Recent prices to rent an apartment in Santa Cruz

by Mike

Hello Bella and the team, great site and plenty of useful information! What are the up to date prices for short term monthly apartment rent in Santa Cruz for a foreigner, for a nice, small, fully furnished apartment in a good neighborhood along with an internet connection.


thanks in advance, Mike

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Feb 16, 2014
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Apartement
by: Geoff

I'm looking for a place to rent and I'm looking for an apartement rather than a hotel because I will be staying over a month. I need it downtown Santa Cruz and I'm willing to pay around 1000 for a month and a half. At this point I have only seen hotels and I have searched for apartement but without any luck. I was wondering if anyone has any advice or just where to start looking it would be much appreciated.

Jun 13, 2011
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Also looking...
by: Anonymous

I'm currently renting a fully furnished studio apartment, all utilities, cable tv and wifi internet included -plus a jacuzzi on the rooftop- for around UDS 560 a month... in Buenos Aires! I though an equivalent apartment would cost like USD 200 in Bolivia, so I guess I'm staying in Argentina then.

Jun 08, 2010
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you don't pay building maintenance
by: Anonymous

You're forgetting to mention that when you rent an apartment fully furnished you don't pay the building maintenance fees.

If you rent on a year-contract in addition to your rent you have to pay monthly building maintenance fees which cover the salaries of security guards, lighting in public areas, gardening, pool cleaning, housekeeping of public areas, etc. So if you consider that in a fully furnished short-term rental the owners are paying that for you the price isn't so bad.

Also if you want internet paid for and other expenses it adds up for them. Internet is expensive here and they're including it.

And like Bella said, you're also not going to pay the move-in deposit which is usually equivalent to 1 or 2 months of your monthly rent.

Short term rentals cost a lot more anywhere, not just in Bolivia. If you want to rent short term don't compare the prices to normal US rental prices, compare them to normal US SHORT TERM rental prices (basically VACATION RENTALS) and you'll see they're much lower.

Jun 08, 2010
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Recent prices to rent an apartment in Santa Cruz
by: BoliviaBella

I agree Mike. Like I said below, I believe rentals are insanely overpriced in Santa Cruz. In other countries when we calculate the value of a home or apartment we use many variables, including the overall quality of life in a specific region or city. Here prices are set by supply and demand only, taking almost no other variables into account, other than amenities and location to a point. If you ask any rental agent in Bolivia, almost all of them will immediately tell you that rent has gone up because drug trafficking has quintupled in the past 5 years. I didn't fully understand what the had to do with anything until I heard from close friends who've sold apartments and homes that people are paying CASH for houses and apartment, purchasing to rent, not to live in.

In addition, Santa Cruz is the largest and fastest growing city in Bolivia, currently receiving an estimated 7000-8000 new immigrants per month from other parts of the country. There is a construction boom going on, and we don't know how long that will last but basically, as long as living standards continue to be higher here than anywhere else in the country.

With so much demand for housing, apartments and homes generally rent out within a day or two of being advertised in the paper (half the time they're gone the same day!) Because of this, sadly, people take advantage and prices have shot up.

On the flip side, almost every other aspect of living here is still relatively cheap by American or European standards. Water, natural gas for cooking, and food are very, very affordable, even at restaurants. You can eat well for under $10 a day in restaurants and under $100 a month if you purchase and cook your food. Electricity cost depends on usage but I don't find it that much cheaper than in the US - depends on whether or not you use air conditioning. However, water will run you about $10 a month and natural gas for cooking under $2 a month. Cable TV about $25 a month. Internet - varies but it's way more expensive than in the US. Between $20 and $100 a month depending on the speed you want. Phone $25 a month just rent it, plus your calls (you get about 60 free local calls, then you start paying for them).

I hear La Paz is a bit more affordable but it all depends on the type of neighborhood you're willing to live in. You can find much cheaper places (though rarely furnished) in Santa Cruz if you're willing to live beyond what we call the 4th ring - the problem is safety is a major issue as is the fact that you may live in an area that isn't paved.

I'll put a question up in our LA PAZ FORUM about rental prices there to see what others have to say.

Jun 08, 2010
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food and other expenses
by: Mike

thanks, that is a bit more than I expected.
Are the prices similar in La Paz?

Also how much should a single person expect to spend on food monthly by eating out in cheap locations and cooking at home?

Jun 08, 2010
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This is crazy!
by: Anonymous

I thought I was reading wrong! I always thought the cost of living in Bolivia was reasonable. Those are nearly the same prices in the USA...in a very clean, progressive area, where one can easily make 30.-- an hour doing unskilled labor. Am I missing something here?

Jun 08, 2010
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Recent prices to rent an apartment in Santa Cruz
by: BoliviaBella

Hi Mike. Thanks for the nice comments. Going prices right now are bezerk and kind of all over the place. For a fully (all the way down to the silverware) furnished short-term which includes light, water, internet, and in some cases cable TV can be between $500 and $1800 a month, depending on how many rooms you're looking for. We know of a couple of places where one-bedrooms are about $500-560 and 2 bedrooms are about $750-850. On the other hand, there are other places where 1-bedrooms are $800 and 2-bedrooms are $1800 and 3-bedrooms are $2133 a month.

Some are privately owned apartments and others are hotels that offer apartment-style rooms and include all the hotel features and housekeeping. On the other hand, you can rent a fully furnished apartment (without any bills or internet included) for MAYBE as low as $480 with some real digging. It's really unregulated and basically at the whim of the owners and in most cases, in my opinion, insanely overpriced, but those are roughly the average going rates at this time.

Rental prices have exploded in Santa Cruz and it doesn't look like they'll be going down very soon.

And let's not even get into what rental agents are charging these days - other than to say it's anywhere from 50% to 100% (mostly 80%) of your first month's rent just to show you a house for 15 minutes.

On the other hand, not to sound too negative, with a short-term you avoid paying the 1 or 2-month move-in deposit owners usually ask for on 12-month contract and in addition, many rent by the day, week, or bi-weekly as well so you have that option too.

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