House Hunting in Saigon – How to win the game?
Why some people take only 2-3 days and many others take weeks to find a suitable place?
In our experience, the difference in these two groups of people is whether they know their expectation well enough. Knowing your expectations for the house you want is very important to figure out what is a good option so that you don’t have to waste time searching for the “BEST” option in the market which might not even exist.
Here are some expectations categorized below:
4 essential notices when you find a house in Saigon
1) House Priorities
Sit down and write everything you want in a home, possibly with inputs from flatmates or family members. The priority list may include noise level, being pet friendly, kid friendly, outdoor space, number of bedroom, size of apartment, facilities like gym and pool… Then choose your top five, or even top three and must-haves. Once you start looking, all sorts of charming features are bound to sway you; keeping your priorities list close at hand can help you stay on track.
As a real estate company, we notice that many people do their research with almost 4–5 districts in HCM City and they just waste their time at the end of the day running around. The best tip is that you should also have a priority list of locations. Then you will start doing your research accordingly. With the same amount of time, searching options in one location would definitely give you more positive results.
Being indecisive about your budget may cost you more time than it’s needed to find a good house. We see many people with unclear budget shoot for the sky and overspend when renting a place while some people stay too down to earth and end up with low standard options.
3) Interior Style
This is about the feeling when you come to the house, the “YES” moment when you step into the house. Many people spend weeks to search for the house with suitable style and it usually takes more time for people with specific taste of style to find the right house. The reason is that landlords in Vietnam usually have many houses at the same time and they don’t really pay attention to their house decoration. (Some don’t even see their house once)
4) Timing of Searching
It’s good for you to start searching new house one month before you need it. If you plan to do house/apartment research 2 months prior to your moving day there is high chance you can not book the option you like because the landlord doesn’t want to wait 2 months. Therefore, doing research one month in advance will be a good timing for you.
After deciding on a list of criteria for your future rent you can start searching yourself.
Here are some tactics that you can use in Vietnam market:
1) Google Search:
This is one of the most popular one but yet to be the most effective one. You will end up into sites with lots of apartment listings but most of them are outdated or not real. Some friends of ours spent days doing research on google and came up with lots of good options but all of them were outdated. So the tip for saving time on internet is that you go ahead and contact the agent who posts the house that you like. He/she will probably send you a new different list of options that he/she has at the moment, and that would save your time for searching the outdated options on the internet.
2) Seek for Friends’ Advice:
Ask your friend to know which location you want to stay and have basic understanding about the city if you are new. This will help you to sharpen your criteria and do research more effectively.
3) Seek for Landlord Listings:
When doing online research you can search for landlord listings if you want to work directly with landlords. A handy tip is to google their phone number to see how many listings they have on the Internet: agent’s phone number will have more than five listings while landlord will have only in 1–2 listings.
4) Using 360° function:
Real estate sites such as Hoozing integrates 360° into the platform that help you to visit the house virtually. This function will help you to save time and make decision more efficiently on whether or not you want to visit the option or even take the option without visiting it.
5) Knowing local practices:
If you are new to Vietnam and feel unfamiliar with the market, check out our article “How does the residential rental market work in Vietnam” to have an overview about the common practice in terms of agent fee, deposit and payment, signing contract and breaking contract, etc.
We would like to develop this article into a detailed and comprehensive guide for expats looking for long-term rental places in Vietnam. Do comment the post with your own experience/ advice/ question and stand a chance of winning a large pizza delivered to your doorstep tomorrow.
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