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Medellin, Colombia

Real Estate in Colombia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: People living in Colombia offer advice about real estate. How do you find a home in Colombia? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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How do I find a place to live in Colombia?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Found on fincaraiz.com. Friend checked it out, said it was good, negotiated with owner, came down two weeks before move, checked it out, signed papers," explained one expat living in Medellin, Colombia.

"I visit the area many times and was in love with the Cerritos, Cartage and Quindio area. This area is safer than the USA," said another person in Cartago.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Colombia?

"I have a US $70,000 home I found and fell in love with. This home in the Gig harbor area in WA will cost $600,000. Some expats buy homes in more expensive areas out of town for US $120,000 with swimming pools and entertainment areas," remarked another member in Cartago.

"Look for US designed and constructed condos - real estate values here are appreciating rapidily (similar to Panama 10-15 years ago) and dollar is falling so NOW is a good time to invest here (do not waste money on rent) US style housing is NOT common here - typical housing is more european (my 1st apartment) with smaller box rooms and closed in feeling, miss the US kitchen and bath design including appliances in typical housing here (my new condo is US design and is good), much construction here is NOT equal to US standards (no inspection process) and could require much money for repairs," explained one expat living in Medellin, Colombia.

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What is the average cost of housing in Colombia?

If you are thinking about moving to Colombia, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Lower. Comparative USD $3,000+. I pay USD $1,400 or lower depending on exchange rate, for 90 sq mt, live in Poblado, many apts are less expensive. I know people who live nicely on monthly Social Security, they stay out of high rent places a couple of blocks of Poblado Avenue, literally," added another expat who made the move to Medellin.

"One dollar in the area will buy the equivalent of $9 dollars in the USA. I have a car if I want to drive, however at less than US$1 for a taxi ride in town, I prefer for them to pick me up. You can live in Colombia on US $2000 with a maid cleaning, cooking. I travel to the coast for six days for US $500. I live like a king," explained one foreigner living in Cartago, Colombia.

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Should I buy or rent a home in Colombia?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Colombia, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"We knew we had come to stay for several years or more. So we rented an unfurnished apartment. Some friends referred us to locals and the process was very easy. We bought a few things new like mattresses, TV and recliners, but all the rest of the furniture was used and we got some bargains. We had to buy lots of accessories, and those cost more than we counted on, but we have them now and they aren't going anywhere. In 3+ years, we have had 5 different homes. We could not have had all our adventures if we had purchased a home," remarked another member in Medellin.

"We built a beautiful country home. Again, the family helped throughout this process. From land purchase to completion of the house took a total of around 18 months," explained one expat living in Medellin, Colombia.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is one of the founders of Digital Nomad Exchange and the Founder and President of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange and Digital Nomad Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Colombia on our Colombia forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

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Medellin, Colombia

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Contribute to Colombia Network Contribute
Help others in Colombia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Colombia.

William Russell Health Insurance
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