Got a lot of questions from people wanting to know the cost for the penthouse we’re renting in the La Frontera neighborhood of Medellin. In case you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video tour of our place in the video below:
I am paying a lot more than what most people will need, and there are a bunch of personal factors that drove my costs up. Keep in mind you can find a much nicer looking place for cheaper, if you don’t need the room.
Our place is HUGE — well over 3,000 square feet. You don’t see that much space here often. So before I get into the pricing, let me explain the factors that drastically boosted my costs.
- Furnished rentals will cost significantly more than unfurnished rentals. From some readings I’ve come across online, you can end up spending anywhere from 40% – 65% more just because it’s furnished. It’s easy to walk into a place and see all of the beautiful furniture and get caught up by the ‘awesomeness’ of the place. Furnishings can really make or break a deal. And in many cases, it can allow the owner to charge a HUGE premium. But for us, a furnished place was a necessity.
- Electricity, Cable TV, High Speed Internet, Water, etc. One of the benefits of getting a furnished suite is the fact that all of the utilities are typically included in the rent. So for us, we get the Internet, cable tv, water, gas, and electric bill all rolled into the cost. It also includes cost for trash disposal. We also have a landline from which we can make phone calls too.
- 24-hour security. The building we’re in is behind a gated door and 24-hour security guard. No one can come through without getting past the guard. I sleep better at night knowing someone’s there and I feel comfortable leaving my wife and 3 girls at home when I gotta leave. The guards are great. They keep an eye on your kids when they’re out and they’re genuinely concerned for their safety. One day, my 14 year old and 9 year old went to the park to play and stopped by the store. After 30 minutes had elapsed, the guard called us to say he was concerned the girls had not come back and wanted to know if we heard from them or knew where they were. He assumed they were just going to the store to get some candy and come right back like they always did. But in this instance, he didn’t know they were going to hang out at the park and play. With that kind of genuineness, you don’t mind the extra costs that pays the guards salary.
- Four-bedrooms with a private suite upstairs — 4 bedroom suites are not that common and because of that, you’re going to pay a premium for that. We’ll have a lot of guests coming into town and having more rooms was ideal for us. Plus, when our 4th daughter arrives in the summer, we’ll need the space to accommodate here. And, for our guests, they can use the upstairs suite and be off to themselves without being disturbed (while also keeping them away so we’re not disturb).
- Private space to work. I needed lots of room to accommodate my work space to shoot videos, create online courses and to get away from the noise. I figured instead of getting a separate office building, I’d rather spend the extra money in a much larger home, versus getting the office and having to pay office rent, water, gas, electricity and Internet.
- Convenience. There are 2 HUGE groceries within a 2-3 minute walk from my house … Including a mall and a swarm of restaurants and cafes. I’m able to cut my taxi/uber bill my almost half just because of the location and no longer having to take a taxi each time I need to go somewhere.
- Location. We’re in a very desirable area and we can be in El Poblado within minutes in one direction and Envigado in the opposite direction. We are in a very safe area, close to train station, bus stops, etc.
- Quality furnishings. When you look at 100+ AirBnB listings, you’ll notice that most have cheap flimsy furniture. They’re very uncomfortable to sit on and use. You can tell just by looking at most of the pictures. When I look at listings, I spend a lot of time looking at the furniture. I chose this unit because they furniture appeared to be of the utmost quality. I want to be comfortable versus looking good. So I’m paying a premium for the comfort.
- Peak Season. Another factor that drives cost up is the time of year. Prices typically goes up during the December and January — and we’re smack in it. Hope to renegotiate after we get the results.
The owner initially wanted approximately $2,600+ dollars. I was able to get him down to $2,200.00. If the place was unfurnished, we could have probably gotten it for about $800-$1,200 US Dollars. As I mentioned, this place is HUGE. Our lower level alone is larger than most people’s condo … and keep in mind we have 3-levels and GREAT views. I could have found an equally nice place for about $800/month and would have been totally happy (and that would have been for a 3-bedroom in a nice area). There are deals to be had for $500 month, especially with 2-bedrooms. But we are a large family.
If you need help scoping out a place, let us know … We can be your boots on the ground. Check out this video of a nice condo being sold for less than $65,000 US Dollars.