Houses in Vietnam
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Upon moving to Vietnam, finding housing will be one of your top priorities. You must first identify the city or area where you want to live and learn about the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

Before your departure, you can easily learn online about the various types of accommodation offered in different spots in the country. Although not a necessity, you might also want to hire a real estate agent who can help source a home according to your preferences and budget. If already in the country, word-of-mouth can also help you in sourcing suitable accommodation more rapidly.

Types of accommodation

In the past decade, the real estate market has been booming across Vietnam. Several types of accommodation are available. The various provinces offer modern apartments, houses, and villas, as well as those of the more traditional sort. Rental properties in the cities are very often incredibly modern, clean, and set up specifically to accommodate Western expatriates.

It is common for expats to live in a traditional tall-stacked house with a modern interior and finishing, especially in cities. These are typically owned (and often also managed) by older Vietnamese landlords living nearby, who have had land in the area throughout a few generations.

Tip

If you are only moving to the country for a short amount of time, it is probably best to stay in dedicated tourist accommodation; namely in a hostel, homestay, Airbnb, hotel or resort (depending on your preferences and budget).

Airbnb

The country's widest range of AirBnb's for let are in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City, and these are generally affordable and well-run by English-speaking locals and up to Western standards. Airbnb is slowly infiltrating the less-populated regions but it is advised that you don't have too many expectations.

Lease

Rent in Vietnam tends to be a little higher compared to other Asian countries. The price can be negotiated with the owners if you have contacted them yourself, but not if you hire a real estate agent. Lease periods are variable but typically vary between one and five years. It is not impossible, however, to negotiate a month-to-month basis; it entirely depends on the owner.

You are typically required to pay an advance which may amount to 1-3 months rent. To sign a rental contract you will have to produce your passport or a valid visa as proof of identity. Make sure you have read and understood the various clauses before signing. If you move out before the lease expires, you may not get your deposit back.

Good to know:

  • Generally, charges for water and electricity consumption are not included in the rent. Prices vary in the different provinces.
  • If you are bringing a pet and renting, be sure to check with your landlord if the accommodation is pet-friendly prior to committing.

Buying property

Neither foreigners nor citizens are actually technically allowed to own land in Vietnam. Land is collectively owned nationally by the people and regulated by the state.

As a foreigner, to be able to purchase property in Vietnam, you must meet some specific criteria established by the authorities. Above all, you must be a Vietnamese resident (i.e. hold a residence permit) for more than a year. You are eligible to buy a property if you hold a valid investment certificate with one year's duration, if you are working in a company based in Vietnam, or if you are married to a Vietnamese citizen.

As an expatriate, you can buy an apartment located within a building that is part of a proposed residential or commercial development project. Expatriates wishing to invest may not acquire over 30% of the number of apartments in a residential building. They may purchase a maximum of 250 homes in a neighbourhood.

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