What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I wish I brought my non-toxic insect repellent, more fancy clothes (people here dress up more) and a car (cars here are overpriced and there's a waiting list for purchases). I wish I left my uncomfortable shoes because I walk a lot more. Other than that, everything I brought has come in handy.
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
My advice is to be patient. Even though there is an abundance of apartments out there, finding the right one for you takes time. There are huge variations in building maintenance, security, and amenities. It's best to come here with the expectation that it might take 3 months to find a permanent place.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
Most expats live in apartments because of security and some will go for furnished homes. If looking for something furnished, it is much easier to find a one or two bedroom. Anything bigger is rare.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
When looking for a place here, you must go through an agent, who you the renter will have to pay one month's rent as commission. The trick is to use several agents because depending on your budget, they forget about you.
We chose a neighborhood that was first safe and then close to everything since I don't drive. We chose an apartment for security reasons (most buildings have 24 hour security) and it has less upkeep.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
In comparison to South Florida, housing prices are much more expensive. There are expats who pay 3,000 Euro for a 3 bedroom, two bathroom apartment. I would say the average cost for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment is about $1,200.