If you’re thinking about moving to Vietnam, or perhaps you’re already there, at some point you’ll need to figure out how to find an apartment suited to your needs.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the different types of apartments and homes in Vietnam, how much you can expect to pay for each of them, and how to find them.
Just as we’ve explained the low cost of living in Vietnam, you can also expect very low apartment prices. But these prices will go up depending on which city you’re in, how private you want to be, and how much space you want.
Low Budget: Shared Apartments
A shared apartment is a very common and the most affordable kind of 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 wanted to socialize and meet other expats. Plus, it’s the most affordable option.
- COST: ranges between $200-$350 or higher for a more luxurious shared apartment
- INCLUDES: cleaning service (sometimes, not always), WiFi, cable (sometimes) water, parking (of a motorbike, which is normally by the door at the common area), basic furniture (bed, table, cabinet)
- EXCLUDES: electricity, service management fee (sometimes)
- 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, pets are not usually allowed (read our guide to keeping pets in Vietnam here), not suitable for expats with children
Renting Your Own Apartment
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
- INCLUDES: 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)
- EXCLUDES: 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, pricier
Serviced Apartment vs Studio Apartment
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, all of which are separate from each other. This type of apartment receives a lot of extra services such as weekly cleaning (or more frequent), water, internet, and cable. Serviced apartments are often available only in the big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang.
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.
- COST: ranges between $400-$600 or higher depending on the location and inclusions
- INCLUDES: 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)
- EXCLUDES: 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 a House
Renting your own house is possible, too. This is a good option for expats in Vietnam who have a pet or children since houses normally come with the garden or yard area.
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
- INCLUDES: furniture (sometimes not included), parking lot, internet (sometimes included)
- EXCLUDES: 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
How to Find an Apartment in Vietnam
- Facebook Groups – the easiest and fastest way is to join the most active Facebook group for housing in Vietnam. Check out this list for the best ones.
- 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
Other Tips and Things to Remember
- You need to have a work permit or a business visa to be able to rent 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.
- 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 legal issues.
- Always ask for an apartment viewing before agreeing, signing or paying for 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, for example roosters, dogs, karaoke bar next door), door security, do you get your own keys of the main door/gate, curfew?, mould on ceiling, bathroom, under the sink, and so on.
- Before moving in, check if all appliances are working to avoid having it taken from your deposit when you leave. Also, 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 the options for paying your monthly rental fee.
- Ask for feedback from the expat community about the area of your possible new apartment (safety of the neighbourhood, does it flood during the rainy season, etc).
- Check if its suitable for your need (distance to your work, public transportation, child and/or pet-friendly)
- Learn about how it costs to move to Vietnam, reasons to move (and reasons not to move) to Vietnam to see if life in Vietnam suits you.
- Ask to see the contract in English – in the contract, it should include all the basic/relevant information (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 in Vietnam. I always learn something every time I do it. This is why I don’t usually like to sign anything longer than a six (6) month 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 pay month by month or sign another six months contract or even longer. I recommend doing this, especially if it’s your first time, so you don’t get stuck somewhere that you hate.
I hope this information will help you find the right apartment for you in Vietnam!