What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

If you are single or couple without kids, they will put you in modern, very nice apartment high rises in a hip, centrally located part of town where there is nightlife, restaurants, and walkability to other interesting areas. They may also put you in apartment high rises in North Quito, which is quite a bit closer to the Embassy but farther away from fun and convenience. Nearly all families are in one neighborhood in North Quito that is about 10 minutes to the Embassy and 5 minutes to the international school most families send their kids to. The houses vary a lot in terms of how desirable they are (some are gorgeous, modern and sunny with amazing views; others are old, dark, and cold), whether you have a big yard, etc. But all in all it's a pleasant, safe neighborhood with a big park for the kids. - Jul 2019

Families typically live in a subdivision by the school PK-12 where nearly all the embassy kids attend. Many families live in 'conjuntos' within the subdivision, a group of houses together. Ample space, many have a yard, some conjuntos have a pool. The subdivision has a nice park, playground, tennis, and basketball courts. It is about a 10-minute drive to the embassy and close to the grocery store. Singles and couples without kids tend to live in apartment buildings closer to downtown and the nightlife, shopping district. Many have nice views. - Jul 2018

Housing is a work in progress. Post begin transitioning to govt leased housing in 2014. There are still some houses toward Cumbaya, but most are in Monteserrin or Gonzalez Suarez. Families are mostly put in Monteserrin in clusters of single family homes called "conjuntos" or apartments. The construction tends to be older, and many people have had problems with black mold and pests. Facilities is not used to dealing with residential maintenance, so expect pushback for each and every work order. Security is visually good, but there have been some home invasions and armed robberies. Some places have yards and others have concrete slabs. That said, it is closer to the Embassy and to the American school, which is convenient. Gonzalez Suarez apartments are nice and large and closer to shops and restaurants, but commute can be 30+ minutes. - Mar 2017

Housing is old but sufficient. With regular earthquakes and tremors cracked walls are common. Many apartment buildings are new and quite nice. The commute is horrible during morning and evening rush hours. Plan on a 5 mile trip taking 45 minutes. - Sep 2016

Many Ecuadorian houses and apartments have large windows to let the sun in, and design ranges from modern to Spanish/California-like. - Aug 2015

Mostly apartments... Big, luxurious, modern, incredible apartments. Houses are often smaller and older. Balconies are giant and provide ample entertaining space. Apartment areas are mostly near the Embassy, and the commute ranges from 10 min to 35 min. Some days the main roads are congested. - Aug 2014

I lived in Gonzalez Suarez in an apartment. Most families lived in Campo Alegre. My commute was about 20 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. At worst, when raining, it was 45 minutes. - Jul 2012

Apartments in modern buildings or within family homes, generally. The Americans from our school mostly live in the new city, north of Mariscal. It's pretty safe. It's close to Parque la Carolina (a popular place for Ecuadorians to play soccer or basketball) and Parque Metropolitano (a quieter park on top of a ridge with nice views and a forest). Our commute time is about 40 minutes each way, but our school is located pretty far north of the city. I think on average, with the traffic, it can take about 30 minutes to get anywhere from the Centro Historico to the northern parts of the city. We seldom go south of Centro Historico because it is not very safe. - Jan 2011

This is a LQA post for U.S. Mission employees, so you bring all your own furniture and find your own housing. That presents its own challenges! Real estate agents operate differently than in the U.S., and it's expected that you view homes with 2 or more agents. Depending on the season you arrive, the housing pool may have some great selections. Or, like us, you may arrive at the end of the summer and need to look at 40+ homes before you find one close to the kids' school, with a patch of green space for the dog, and that doesn't have 1970s pink-and-olive fixtures in all the bathrooms! If you're associated with the U.S. Mission, you'll be accommodated in a hotel apartment for up to three months while finding permanent housing; this is very comfortable. Our kids loved the swimming pool and the chocolates on their pillows every night. The majority of families with children attending Cotopaxi Int'l School try to find housing in the gated community nearby which has single-family houses with yards and is probably the safest area; homes here may be new and modern or damp and outdated depending on what's available at the time. Many singles and couples (and some families) live in apartments around the city; there are many beautiful, modern apartments to choose from, and these tend to be safer, warmer and more likely to have generators than single-family homes. - May 2010

Quito has beautiful apartments with lovely views of the valley and surrounding volcanoes. There are several gated communities with single-dwelling homes as well - great for families with school-age children and pets. - Oct 2009

For going to the new U.S. Embassy, commutes typically range from 5-30 minutes in the morning, longer going back home due to traffic patterns and time of day. You have to find your own housing, so your commute is largely up to you. A few areas of the city offer standalone houses of varying quality, otherwise it's large, luxury-style apartments for the diplomatic and (shrinking) business expat crowd. Almost all live in the northern half of the city. Maintenance issues are a fact of life, so plan on dealing with landlords for plumbing, mold, and construction-related issues. - Jan 2009

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