Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Housing and Classified Ads in Peru

Updated 10 December 2016

You might also be interested in reading the article, Can You Buy Property in Peru without a CE? 

Where to Live
Although many people end up in Lima, there are other cities that attract foreigners, such as Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Arequipa, Iquitos, and Cusco. More info about these cities can be found at Popular Peruvian Cities to Live In.

As for Lima, it's a sprawling city and you're sure to find an area that you like. Check out Guia Calles for a layout of the city and its districts. If you're a social butterfly, try San Isidro, Jesus Maria, Miraflores and Barranco as they are close to culture centres and other get-togethers. If you have allergies or asthma, head out to the East where it's drier. Winter in Lima means overcast skies, but Chorillos and Barranco seem least affected by the winter fogs. Residential areas, think grass with fences, are to be found in La Molina, Monterrico, Camacho, and La Plancie.

What's Included
Some places might share a water bill and divide by the number of apartments. Same goes for outside lighting. If you have a security guard, gardener, or cleaner, you'll probably have to share the costs for that.

Garbage collection is free. Just one word of advice, don't use garbage cans, they'll probably get stolen. People just put their garbage in bags. Some apartment complexes might have a big bin for this. A few recycle, though it's not that common. Things like plastic bags, glass, and batteries can be recycled at Wong (a grocery store). Garbage pickers are abundant and informal recycling does take place this way. If you have a lot of things you want to get rid of, consider donating them. If yours doesn't include furniture, you can find places to shop at in the shopping section.

Staying for Free
Try a home-swap or Couch Surfing. There are also house sitting jobs out there. Take a look at Intervac and House Carers. Some tips on house sitting can be found at NuNomad.

Short-term Rental
Take a look at Apartment Club Peru or student housing.

Rental Prices
If you're planning to rent, keep in mind that you'll often have to pay at least two months rent at the beginning. And you'll usually sign a six month or one year rental agreement. If you have to break the rental contract, you should give written notice at least 30 days in advance. Make two copies, one for them, then have them sign and date the other one and keep it for your records. For house or apartment hunting, the best thing to do is to ask around and check in the local paper. Usually ads are posted on Saturdays and Sundays. Call quickly as housing gets taken very quickly. Online is a good place to start. Try the places below.

Prices of apartments vary. They usually are unfurnished, which means they come with nothing, no stove, fridge, nor water heater. In Lima, expect to pay at least $150 for an small unfurnished room with bathroom. In Miraflores, prices are high; a room may start at $200 and a small unfurnished apartment will be at least $350. Furnished flats in Miraflores run about $500. In the provinces, prices will be slightly lower. If you’re not planning on staying a long time, it would probably be best to buy your furniture at the market or second-hand.

Buying Property: Prices
Some people are able to buy property without a mortgage, but if you need a mortgage, be prepared to pay interest between 8.6% to 11%. You'll have to have residency in Peru in order to get a mortgage from a Peruvian bank. If you want to get a mortgage or loan back home, do some research first. People have reported that banks often don't want to give mortgages or loans for overseas property. In order to increase your chances to get a mortgage in Peru (you have to be a resident or citizen), you should make monthly deposits for 12 months. Your mortgage will be based on those deposits.

Property prices vary a lot throughout Peru and even throughout Lima. In general, smaller towns will have lower prices. However, small towns that get lots of tourists, such as Mancora, will also have higher prices. Right now
prices now are anywhere from $800m2 and up (really nice areas start at over $1000m2). The good news is that property is always a good investment and prices are relatively cheap compared to the rest of the world.

Tips for Buying Property
Before you sign for a house/apartment/land, always go to SUNARP (registros publicos) to check out its status. You can also do it online. You only pay a few soles. It's just in front of the Rebagliati hospital. Make sure there’s no mortage (hipoteca) on the property and the owner doesn’t have any legal problems. You’ll need a DNI, CE or the permission to sign a contract visa. Once you’re ready to buy, go to a notary and they will tell you everything that you need.
  • You will have to sign a Minuta (which is a short document saying who’s selling and who’s buying) Make sure the notary legalizes the signatures.
  • You will also have to sign an Escritura (which is the long legal document that explains everything).
  • Go together to the Municipality and you each will get two copies of a PU (Public property taxes, ex. water, sidewalks, etc) and an HR (Private property taxes, your property) You will have to fill out these forms so that the property legally changes names. You will also have to pay a fee to transfer the names.
  • Many people prefer a cheque de garantia (we got ours at BCP and they cost $20 each) We got two cheques, we gave the owner the first one after we signed the Minuta and the second one after we signed the Escritura. After you have bought your house you should take out insurance to protect it. Mapfre is pretty cheap and very reliable. Congrats! you now own property in Peru!

Building Your Own Place
If you want to build, keep in mind there's lots to think about, the electrical fittings and service, the plumbing fixtures and service, water service, doors, windows, protectors for doors and windows, the amount of cement for the floor, tiles for the floors, plastering and painting , kitchen cupboards, the kitchen sink, stove, bathroom things, water heater, etc. You will also be charged for bringing all the material and hiring a guard so nothing gets stolen.

Costs are usually around $250-$400 per square meter. Building permits and licenses are about $500 and drawing up the plans may cost about $8 per square meter. So a house of about 350 m2 with a pool, 4 bedrooms, would probably be around $135K, which is probably similar to the houses that are on the market. If you're looking for recommended construction workers, look at the Household Help section.

By building your own house, you can choose everything, but it can be a hassle to deal with government workers, construction workers, etc. If you do build your own, make sure you pay as you go. I'd be wary about paying up front. Pay when a job in done. So when the floor is down, you pay for the floor.

We've never built a house, but we have remodeled 2 flats. It's a long process and you have to deal with people never showing up and charging too much. If you decide to go ahead and do it, make sure you have lots of time and patience. Here are two threads that talk about it: Expat Peru and Living in Peru.

Classified Ads

Latin American Addresses
  • Alt. Altura: Near
  • Atrás Atrás: Behind
  • Av. Avenida: Avenue
  • C Calle: Street
  • CC Comercial Central: Shopping Centre
  • Cdra. Cuadra: Block
  • Cl Calle: Street
  • Cls Calles: Streets
  • Cnl Colonel: Colonel
  • Edf. Edificio: Building
  • En frente En frente: In front of
  • Entre Entre: Between
  • Esq Esquina: Corner
  • Este Este: East
  • Fco. Francisco: Francisco
  • La espalda La espalda: Behind
  • N Numero: Number
  • Numero: Number
  • Norte Norte: North
  • Of Oficina: Office
  • Ofc Oficina: Office
  • Oeste Oeste: West
  • P Piso: Floor
  • Plza Plaza: Square
  • Pto Puerta: Door
  • R Rua: Street (Portuguese)
  • Sur Sur: South
  • Urb Urbanizacion: District
  • Torre Torre: Tower



  1. Hello, thank you for your site. Very informative. On the prices you have here... are they current? Any worth looking apartment 2+ bedrooms is no less than $1,200 and up?? Homes are almost non existent and most are in the mid $2k. The $500 you mentioned here are just for a room, right?

  2. Glad you like the site, feel free to make a donation :)

    Prices are current. Sure you can find 2 or more bedrooms for less than 1200usd, BUT depends where you want to go. The nicer areas, like Surco, Miraflores, Monterrico, and San Isidro are more expensive than places like San Juan de Miraflores, San Juan de Lurigancho, or Villa Maria.

    500 bucks, you can find 1 or 2 bedroom places. In nice areas as well. Just depends on luck and where it's situated. Closer to main roads, grocery stores, etc, and you'll pay a bit more.

    We've lived in Miraflores, Surquillo, and San Borja, and have never paid more than 200 usd for a one bedroom apartment. Bare in mind that these weren't luxury flats, but they had the basic necessities.

  3. Are there people in Peru who help expats find housing in affordable safe areas?

    1. I'm not sure but I would ask on Expatriates in Peru on FB.


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