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Finding an apartment in Buenos Aires

It's about time for my first Buenos Aires blog. We are here now for three weeks and lots has happened. The first challenge was to find a temporary (fully furnished) rental place. First the good news. There are plenty of apartments to choose from, so there is no need to panic. The bad news is that all real estate agents we met (and we met a few, believe me) tried to screw us. It surely felt this way. It is bad enough that foreigners have to pay in US Dollars what Argentinians have to pay in Argentinian Pesos. The least you could expect in return is some honest help. What we have experienced is that once you have signed a contract you fall on deaf ears when it comes to any problems. Nevertheless, here is a list of a websites you could check for apartments (no preferences):

There are a few things you should watch out for though:
  • Always look at the apartment before singing anything. Pictures can be deceiving and you never know which major highway runs past just outside the apartment.
  • Ask if the advertised rental price includes the commission. If you rent via an agency expect a minimum commission of 20%. Often the commission is included, but we lost several hours with one agency which appeared to offer great value for money, only to realize that their price did not include their commission. To top things off this particular agency also wanted the the rent for the whole rental period in cash and in advance. Needless to say we walked straight out.
  • Make a list of things you are missing in the apartment or you want to get fixed. It is amazing how much these agencies will do before you signed and how little once you did.
  • Don't hesitate to negotiate the price. Given the amount of available apartments it is more than reasonable to ask for at least 100-200 USD discount, especially if you are staying for several months.

You probably ask yourself now what to do in order to avoid real estate agencies. Personally I would recommend renting directly from an owner. The best source to find direct rentals is via craiglist. The site's look&feel sucks and you have to get familiar with some Spanish terms, but it is worth the effort. Of course it also helps a lot if you are able to speak Spanish when calling up people, but I don't think is is absolutely necessary.

Price wise expect to pay at least 1000-1300 USD for a reasonable place for two. Most apartments will fall into this price bracket, but what you then get for the money will differ enormously.

Last, but not least here is a link to the place we ended up renting after a two weeks intermediate rental with Pura Buenos Aires. Needless to say that we are very happy now :)

--Hardy

Old comments

2009-12-25Herbert
I think it is not easy to find apartment buenos aires, well, at least it wasn´t for me until I found the best apartment ever! I certainly remember it was located in the best zone of Buenos Aires and the price was one of the most equilibrated between quality/service and price paid.
Bye!
2010-01-03Anonymous
Hi Hardy, just came back from BA and I found the city and the people amazing. I rented a flat with Buenos Aires apartments and it has been an extremely pleasant experience which I can recommend to everyone who plans to go to Buenos Aires.

I spent there a two weeks in an apartment located in Palermo, the location was what I expected and the feeling of security of the neighborhood was great. Very recommended, best Pali
2010-01-04Hardy Ferentschik
I guess for a two week stay I wouldn't bother that much either. However, if you are planning a longer stay and you actually start looking actively around you will notice massive price/value differences.
As I mentioned in my post I did not single out any particular agent. If the one mentioned worked for you that's great :) Personally I had a bad experience.

Security was also never an issue, especially since security is more a factor of which area you are looking for an apartment and not which agent you are using.

Btw, I am staying as well in Palermo and it's great ;-)
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