Find an affordable apartment in Ho Chi Minh City
“How to find an affordable apartment?” This is the question that most expats will ask when deciding to move to a new place. Here are 4 recommendations to find the perfect one.
A traditional for rent ad found on a community bulletin board in Ho Chi Minh City
Apartment hunting is always a challenge, but being a stranger in a strange land such as Ho Chi Minh City can make things even tougher. For those who of you moving to the country for the first time, Focus Ho Chi Minh City has put together a list of resources and some handy tips that should help you in your quest for a new abode.
Foreigners fresh off the jet may be tempted to rely on the familiar English websites. Low hanging fruits such as AirBNB, Facebook, Craigslist at first blush. It is not a bad idea.
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English expat websites
With all the hype and hoopla over AirBNB, many newbies check in here first for a short stay with the hope of negotiating directly with the landlord for a longer stay at a lower price, but with a steady stream of jetsetters jostling for the perfect pad, your chances are slim. For the short term, why not save some money and stay at a hostel instead?
There are a couple of local Facebook groups that post ads for apartments and roommates, such as Expat in Ho Chi Minh City and Expats & Local Ho Chi Minh City. They can get you started on your hunt, but competition can get rather intense at the start of a new semester and low-priced places will go fast.
However, its listings are still more expensive than local Vietnamese language sites, often lack photos, and have a relatively limited selection to choose from.
In general, with apartments listed on English websites, you will be charged same price as a local, the market is now open and easily to compare the the prices from all agents. Don’t worry you will not be overcharged by using google. J
Websites the locals use
If you’re less than satisfied with the results you achieve on the expat sites, you should try going native and do what the locals do and use the Vietnamese language websites. If you can’t read Vietnamese, you’ll need to enlist a native speaker to help you.
BATDONGSAN – one of the most popular websites in Ho Chi Minh City that people use to rent or to let out properties.
The king of Ho Chi Minh City rental websites is muaban, which has the highest web traffic and number of apartment listings of any site on the island. Right from the start you can use their map to choose where to begin your quest. Like most sites of this ilk, you can search by city, district, neighborhood, type of apartment and price range.
Each listing usually comes with a number of photos, information about furniture and amenities, maps of the apartment’s location and nearby landmarks, a Q&A section, and a list of recent transactions of similar apartments in the area.
An agent usually charges no fee
Use the keyword search “Housing in Saigon” or “apartment for rent in Ho Chi Minh” to select for good agent sites.
Do a quick run-through with the landlord to catalogue and document all existing damage, to be sure there aren’t any surprises when it’s time to get your deposit back. A deposit can range between one to two months’ rent.
Apartments are usually fully furnished, but if you really feel like something is lacking, you might be able to talk the landlord into acquiring it or splitting the cost of buying new furniture.
When it comes time to sign the contract, be sure that you get a duplicate copy, have your translator look over the terms very carefully, and make sure they are present to serve as a third party witness. Many, if not most, people nowadays use a basic leasing contract written under the guidance of the government, making it generally fair to both the tenant and the landlord.