Considering taking a job in Rio

My wife has travelled much of South America and loved it. However, I have never been to Brazil and have read much about spiralling property prices in Rio and also the crime problems.

As such, I would want to live a safer neighbourhood such as Ipanema and am curious as to whether I would be able to afford a Western Standard apartment on the proposed salary (about 18,000 reals per month after tax).

Much of the information available to gringos seems to be holiday lets and the apartments of any standard seem to be extortionately expensive, unless you're an oil trader. Unfortunately, I am only a lowly Insurance Underwriter.

Hello Kether.

Welcome to! :)

In meantime, do not hesitate to post an advert in the Housing in Rio de Janeiro section. It could help.

Hope you'll get some informations from other members soon.

Thank you,

Hi Kether,

Rents are high in Rio and with the World Cup and Olympics coming on they are going to get even higher. You can check real estate, to buy or to rent anywhere in Brazil at the site allows you search by state, city, area, type of property, buy or rent, etc. In most cases photos are available and the rents are clearly stated. Just remember in most apartment buildings in Brazil you will also pay a condominium fee and this can sometimes be almost as high as the rent itself, depending on the building, its facilities and what the fee includes.

While Rio's police are doing something to deal with the drug traffickers in the favelas and the army is involved from time-to-time in these operations the problem has gone on for too long to really bring back under control effectively.

From my experience of eleven years in this country it looks like the efforts are mostly for appearance sake, cosmetic and more geared to driving the traffickers out to other cities and states temporarily in order to have these events go ahead without incident. So far, that is exactly what has happened other cities are now paying the price for the fact Rio ignored the favelas for so many years.

However if you follow the safety precautions outlined in my posting "Gringos Survival Guide for Brazil" at the top of the first forum page you should be fine. Also, while written specifically with São Paulo in mind, you should also read "High Cost of Living in SP, how to economize" since the information really holds true for any major city in Brazil.

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Dear Kether- That's a pretty good salary tax free but you won't get a penthouse flat in Ipanema /Leblon on it. You should be able to afford a nice 2 bedroom though and don't worry about the condominium charges being as high as the rent. (as stated by wjwoodward), That's plain crazy. Just steer clear of serviced aparthotels.

The other thing you will need unless you want to part with a lot of money upfront in advance is what they call a fiador, or guarantor- ie someone who owns property in Rio and will vouch for you and pay if you don't!. I believe they have changed the situation recently to make it shlightly easier for people to rent without one but ask the company you will be working for how they can help you with this. if they want you here they will work something out.

Good luck


PS Best place to find biggest selection of good apartments is the classified section of O Globo on Sundays. That's where I have always found mine.

Hi Alison,

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I've been living here in Brazil for eleven years, in five major cities and apartments in all cities have condominium fees. These are exceptionally high in some cases, especially those buildings that have more amenities. Condominium fees are charged for internal and external maintenance, in most cases water/sewer since individual meters are extremely rare in apartments in Brazil. They cover the electricity bill for all common areas, cleaning staff and many times the fee of the building manager.

That's not to mention the property taxes IPTU which all property owners pass on to their tenants.

Don't know if you're Brazilian or if you've been in the country for very long, but trust me I know whereof I speak in regard to condo fees. Check it out you'll see that I'm correct. Blanket statements like, "that's just plain crazy" don't serve any useful purpose.

Regarding a guarantor (fiador) the laws have changed to permit private rent insurance which may be obtained in lieu of a fiador. Costly, but it may be the only alternative for someone who has nobody here in Brazil who owns property willing to guarantee their rent payments.

Thank you for the update on fiadors etc. That's useful information.

As for the rest I'm not sure which bubble you want to burst, but I have actually been living in Rio this time for over ten years and I have rented previously in many parts of the city.  I now live in a penthouse flat in Leblon  a "residência com serviços"  or partially serviced building, the rent for which would be at least R$10,000,00 and guess what? The condominium service charge is less than  R$1000,00.

Whilst I agree there are lots of other charges you have to consider in the whole package (like IPTU , gas and electrics) I know a lot of people here and nobody's condo fees are anything like the cost of the rent.

So sorry- I stick by my position that to imply that is not only inaccurate but plain crazy.