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Apartments in HCMC, Vietnam

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by ajstewart79, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. I'm heading to HCMC in August. The campus of the school I will be working at is in the expat area in Thao Dien, District 2, next to many of the other international schools. I get a housing allowance, so I get to choose my own apartment.

    My school has given me a list of websites to give me an idea of what's available and where. I'm wondering what area I should look in. I've been given some advice that Binh Thanh is a good compromise as it's halfway between the centre of Saigon and where the school is.

    I'd love to hear some thoughts on this from people living in HCMC already?
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    Binh Thanh is cheaper than most areas near An Phu. It will still take anything between 20 minutes and 1 hour to get to school if you leave at 6:30. That is dependent on many factors. Like , for example, police not turning up to a particular set of traffic lights. to beat people with sticks so that they pay some heed to traffic lights. Flooding can also be a problem. I remember a few occasions where my bus was up to the wheel rims in water.
    I stayed in a little apartment complex called Dat Phu Sa. I got a spacious 2 bedroom flat for $850 per month. That was 2 years ago so rents can only have gone up. It was a bit run down but brilliant staff and a swimming pool and a tennis court. The district is very Vietnamese. There are hardly any westerners. We did our shopping in a open market. I bought my beer from someone's front room. You need to learn a bit of Vietnamese to get by. Me and my kids loved it. We could get to a wholesaler called Metro easily in a taxi to buy meat and most supermarket stuff. An Phu supermarket is rubbish and expensive. Rents for flats near the schools were rocketing when we left so I doubt a school allowance would cover a flat there. Be aware that a lot of houses near the schools flood.
  3. yasf

    yasf Occasional commenter

    Actually they went down quite a lot after you left. There has been huge amounts of building, and when I left you could get a luxury flat near An Phu in Saigon Pearl (Binh Thanh) for around 850pcm.
    Ask the school, or one of your future colleagues, to recommend an agent - usually a guy on a small motorbike that'll take you round various places that reflect your budget. You can always haggle and they'll be able to tell you where floods and where doesn't. I lived in Binh Thanh and it took me about 10 mins on a motorbike to get to work.
    It's an amazing country. You'll have a ball.
  4. Thanks for the replies.

    I have also heard that rents have gone down and are continuing to go down from some teachers who I know who live there currently.

    The school will recommend an agent and this process is all set-up as part of the induction program, but I thought since they have given me a few websites of agents to look at from here I thought I would check it out to get an idea of what's around and which areas to look in. I'm looking at a two bedroom apartment, so friends can stay and have an allowance of up to $850 per month, though if it's cheaper I get to pocket the remaining housing allowance each month.

    Re Bin Thanh yasf, it seems on the map to be a big'ish suburb. Are there particular areas that are better to live in, for ease of getting to school, shopping, getting out and about etc? Or is it just a matter of going with the agent and finding the right place anywhere in the suburb?
  5. Thanks sheika. I did ask that question about housing allowance surplus and it's definitely the case. I know what you mean though, as other schools I applied at told me that they only pay the amount of rent, I don't get to keep any surplus. They told me that if possible they pay the landlord directly with the agreed amount of rent, any extra/surplus is put into my account. If it's not possible for the school to pay the landlord, then they deposit the whole allowance into my account and I pay the landlord, again keeping whatever surplus, if there is any. I also have a friend of a friend working at the school already who also says this is the case, so I'm pretty confident about it, but then again I have also read many forum posts about the things schools say to get teachers to sign. Though I don't feel this school is one of those.

    Re An Phu thanks for the advice, that area would be great for being close to school so I will definitely be checking it out for apartments.

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