Just like what I talked about why you should move to Vietnam, I told you how easy and relatively affordable it is to find an apartment or housing in Vietnam, whether you are here for teaching, working for a company, or came here for other reasons.
Finding an apartment in Hanoi compared to finding an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) can be tricky but with the right information, you should find your ideal next “home” in this country in no time.
In this article, you will find the best ways to find a shared apartment in Vietnam, finding your own apartment in Vietnam, or if you prefer a standard home, I will talk about finding your own house in Vietnam too. If you want to have an idea about the cost of living in Vietnam, you can find it here while finding the best or suitable city in Vietnam for you here.
RELATED POST: Vietnam work permit
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WHAT IS A SHARED APARTMENT IN VIETNAM
A shared apartment is the most common and probably the most affordable housing in Vietnam. In this setup, you will live with other housemates where you have your own private room, a private bathroom if you prefer then a shared kitchen and a shared living area. I personally lived in a shared apartment in Ho Chi Minh City, I chose this type of housing mainly because I want to make sure that I will meet other expats. Plus, it’s more affordable.
- COST: ranges between $200-$350 or higher for a more luxurious shared apartment
- INCLUSION: cleaning service (in smaller towns, this might not a norm), WiFi, cable (sometimes) water, parking (of a motorbike, which is normally by the door at the common area), basic furniture (bed, table, cabinet)
- EXCLUSION: electricity, service management fee (sometimes included)
- PROS: the best way to meet people, affordable, can be short-term (6 months or more) or long-term renting (1 year or more)
- CONS: limited privacy, most pets are not allowed, not suitable for expats with children
ALSO READ: Guide on how to move to Vietnam
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SERVICED APARTMENT AND STUDIO APARTMENT IN VIETNAM
A serviced apartment is a room in a building, where all the furniture will be provided. Your room has the basic room needs such as a bathroom, bedroom, and a kitchen which has division from each other. This type of apartment receives a lot of extra services such as weekly cleaning (or more frequent), water, internet, and cable.
While a studio apartment is a room where all the basic room needs are in the same usage area, meaning no division between the kitchen, living room, and the bedroom apart from the bathroom. Cleaning services are mostly not included but can be arranged by yourself or your landlord.
In a sense, they are not to different apart from serviced apartment comes with lot of extra services and often the bills are included. Serviced apartments are often available only in the big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang.
- COST: ranges between $400-$600 or higher depending on the location and inclusions
- INCLUSION: cleaning service, WiFi, cable (sometimes) water, parking (of a motorbike, which is normally by the door at the common area), basic furniture (bed, table, cabinet)
- EXCLUSION: electricity, service management fee (sometimes included)
- PROS: more privacy, less worry about the maintenance of the house, medium price, can be short-term or long-term – often 6 months minimum
- CONS: often requires a 1-year minimum contract, most pets are not allowed, not suitable for expats with children
RENTING YOUR OWN APARTMENT IN VIETNAM
If your budget permits, get your own apartment and enjoy a spacious and fully furnished apartment. Apartments can be pricey depending on your preferred location. Apartments are available with 1-3 bedrooms and 1-2 bathrooms.
- COST: ranges between $350-$1,000 or higher depending on the location, inclusions, and size
- INCLUSION: cleaning service (in big cities), WiFi, cable (sometimes) water, basic furniture (bed, table, cabinet, dining table, fridge, washing machine), luxurious facilities such as gym, swimming pool (depending on the price of the apartment)
- EXCLUSION: electricity, parking (sometimes included), service management fee (sometimes included)
- PROS: a spacious and all privacy you needed, good for expats families, sometimes pets are allowed
- CONS: long-term – often 1-year minimum contract, can be pricey
RENTING A HOUSE
Renting your own house is possible too, this is a good option for expats in Vietnam who has a pet or children since houses normally come with the garden area but it depends on the location. However, houses can cost a lot of money and services such as management and cleaning are not included. This means that it will be your job to find cleaning personnel or someone to fix certain issues in the house.
- COST: $800 and up depending on the location, size, and inclusions
- INCLUSION: furniture (sometimes not included), parking lot, internet (sometimes included)
- EXCLUSION: electricity, water, cable, internet, parking, service management fee (sometimes included depending on your real estate agent)
- PROS: a spacious and all privacy you needed, good for expats families with children or pets
- CONS: long-term – often 1 or 2 or even up to 5-year minimum contract, can be pricey, service management is often not included
WAYS TO TO FIND AN APARTMENT FOR RENT IN VIETNAM
- Facebook Groups – the easiest and fastest way is to join the active Facebook group for housing in Vietnam. Check out this list for the best and most active Facebook expat groups in Vietnam.
- Craiglist – Vietnam has its own craigslist which is a good source as well. This is also perfect when finding the furniture you need in your new apartment
- Bandongsan.vn – an online platform where you can find the latest posting for apartments in the whole of Vietnam. Even this in Vietnamese, just click your “translate in English” and you should find your way around. Don’t click the English website, since that is mostly empty
- Contact a real estate agent – in my own experience, there are loads of real estate agents that you will come across on Facebook groups. Send them a message with the information of what exactly you are looking for and your budget, they will help you find you your preferred apartment
WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN FINDING AN APARTMENT PLUS TIPS
- 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. >>Read type of visas in Vietnam
- It is common that you will be asked to pay at least one month (two months is normal too) in advance plus a deposit (one month or more).
- Make sure that you have your name and right dates of occupancy on the contract to avoid any illegalities.
- Always ask for viewing before agreeing, signing or paying anything in advance.
- During the viewing, we recommend you check these things especially if you are planning to sign a 1 year contract (noise level [roosters, dogs, karaoke bar next door], door security, do you get your own keys of the main door/gate [some places have a curfew!], mould on ceiling, bathroom, under the sink.
- Before moving in, check if all appliances are working to avoid having it charged to your deposit or if you notice a broken light or furniture very early from your moving date, take a photo and notify your landlord right away so they can’t claim that you broke it.
- Ask your landlord for plenty of options on ways to pay your monthly dues.
- Ask for the feedback from the expat community about the area of your possible new apartment (safety of the neighbourhood, does it flood during the rainy season).
- Check if its suitable for your need (distance to your work, public transportation, child and/or pet-friendly)
- Learn about how much does it cost to move to Vietnam or how to get around (transportation) to see if life in Vietnam suits you.
- Ask to see the contract in English – in the contract, it should include the basic (cost, description, dates)
- Make sure your landlord can and is willing to register your stay to the ward police.
Personally, I’ve moved into and moved out of many apartments and houses and I always learn something every time I do it because I forgot small things. This is why I don’t really sign anything longer than six (6) months contract, I’d hate to be in such a miserable place or dealing with the miserable landlord for longer than six months.
I make sure that after six months, I can either just to month by month or sign another six months contract or even longer.