Pune, India

Expat Exchange Rental Properties

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 29, 2021

Summary: Pune, India: Everything you need to know about living in Pune, India: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know about living in Pune?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Pune, they said:

"I would recommend it highly. The weather is amazing. Infrastructure is something that needs improvement, but overall its a thumbs up," remarked another in Pune.

What do I need to know before moving to Pune?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Pune, they said:

"For the move itself, don't bring too much. Most domestic items can be found very cheaply here, so long as you steer away from the malls. Bear in mind that unfurnished here means not just no furniture but no air conditioners, appliances and so forth. Make sure you know exactly what is included. Don't be shy about asking for things such as new mattresses and also new furniture if it looks well used! Power blackouts are common. Make sure you have generator back-up or at least an inverter (battery back up) or you'll spend a lot of time in the dark. Don't expect an oven, very few places have them. We only saw one apartment with an oven (which we now live in, but that wasn't the deciding factor). Microwaves are smaller than in the US but you can get combination microwaves that also double as a convection oven. You won't be cooking big turkeys so a small oven shouldn't be too troublesome. Insist on a water purifier. When you arrive start out with bottled water and after several weeks convert to the purifed water and your stomach should adapt pretty well. Decide before packing whether you will choose to live in unfurnished, partially furnished or furnished. A colleague packed assuming he'd find an unfurnished apartment but wasn't able to find one (mostly furnished here) and now he and his wife are having to try and store furniture that they brought from the US. No easy task. For neighborhood, I can't comment on areas that we don't live in but we really like where we live in the Boat Club Road area as there is plenty to do within easy walking distance. Don't try to wait it out until you dream home turns up. It won't and it is better, in our view, to get settled quickly. Nothing ever seems to be quite finished, so expect teething problems and don't get hot under the collar about them as you'll waste a lot of emotional energy to no avail. It's different here! Get to know your neighbors, especially the locals as we have found them to be unfailingly friendly and helpful - our immediate neighbor arranged a dinner party to welcome us and introduce us to some other neighbors within a week of arrival. The little tips they can help you with can make life much easier - such as one of the local grocery type stores delivers and so our neighbor took our list and called them and we had all the cleaning stuff we needed, you know mops, brooms, trashcans, and so on within an hour of moving in without the hassle of having to shop for them and far cheaper than had we bought them at one of the supermarkets that expats tend to gravitate towards, at least in their early days in country. Find your nearest little photo store and get a couple of dozen passport photos done as soon as you arrive. You'll need them as they are obligatory for even routine stuff like getting a contract to deliver propane (which your cooker works on), cellphone, aircard, lease registration and so many other things. Carry your passport. You'll need it for ID purposes a lot in the early days. In Pune, shop on MG Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road). There are some great little stores and you'll get most of what you need at much less cost than in the malls and it's a lot more fun too. Don't be afraid to buy your groceries from the markets. Sure the vegetables have a shorter shelf life than in the US, but Indians buy every day and many don't have fridges. You'll need to wash them thoroughly (using purified water) before use, but then you should back home too! The most important advice? Don't fight the place, you'll have gone home again before it changes that much. Relax, get into the flow and enjoy India and if you do it's an adventure and a wonderful place to live," explained one expat living in Pune.

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How do I find a place to live in Pune?

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We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We had the services of a relocation firm who lined up a lot of places to look at. We didn't plan it, but we lucked out as unlike a lot of the usual expat colonies in Pune, once our driver has gone for the day we aren't confined at home or relying on autorickshaws. It is a short stroll to some very good restaurants, and a couple of blocks to the local supermarket and plenty of other stores whilst still being a quiet neighborhood," explained one expat living in Pune.

Expat Exchange Rentals

We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search rental properties in India.

We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search rental properties in India.

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Pune?

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"We live in a 3 bed apartment with a roof terrace. There is a variety of housing available including bungalows and townhouse type homes. Most expats will live in apartments," said another expat in Pune.

What is the average cost of housing in Pune?

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If you are thinking about moving to Pune, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Property rental here is expensive, we pay nearly $2,000 a month for our 3 bed, 3 bath apartment. Undoubtedly, expats pay more than locals and rental amounts are increasing quite quickly due to an influx of expats. Agents tell us that suitable properties are increasingly hard to find," said another expat in Pune.

Need a rental in India? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies.

Search for Rentals

Need a rental in India? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search for Rentals in India

What to Bring When Moving to Pune (and what to leave behind)

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When we asked expats living in India what they wish they had brought when moving to India and what they wish they had left at home, they replied:

"Brought: 1. TV (Yeah, I know it's a different system (PAL not NTSC) but there are good converters and it wouldn't have mattered for our DVDs) and a good 40 inch TV is astonishingly expensive here. 2. Photo Printing Paper - strangely hard to find here. 3. Branston Pickle Left at home: 1. Our second computer 2. Coats 3. Wii (Unlike our computer and Playstation, the Wii transformer only works on 110 volts and I managed to blow it up by assuming it would work with 220 volts," explained one expat living in Pune.

Will I be able to find a job in Pune?

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When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Pune, they reponded:

"IT is booming; ITES & BPO's are mushrooming so there is a severe shortage of skilled people who can depart Cultural & Accent nutralisation training," added another person living in Pune.

What is life like in Pune?

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When we asked people living in Pune what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"For the working partner, life revolves around work and related socalizing. However, there is plenty to do in terms of sport clubs, Movie Clubs, Toast Masters Club, etc..," said another person in Pune.

What do expats in Pune appreciate most about the local culture?

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"Shopping at the smaller shops is fun. Mostly prices are marked and we often go with friends who also make sure we don't get unduly ripped off. We food shop at a variety of places. If we are hungry for some home-style food then high priced supermarkets that cater for expats have to be used. Mostly, we use the smaller supermarkets that locals use (often with helpful tips from neighbors who tell us what time fresh veg is delivered so we can time our visits. We also often buy from markets and street vendors. Naturally, we wash the produce thoroughly. We always buy flowers from street stalls. We find that quality and life of the flowers is invariably better than from the supermarket back home. The people are mostly very friendly and also openly curious. That's different to westerners but also enjoyable," added another person living in Pune.

What do expats find most challenging?

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"Language. Having to plan quite carefully for evenings and weekends. We (and most expats) have a driver and once he has gone home we are restricted to the local neighborhood. We are fortunate insofar as a lot of restaurants and shops are within walking distance but we have colleagues who are pretty isolated once their driver goes home. We miss being able to be spontaneous and just go for a drive later in the day, or just go to a restaurant the other side of town or have an evening drive to the hills to watch the sunset. We miss that quite a lot," explained one expat.

Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Pune accepting of differences?

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"There is one colony in Pune called Rajneesh's Ashram which is really diverse and consists of people from all over the globe. The locals are friendly -- sometimes too friendly, which makes one feel suspicious...but they're a friendly lot and mean no harm," explained one expat living in Pune.

What are the schools in Pune like?

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"I would advice that if you are relocating to Pune you must check out this school. I am sure you won't be disappointed," commented one expat when asked about The Lexicon International School in Pune.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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India Forum India Forum
Join our India forum to meet other people living in Pune, India.

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

Healthcare in IndiaHealthcare in India

An overview of healthcare in India - the quality of hospitals, prescription medicine in India, vaccinations, finding an English-speaking doctor in India and more.

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