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Housing in Brazil

It is fairly easy to find property to rent in Brazil, and depending on your choice of location there is often a wide choice available. These include for example modern apartments and condominiums with a wide range of on-site amenities, town houses with gardens and swimming pools, and traditional fazendas, or country houses. In general, newer properties are of a good standard of construction and decor.

Since many expatriates living in Brazil are retirees, they tend to favour the coastal resorts such as example Fortaleza, the prosperous state capital of Ceara in the northeast of Brazil. On the coast, it is easy to find cheap short-term rentals, since many Europeans have bought holiday homes here which they let out for ten or eleven months of the year. For this reason, short-term rentals of three to six months are often cheaper than longer-term rentals. Lower rentals can be found in smaller towns or villages rather than the larger coastal towns.

For those who wish to live in the city, typical rental rates for an apartment in Sao Paulo are between R$700 and R$2,000, depending on the number of bedrooms. Here, most expatriates live in the zona sul, or southern part of the city, where there are many luxury apartments in close proximity to the shops, restaurants and galleries. In Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro most expatriates live in "closed condominiums", or gated communities that have 24-hour security. There are also some smaller towns outside the cities which are popular with expatriates, such as Alphaville and Tambore, around 20km outside Sao Paulo, where rental prices are lower but there is a long commute for those who work in the city. Brasilia also has a wide range of apartments and single-family homes available to rent, which are generally of a good standard. Houses usually have pools with patio areas or gardens, and the apartments come with balconies and various amenities. However, the common practice of combining two apartments into one has resulted in some unusual floor plans.

When renting property in Brazil you will normally be asked to pay a month's rent in advance, plus an additional month's rent as a security deposit. In addition, you will be required to pay property taxes, utilities bills and a maintenance charge for apartments. Unless you have arranged a short-term let, leases are normally for two to three years, and allow for an annual rent increase. A guarantor will be required to sign the lease.


Expatriate Areas

São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Curitiba are the most important cities with expatriates. The suburbs of São Paulo are the the most recommended places in which one can find the best, most astonishing architecture, healthiest air and safest place to settle in a house in gated communities. Those communities offer a variety of amenities for residents, 24 hour security with cameras connected to the residents’ houses, patrols and other high technology devices. The residential communities are usually close to commercial centres, malls, hospitals, medical offices, etc.

There are 4 important areas in São Paulo where most expatriates lives. They are: Morumbi, Chácara Flora and Alto da Boa Vista (Southwest to the South of the city) and Jardins (located at a distance of 12 km from the city centre). Beside these 4 areas, there are 4 more that are also recommend to expatriates. These areas are: Alto de Pinheiros, Higienopolis, Moema and Itaim.

Cost of Housing

Housing in São Paulo can be very expensive and varies based on type of residence and location. Rent can be anywhere from US$ 800 for a small apartment in the city to US$ 10000 and more for a house. The local currency is REAL (R$).