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Renting an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City

What we say: 3.5 stars

When you visit a city like Saigon sometimes your initial short stay can become a more permanent re-location. With new apartment buildings being constructed at a breakneck pace, the housing market here has plenty of openings, and most are furnished, making getting set up a rather simple affair. Here are some some tips and some things to expect during your search.

Why are $4,000 per month villas always on the front page?

There are several ways to find rental listings in Ho Chi Minh City, but getting a real estate agent is the easiest. An agent can show you houses and help you negotiate your lease with a landlord, who pays the agent a commission. While there are numerous real estate agencies throughout the city, I recommend The Nest. The Nest manages a large list of properties and their standards are high, so they generally don’t take you to sub-par rentals. They also speak English, and have a great website that shows rental listings with pictures.

Remember to be firm with your price range when working with a real estate agent in Ho Chi Minh City, because prices can jump immediately if you are not. Once, after verbally agreeing to move into an apartment, the price per month I had been quoted was raised by $100. They just casually informed me that the price was now higher but, after I refused this new price, it quickly dropped back down. If you find yourself in a similar situation, my recommendation is to move on to the next property, as this is usually a warning sign of things to come.

For an average sized, two-bedroom apartment in the more popular districts of Ho Chi Minh City — 1 and 7 — you can expect prices to start around the $500 mark. If you’re willing to make a commute however, to say District 8, the rent can be considerably cheaper. I know people renting multiple bedroom houses for as low as $250. Typically you will be quoted rent prices in USD, but payment is also accepted in VND. When you first rent expect to pay a deposit that can be as much as three months of rent in advance.

My oven: used once. Dining out is just too good.

Ho Chi Minh City apartments may be missing amenities you are used to back in the West. Your average rental will not have an oven, there will not be hot water in the kitchen sink, you won’t get air con in the living room, and there won’t be a dryer. If these are important to you, make sure your agent knows.

Be aware too, that many of the places you will be shown will be currently occupied. Don’t be surprised when the agent takes you to the house and the whole family is home. Wearing easily removable footwear; you’ll be slipping shoes on and off repeatedly.

Added to Travelfish on: 14th December, 2014
Last visited or updated on: 16th December, 2014

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