrepresentative. It is an accurate synopsis of who Nick is, how he conducts himself professionally, and a summation of the ethical and service-oriented nature of VREC, as a real-estate, construction, and consulting service.

Thanks so much Nick. If there was ever a hybrid combo of Crocodile Dundee and Robert Downey Jr. (ie. relaxed, genuine, v efficient, very easy to be with ... pleasant personality tied to a super-confident and broad skill-set) ... all tempered by a sense this is a genuine human being who is compassionate and highly intelligent ... it is Nick.

Having been self-employed for over 25 years, and having been around "the proverbial bush" several times myself, Nick, VREC, and our whole experience of Ecuador, was "a breath of fresh air." Thank you Nick. We wholeheartedly recommend VREC and your professional services to anyone who is sincerely looking to gain insight and knowledge to assist with making well-qualified decisions on moving to this region (or other parts of) Ecuador.

We hope to see you again, and in some way repay your kind consideration and hospitality (see footnote) that went way beyond your simply hosting us in your professional capacity as principal of VREC.

Footnote: Consider asking Nick where to eat and visit in Vilcabamba and the Loja region ... and he may just put you in touch, or show you some of the best "hidden secrets and gems" that otherwise you probably would not find, even if you stayed for longer than we did on this first visit. Plus his relationships with local guides and business-owners could provide many with the invaluable "value added no-cost" extras, and much time saved in getting the experience and expertise to help with local climbing/hiking/touring options that some may also be seeking in the area.

David Dixon and Louise Nostedt

I can only confirm from personal experience, what other clients, such as Mike Adams, have said about VREC's professionalism, reliability, and customer-service. Nick and Santiago both have international experience and expert knowledge of local laws, culture, and practice.

They keep their potential clients well informed on all relevant matters, with updated information on their internet site and blog.

Vilcabamba (the valley of longevity) is developing into an international center for healthy living in southern Ecuador, attracting people of all ages and nationalities who come to visit or stay ... keywords "ecology, organic, and anti-aging."

VREC can help with the various aspects of acquiring or renting property in the area. They understand very well what international clients need to know about legal and practical issues in the fast-changing world of Ecuadorian legislation ... and in VREC Construction & Design, even have their own construction arm. Right now they are even pursuing the idea of setting up a plant to produce prefabricated modular houses.

Once you get to know Nick and Santiago, it is really not surprising that they come highly recommended by their satisfied customers. They certainly operated with high integrity and efficiency in every respect with me, and helped me find what I needed.


We did a five hour real-estate tour with Nick, and we went up, down, and all around the valleys surrounding Vilcabamba.

Nick is full of stories and knowledge, which made the trip really worth it. The property tour costs no more than what the Vilcabamba taxi-drivers charge - $8 an hour. Cheap, for all the value you get.

We actually did hire a taxi-driver on a day Nick wasn't available, and that was not worth our time. Nick is a go-getter, he has really done his homework, and we had fun with him.

MJ Harden - Maui

We arrived in Ecuador on a whim ... having all but decided to purchase some land in that country. Not yet sure whether we would prefer the coast or the mountains, we headed out to Vilcabamba.

We had previously been in touch with Nick Vasey of VREC Properties, and based on first impressions he seemed like an ethical, serious, and good-humoured chap. But once we hooked up in person, we were pleasantly surprised by his devotion and untiring efforts to uncover what we were looking for (which we were not sure of ourselves) ... and then actually find it!

Together we toured the Vilcabamba region, narrowing down the options, both geographically and financially. After a few days, we decided on one particular property that Nick had shown us. At that point he judiciously helped us with the price negotiations, advising us regarding approximate market value. Within one week we were able to conclude the transaction by signing a power of attorney to VREC's preferred lawyer, who himself was both efficient and friendly.

We have nothing but praise for the services offered by Nick and his team ... every aspect of the real-estate experience was handled in a friendly, honest, and professional manner, with no unnecessary bureaucracy, and no hidden costs.

For anyone seeking real-estate in Vilcabamba or the vicinity, we wholeheartedly recommend you visit and consult with the team at VREC Properties ... before checking in on the "competition."

Alon & Yotam - Israel

My wife and I visited Ecuador in December 2012 as part of a thorough research trip, to assess the likelihood of our moving there from the United States, and to narrow down the list of potential locations.

We visited several areas, and while in Vilcabamba, we toured property with Nick Vasey of VREC Properties. Nick is not only a genuine and good guy, he is also involved in the community and knowledgeable of the local market, business, and social climates as well. In short, Nick is a bright, reliable, and trustworthy professional who I highly recommend.

It's incredibly important when considering or pursuing a real-estate purchase in Ecuador to be diligent and cautious with every step, and to work with demonstrably good people. Working with Nick and VREC is the smart choice, which will give you an advantage right from the start.

I say this from the perspective of someone who is a broker/owner of an independent firm in Colorado, which has been selling real-estate full-time since 1999.

Tom Roy, The Realty Werks, LLC.

I met Nick in June. Nick is very professional. He is open, and works with a lawyer who has an office in Vilca and in Loja, whom I also like. I got along well with Nick from the start. He is straightforward and honest, in addition to being a nice person.  These were signs that I could do business with him.

After returning from that lovely stay in Vilcabamba, I was back at home in France. One evening I literally read Nick’s VREC website cover to cover. He was advertising a piece of land with a magnificent view of Mandango.  It was the right size, on a hill side, close to town and the right price ... Nick had put up a brief video about it, and it got my interest up.

I called him the next day and bought the piece sight unseen. I know this is unusual, but I was sure I couldn’t go wrong, and I was delighted with my property when he showed it to me in November. I have no regrets, and can recommend VREC wholeheartedly!

Isabelle Mikus-Klemm - France

Hi Nick,

We wish to thank you for your time and effort in giving us an overview of some of the available properties for sale in and around Vilcabamba. Your space in Malacatos is beautiful and special.

Kristina and I now know we will be moving to the area as soon as we can, after tying up loose ends. Time to get out of the Matrix! 🙂

We recommend Nick very highly not only for his professionalism, but also his friendly advice. Although he was busy at the time he took us around to show us what was available in the area so we could get an overview. And although our time spent together was rather brief, Nick very quickly filled us in on what some of the requirements to become a resident are. From what we understand these regulations are changing, and Nick is up to date.

Nick is not your regular agent that we are used to in Canada, but a person who has a very wide scope of knowledge covering that which is required if you plan to settle in Ecuador and especially in the Vilcabamba area.

Thanks again,
Peter and Kristina

Upon deciding to sell our Malacatos property and home of ten years, which we lovingly designed and built, we were relieved to find Nick Vasey and his Vilcabamba Real Estate Company.

Nick immediately came over and got a sense of our personal reasons to sell, a sense of the type of property we had developed, and a sense of who might be interested in purchasing it. These remote, beautiful southern valleys of Ecuador are not "conventional" real-estate markets, and it takes a person who appreciates our way of life here to effectively advertise and then sell our unique havens. Over the course of several months Nick brought over a variety of individuals and families until a buyer was found. The match could not be better.

In addition, the legal and monetary processes, both in Ecuador, and with international banks on three continents ... were handled by Nick and his team both effectively, and with the utmost professionalism.

If you are interested in buying or selling real-estate in southern Ecuador, Nick & Santiago are at your service, and they are without equal here.

Jennifer Gittes Taplin & David Taplin

We heard about Nick from another realtor on the coast ... he came HIGHLY recommended!

We had a great experience looking for property with Nick, at VREC. We filled out the Property Sourcing Questionnaire, telling in detail of what we were ideally looking for ... and Nick delivered. He found properties for us in the price-range we were looking for, and we had a number of wonderful choices.

It was a GREAT experience.

Alan Green

I first read through VREC's website and was seduced by its ethical spirit. So, naturally, as soon as I reached Vilcabamba in 2010 I met with Nick & Santiago. Then, after having visited a few farms and lands during the first tour, the second tour finally took me to the place of my dreams.

I owe them this reference because:
1. They were selling the place I loved!
2. They have patiently and diplomatically managed the long negotiation.
3. They have been understanding with the hassles and bureaucracy I faced with the French banks.
4. They have handled the transaction professionally, and been fair to both the seller and me.

My conclusion is that VREC's ethical advertisement is more than simply mercantile marketing. Indeed they do much more than fairly and ethically try to satisfy their customers.

Both Nick & Santiago are now my friends and neighbours and I warmly recommend their real-estate agency.

Olivier Allard Raffalli - Vilcabamba Resident.

I found Nick Vasey and the team at VREC Properties to be very helpful, honest and efficient.

I used their services to do maintenance work on my property, as well as to list and sell properties in Vilcabamba on my behalf.

This made life easier for me, as I usually live abroad.

They delivered a very professional outcome. I do not hesitate to recommend them.

Ms. Ana Moore - Vilcabamba Resident.

We would like to thank you for taking a full day out of your busy schedule to drive us around Vilcabamba and Malacatos.

You answered all our questions with detail, and you did a great job of showing us the properties that fit into our personal specifications. Your follow-up email summary, providing us with all the details of the properties we visited on the tour, was very helpful and professional.

We would definitely recommend to others that they work with you, and we look forward to working with you again in the near future.

Best wishes,
Andrew Parker


I would like to share my experiences with Santiago, Nick, and VREC.

After doing some research I decided to make a trip to explore Ecuador and find out whether I would want to move there. I had no intention to buy any real-estate since at the time I thought I did not have the means available. I flew into Quito, and from there took a bus through the Andes to Vilcabamba. It was love at first sight.

After arriving, I went to meet with Nick, with whom I had already communicated via email and Skype. Soon after, I met with Santiago. Because we had a language in common I ended up spending a lot of time with Santiago, who immediately taught me a lot about the workings and dynamics of the area.

I decided to take a little time to tune into the energy and atmosphere of the region, before getting carried away. To my biggest surprise, it took only about two days to become very relaxed, after a "first-ever" rather long trip to South America, and this little dot on the world map. I started to feel very comfortable with, and attracted to, the place.

Within a few days, Santiago showed me some available properties, one of which I got very interested in. I never felt and pressure or insistence from either Santiago or Nick to make any kind of quick decision. After taking the time to get better-acquainted with the area (which was very easy with Santiago's knowledge and help), I decided to buy a small lot.

The whole transaction, part of which was done from back home, went very smoothly, legal processes, bureaucracy, everything. I should also share that an acquaintance who works for a notary in Quito combed through all the documentation, and found everything to be in order.

I felt so confident after my dealings with Nick & Santiago, that a few months later I recommended that a friend also buy a small lot. My friend had never been to South America, let alone Ecuador. Because of my experiences he felt comfortable buying the property after only seeing some pictures and hearing the description. His buying procedure also went smoothly.

I highly recommend working with these guys ... it is not impossible you may become friends with them! 🙂

Jose - Spain.

To: Nick Vasey - Co-Founder of VREC Properties
From: Tony Fanto - Prospective Real Estate Buyer
Re: Thanks so much for your professionalism

For the past several months I have been considering retiring and relocating to Ecuador. I have been searching the real-estate market and speaking with buyers' agents and real-estate agents in various parts of the country.

To date I have not purchased any real-estate in Ecuador, but I can honestly tell you that Nick Vasey's company VREC, has been by far the most professional, responsive, and informative real-estate firm that I have interacted with thus far. All of my many questions about the many available properties on their first-class website, have been answered in timely fashion, and to my satisfaction.

The bottom line is that prospective buyers like myself won't buy property until trust and confidence is established, and I can tell you I would feel very comfortable and confident in purchasing property from Nick and his team. Purchasing real-estate in a foreign country can be scary for buyers. But I am totally confident that if I were to purchase property, the transaction would be handled smoothly and professionally by VREC. Their honest and straightforward approach to real-estate brings integrity and professionalism to the industry ... which is refreshing. I cannot say the same of other real-estate companies I have dealt with in Ecuador.

Another huge advantage and something about these guys that I find very appealing, is that they offer the buyer "one-stop-shopping," because they not only have professional real-estate representation, but an in-house lawyer to facilitate the legality of the transaction, and also a design and construction department if I decided to buy raw land and build a house.

All of these features add to my comfort and confidence level ... and based on my experience, it is easy for me to say that VREC is a "real" and "serious" real estate firm ... one that I would have no hesitation working with to purchase real-estate in the southern Andes.

Tony Fanto - US.

We bought land in Vilcabamba in 2006, which we recently decided to sell. Since we weren't in the area at the time, we contacted Nick Vasey of VREC, through email, and listed the property with his firm. The property sold within a short time, and everything we needed to do was done via email.

we were in Ecuador for the closing, and it went very well. We met Nick and his attorney at the closing, and found both to be professional and knowledgeable. Nick stayed with us after the closing to make sure the proceeds from the sale could be deposited. This was our third closing in Ecuador and was by far the smoothest and most trouble-free.

We highly recommend Nick, and his team at VREC, for any real-estate needs you might have in Vilcabamba.

Ronnie and Andre Alban.

To whoever's interested in really knowing Vilcabamba ... I had a great experience with Nick & Santiago.

I really appreciate how accessible they have been, how informed they are, and how well they communicate. The information you get from a real-estate tour of the area with Nick or Santiago is amazingly valuable ... and they team perfectly with their lawyer for all associated legal and/or conveyancing matters.

They have helped tremendously getting the process into perspective, and knowing which steps to take, and in what order. Really nice and capable people ... and I recommend them to anyone, gladly.

Ed Haggard

Dear Nick and Santiago ... thank you so much for assisting me in potentially locating a property in the Vilcabamba region. I was very impressed with your down-to-earth honest professionalism. I'm sure you get a lot of tyre-kickers, which would be enough to make the best agent lose enthusiasm.

I was very happy to be directed to your services ... especially as a fellow Australian! It is a long way to come to look at properties, and I appreciated you going the extra mile to give me a second look at the property I am very interested in.

May you both be encouraged in your work, and please maintain your high standards as to properties you list, and other professionals you recommend.

Alan Mullan - Australia.

Thank-you Nick! We appreciate the time you took showing us properties around the Vilcabamba region.

This was our first trip there, and we were delighted to have as a real-estate-agent, someone so knowledgeable about the area, local people and customs ... besides being highly intelligent and bilingual!

You were very open about all the angles one can encounter, and we feel well-informed and armed now, with good recommendations for quality professional services towards that end.

You proved to us you are not "just about real-estate" and have helped convince us that we want to be part of such a wonderful community!

Doug Potts and Laura Burke.

It was a joy to be with Nick & Santiago on an hours-long tour of several selected properties. These professional focused men have intent to be of assistance.

They know their properties, share their information freely, and peppered our interactions with humour, wit, patience, laughter ... and a keen sense of the perfect fit.

Nick and Santiago set a standard of excellence in Vilcabamba ... with their straightforward, community-service-oriented real-estate operation.

Great work guys!
Jane Lael - Vilcabamba Resident.

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this letter of recommendation in favour of Nick & Santiago and VREC Properties. I applaud them for their commitment to providing such a necessary service ... with an absolute commitment to professionalism and ethical business practices.

Navigating real-estate investment in, and potential relocation to, a foreign land ... can be difficult, and mistakes can be extremely costly. I sincerely believe there is great value in what these gentlemen have to offer, and in their ability and desire to follow through to satisfactory completion in all instances.

Based upon my own personal experience of these fine individuals, I expect that you too, will only experience the best possible outcome.

Jay Schumacher - Vilcabamba Resident.

A large farm in Vilcabamba. Owners, who decide to sell the farm, living in Connecticut, USA.  The buyer of this farm, who turned out to be from Paris, France, could have been from anywhere.

My wife and I were the sellers. Believe me when I say that we were not looking forward to what would be involved in this cross-border business transaction.  Although we never lived in Vilcabamba, we had spent a lot of time in the valley and were well aware of the shenanigans that frequently took place when it came to real estate in the area.  We wanted to avoid the sort of sloppy and deceptive nonsense that marred numerous deals we had heard about.  On top of it, we didn’t want to sell the farm to just anyone, we wanted someone who would be a caring steward of the land and continue the reforestation/reclamation that had been started by the previous owner, my father-in-law.

We met Nick and immediately liked him – and particularly appreciated his clear and honest communication style.  Nick listened to our story and quickly grasped what the farm meant to us and what sort of person would be best suited to the place.  He drew out a road-map for us with all the steps that would be involved in the process and, with his knowledge of the local real estate market, gave us realistic expectations on the value of our farm and the timing that would likely be involved.

After a short meeting with Nick in his office, he came out and took pictures of the farm and quickly put together a beautiful and honest portrayal of the farm for marketing purposes.  He helped us get all the documentation in place for the sell and, with help from Marco, allowed us to set things up in a way that, via Power of Attorney and smart counsel, we were able to complete the sale without having to fly to Ecuador for the signing.

We just sold the farm a few weeks ago and I can honestly say that we could not be happier with the way things went.  We also had a smooth flow of funds at each stage of the deal – both with the deposit and the final payment, as well as the few up-front costs we had for surveys and suchlike.

We had a handful of serious potential buyers over the 15 months or so that it took to sell the farm.  With each of them, Nick was great about facilitating communication between us so that nothing was lost in translation, so to speak.  In the end, we feel like we could not have found a better new owner for the farm.   And I feel I can safely speak for the new owner of the farm when I say we both made slight compromises as the transaction was skillfully brokered by Nick, but each ended up quite satisfied with the end result.

In closing, I wish you as pleasant a real estate experience as the one we had – whether buying or selling – and highly recommend that you work with VREC in order to maximize the chances of that happening.  Feel free to get my contact details from Nick if you have questions or would like to hear more about our experience.

Most Sincerely,
David Smith
Wilton, CT, USA

Ten years ago we heard about a “magical valley of longevity” in Vilcabamba, Ecuador and began researching it as a possible place to relocate our young family to, or even later retire.  After years of consideration, we finally decided to get a better perspective of Vilcabamba by actually going there.  Before we left we scoured the internet for real estate opportunities in Vilcabamba and found one real estate company and agent which particularly stood out – VREC Properties and Nick Vasey.

Once in Vilcabamba, we contacted Nick regarding several properties we were interested in seeing. From the beginning, it was apparent that Nick’s professionalism and business style were similar to what we were accustomed to in the United States.  This is something that we found out is very rare to find in a developing country like Ecuador.  Nick asked us to fill out a questionnaire so he could review our goals, price-range, likes and dislikes in order to prepare a “real-estate-tour” for us.  Initially, we were a little skeptical about filling out the questionnaire … until we found out how easy it was to complete and more importantly, how effective Nick’s process was in preparing a suitable “tour” from the information we provided in our questionnaire.

Nick spent about six hours driving us around to various properties.  Each property fit the description of what we were looking for with certain variations amongst them.  After the time spent together we found our “dream property” and began discussions about making it a reality.  Before making a final decision, we returned to Vilcabamba for a second visit with our children. After many family discussions, we decided that the timing wasn’t quite right for us and we didn’t end up purchasing any property.

Even so, we are confident that when we are ready to purchase, and if Vilcabamba is the final direction we decide to take … we will most definitely be seeking out the assistance of Nick Vasey and his team of experts.  Spending a total of two weeks in the area, we found that dealing with Nick and his team is the only way to go.  The reputation he has established in the region is due not only to his business acumen, but also to his code of ethics that he offers and demands of those he does business with.  We highly recommend him for any of your real estate transactions in Vilcabamba or the surrounding areas!

Anja & David Perkins, Utah, USA

I had a thoroughly satisfying experience purchasing property with the VREC team. Nick & Santiago provided me with an impressive list of properties to view, once I gave them my criteria. Nick was very knowledgeable about the Vilcabamba area, as well as with the details associated with each property.

The purchasing process was well laid out, and I felt he kept me informed as to the progress of the transaction in a timely manner. Marco, the lawyer Nick worked with, was also invaluable in explaining the legal nuances that could otherwise easily confuse a foreigner purchasing a property in Ecuador.

You can trust these guys, and they are very responsive to questions posed to them. Thanks a million!

Jim - Idaho

A trip to Vilcabamba had been on my horizon ever since I decided I was going to go and live in Peru or Ecuador. After a year of travelling in Peru, I finally made it to Vilca, where I met Nick by simply walking into the office and saying hi. I had already researched Vilca properties and decided beforehand that VREC was going to be my first port of call.

It was apparent immediately that Nick was a professional, and after an initial chat and under no obligation, Nick & Santiago fit me in around their already planned schedule, to go and see a selection of properties to give me an idea of what was out there.

After a few days, the vibe of Vilca worked its magic on me, and I decided then and there to buy something, but the property I wanted was just not there ... until on a whim Nick took me up to see an old house needing restoration ... despite the fact I had told him I wanted the finished article, ready to go. Suffice to say the property ticked all my boxes immediately, and despite a rebuild being necessary, I decided to buy.

The transaction itself was conducted with me being out of the country the whole time. Money was transferred, Powers Of Attorney were used, and never once did I feel worried about where my money was going, even though I had only known Nick a week or two at that time.

VREC Properties is run very professionally, and all the details are well taken care of. Even after the purchase, support is offered re finding services and other needs.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Nick & Santiago, and I look forward to a few beers with them on my return, as they are now friends and neighbours.

Brian Swainston - Vilcabamba Resident.

I began to communicate with Nick about two weeks before my arrival in Vilcabamba ... Nick was able to schedule a property tour the day after I arrived.

We used a professional driver, and I paid the cost of the driver's services, which was about $8/hr. In five hours, Nick had shown me five excellent properties within my price range, while also giving me an overview geographically, of the areas and valleys surrounding Vilcabamba.

My experience with Nick was easy and informative. Nick is a guy i would like to have as a neighbour ... and he is doing a great job of ethically running his real-estate business.

Best wishes,
Will Meyer - Vilcabamba Resident.

Dear Nick ... I am sending this reference to let you and others know of our complete satisfaction with all the services we received from you and your partners. My husband Ray and I would be pleased to have you share our positive experience with others.

The following is a brief (hopefully!) synopsis of our interactions with your firm. In August of 2009, my husband and I made what was intended to be a fact-finding trip to Ecuador. Ray persuaded me to consider retiring outside the US, even though I was not "sold" on the idea.

As I know we shared with you, a tragedy beyond our imagining struck our family. After 25+ years of practicing as a Registered Nurse, my career was cut short by my contracting a chronic illness. This then forced my husband into early retirement, in order to act as my caregiver.

After many months of researching and planning, we decided to venture down to Ecuador, though at a slow pace, due to my medical condition. We started in northern Ecuador, and made our way through numerous towns before reaching Vilcabamba. Once there, we both had our first "love at first sight" experience!

However, not wanting to be impulsive, we took our time visiting the area, talking with locals, and eventually connecting with you and Santiago ... as you'd come highly recommended by someone we knew from back home.

Shortly before it was time for us to depart, Santiago showed us a property that was just right for us! Naturally we were thrilled, but also apprehensive, having a number of US real-estate purchases "under our belts." We knew from experience the complexities of real-estate, and expected the worst.

To our delight and surprise, this WAS NOT the case. You guys were on top of every detail, and miraculously, we drove to Loja to sign our papers just a few hours before our plane departed! And your expert customer-service has continued since our purchase. We feel we have "Realtors for Life" and have already recommended you to others. Our many thanks!

Ray & Maureen Sayre - Vilcabamba Residents.

My husband, our 14 month old daughter and I made the trip to Ecuador in 2010. With VREC I knew right away that we were going to be taken care of by decent people.

After surfing the VREC website, my intuition led me to wire-transfer funds to Ecuador before even seeing the property or what else we might be getting ourselves into. My husband and I are very trusting people, and Nick managed with ease, to match our trust.

In short, my good intuition in dealing with this company did not fail me. You can bet on Nick being very professional, and considerate to your wants and needs. Nick and his team had great attentiveness when it came to listening and helping and doing everything efficiently. My emails were always answered promptly, and my phone calls too. I hope and wish that we always run into people like Nick wherever we go.

Please contact us if you need to hear this personally, so I can assure you that you're dealing with a sincere and ethical human being. Thank-you Nick, for being true, and spreading goodness.

Mike Copple & Heidi Ajlani - US / Thailand.

After 55 years living in the US, we decided to shift our primary residence to Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Despite lots of reading and discussion, there was only one way to experience Ecuador, and that was to just GO!

We met Nick and Santiago through their involvement with a real-estate tour organised by Mike Adams, of Natural News. We had arrived in town early, and they showed us a few properties prior to the seminar. They listened, and never insisted we fill out their online questionnaire! Because, we really didn't know what we wanted. They patiently listened, and made us feel welcome in a new country.

They showed us a property, then we pestered them again and again to go see it "just once more." it was a good match, and we were able to purchase the property with their guidance and via utilising their attorney for conveyancing.

The whole transaction went very smoothly. They were available and professional in all our dealings. Wonderful resources ... their sincerity, diligence and fun natures are bright spots in our lives.

My husband is thinking about buying some land in a few months ... I know who to call!

Bruce and Jenice McAlevy - Casa Amarilla - Vilcabamba Residents.

Dear Nick & Santi ... thanks so much for going the extra mile helping me locate property in Vilcabamba. I really appreciate the education you gave me on the town, the culture, and the region. As you know, I was also approached by other "agents" in town, all of whom made me feel a little uneasy.

I am very thankful I was introduced to both of you guys first. As a Canadian, the fact that you also partner with a local and respected lawyer also gave me a great deal of comfort and security. All in all, I felt that you both cared about me more than just a "sale" (and you proved it) ... and I just want to encourage you to continue in your professional and caring style of business.

I believe it will make all the difference.

Stephen Case - Strauss Naturals - Canada.

Several years ago, my wife and I decided to live somewhere different than the US. We dragged our son along and ended up in the southern part of Ecuador, in a small village called Vilcabamba.

We truly loved everything about the place and the people ... laid-back, carefree, live and let live aspect of their everyday life. We found not just the people in Vilcabamba, but everywhere in Ecuador and Peru were also that way.

We embarked upon buying land overlooking the village of Vilcabamba, a long complicated process, using local friends, not knowing a thing about what to do. We got it done, made lots of friends, and learned a lot ... but after coming back to the US to sell a house and business, our health took a turn for the worse.

So we unfortunately decided to sell the property which had just taken us so long to buy!

Trying to sell turned out to be an even longer process than when we bought the property. Not that the local people we had helping us were doing nothing ... they just don't hurry (which is far better than the rat-race of the US).

Anyway, by lucky chance I happened across an advertisement for VREC, on a Go-Swap site, and contacted Nick Vasey by email about our property, and I got a response from him right away. In a very short time he had a buyer for our property. VREC did all the paperwork needed for us and the buyer. The knowledge they have of the area is excellent.

For purchasing any kind of property, plus selling property in the area, they are the best. It still tears me up not to be able to live in southern Ecuador, but if I ever am able to again, I will definitely call on Nick and VREC, to see about a property to purchase.

Peace and Love
Gary and Patty Guttridge.