A few of you were wondering how we found a long term house to live in here in Urubamba. Back in the U.S. I sometimes watched a show call Househunters, they even had a Househunters International. Househunting in Peru (at least for us) was quite a bit different than on those shows, but nonetheless I kept comparing our house search to those programs.
There are a few ways we have found that work best for us when looking for a long term rental in a foreign country.
- Real estate office
- Local Facebook Groups
- Local newspaper ads
- Local bulletin boards
- Ask the locals
We used most of these methods to find our house within the span of a week. We first arrived to the area with an AirBnB. I rented it for a week to give us some time to get to know the area and to look around for suitable accommodations. While we were here and even beforehand, I searched for long term rentals through AirBnB. It worked pretty well for me in Ecuador, but in a high tourist area such as this, I think it is a bit more difficult to find the right place. AirBnB is a great resource to use from afar, but oftentimes you’ll end up paying more than market value, even when you negotiate a long term rental price.
Real estate agents can be a big help if you have the means, and we contacted a couple, but they weren’t terribly helpful since we are budget renters. Both of the agents we talked to quoted us prices in US dollars rather than Peruvian Soles, we knew then that we weren’t talking to the right people. If we wanted to pay dollars we would have stayed in the U.S.
I saw quite a number of rentals on local area Facebook groups. Some of the properties looked great and some not so great, there was definitely a variety of properties and price ranges available. We asked around for a local newspaper that advertised rentals here in the valley, but there were none that we found.
Our biggest success was a local bulletin board located across the street from the market in town. Many times you can find these types of advertisements at local cafes, libraries, grocery stores, or community centers. The best way we have found to find rentals is to ask the locals how they find rentals.
Between Facebook groups and bulletin board advertisements we saw at least 20 places to rent. However, we were pretty specific in what we needed from a house, so not all of these places were ideal for our family. We were so specific that if we didn’t find exactly what we needed we were ready to call it quits and head back home.
Our specifications were:
- Decent internet
- Hot water shower
- At least two bedrooms
- Some green area for the kids to play
We physically only looked at three locations. The first one was a rustic house in the country whose monthly rent was less than $200. Unfortunately it didn’t come furnished and was not wired for internet. The price was so fantastic that we actually considered it, but not for long. House number two had a large yard, internet, and came partially furnished–which ended up meaning that it had a dining room table and a couch– no beds, no stove, no refrigerator. This house was about $300 per month.
House number three was located in the middle of town and fully furnished, including dishes, cleaning supplies and sheets on the beds. The house has a large hot water shower, a lovely shared garden with a grill, a washing machine, and skylights, but most importantly, there is ‘high speed’ broadband internet. At almost $400 a month, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the other places we looked at, but we are all quite comfortable here and we think this will be a perfect setting for our adventures over the next 4 months or so.