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Housing Questions

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9/5/2013 15:44 EST

We are planning to retire to Chile in December 2013.
We will be visiting the Valparaiso and Concepcion areas to find a
suitable neighborhood.
We will arrive on a tourist visa and immediately apply for a long term
residency visa.
We want to rent/lease an apartment, condo, or small house and
we have a few questions about the process in Chile.
1. What are the legal requirements or customary business practices
for renting in regards to visa type or status?
2. What is the customary deposit, e.g., 1 month rent?
3. What is the prevalence of furnished versus unfurnished?
4. What is the customary lease length?
5. How do you find available apartments?
6. How do you find reputable rental agencies?
7. What is the 'normal' sequence of events beginning with 'I want to rent this'
and ending with a set of keys and moving in?

10/13/2013 09:28 EST

Hi, we are going to be there Nov. 21 - Dec. 5 you are one step ahead of us, do you need a lawyer to do your long term residency visa? And we would like to know the answer of your questions too.

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10/13/2013 12:31 EST

Well this one last time I will answer some of these Q's :) --

First there is no MLS to find things here. You can go online and there is a sort of an MLS but very rudimentary compared to US.

But look carefully. The RE agents, uniformly speaking, will not talk to you unless you have a bank account and a permanent RUT#. People without these docs are excluded from being able to rent. You also cannot get a bank account without a permanent RUT so please plan ahead to minimize your needing to access $$ from Chile.

We use Schwab bank which is online only and has fantastic customer service via Skype. They do not charge a fee to access your $$ thru an ATM anywhere in the world. (only the currency difference but no extra fees---big savings!)

We used our ATM card for several years to pay everything and that can get pricey so Schwab is great.

You may find a few places in Santiago initially who rent to expats. But they are in more expensive areas and pricey on top of that. Maybe similar services in other cities I am not sure.

So you need to talk to owner's who are renting their own properties.

Since this is going to be midsummer and Xmas you will find everything wildly expensive and most owners want to rent by the night only as they get so much more $$$ this time of year.

Are you going to rent a car while you look for and find apts? This can be done with a credit card or your Schwab ATM. You could start staying with hostels for your first few nights..but you will need to book before as it is holiday high season.

Look on mercado libre as well- it is rather like Craig's list and is also good for things you might want to buy.

Because you need to go thru an owner rather than an agency the terms of your contract are up to you. Our own rentals have all been great with lovely owners.

Haunt the local forums like Chile expats or Chile Gringos and put in some ads.Someone might be out of town in Dec-Jan and want a renter in their house short term. Or they might know someone who has a place open.

We have a room we rent out short term with a QS bed if you are stuck. We are very friendly but we are near Santiago. Contact me if you need it for a bit.

Suzie Hammond is the author of; I am Not Sure Where I Want to Be -But it's Not Here (A Comprehensive System for Finding a New Home You'll Love )

Blog, Book & FREE Special Report-

11/29/2013 15:10 EST

Looking for private room / small economical apartment. Hello & thank you for an informative useful thread! I am coming next week to Chile on an investor visa . I will be there 6-12 mos. I need a place Dec 9th on.....even a short term will help until I can decide where I want to go / find a semi permanent place. I am a professional semiretired geophysicist, now short term owner. How much is your room & is there internet? Thanks

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