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Housing in Chile


Apartments are usually more readily available for foreigners than homes. There is still a good market for homes, but this often depends on the time of year and market trends.

The residential areas that are considered best for foreigners are Las Condes, La Reina, El Arrayán, Vitacura, Pedro de Valdivia Norte, El Golf, Barnechea, La Dehesa and Ñuñoa. These neighbourhoods generally have the best housing conditions and are the safest to live in.

It is possible to find fully furnished apartments (deparamento desamoblados). This is perhaps the best option if you plan to be in Chile for a shorter period of time. Furnishing an apartment can be difficult, since unfurnished apartments are generally stripped of everything but the kitchen sink. You may have to purchase a stove, oven, a water heater (calefont) and lighting.

Some newer homes will have central heating and gas. Chilean homes were originally designed without these features, so do not be surprised if there is no central heating system in many of the homes you look at. Repairs and improvements to homes may be negotiable before you sign the lease. Some landlords may prefer that your employing company sign the lease. This may be to your benefit, because company staff may have more weight in lease negotiations.

Typical leases last for two years. A diplomatic clause is commonly included allowing you to leave before the contract expires with a 60-90 day written notice. This clause may also require you to live in the home for a year before you can vacate.

Renters commonly have to pay a one month security deposit and the first rent payment up front. You may be asked to pay in pesos, dollars or in Unidad de Fomento (UF). The UF is a figure set by Chile's Central Bank that is usually used to express home and loan values. You can find the current value of the UF in any newspaper.


Expatriate Areas

Santiago is the primary expatriate location within Chile.


In general, expatriates live all over Santiago and the suburbs. Apartments are the primary option in the city for single transferees and detached and semi-detached houses are available in the suburbs, the most popular neighbourhoods being La Dehesa, Las Condes, Vitacura and Santa María de Manquehue. Families with children tend to live in the suburbs to be close to the international schools.

Cost of Housing

Housing in Santiago can be very expensive and varies based on type of residence, location, and standard of renovation. Rent can be anywhere from $800 for a small apartment in the city to $2,000-$3,000 for a modern family house in the suburbs. The local currency is the Chilean Peso.





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