The Buenos Aires Housing Hunt ABCs



I wrote this list while waiting in line to see what turned out to be a small dank apartment.

A is for Arte. “Estoy arte de esperando aca en el frio.”

B is for Blanco. They like you to be earning in “blanco” in order to get a place.

C is for Clarin. Clarin is really the only place people seem to advertise. If anyone knows a better way let me know.

D is for Dormitorio. 2 ambientes does not equal 2 dormitorios.

E is for Entendido. Es entendido que 2 meses de comission es demasiado y esperado.

F is for”Friend”. Anyone who calls you “friend” in English is on my list of people who will cheat you.

G is for Garantia. It needs to be from Capital and a family member.

H is for habitable. As opposed to desirable.

I is for Inmobilaria. Spanish for “bottomfeeder”

J is for Ja Ja Ja. What you think when you see the poor SOB at the end of a line to see a lame apartment that the guy showing you says was reserved yesterday.

K is for Kapitalistas. nuff sed

L is for Living/Comedor/Cocina. A room where apparently everything happens.

LL is for Llamar. As in “El depto esta reservado pero es posible que la garantia seria mal y si venis lunes, demasiado temprano puedes dejar cien mangos con nosotros te tal vez te llamamos.”

M is for Modern. Modern apartments are smaller, stuffier, have less light, and portenos prefer them.

N is for Nathan. The apartment looker.

O is for Opinion. You will generally want a second one…

P is for PH. Portenos love them cause they have no gastos.

Q is for Quito. As in “Things are cheaper in Quito, Ecuador.”

R is for Renovar. “No vamos a renovar este departmento. Lo pintas vos.”

There is no RR in the expat housing hunt. We can’t pronounce it.

S is for Sabado. Most of the house showings happen on Saturday afternoon. Yay!

T is for trampa. Like advertising an apartment saying you don’t need a garantia and then trying to sell you the garantia you don’t need…

U is for ups! As in “Ups! No tenemos las llaves para abrir el depto. Lo siento, parece que estuviste esperando aca chupando el frio… Llamanos mas tarde en la semana.”

V is for vender. Much more popular than alquiler.

W is for Why do I even want to move? My apartment is just fine as it is.

X is for eXnat – A blog that feels your pain.

Y is for Y are you reading to the end?

Z is for Ze end of zis list.

10 replies
  1. Cieguilla
    Cieguilla says:

    I have to say London isn’t much better in that sense… C is also for Cieguilla, a reader who understands your pain 😛

    Have you tried La Nacion? Or even online? Still, I think Clarin is probably the best place to look.

  2. exnat
    exnat says:

    Thanks for the understanding, Cieguilla. I looked in la nacion before but was disappointed. maybe i’ll try again next weekend.

  3. hijo de thor, sobrino de messner
    hijo de thor, sobrino de messner says:

    la nacion es un diario para ricos, asi que los pocos avisos que salen son carisimos. fijate en no piden deposito ni nada de eso. impecable tu abc…z genial. abrazo y la mejor de las suertes.

  4. Francisco from Seattle
    Francisco from Seattle says:

    Hi Nat!
    I really feel your pain! I suffer similar stuff here at the States with the credit checking thingy…It took me more than five years to be able to move out of the ghetto! Thank God I’m now in Seattle. I wish you the best, and Ojo con los truchos!
    Love & Peace from the NW!

  5. exnat
    exnat says:

    Jejeje… total frustration in this post. No, it’s tough for expats all over… The system isn’t built for you. How are you supposed to prove good credit if you just arrived?

  6. Cherie
    Cherie says:

    Oh boy, do I ever feel your pain! Last year I was totally crazy for the 4 months I was looking for a rental apartment. And it actually took 4 months of full-time looking to find the only one I liked, would accept my “foreign” money (in advance, mind you), and wasn’t too expensive. You didn’t say: did you find something?

    But I love your ABC’s!


  7. Allison
    Allison says:

    I´ve been staying in Buenos Aires now for 6 months and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I came down here after graduating from college and now reading your blog reminds me of all the issues brought on by the initial culture shock.


  8. exnat
    exnat says:


    I deleted the second half of your comment because this blog doesn’t allow advertisements. I appreciate that you work for an apartment rental place but the only advertising I want on here is the linkback from your name. I also deleted the advertisement you posted in error.

    Please continue to post if you like but no more advertisements.


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