There are several options open for expats looking for housing. If you’re relocating with your family or staying long-term then a house may be a better choice than an apartment or condominium.
Condominiums or ‘condos’ are units in a large building that is often owned by a real-estate company, units can then be bought or rented from them. The people living here share maintenance, landscaping and security costs, there are also community rules that everyone abides by. Condos are considered more up-market than apartment buildings and are often found more readily in business districts than apartments, making them more convenient for commuting. They usually come furnished and ready to use. The thing to remember is that space can be limited as the company who owns the project will always maximize the space by building as many units as possible.
These often offer more space than a condo and come unfurnished or furnished. They are usually privately owned so the landlord will dictate the rules and you will have to negotiate with him or her. If you prefer to decorate and make your home your own an apartment may suit you more than a condo (check with your landlord before any major redecoration).
If you are moving with your family or expect to stay more than a year then a house will probably suit you best. That said, houses are usually further from the city centre but offer more space than apartments or condos. Filipino families who are moving abroad often like to rent to expats as it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, this can be the best way to find a house rental.
Location and quality of construction plays a big part in the expected cost of your accommodation. The closer to schools, shopping malls, main roads, and beaches it is the more costly it is likely to be. The following prices are a rough guide, however, if you are looking for a house the cost will be much higher. Most expat houses are in gated communities or villages outside cities that only the wealthy live in.
The average cost for apartments are as follows:
- a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre is €150 per month
- a 1-bedroom apartment out of the city centre will cost €110 per month
- a 3-bedroom city centre apartment costs around €400 a month
- a 3-bedroom apartment outside the centre costs €220 a month
- utilities (gas, electric, water, garbage collection) are €62 on average