At International Living, we always recommend that you rent before you buy. Before you plunk down money on a house or condo in a new place, stay awhile and see if suits your needs.
You can start your search for a rental on the Internet. You’ll find plenty of websites out there; but most promote short-term vacation rentals, and in touristy locations, prices can be high.
Sometimes, real estate agents offer rental properties. But not often. Rental management is a time-consuming and low-commission business, and not one a real estate salesperson typically wants to take on.
The classified section of online local newspapers is also a good source (especially to get a feel for prices). But unless you speak the language fluently, we wouldn’t recommend a lot of e-mail back and forth until just before your visit. Plus, unless you go through a reputable agency, you should never send money to reserve a rental sight unseen. Too many things can go wrong.
Also keep your eyes peeled for signs advertising places for rent. This is what expat Kent Zimmerman did in Cuenca: “We strolled past a sign taped to a gate a few days after we arrived in Cuenca. A quick trip up the elevator, a little Spanish, $300 in cash…and we walked out with the keys to our new home.”
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