Friday, 20 July 2012

How to Find an Apartment in Phnom Penh

It's been a bit of a crazy week trying to track down an apartment for the year ahead... Reckon we were pretty spoiled after just showing up and being given apartments in Korea, and then having our friends sort everything out in Oz!

I'm sure I just haven't found the right sites yet, but it seems like Phnom Penh really doesn't have the expat resources that also spoiled us in Seoul. Either way, reckon it wouldn't hurt to add another one into the mix.


THUS, a little word on our apartment hunting process.

1. Figured out what we wanted/needed in an apartment.
Our demands really weren't too over-the-top: 
    • A nice balcony to hang out on most everyday 
    • More than one room - I like that Partner In Crime kid, but after three years of one room apartments, I'm excited to have a bit of twirling room! 
    • Not on the open-sewer street (105)
    • jacuzzi bath
2. Found some real estate sites by asking friends and googling obvious keywords. 

3. Got in touch about the apartments we had our eye on/ what we were looking for. 

4. The agents took us around and showed us the different apartments. 

Rundown of 4 Phnom Penh Real Estate Agencies:

Dragon Realty

This one is tops in our book. The agent got back to our initial inquiry quickly and really listened to what we were looking for. It should tell you something that we signed on the first apartment they showed us! I really liked that they seem to have lots of options for lower budgets. Hooray Dragon Realty!

Rooftop Asia 

I'm a big fan of a lot of properties currently listed on this site. They have a nice range of properties and prices, and I got a very quick reply when I emailed them saying I was interested. When our lease is up, I think Partner In Crime and I will be looking at mainly Dragon Realty or Rooftop Asia for our next homebase.

Cambodia Angkor Real Estate Co.

Their website also seems to feature lots of options for lower-budget apartments. I'm heavily not impressed, though, that the only descriptor for location is "In Town". Districts are clearly divided in the Penh, and it shouldn't be too much to ask to know where all your apartments of interest are without having to email about each one. Also not stoked that they never called us back.

Independent Property Services

This company seems to specialize more in apartments for people with a much higher budget than we've got rocking. If you've got the funds to spare, though, you could definitely find a beautiful apartment through this company. Unfortunately, we felt like the agent really didn't even listen to our few standards, seeing as how she showed us an apartment with the most rubbish balcony in the entire world (attached to an apartment someone must have designed while drunk, i.e. stairways to nowhere), and then followed that up with a studio apartment just off street 105. Aka poo street. BAH. I got the feeling that we just weren't such a high priority, given our meagre budget.

In addition to these sites and others, you can definitely also root around in classifieds (like Bong Thom), or on forums (like on Expat Blog).

So finally, the fruit of all this labour...

Welcome to our home for the next year!!

Home, oh-oh-oh ho-o-ome... Home is wherever I'm with you...

Not un-excited about the massive balcony!
And remember, kids: say no to street 105*!

*open-sewer ahoy - gah.

xx Lady Expatriate