Expat in Recife: Housing

Find the perfect home as an expat in Recife with these travel tips.

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Xabaka is a wanderlusty futurist who helps aspiring expats overcome their fears of living abroad by providing expert research coupled with real life experience.

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Finding housing as an expat can be tough and overwhelming at times, but it is also an exciting opportunity to explore the city and find a place that feels like home firsthand. If you're an expat moving to Recife, Brazil, you'll be happy to know that there are many options available to suit your needs and budget. 

But how do you navigate all those options? Here are some of your choices:

Finding your options

Choosing a neighborhood

Location is one of the first things to consider when looking for housing in Recife. The city is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its own character and amenities. For example, Boa Viagem is a popular beach neighborhood with high-rise apartments and a lot of businesses. On the other hand, the historic Olinda is known for its colonial-style houses and laid-back vibe. No matter what you are looking for, there's sure to be a neighborhood in Recife that fits your preferences.

Housing options

Once you've chosen your neighborhood, the next step is housing options. You can do this by working with a real estate agent, searching online, or asking for recommendations from other expats. If you are planning to rent and not buy furniture or stay in an Airbnb for an extended period, you will find a wide range of options, from furnished apartments to houses with gardens. Rent prices in Recife are generally lower than in other Brazilian cities, making it an affordable destination for expats. If you are planning to buy property though, you will find a good selection of houses and apartments on the market, ranging from modern new construction to charming historic buildings.

Your contract

Another important aspect to consider when looking for housing in Recife is the type of rental contract. In Brazil, it is common to sign a "fiado" contract, which means you will not have to pay a deposit or sign a lease. Instead, you will pay your rent monthly and have more flexibility to leave whenever you want. This can be a convenient option for expats who are not sure how long they will stay in the city. However, it is important to remember that a "fiado" contract does not offer the same protections as a standard lease, so it is important to trust the landlord and communicate clearly about the terms of the rental.

Level of involvement

In addition to the above, there's also the level of involvement you want to have in the process to consider. If you're more interested in DIYing it, you totally can. Riding around the city and taking note of the phone numbers on the "aluga!" signs in the windows can be a great adventure! But if you want to make it go more smoothly and find the hidden gems that aren't so easily accessible, working with a real estate agent is the way to go.

Working with a real estate agent

Hiring a real estate agent can be a convenient way to find housing in Recife, especially if you are new to the city and unfamiliar with the local market. A real estate agent will be able to guide you through the process of searching for a home and help you find a property that fits your budget and preferences. They can also handle the negotiation and paperwork involved in renting or buying a property.

Searching online

There are several websites and online platforms where you can search for housing in Recife. These include classifieds websites, real estate portals, and social media groups specifically for expats in the city. By using these resources, you can browse a wide range of properties and contact landlords or agents directly.

Asking for recommendations

Another option is to ask other expats or locals for recommendations on where to find housing in Recife. This can be especially helpful if you are looking for a specific type of property or neighborhood. You can also reach out to expat groups or forums online to ask for recommendations or advice on finding housing.

Searching on your own

This is a method that will test you. Essentially, you're walking around a neighborhood that you like and feeling out the vibe while hoping to find a rental sign in a window. Typically, they'll have a local number you can call to get in touch with the landlord, tenant, or agent representing the seller. Sometimes if you're lucky and they're at the property, you can see it at that moment! This option is definitely more involved and while it might be more taxing than surfing the net for listings, the invaluable vibes you get really pay off.

Important note

Aside from the practical considerations of finding housing in Recife, it's also important to think about the social aspect of your new home. Moving to a new city can be lonely and having a welcoming and supportive community can make a big difference in your expat experience. One way to find a community in Recife is to join local expat groups or participate in events and activities organized by the expat community. You can also get involved in local organizations or volunteer to give back to the community. By building connections and relationships in Recife, you will not only have a more enjoyable experience as an expat, but you will also be able to make a positive impact in your new home.

In conclusion, finding housing as an expat in Recife is an exciting and achievable task and there are many resources available to help you find housing. With its diverse neighborhoods, affordable rental options, and welcoming community, Recife is a great destination for expats looking to put down roots and experience all that Brazil has to offer. Whether you are looking for a beachside apartment, a historic house, or something in between, there is sure to be a home in Recife that fits your needs and preferences.

"I take risks because I get bored. And I get bored very easily."

― Rihanna

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