apartment for expats

The best apartment hunting tips for expats in Ho Chi Minh

Finding a house for rent in Vietnam is a difficult task. If you work in Vietnam for long period during 6 month or more than 1 year, it’s really essential to find a place and settle down in Vietnam.

If your budget permits, getting your own apartment and enjoy a spacious and fully furniture apartment is a good ideal. Most of foreigners want to live in apartment because of its convenience and luxury.

In this article, we will share with you the best ways on how to find the apartment in Ho chi minh city and tips to rent a house also.

I- Decide what kind of accommadation

First of all, you need to narrow down your search by deciding on the location, what type of accommodation you want and your budget. Most of expat want to find the place where is close to work. District 7 and district 2 is considered an expensive area in Ho Chi Minh City but you can walk to work every day and has lot of convenient service.

Apartment in HCM city
Apartment is the best option of accommodation in HCM

To start this whole process, you must answer these question:

1. Do you like people? You can live secluded in some place or quiet place if you are a bit of hermit. However, share-houses and societies are good for who need friends and noisy life

2. Do I want to cook? Will you eat outside or inside? Do you need cooking facilities?

3. What sort of curfew can I work to? Are you a party person? Do you usually spent alot of night outside and stagger home roaring drunk at 3 a.m. You should better have flexible place if you don’t want to get locked out.

4. What kind of facilities will I prioritize? From experience, you will always prioritise a private bedroom, bathroom and fast speed Wi-Fi. Other need air conditioning, a TV, a fridge, etc… It all depends on your lifestyle.

5. Where is most convenient for you to live? Where do you work? How do you get to work? And where is the best place you want to live?

6. Do I want to rent long-term or short-term? Often if you rent longer term your monthly payments will be less. Landlords often offer 12 month, 6 month and 3 month deals.

Also consider these factors:

– Will you need parking/security for your vehicle? What will you drive?

– Do you want a private bathroom

– How much of a clean freak are you?

– Is the landlord friendly and do they live there?

– Do you need furniture, or will you bring your own?

– Do you smoke? Have a pet?

– Is there a contract? I live without a contract which is great because I can leave when I want, but some people like the security of having a deal.

And now, How can you manage your budget to your dream home?

II. How to find

You can find apartment listings online or go to real estate agencies within your aimed area. They will assist you in your search.There are various online Sites for Apartment Hunters that you can search in your hand.


You probably can search for a rental home by Google. There are many Vietnamese websites that update the list of  house for rent. You should not search in English websites as you can be cheated

  • Facebook Group: The easiest and fastest way is to join Facebook group for housing in Vietnam. These groups are filled with apartment for rent. People regularly post available accommodation to rent and if you post a description of what you are looking for, within minutes you’ll receive a bunch of replies from eager real estate agents and other expats looking to share places.

NguyenloiMoving recommends for you effective facebook groups and websites of finding apartment here

  • Go Around and Look for “Rental House” Signs

Another strategy to find a house rental is driving around your office or your possible area and look for “rental house” signs. A lot of places don’t have advertise on google.

The magic words for you to recognized are “Cho Thuê Nhà” or “ Nhà cho thuê” and followed by a phone number. “Cho thuê nhà means: “House for rent”.

Finding apartment for rent
Go around to find “Cho thuê nhà” sign

You also get a better sense of neighbourhood when you are on the street, rather than on the computer because you can ask feedback about the area of your possible house (safety of neighbourhood, does it flood during rainy season)

When you see the sign on the street, please take photo of all the sign you found. If you have a chance, please visit the house to see the condition of the house. Or you can make a phone call to ask information later. You had better find a Vietnamese person, it could be your colleague to make calls for you. If you don’t know anyone, you can ask the hotel clerk to do a favor. In fact, she even goes with you to see a place after work in the evening.

  • Ask your friends

You can tell your friends that you are looking for a good place to rent. You will be surprised how people willing to help. Your friends may know some good rental house. In Vietnam, the homeowners will often give some money for people who get the tenant for them.

Moreover, Vietnamese are very friendly and enthusiastic, they are so happy to help others

If you do not have any friend, you can contact a real estate agent. What you need to do is giving them the information what exactly you are looking for and your budget, they will help you find you your preferred apartment/ house. You can learn more at Best Nice Apartment Rentals in Ho Chi Minh city.

III- Visiting your ideal real house

Sometimes the photos you see online can differ greatly from the real life. Agents often use old photos when the apartments is built or renovated. Therefore, you have to check carefully.

With your address you have, you can visit the house to take a look. It’s very rare to take a suitable house for the first house you see. You need to be patient, and dont’t feel pressured to agree. Be sure to check the water tank, window, door, shower and water heater attached to it. Some of them included basic furniture (bed, table, cabinet), wifi, cleaning service fee, or parking but some not included. Therefore, you must make clear with the landlord about total fee you have to pay.

It is necessary to have an air conditioner because the weather is too hot, unless you like sleeping in a bath of sweat. It is possible to buy one and get it installed, but they are quite expensive. Not all places will come with a fridge or washer. Most likely, none will come with a stove or dryer

With apartment where all furniture is provided, it costs you a lot per month.  Your room has the basic room such as bathroom, bedroom, and a kitchen which has division from each other. This type of an apartment receives a lot of extra services such as weekly cleaning, water, internet, and cable.

Finding apartment
Visit apartment for rent to see building condition

Not filled in furniture apartment is much affordable but you will consider whether buy more furniture or not, depending on how long you are planning on staying, demand and your financial ability. Apartment is a spacious and convenient place which is good for expats families but pet is no allowed

IV- Found a Place, Now What?

According to Vietnamese law, a foreigner can legally rent a property in their own name if they have been granted permission to stay in the country for a minimum of three months. The duration of the lease has no limitations. So if you have a three month visa, you should be alright. However, you need to have a work permit or a business visa to be able to sign up an apartment. Although a lot of real estate agents will let you sign up with a tourist visa, keep in mind that you are taking a risk by doing this. Especially if you are working on a tourist visa as well.

  • In the contract of house for lease, it must state:
  • Make sure that you have your name and right dates of occupancy on the contract to avoid any illegalities
  • The name and address of you and your landlord
  • A description of the property including the furniture provided
    • The rent amount and method of payment
    • When you can move in
    • When you are allowed to move out
    • The responsibilities and rights of both you and your landlord
    • Other fees (wifi, cleaning, management, parking… if any)
  • It’s a good idea to have it written in the contract that your landlord will be registering you with the foreign police. This needs to be done, but it is left up to the landlord to do it. If they don’t do it, and it’s not stated in the contract that they would, you could get in trouble.
  • At the bottom there will be a space to provide the date, and both you and your landlord’s signature. Always ask for a viewing before agreeing, signing or paying anything in advance
  • You’ll also probably need a photocopy of your passport and the Vietnam visa page that’s in it.When the contract is signed the landlord will have 30 days to register you with the foreign police. He may need to borrow your passport for that, and might need proof of employment.
  • Many landlords will want you to sign the contract which is valid within 2 years, but you should do your best to negotiate to get it down to a year. You can not predict what problems may arise
  • In Vietnam, the landlord often ask for 3-month deposit. Again, try and negotiate that down to a month or two. If you can’t, make sure it’s in the contract. Some landlords will even want 6 months deposit. I think  it’s too much and I would probably go away from this place
  • If the electricity is not included in the house rent fee, the landlord will work a deal out with you to pay it and then bring you a photocopy of the bill. Rent is usually paid at the beginning of every month. Probably in the form of cash.

Finding a place to settle down can be overwhelming and stressful at times, it also may be an interesting experience. Take your time and don’t rush into anything. You may see some terrible places and feel exhausted but keep searching. Marvellous thing happens right around the corner. If you look for experiences to find apartment and move, see more at ways to have a stress-free moving experience that NguyenloiMoving suggests for you.

V- Tips to make it cheaper

And finally, some sneaky rent-saving tips straight from a professional budgetter to you.

– How much for electricity? – Some places charge you as much as VND 5,000/KW which is absolute  expensive ! The best rate  is VND 3,000/KW but the standard is somewhere between VND 3,500/KW and VND 4,000/KW.

– Rent without furniture – Sounds scary but it is totally feasible. You rent a bare room, and then you buy a mattress and some coat-hangers. The rent fee is much lower without furniture. I also purchased a stove and a rice-cooker! It’s like camping but in a room.

– Don’t use your air-con or TV! – Read a book instead of watching that mindless box, and use a fan rather than the air conditioner. It dries your skin out anyway!

NguyenloiMoving hopes that with these tips you can easily find your good apartment! After finding a good apartment to live, you  will need Smart Tips To Make Moving a Breeze

The best apartment hunting tips for expats in Ho Chi Minh
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