How to Find the Perfect Buenos Aires Rental Apartment – And What to Avoid

Luckily, Buenos Aires is a city full of temporary rental apartments. This is great for the tourist because you can rent an apartment for a week for the price of one night at a hotel. Also, apartments have full kitchens so you can save money by cooking your own meals. In addition, the apartments are much larger than hotel rooms, and you have more privacy then staying in a hotel.

However, finding that perfect tourist apartment in Buenos Aires can be challenging. At first you might be saying to yourself, well as long as it had a bed and it is clean what do I care? While that may be true for some people, if you are planning on staying in Buenos Aires for more than a few days you will want to avoid some of the mistakes I have made in the past when renting an apartment there.

After renting several apartment in Buenos Aires I now know what to look for and what to avoid. Below are some tips that will help you find that ideal apartment and make your stay in Buenos Aires more enjoyable.

Neighborhood – Make sure to ask exactly where the apartment is located. This might sound strange but many people renting out their apartments market their apartments as being in the desirable neighborhoods of Recoleta and Palmero when they actually are not. In fact at first glance you might think that those are only the two neighborhoods in Buenos Aires! But this is just real estate agents and apartment brokers tricky efforts to falsely expand the borders of the most desired neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Recoleta and Barrio Norte (these two neighborhoods are usually used to denote the same area, with Barrio Norte being closer to subway stops) is the best place to stay while in Buenos Aires.

Palermo is also nice with cool new restaurants and hip bars, but for me the barrio still has a way to go before it is as nice and established as Recoleta/Barrio Norte. There is too much graffiti and dog crap (watch your step while walking on Palermo sidewalks!) for me to suggest staying there over Recoleta. While some parts of Palermo can be quite charming it is just too big of a neighborhood to recommend it as a whole. Unless you know the specific location in Palermo is what you are looking for, it is best just to stick to Recoleta.

Noise – I read once that Buenos Aires is the noisiest city in the world. After a night trying to sleep in an apartment on the street side of a busy avenue you will agree. Loud buses and scooters with no mufflers will keep you up at night or annoy you during the day if you aren’t careful about your apartment choice. The most important factor is make sure the apartment is not located on the street side of a building. For more quiet you want an apartment in the back side of the building or “contrafrente” as it is sometimes listed in spanish. Secondly, it is preferable to be on a low traffic street. But, I have stayed in apartments on a busy street before but the building was so large and the apartment was so far in the back it was actually very quiet. Finally the higher up the apartment the better, so look for an apartment on a high floor. However, I stayed in an apartment once that was on the 11th floor but it was still very noisy because it was on the street side. Therefore, the most important factor in having a quiet stay in Buenos Aires is look for an apartment on the back side of the building.

Rooms – In Argentina a one bedroom apartment is called a two room apartment. So don’t be shocked when you arrive and the “two room” apartment you rented is not a two bedroom, but an apartment with a living room and a bedroom. Likewise a studio apartment is called a “one room” apartment or “monoambiente” in spanish. Just make sure you are getting the right number of rooms you want when you rent, or ask for a floor plan before you decide to put down that deposit.

Bed(s) – The eyes can be deceiving is what I learned when I rented what I thought was a perfect apartment. I even went to see the apartment before I decided to rent it. But I was fooled by the queen sized comforter covering up two single beds pushed together. Now some people might prefer this if you are two people traveling together and you want your own tiny bed, however there were queen sheets on the bed so you would have to ask for two sets of single sheets and more blankets to have two beds anyway (which in Argentina may or may not happen). So make sure your check under the covers or ask what the bed arrangement is before you book the apartment because waking up in the crack produced when the two beds push apart in the night is not a fun experience.

Refrigerator – Many Buenos Aires apartments are small and sometimes the kitchen only has space for a small “dorm-style” refrigerator with a “freezer” the size of a text book that takes three days to make ice. This might not be a big deal to some, but I prefer to have a full sized fridge to make ice for drinks, and for longer stays to keep frozen food frozen.

Internet – Many apartments in Buenos Aires offer “high speed” Internet. But what that means to some people may be different to you. I rented an apartment once that claimed to have high speed internet and when I arrived it was slower than dial up. The owner was in Spain and wouldn’t increase the speed so I had to spend many afternoons at Internet cafes just to check email. Be sure to ask what the speed of the Internet is and if you don’t know what is fast and what isn’t usually a connection of 512 Kbps will be fine if you are just checking email occasionally, but if you are planning on downloading files and working online while you are in Argentina, then I would recommend at least a 1.0 Mbps connection or faster.

English – If you don’t speak Spanish, be sure to ask if the representative that will be meeting you at the apartment speaks English. Usually this isn’t a problem, but I have had instances where I had to conduct business in Spanish and while it went OK, if you don’t speak Spanish it might not go as smoothly for you.

Atlanta Apartment Brokers

The real estate industry in Atlanta is very well organized and governed by several laws. Real estate brokers have an excellent presence in the industry. They provide invaluable service to buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords. Brokers are the medium that brings these two disparate groups together. They charge a commission for their services. Brokers maintain a record of houses available in their area of operation and offer services like showing the property, evaluating it, arranging for contacts for mortgages and the like. People generally leave their details with real estate brokers and they contact you when property that suits your specifications comes up for sale/purchase/rental.

Real estate brokers in Atlanta are required by law to possess a license and to get it upgraded at regular intervals. To do this they have to pass an exam. This reassures a prospective buyer/seller/landlord/tenant that he/she is dealing with a qualified person who knows his job. As any kind of malpractice can result in their licenses being revoked it is highly unlikely that one will be cheated by a broker. When property is bought and sold it is the seller who pays the broker’s commission.

From the broker’s point of view positive feedback from people who have used his services can get him new clients. In addition to this if brokers take up membership with organizations like National Association of Realtors and Association of Real Estate License Law Officials and the like, it can go a long way in helping them further their career.

Real estate brokers can be easily contacted through their Web sites. A little time spent browsing through apartment Web sites on the Internet will bring you rewarding results. It will equip you with information regarding the various options open to you and it will lead you to the broker who can get you what you want.

Apartment Building Loans – What You Need to Know For Today’s Market

It’s a tough time for the real estate market today. Mortgage banks are making their requirements more stringent in both residential and commercial markets, which make it harder for investors to invest in new properties. This means that those looking to buy apartment buildings need to be smart with their decisions and make sure that he is working with a reputable company that has experience with this type of investment when the economy is low. The following is some current information about how the mortgage banks are working.

The rules will not be bent anymore.

In the past, it was not uncommon for a borrower to be a little under the minimum requirements for a loan and still qualify. This is no more. Underwriters at these banks are becoming stricter when it comes to the requirements for getting these loans. In order to qualify, your net worth must meet the minimum requirements or you’re out of luck.

There’s aren’t many loan programs for commercial real estate acquisition or refinance left. In the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult to find a mortgage broker who specializes in apartment building sales. It’s much simpler to find one that specializes in residential real estate opposed to commercial real estate. Not too long ago, it wasn’t very difficult to find and qualify for an 85% loan-to-value mortgage for an apartment building, but the same is not true today. Those people looking to invest in this type of real estate really has their work cut out for there because although there are plenty of brokers out there, it has become increasingly harder to find one that specializes in this type of real estate. I, personally, have never found a broker that handles residential real estate that also has a good track record with commercial real estate.

When you finally do find a mortgage broker that specializes in apartment or commercial real estate, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration.

First, it is crucial for the investor to understand the fees that will be involved. In most cases, commercial mortgage brokers will charge only one point in fees on an investment. In my past experiences, I’ve seen new apartment building investors try to contact the banks themselves in attempt to avoid this fee. This doesn’t work. Independent investors have to realize that any bank that handles apartment building investments is a broker and will sell their loans to the secondary market.

What most first-time apartment building investors may not realize is that by avoiding a broker to save money, it can cost more money in the long run.

Surprisingly, you will often find the best interest rates when going through a commercial mortgage broker. In addition, when you attempt to get the loan yourself, you’re cutting your options short. When going through a bank independently, you will normally be offered only one or two programs for this type of investment, but when you use a mortgage broker that specializes in this market, your options more than double. This allows you to choose the program that is right for your unique investment.