Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Our new apartment!

September 8, 2011
We settled on a new apartment today (the one we're in now is only for September). It has a large terrace, a small but well-equipped kitchen (with an electric juicer), a washer, lots of storage space and a nice living room. It's two blocks from the subway and close to all sorts of restaurants. Says Frommer's about our neighborhood: Palermo has been transformed into the city's chicest destination. Walk through the area and begin to absorb its charms - cobblestone streets, enormous oak-tree canopies, and low-rise buildings giving a clear view to the open skies on a sunny day. Our impression, corroborated by locals (actually one expat), was that Recoleta (where we are now) is a tad too, how shall we say, antiquarian?... and parts of Palermo are a little too raucous at night - but the neighborhood we'll be in is just far enough from the nightlife to sleep, yet still close enough to enjoy, so it seems just right.

The pictures on the website don't really go it justice, but here they are anyway. We'll take some better ones once we move in.

The kitchen and our beautiful terrace. In Boston, we could only use our porch for about three months. We're hoping to get more use out of this one.
The bedroom. The ugly pink bedspread has been replaced by a much more tasteful red and white one.
Our living room. Potential visitors please take note: the couch pulls out into a bed.

For those looking to rent an apartment in Buenos Aires, this is what we learned: The standard Argentine lease is for two years and isn't usually available to foreigners (who don't have a garantia). But there's a market for short-term rentals for which you don't need a garantia (alquiler temporario). A lot of these apartments come furnished, or amoblado. Some realtors list these apartments, but we had heard a lot of agencies just take your deposit without giving you an apartment, so we didn't go this route. Instead we looked on websites that cater to short-term renters (4rentargentina.com, welcome2ba.com, myspaceba.com -- we ended up going with rentinba.com). The price for these apartments is usually all inclusive (taxes, utilities, internet). The website's commission is built into the all-inclusive price, which is fine for 1-3 month rentals, but becomes a significant markup if you're looking for a place for longer than four months. So if you're looking to stay longer-term, you can rework the way the cost is structured, and pay the owner directly plus a one-month commission to the website. Since most real estate agencies ask the same one month's rent as commission, it's a nice way to get an apartment through a more trustworthy source for a pretty good price.

- Steph & Ben

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