Starting a search for a dream home, away from home can be a daunting task, understanding that markets and styles are different in different countries is essential. Here are a few tips on how to get the most when house hunting in Vietnam.
Do your own research on the internet before you come to Vietnam so that you are prepared for the available residential types and it neighborhoods. There are many websites that post photos for the rental residences which should give you a good understanding of the style and size for your budget. Property rental in Saigon is not exactly a market of landlords with well thought out layout and contemporary design. Look up realtors with property videos such as www.homeconnectvietnam.com to help you get a feel of the property structure and layout.
Contact your friends or colleagues who already live or have lived in the country for advice. However, keep in mind that advice will be based on personal perspectives. Houses that are perfect for their families might not meet your family’s requirements.
When you are on the ground, take the time to visit different districts. Don’t limit your location based on where others you know have chosen to live. The three most popular districts for expatriate residents are District 1, 2 and 7. Some choose to live in District 3, 4, 5 or Binh Thanh while others find their new homes on the outskirt of the city – District 9, Phu Nhuan, etc. for various reasons. What seems to be an ideal neighborhood to them might be too far from everything else that you want to experience in Ho Chi Minh City.
If you have children within school age and have not made a decision on the international school for them, make it a ‘package search’. Take half a day to visit a school and available houses in the area while looking out for other nearby facilities in each district. It might help you narrow down on the ideal package for your family.
Engage reputed realtors’ service to help with the home search, preferably not more than two. It is important to give the realtors feedback on the properties that you have seen so they can expand the search if you do not see anything feel like home during the first few visits. Engaging many realtors will result in a much longer search with a big chance that you are being shown the same properties all over again.
Once you have narrowed down the property choices, it is important to have at least a back up. Vietnam is a first come first serve market and there is a possibility that other potential renters might be faster than you, especially for the unique rentals.
Most asking rents can be negotiated. It is advisable to include all of the requested maintenance services and extra furnishing requests during the initial negotiation. Landlords tend to be weary if tenant produces a new request after the final rental has been agreed. Most landlords will not have a problem saying “yes” to: re-painting the house in neutral color, polishing the wood floor, servicing the air conditioners and other provided appliances, installing fittings such as ceiling fans and activating Cable TV and internet connections. Some might include swimming pool and garden maintenance fees or compound management fees.
If you are unable to get too much negotiated off the rental fee, try to bargain for some new appliances or upgrades on the electronics or furniture already there, especially if the TV looks a little small, or the sofa looks a bit tatty, now is the time to bargain for improvements.
If you find a un-furnished property that is a great fit for your family, you can still request for it to be fully furnished. Though you might need to expect a slight increase in the rental. It is critical to openly discuss your furnishing style with your realtor and the landlord to “prevent” hideous and cheaply made furniture being provided. Once a budget for the furniture is set, we recommend making time for a shopping tour with the landlord or at least sending pictures of your style and choices that meets the agreed budget.
Your realtor should assist you to document all of the inventories and any damage that comes with the property before you move. This is essential in order to avoid and disputes when your lease ends.
These simple tips will ensure you find the perfect home with minimum hassle. Most importantly do your research and know what to expect when viewing properties, and make sure you work with trusted real estate companies to help you navigate the legal requirements & negotiations for the best deal possible.