Ho Chi Minh City,” formerly known as Saigon, offers a wide range of accommodation options. However, this raises a problem of plenty, and forces the house hunter to make decisions beforehand. Failure to do so would result in being overwhelmed with different choices and decisions that tend to dilute focus and sap energy.
The first consideration is the location. Saigon has its fair share of traffic jams so it makes sense to stay near your work place or your child’s school. The financial district where there are numerous governmental offices is at the downtown (District 1) and the district with many schools is District 2. Most of the expat-friendly amenities including supermarkets, restaurants and hospitals are also at District 2 and District 7. Make a trade-off between living near amenities and commuting times.
Apartment vs Independent House
Having zeroed in on a location, the next consideration to find a house in Saigon is to make trade-offs with regards to the type of accommodation.
The first trade-off is between an independent house and an apartment. Living in an independent house has its own advantages. The houses are invariably large, often two or three floors in height, spacious and airy. It comes with its own garden, pool, and the associated privacy. However, such benefits notwithstanding, most expats in Saigon prefer apartments. These are good reasons.
Apartments are far less of a hassle compared to independent houses. It not only costs more to maintain an independent house, the actual tasks become a hassle. Independent houses have more maintenance issues compared to apartment in any case. Very often, those who rent independent houses end up hiring a housekeeper as well. Apartments are generally more secure than independent houses as well. Most Saigon apartments have access control magnetic or biometric cards, CCTV and other security deployments in place.
Another minor consideration may be the neighbors or the atmosphere. Most Vietnameses tend to wake up early and make a lot of noise. There have been cases of neighbors raising roosters, and the cokadoodlledoo waking up neighbors all night and early morning. If you are sensitive to neighborhood noise, you may want to find an apartment for rent in Saigon in an expat dominated complex or neighborhood.
Individuals may be better off renting a room within an apartment or a guest house, which costs considerably less and offer security and convenience as well.
Furnished vs Unfurnished Apartment
The next trade-off, assuming you prefer an apartment over an independent house, is between furnished and unfurnished apartments. It is a good idea to pay higher for a furnished apartment, as it usually comes with not wardrobes, cabinets, dining and living room sets, beds and mattresses, bookshelves, curtains, and even washing machine, fridge, microwave oven, stove, telephone, Internet and cable TV. Not all furnished apartments come with all these facilities, so make sure to compare the items on offer when comparing rates. Check the furniture and equipment thoroughly for any damage and immediately report to the landlord in case of any damage. Also make sure that the contract has a clear cut wear-and-tear clause that spares the tenant from any damage to the furniture owing to normal use.
Serviced apartments and guest houses offering independent rooms usually throw in cleaning and laundry with the rent as well, making it a great option for no-hassles singles living.