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Planning on moving to Manizales

Hi there!! My husband and I currently live in Lancaster, PA. We're planning on moving to Manizales, his hometown, within the next year and half. I'm looking forward to the move but I'm also concerned about the culture change.  We will be visiting in September to look at places to consider living. Any suggestions, ideas, etc would be greatly appreciated.

Welcome to the Colombia forum, Cynthia.

Did your husband tell you that Manizales is infamously hilly?  Maybe you already visited and saw this yourself.

Either way, consider factoring in the high altitude and the hills in choosing a neighborhood.  Outside the Distrito Capital and its suburbs, Manizales at 7,000 feet is one of the 'tallest' cities in La República.

Check the latest newspaper clasificados when you arrive.

Visit potential neighborhoods and look for signs such as Arriendo in homes' windows.

If you like being around a universidad, you'll have your pick of such neighborhoods in Caldas's departmental capital.

cccmedia in Quindío

Hi cccmedia,

Thank you for your response. I've been to Manizales once before but we spent most of our time visiting all the aunts and other family so I didn't have a chance to really get to know the city and surrounding areas. It reminded me a little of SFO but without the bay.

We would like to buy a house or an apartment. I like Chipre and El Cable but my husband would like to live a little outside town ... maybe Villa Maria or San Peregrino. Neither of us is really interested in living in a conjunto. He would like to buy a bit of land and build but I'm leery of the Colombian flexible approach to time and schedules. And of course all of the other issues that come with developing raw land even for just one dwelling.

We're planning a trip in September to go around looking at specific areas. The aunts will just have to wait.

Thanks again for your response. I've been lurking on the forum for a little while and your answers are well-reasoned and logical.

Hi Cynthia, Villamaria is a great option if you don't want to be inside the city, El cable sometimes can be really noisy >_<  with a little bit of luck you can find something nice in la Florida, is still affordable.  I've recently moved to Manizales and I heard very good comments about "La Linda" for the kind of living you are looking for.

Regards,

Karen

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your reply and your suggestions! I think my husband has mentioned la Florida as an area to consider. He also mentioned Santagueda but he says that it is very hot and humid there. We'll probably explore Villa Maria, Chinchiná, San Peregrino, and maybe la Linda. But I understand that things in la Linda are becoming expensive. In the city, I still like Chipre, and I'm told that Belén and Palermo are also nice.

We'll be in Manizales next month, from the 7th through the 15th. We're heading back to Bogotá on the 16th to spend a few days there before heading home.

Looking forward to exploring!

Regards,

Cynthia

I love Chipre!!!! 😍 it would be so nice to live there and see the sunset everyday. But not in the main street, is too noisy.
I'm currently living in Belen, is a wonderful neighborhood, quiet, near to everything, good stores, medical centers, markets, shopping centers, easy to get transport, the only thing is the "estrato" here is 5 and you see it in the bills, they are quiet expensive compare with the rest of the city, Palermo is estrato 6 so I guess is even more expensive, but adorable neighborhood. The estrato is something to consider if you planning to buy, because is proportional to the taxes you have to pay per year. La Florida is a dream, I have friends living there and I heard that not so long time ago the city changed the estrato and now they are in 4 that is not so bad, they used to be 2, but since become so popular affected the prices in the whole area.
Now Villamaria..  :)  :top:  the town is lovely and it looks great to live, also have everything what you can need and very close, the town still cheap..... I really like it. I hope you can find a nice place, this city is just great!

I'd really recommend to rent for 1 year before buying anything. 

From experience in shopping for a home in Colombia (closer to Pereira)...take your time.  My wife went down first to create a 'short list' of homes for me to look at.  As soon as I showed up, they would always quote a higher price than what they previously told my wife.  No matter the home, we would just walk away.

Also, look at 30-40 homes before buying.  This will give you a much better idea on how to price things.  Even with my wife's family there, they would always guestimate what the prices should be....which were always higher that what the people were asking.  They just didn't have the experience in the field.   Unfortunately, Colombia does't have any assessment easily available (like in the USA, via gov't website) to get a general idea of home prices.  Shop around to get a feel for it....then when you find what you like, offer directly to the owner 25-30% less of what they are asking.

We probably ran into 3-5 homes that we liked, but passed due to asking price...only to find they finally sold for 25-30% less than asking anyway.  It might be different if you are in a gated community.

You'll also run into a lot of people selling for reasons other than 'moving due to work'....it seems to be trouble with the bank, family financial problems, health problems....etc...but yet they still won't work with you on price.

Thanks, mtbe, for your suggestions! We are definitely not planning on buying anything right away. The immediate goal is to figure out which area we most want to live in and then to work from there.

Interesting point about the different prices quoted for you and your wife.

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