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An Expat Talks about Moving to Medellin, Colombia

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Medellin

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

3 Things to Bring: Any imported products and electronics (computer is a must) - prices higher. Unlocked cellular phone - buy chip here for $3 and no contract required, free incoming calls. VOIP phone modem such as Vonage - do not count on cheap Magic Jack or Skype (poor quality) to talk free to friends and family in USA. 3 Things to Leave: health insurance - $34/mon here, sell house - prices start $100k, anything for keeping warm or cooler - will not use as perfect climate 365 days / year.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

I would not consider any areas other than Medellin for relocating now. Can find lower costs in the countryside, but can be dangerous. Also would look in the suburbs of Envigado or Sabaneta (south end for a more serene life) as the central city could be dangerous and noisy. Prices in Poblado are much higher - starting above $250-500k and is an urban jungle.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

Look for US designed and constructed condos - real estate values here are appreciating rapidily (similar to Panama 10-15 years ago) and dollar is falling so NOW is a good time to invest here (do not waste money on rent) US style housing is NOT common here - typical housing is more european (my 1st apartment) with smaller box rooms and closed in feeling, miss the US kitchen and bath design including appliances in typical housing here (my new condo is US design and is good), much construction here is NOT equal to US standards (no inspection process) and could require much money for repairs

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

Found Medellin from a friend - climate is perfect 75 days, 65 nights for sleeping(other cities climate can be much colder), good infrastucture equal to USA (drinkable water - no bottled water, low cost hydroelectric, same voltage - no convertor, natural gas in ground) and products / services (from USA, we are very accustomed to finding everything we want) and the people are very friendly / helpful

Find a good English speaking real estate agent (Andrew - Apartments Medellin) because they will generally understand also more of your needs. The local agents tend to help their friends and do not show what you will want (no MLS services here). Look for US designed and constructed housing or you will miss all your conveniences (from experience)

Need health insurance in Colombia? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a Quote

Need health insurance in Colombia? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Costs are MUCH lower as average wages are US$300 / month. With $500 / month, you can live like a king - Utilities $100 (no heating or cooling required), health $50 max with insurance and co-pay, food $250 (buy local grown/made products), other $100 for restaurants ($5 dinner), taxi $5 or bus / metro $0.65 / trip. Housing starts at $100k for good quality US style design - do not waste money on rent as real estate is a good investment here.

William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Colombia Forum Colombia Forum
Join our Colombia forum to meet other people living in Medellin, Colombia.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Medellin.

Best Places to Live in MedellinBest Places to Live in Medellin

Here are the best places to live in Medellin, Colombia, based on the recommendations of expats that already live there. There are options for a variety of budgets in this now popular destination in Colombia.

Healthcare in MedellinHealthcare in Medellin

The healthcare system in Medellin, Colombia gets generally positive reviews from expats there. Find answers to questions about universal healthcare in Colombia, what it takes to get an EPS card and more.

Medellin, ColombiaMoving to Medellin, Colombia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Medellin: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Medellin, ColombiaPros and Cons of Living in Medellin, Colombia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Medellin, Colombia.

Real Estate MedellinReal Estate in Medellin

Advice about renting and buying real estate in Medellin

Cost of Living in MedellinCost of Living in Medellin

Expats in Medellin enjoy a far lower cost of living than in major cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, work is scarce and low pay unless you are transferred there by a large company, so you'll need an established income stream to make it as an expat in Medellin.

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Expats in Colombia have taken full advantage of this South American nation's miraculous comeback after decades of chaos. Digital nomads have also found there way to Medellin, its second largest city, for a wide variety of reasons.

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An expat discusses healthcare and health insurance in Medellin, Colombia. There are several private hospitals in Medellin. He advises expats to purchase health insurance.

12 Tips for Living in Medellin, Colombia12 Tips for Living in Medellin, Colombia

An expat talks about what it's like living in Medellin, Colombia - the city of eternal spring. She talks about the popular neighborhood Carrera 70, enjoying life without a car, the 2017 changes in visa laws, hospitals, schools and much more.

Expat Report: Retiring in Medellin

A retiree in Medellin talks about loving life in Medellin - it's been a great change of pace for him and his wife. He says that while some expats live on $1,500 per month, others live in $3,000.

Expat Report: Culture Shock in Medellin

An expat in Medellin talks about adapting to the manana way of life, starting a real estate business in Colombia and the friendly Colombians.

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