Apartment or House - Must / Want List

Happy Lunar Holiday everyone. May the coming year of the Boar be the most healthy and prosperous one yet for you and your family.

Would like to benefit from your local experience. The items below are my personal requirements, yet what do you think should be added or modified to this list of criteria for selecting an apartment/house. Is anything missing? Go ahead, be bold and assertive, it will make for a more realistic list <sans snarkiness>:

Must                                                            Want
Friendly & safe neighborhood               Close to shopping
Quiet after 10 pm                                    Close to street food / restaurants
Windows enabling sunshine                  Sane & reasonable landlord
Sheltered parking                                    Furnished
High-speed internet (upgradeable)      House or apartment
A/C                                                             1 or + year rental agreement
2-3 bedrooms                                          Hot water in the bathroom sink
Kitchen
No house share

Thanks

Quietness, that is not easy. My number one tip having lived here for 11 years.......find a dead-end hem, so much quieter. I don't do apartments, I feel you can't interact with neighbours like you can living in a house.

workplacestars :

Happy Lunar Holiday everyone. May the coming year of the Boar be the most healthy and prosperous one yet for you and your family.

Would like to benefit from your local experience. The items below are my personal requirements, yet what do you think should be added or modified to this list of criteria for selecting an apartment/house. Is anything missing? Go ahead, be bold and assertive, it will make for a more realistic list <sans snarkiness>:

Must                                                            Want
Friendly & safe neighborhood               Close to shopping
Quiet after 10 pm                                    Close to street food / restaurants
Windows enabling sunshine                  Sane & reasonable landlord
Sheltered parking                                    Furnished
High-speed internet (upgradeable)      House or apartment
A/C                                                             1 or + year rental agreement
2-3 bedrooms                                          Hot water in the bathroom sink
Kitchen
No house share

Thanks

Doors and windows that are more soundproof than paper.

Neighbours above you who don't sound like a herd of elephants.

Neighbours who don't burn waste.

No bar or disco nearby.

.

.

.

.

.

Valuable additions colinoscapee and Andy, the list is getting refined. Even as a landlord for over 40 years, I stand humbled by a lack of local knowledge and wouldn't in a thousand years have surfaced these factors on my own.

Make sure you write on the contract.

I can break the contract if I have to return to my home country, transferred due to work or due to a medical condition.

One thing that I would suggest (that I DIDN'T do but should have) is to visit the house during the day but again at night.  We are in a gated community which is very quiet..right up until the two karaoke bars about 200 meters away crank up and go all night.  I mean, all night.  It's not uncommon to have them still going at 5am or 6am.

SteinNebraska :

One thing that I would suggest (that I DIDN'T do but should have) is to visit the house during the day but again at night.  We are in a gated community which is very quiet..right up until the two karaoke bars about 200 meters away crank up and go all night.  I mean, all night.  It's not uncommon to have them still going at 5am or 6am.

You may have very well saved my sanity with this tip. Noise at night for me personally is bad medicine. BTW, interesting username, without meaning to get overly personal do you hail from Nebraska? Eight of my first eighteen years were lived in Lincoln.

workplacestars :

Happy Lunar Holiday everyone. May the coming year of the Boar be the most healthy and prosperous one yet for you and your family.

Would like to benefit from your local experience. The items below are my personal requirements, yet what do you think should be added or modified to this list of criteria for selecting an apartment/house. Is anything missing? Go ahead, be bold and assertive, it will make for a more realistic list <sans snarkiness>:

Must                                                            Want
Friendly & safe neighborhood               Close to shopping
Quiet after 10 pm                                    Close to street food / restaurants
Windows enabling sunshine                  Sane & reasonable landlord
Sheltered parking                                    Furnished
High-speed internet (upgradeable)      House or apartment
A/C                                                             1 or + year rental agreement
2-3 bedrooms                                          Hot water in the bathroom sink
Kitchen
No house share

Thanks

Window screens.

I thought I was negotiating to have our five windows screened.

It turns out, I was asking for permission to install them (long story...)

Anyway, the high-quality accordion-style horizontal screens that were installed are amazing, allowing for them to be opened during the day and closed at night.

The final bill was about ₫6,000,000 and I consider it some of the best money I've paid out of my own pocket since arriving.

Hoping everything is progressing well for you, and that your interpreter is more aggressive than my significant other...

:dumbom:

OceanBeach92107 :
workplacestars :

Window screens.

Greetings OceanBeach sounds like you are enjoying life and endearing companionship in Da Nang - good stuff  :top: 

Appreciate the screens suggestion :one

Over a thirty-day period, I explored Da Nang, Hoi An, Quy Nhon and had a great business networking meeting in HCMC (even toured the War Remnants Museum). Three days ago I returned to New York to initiate household liquidation and sell my two cars - sadly including my classic Euro '72 350SL. Hope to be back to Vietnam with luggage no later than May 30th and plan to settle in Quy Nhon with frequent trips to Saigon for business relationship development. Don't get me started about "my interpreter"...which rivals many of the interesting stories on these boards, and btw she's assertive, not aggressive  :thanks:

Here are an updated list thanks to everyone's great suggestions:

Must                                                                           Want
Friendly & safe neighborhood                               Prefer house to be in community with neighbors
Quiet after 10 pm                                                    Close to shopping
Windows enabling sunshine                                 Close to street food / restaurants
Sheltered parking                                                    Sane & reasonable landlord
High-speed internet (upgradeable)                      Furnished
A/C                                                                             1-year rental agreement                                           
2-3 bedrooms                                                          Dead-end or very private street
Kitchen                                                                      Residential area
Doors and windows that are more                     
soundproof than paper
Neighbors around me who don't make
sounds like a herd of elephants   
Neighbors don't burn waste.
No bar or disco nearby

1-Make sure to write into the contract: "I can break the contract if I have to return to my home country, transferred due to work or due to a medical condition."
2-Visit the house during the day and again at night to check for noise and general ambiance
3-Install high-quality accordion-style horizontal screens

workplacestars :

BTW, interesting username, without meaning to get overly personal do you hail from Nebraska? Eight of my first eighteen years were lived in Lincoln.

Yes, I always lived near Lincoln and have worked there the last 30 years.  I moved here in January but still work for the same company.  They really weren't keen on me going here full time, preferring when I would come two weeks every couple of months but when they realized they could have me here working remotely or not at all they opted for the first option.  They are good with it now.  I'm saving them 3-4 times my salary per year.

workplacestars :

...assertive, not aggressive

A better choice of words!

:thanks:

SteinNebraska :
workplacestars :

BTW, interesting username, without meaning to get overly personal do you hail from Nebraska? Eight of my first eighteen years were lived in Lincoln.

Yes, I always lived near Lincoln and have worked there the last 30 years.  I moved here in January but still work for the same company.  They really weren't keen on me going here full time, preferring when I would come two weeks every couple of months but when they realized they could have me here working remotely or not at all they opted for the first option.  They are good with it now.  I'm saving them 3-4 times my salary per year.

Sounds like a definite win-win, good for you! Perhaps we can meet for a coffee sometime when I'm in HCMC?

With two degrees from UNL I'm hoping to be able to follow Huskers football and volleyball. Haven't figured out how, if you do or know of someone does has please do share :)  (DM me)

OceanBeach92107 :
workplacestars :

...assertive, not aggressive

A better choice of words!

:thanks:

Hey OB, the original text included "assertive," correct? Do you think of me as "aggressive?"  :offtopic: :)

workplacestars :

Hey OB, the original text included "assertive," correct? Do you think of me as "aggressive?"  :offtopic: :)

Not really...  :/

No, "I" said:

OceanBeach92107 :

Hoping everything is progressing well for you, and that your interpreter is more aggressive than my significant other...

Then YOU said:

workplacestars :

Don't get me started about "my interpreter"...which rivals many of the interesting stories on these boards, and btw she's assertive, not aggressive

So I replied:

workplacestars :

...assertive, not aggressive

A better choice of words!

Meaning, the word you chose (assertive) is what I'd rather say about my interpreter.

I'm glad you aggressively moved to clarify any misunderstanding...

:lol:

A balcony is a must have for me. Just an idea.

Oh yeah: Eastern Exposure

The afternoon sun can be brutal on you and on electric bills (for A.C.) if the main exposure is westward.

However, if you will be drying your own clothes on a line or stand (or fence or whatever) you might want that.

EDIT

Also, consider a house that gives you rooftop access to do container gardening and clothes drying.

A unique position that I didn't expect to have and now I don't think I can live without:  no neighbour.  We have an upstairs neighbour but no one next to us on any side.  No shared wall or hall with anyone, and from our level and above, no one's on either side of the whole building either.  Noise, therefore, has never been an issue for us.

Re: hot water in the sink, unlimited (tankless) and free (no hidden charge for pumping) would be better.  I don't know many people who would even inquire about that when they rent a place, but I was advised by family members (all locals) to always ask for it.

Ciambella :

A unique position that I didn't expect to have and now I don't think I can live without:  no neighbour.  We have an upstairs neighbour but no one next to us on any side.  No shared wall or hall with anyone, and from our level and above, no one's on either side of the whole building either.  Noise, therefore, has never been an issue for us.

Re: hot water in the sink, unlimited (tankless) and free (no hidden charge for pumping) would be better.  I don't know many people who would even inquire about that when they rent a place, but I was advised by family members (all locals) to always ask for it.

In relation to hot water in the sinks, many new houses these days have this due to a solar system being standard on many new houses.

One thing I dont suggest is pouring very hot water down the sink, the plumbing here is very low quality plastic and many use a flexible hose(very low quality)as they aren't actually trained plumbers. The system they use can't handle anything more than warm water.

OceanBeach92107 :

Oh yeah: Eastern Exposure

The afternoon sun can be brutal on you and on electric bills (for A.C.) if the main exposure is westward.

Our apartment is facing Southwest (237° SW according to my compass app) so afternoon sun is somewhat of a problem.  Thank goodness for double-glazed window, thermal curtains, and heat reducing film.  We rarely ever turn on A/C, but floor fans are used daily.  My chair is next to that SW facing balcony window and it's not a hardship at all.

colinoscapee :

One thing I dont suggest is pouring very hot water down the sink, the plumbing here is very low quality plastic and many use a flexible hose(very low quality)as they aren't actually trained plumbers. The system they use can't handle anything more than warm water.

Thank you for that advice, Colin.

FWIW my druthers are:

Not just close, but close walking distance to a real grocery store (because heavy bags) and cheap Vietnamese restaurants. Reason I liked SkyGardens PMH so much, so convenient.

Balcony, to just be able to get air and gawk at stuff, and (in future) fire up a little bbq grill. Reason I don't like SkyGardens.

I never liked tunnel apartments, and all the skinny Vietnamese  (I just read the architectural name is tube house) houses (in the US called a townhouse because no gaps) are also tunnels: Windows that open at either end for a house, just one end in apartment. My ultimate is a corner apartment, for window air crossflow, and tons more light. Likewise a house on a literal street corner should have windows on that side. If you are rich there are "villas" (hate that pretentious name) with actual yards, like any regular house in the states.

Highest floors in apartments mute motorbike, children, and rooster noise, but then you surprisingly become subjected to other noises floating from a block away. 3rd world is just noisier, getting used to it.

Check google maps 'satellite map' overlay for nearby impending building projects, bc a year of noise is coming. The new hot areas are construction zones.

Oh I keep thinking about more things. This is major, watch out for areas with flooding. Flooding is seasonal. Neighborhoods where there are parking basements is a good sign.

Easy individual 24 hour access, and good place for motorbike parking. I lived in small expat apt buildings twice, and after 10pm I would have to wake up somebody to come open the gate. Grrr.

Houses in hems: you want a wide hem. Wife's family house is in a hem 1.5 meters wide in parts, and then people pile up junk outside too. (There are plans to widen to 3 meters meaning most of the houses will have to come down. The plans are over 15 years old however.)  An ideal hem will fit cars and trucks for deliveries.

Ciambella :

Re: hot water in the sink, unlimited (tankless) and free (no hidden charge for pumping) would be better.  I don't know many people who would even inquire about that when they rent a place, but I was advised by family members (all locals) to always ask for it.

Yes.

We have solar hot water provided free.

However...

"I" can't figure out IF there is an electric backup or not.

Some rainy days (meaning cloudy and rainy more than 24 hours) the water is scalding hot.

Then, sometimes late at night OR EARLY IN THE MORNING there is NO hot water (or tepid, at best).

My significant other says she will check to see, but the next time I ask her, she has no answer and doesn't know.

I suspect they turn on the backup power whenever it's important to them.

No malice.

OFF-TOPIC: The landlords live in the building and are elderly, and I have a hunch that my question seems impertinent to my partner.

Because it is "free" she seems willing to accept the cold water days along with the hot water days.

OceanBeach92107 :
Ciambella :

Re: hot water in the sink, unlimited (tankless) and free (no hidden charge for pumping) would be better.  I don't know many people who would even inquire about that when they rent a place, but I was advised by family members (all locals) to always ask for it.

Yes.

Thanks, everyone. Here's the updated list, hear tell Ebay has cheap magic wands for sale :):

Must                                                                  Want
-Friendly & safe neighborhood                     -Prefer house for community
                                                                           with neighbors
-Quiet after 10 pm                                          -Close walking distance to a
                                                                           real grocery store
-Windows enabling sunshine                        -Close walking distance to
                                                                           street food/restaurants                   
-24-hour access to sheltered motorcycle   -A sane & reasonable landlord 
parking (Neighborhoods, where there       
are parking basements, is a good sign)      -Furnished
-High-speed internet (upgradeable)            -1-year rental agreement         
-A/C                                                                    -Dead-end or very private st.     
-2-3 bedrooms                                                 -Residential area with a wide
-Kitchen                                                               hem - an ideal hem will fit
-Doors and windows more                            cars and trucks for deliveries   
soundproof than paper                                 -Eastern exposure to sun, not
-Neighbors who don't make                          western to save electricity                                                                                                         sounds like a herd of elephants                  -Rooftop access for container
-Neighbors don't burn waste                        gardening & clothes drying
-No bar or disco nearby                                -Able to use a small BBQ grill
-No flooding during the rainy season         -Solar hot water   
                                                                          -Hot water in the sink,
                                                                          unlimited (tankless) and free
                                                                          (no hidden pumping charge)
                                                                          -No shared wall/hall w/anyone
   
1-Make sure to write into the contract: "I can break the contract if I have to return to my home country, transferred due to work or due to a medical condition."
2-Visit the house during the day and again at night to check for noise and general ambiance
3-Install high-quality accordion-style horizontal screens
4-Check google maps 'satellite map' overlay for nearby impending building projects (future noise due diligence)

I did it differently. I fronted a man  7 million đồng to build his house In Cam Lâm 13 years ago, not all of it, just enough that he could show the gold shop he had a "rich" American backer so that they lent him the money to buy the materials with which he and his sons built a 170 square meter house. The large front room is mine.

Hello workplacestars, how did your search go? As a two-days' newcomer to Quy Nhon, I'm soaking up all the great advice in this thread and praying to the housing gods to help me find something that looks like your list. If you found (or didn't find) your ideal place, would you mind sharing a few tips on how you went about it? Cheers!

Contact Khanh at atyourservice.vn or search for atyourservice - quy nhon on Facebook. Good luck

SteinNebraska :
workplacestars :

BTW, interesting username, without meaning to get overly personal do you hail from Nebraska? Eight of my first eighteen years were lived in Lincoln.

Yes, I always lived near Lincoln and have worked there the last 30 years.  I moved here in January but still work for the same company.  They really weren't keen on me going here full time, preferring when I would come two weeks every couple of months but when they realized they could have me here working remotely or not at all they opted for the first option.  They are good with it now.  I'm saving them 3-4 times my salary per year.

Nebraska... Does your company need any DevOps Engineer to work in Vietnam? I am looking to relocate... :)

Rahj_Devon :

Nebraska... Does your company need any DevOps Engineer to work in Vietnam? I am looking to relocate... :)

I have hired two mechanical engineering students in their senior year this year.   I hope both stay on full time after graduation in July and then I will hire two more senior students.  That's been it so far.

The students do in process product dimensional inspection verification above the supplier level, as well as process verification on parts I'm having made.  When these two graduate they will train the next two students on the inspection role and will step into more advanced design work, project management and get ready to take over for me in another year when I go back to the US.  As business grows I see hiring at least 2-4 engineers each year.

But, bear in mind, the seniors are basically at an intern level, 3,000,000 VND per month.  When they go fulltime probably around 10,000,000 per month.  That's the high side of the wage scale for a graduate around here but it's worth it if I get to know them and their abilities as an intern.

SteinNebraska :
Rahj_Devon :

Nebraska... Does your company need any DevOps Engineer to work in Vietnam? I am looking to relocate... :)

I have hired two mechanical engineering students in their senior year this year.   I hope both stay on full time after graduation in July and then I will hire two more senior students.  That's been it so far.

The students do in process product dimensional inspection verification above the supplier level, as well as process verification on parts I'm having made.  When these two graduate they will train the next two students on the inspection role and will step into more advanced design work, project management and get ready to take over for me in another year when I go back to the US.  As business grows I see hiring at least 2-4 engineers each year.

But, bear in mind, the seniors are basically at an intern level, 3,000,000 VND per month.  When they go fulltime probably around 10,000,000 per month.  That's the high side of the wage scale for a graduate around here but it's worth it if I get to know them and their abilities as an intern.

Thanks.  I got an offer from Microsoft to work in Vietnam but still looking around for more option.

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