Renting a house or apartment in Pereira Colombia has become more difficult in recent years. Due to it’s beautiful climate, smaller size and local agriculture, this is a very low-cost and sustainable city. We even have hydro-electric power here which, for many years, fulfilled all energy needs. Pollution is low and crime is very low compared to larger cities like Medellin and especially Bogota. One can imagine why many Colombians and even expats from Medellin, have begun to take a sincere interest in the city.
Some Important Spanish Words To Help You Rent in Pereira Colombia
Let’s be real. No one ever sat you down in Spanish class and said “Today we are going to discuss vocab to help you rent or buy a home.” If they did, then you can just skip this section and know your Spanish teacher rocked! These are the words and phrases in Spanish that will empower you to go on foot searching for a place or asking around at realtor offices with confidence. And remember, as long as they write the important stuff down on paper, or show you what they are trying to say, you can still manage this even if you don’t speak the language.
But remember, if you are alone and without a good command of Spanish, don’t hesitate to go home and sleep on it or even ask a friend.
Arriendar: To rent.
Venta o Arriendo: For sale or rent.
Se Vende: For sale
Se Arrienda: For Rent
Apartastudio: Studio Apartment
Estrato: Strata – Your utilities are more or less expensive depending on what strata your physical address falls under. Social opportunities also depend heavily on this.
Porteria: Public or street entrance of an apartment building, or security/gatekeeper function for rural areas.
Portero/Celador: The security guard, or doorman who delivers mail, assists with building issues, opens the door and watches the video camera’s. Most buildings have a daytime watcher, called a celador. In higher strata areas, buildings will have 24/7 vigilance by a porter and/or security guard on site.
Servidor: Older upper strata apartments often have a small postage stamp sized bedroom with it’s own bathroom and shower. This was where the live-in maid would stay. Today, they make great rooms for doing laundry, having a personal office or even extra pantry space as most of them are off the kitchen.
Finca: Small farm or country house on acreage
Recommended Neighborhoods in Pereira Colombia
We are going to give you a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of rental costs. Only neighborhoods where expats currently live, or can live with relatively low security and crime issues have been included. If you decide to go live in the barrios you probably have a Colombian spouse or other connection that gives you the confidence to do so. Otherwise, we recommend these areas for temporary and long-term rentals. The exchange rate we are using is based on the Google Exchange Rate calculator on September 30th, 2016. For now, we are using US Dollar as the standard.
In Colombia, neighborhoods fall under a system called “Strata.” The cost of utilities is based on what strata you live in. The way people interact with you ALSO, can be based on what strata your address falls under. Here, we are going to break down a bit what the term means and what you can expect when viewing these homes to either rent or own.
Strata 0/1: This is not for foreign residents. These are fringe areas of the city where the poorest inhabitants reside. If you are married/dating a Colombian, and you are accustomed to the norms of these areas, then of course, that is different. Out back you will have hand washing facilities for doing laundry, maybe a stream or something. No oven. Electricity optional. Running water optional. Make friends with rodents here.
Strata 2/3: Poor. I’m not going to say avoid these, because there are houses that can be found here, in areas between the nicer parts, and the beginning of the poor parts, which are redeemable. Expect the house to be very crude with limited finishing work. Kitchen will have a sink, shelves (no cupboards), a gas tank with a hose hooked to a permanent or counter-top stove. No ovens. Bathroom toilets will not come with toilet seats. Cold water unless electric shower head is added. Check electrical connections to ensure they will work. Check for cockroaches and bug issues.
Strata 4: Middle class. This is a good strata to look in, if you are on a budget. You typically won’t find 24/7 security, but you may have a doorman or celador in the daytime to distribute mail and keep an eye on things. Bathrooms may or may not have hot water. Toilets may or may not come with seats. Kitchen won’t typically come with oven and may or may not have cupboards. You may or may not have parking. This strata can be really nice or really regular depending on where it is.
Strata 5/6: This is middle class to upper class digs. In the older parts of the city, it is called “strata cinco medio” for the old buildings which don’t have elevators or a full time doorman. In areas like Los Alamos, Los Alpes and Pinares, it is upper class ranging from old money, new money or both. These are the most expensive houses and apartments. They pay the highest costs for utilities and services. Apartments and houses come with full Americanized kitchens (you should have an oven) and actual cupboards. Many of the older apartments, and some of the new have “servidors,” or servant quarters, and parking included.
Anything going up the hill to UTP. This area is mostly upper-class/upper-strata apartments and houses. Close to the university, you can find shared apartments where you get to co-habitate in the kitchen and living room, and have your own bedroom. Great for if you are on a budget, or want to live with messy college-student roommates you will most likely end up with.
That being said, the University is only a small section AND newer buildings will behave like the example below. This ranges from very old money, to college students as you go up the hill towards the university. Expect the cost of rent to start at 200,000 per month and work upwards.
On Rento.com.co 70 square meter apartment, 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, close to the university. New building. Great view. 1,400,000 pesos/$485.27 USD
Known as the nouveau-riche part of Pereira, Pinares is quite swank. With new high-rise apartments, easy access to shopping and dining, larger parking zones and more security, you will have American-style amenities. Aside from some of the country villas down in an area outside the city known as Cerritos, this is the most expensive part of the city. Here the rock-bottom price you will pay for a studio apartment is 900,000 pesos. However, there is a trick to finding cheap rent in nice digs. Inquire at the smaller and older buildings for people who are looking to rent out a room. Room rentals in this area start around 300,000 pesos. On the downside, it will probably come with a strict list of rules for the safety and security of the person who is desperate enough for money to rent you the room.
I’m renting an apartment in Pinares right now. It’s very nice and almost new. I pay around 1.300.000 monthly ($450.61) which is very cheap if you compare with the rents in Europe. I’m moving to bogota in 2 weeks and I can assure you that prices in pereira are muuuuch better!With parking and 24 hour security. Terassa with jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish.
It’s a two floor apartment. Like studio apartment, 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms.
The old money resides here. Definitely the highest rent, you will find deals and unique situations occasionally if you look close by the discoteca Tropical Cocktails. This area isn’t very large, but the buildings are older and generally very costly. Depending on how out-dated the apartment is you might occasionally find something if you search enough.
On Fincaraiz.com.co. Studio Apartment 1 bedroom, 42 square meters, 24 hr security, nice but old building. 680,000 pesos/$235.70.
Historically, the avenida circunvalar was one area where the mansions of the Pereira elite were built. A few still exist today and can be seen along the main avenue. Most are businesses but you can occasionally find one available for rent around 3-4,000,000 pesos or roughly $1000+ dollars per month. A tip for this area, check on the McDonald’s side of circunvalar for cheaper rental costs. One block off going downhill can get you apartments in the 800,000 range (for 2 bedrooms) and up. Houses rarely come open but if one does, jump on it.
My place is a non furnished apartment with 3 fiadores.*3 bed 3 bath 1 half bath and an attic loft room. Also 300 square ft terrace overlooking Avenida Circunvalar, Maid room as well and brick BBQ grill on terrace. Its 200 sqm 3 floors penthouse overlooking circunvular 1.500,000 pesos/$519.93 plus admin ((UPDATE: This actually includes admin)) and utilities. Like: it’s close to everything. Dislike: the club noise ha ha! ~ Anonymous
The melting pot of the city, you will find everything here. Bolivar Plaza is strata 6, on all 4 sides. These are the most expensive apartments in el Centro and will start at 1,000,000 pesos which may or may not include administration. They are very old, but often, very large apartments. Going outward from this central reference point the dynamic changes by city block.
The rental costs have recently skyrocketed, even so, you can still find very affordable rents for 2-3 bedroom apartments starting at 500,000 pesos. A studio apartment in this area is actually quite cheap and will cost about 250,000 on upwards depending on the apartment building. This area of the city is tricky, but well worth the overall savings in transportation. Over time this area is slated to become much more touristy making this area is also a great investment opportunity. If you find the right situation, it should be close to Calle 17 through Calle 25 and from Carrera 8 to Carerra 6. This is the best area to live in also.
‘I chose my 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment because it is large, modern and centrally located. It also has an elevator and a 24-hour doorman. For those reasons, and the fact that I live alone, it is more expensive than the average apartment at 600,000 pesos/$207.97′ ~ Anonymous
I pay 220,000 pesos/$76.26 (including utilities and internet) to live in the center of Pereira Colombia, in a bedroom I’m renting in an apartment. I’m pretty happy with it. Its a fair price and great location. ~ Anonymous
We are including this area even though you probably won’t find anything for rent there, not on the Centenary side at least… If you do, jump on it or tell us so that we can. The double-edged sword over here is that you might find a house, but it could be a bit outdated, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. On the other hand some pretty nice 3-4 or more bedroom houses are here although parking is limited. This area is strata 4 which means your utilities will be much more cost-effective for the amount of space you can find. Great for artists who need a quiet area, or large families. There are some apartments in this area that periodically come available and will cost around 500,000 and up. You will need to drive, take a bus or walk a bit further to get to supermarkets/attractions etc.
I pay rent 480, 000 pesos/$166.38 for small house in a good condition , estrato 4 contains 2 reasonable bedrooms and small studio, two bathrooms, two levels, patio, small reception , nices views , safe place, there is vigilantes, 24 hours, I pay 30,000 pesos for that, services are still reasonable, around 150,000 pesos/$52.05 for energy plus water and natural gas. ~ Anonymous
Finding a place to rent can be a bit tricky, but we hope this helps clear up some of the confusion. It should also give a clear picture of what it costs to live in Pereira Colombia, the capital of the coffee region. If you would like to contribute your own statement about what it costs you, we will add it to the list. Also, if you life in a neighborhood that isn’t on the list, feel free to let us know more about it and why you recommend it. You can either comment anonymously below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Update: The conditions are pretty much the same for renting as they have been. Medium to difficult. Economic capabilities play a role in this too. Some of the best situations can be found via word of mouth. Demand is particularly high this year. There are many factors playing into the increasing difficulty to rent apartments. Tourism growth, business potential and real estate values are only a few.