Arrive in BA in December-Questions


Oct 24, 2007
Hi there
Myself, my husband and my little boy (20months old) will be moving to Argentina in early December. We have no set plan about where we will live or what we will do, other than that we hope to do some volunteer work with children in addition to earning just enough to live.
We are looking to meet some other English speaking expats to give us the 'heads up' about BA and Argentina in general before we travel, and to help us settle in when we move. We would also love to get in contact with other families with young children.
Questions we have so far:
1) Where would be a good place for a young family to live in BA or Argentina. (We are going to travel around when we get there in Dec to check things out, but this may help refine our travel plans)
2) What would be the cost of a nice 2 bedroom furnished apartment in area in BA?
3) What are the other cheaper but still safe cities in Argentina other than BA?
4) Do you know of any orphanages or similar establishments that would welcome our help? We don't want to register with one of the 'official' volunteering organisations as we don't want to be tied down.
We really look forward to meeting some of you soon. We are excited and nervous.
Thanks for your help,
Sioban :)
I would suggest Salta, as it's one of the poorer regions of the country and also has more of a Bolivian feel (without being in Bolivia). I suspect this is where you could find volunteer work to do. The area was hit hard by flooding last fall as I remember.
In my travels through Argentina, I found it was more expensive in the south and of course, in any tourist city such as Bariloche. An important thing to also keep in mind is the weather since that can vary from region to region. BA is very hot and humid in summer. Wet and windy in winter. Some places like Mendoza get snow in winter. Spanish is important, so learn what you can before arriving.
A nice 2 bedroom apartment in BA will be expensive. This is mainly because you're a foreigner but also because property values have increase quite a bit since the crash. As a minimum, I would say $500 US a month although deals can be found if you make contacts. Social network sites like hospitality club can really help to meet people.
All cities in Argentina are fairly safe but this is just my experience compared to other countries like Bolivia, Equador or Colombia. BA is probably the most dangerous place simply because it's so big and big city problems.
As I've said so many times in this forum, prices drop off the further you get from barrios in the downtown core. I've known Argentines who rent (small) apartments within the city proper for 500 pesos a month. Of course they're Argentine and might not have your living standards etc... $500 is basically 1500 pesos. So many Expats here really have no idea what Argentines earn and have to live on.
What Argentines pay is totally and then totally irrelevant.
Even the Argentines can´t rent a semi-decent 2 bedroom for less then 1000 peso.
Wynn is on the money in this case (haha).
Apartment prices are going up quickly and the couple posting will have to decide whether they're trying to get a furnished short term or attempt to find an unfurnished place -- but then they'll have to buy everything so it will still push their rent up. For furnished the base price is pretty much $2000 pesos at a minimum today, and that's going to be tiny. For a decent size (70m2, 700ft approx) it will be more -- in today's La Nacion (Clarin's search function not working at the moment) the lower prices for a 2 bedroom were ranging $650-$900 USD -- in Acassuso there was one for $500 USD. Based on a brief look for a furnished 2 bedroom average price seems to be about $1200-1300 USD, with a lot at around $1800USD.
There was one for 2000pesos + gastos in Nunez -- watch out, we once saw a place that was quoted as $1200pesos + gastos -- gastos were $800 pesos!!! (our reaction: are you f&*#ng kidding me???)
The couple should have a lok in the Clarin clasificados (when it's back up and running) -- they usually have a wider-ranging selection than La Nacion. -- look for deparatamentos por temporada if you're wanting something furnished.
Why is everyone so stuck, and I do mean stuck, about living in Buenos Aires (Capital Federal, Microcenter, the city, whatever!)? You get to pay hundreds, literally hundreds, of US Dollars more for a "crappy studio apartment", no land, dog excrement and trash on the streets and sidewalks, as well as noise and air pollution. And I almost forgot, homeless people sleeping on your doorstep or adjacent the entrance to your building. (Brother, can you spare a dime?)The further you move away from the city, prices for everything drop exponentially. Ok, so I can't walk to the city for a loaf of bread but most pueblos and barrios outside the city (not villas) are safe to walk and all have their own local butcher shops, fruit and vegetable markets, bakeries, etc... Buy a car with the money you save or better yet, ride the bus or train. Your lungs, your ears, and your state of mind will thank you for it.
Where to live outside the city? I would recommend Tigre or just about any town along the train route from Retiro to Tigre for access to transportation without a car. Or you could choose to live along one of the major arteries leading into the city, thereby allowing you access to buses serving the city. (San Isidro for example). Many people commute to the city from as far away as Zarate, San Pedro, Campana, Escobar, and Pilar. There are private shuttles (vans) which will pick you up and drop you off at predetermined locations. I lived in Maschwitz for 10 months and recently moved to Tigre. Although I own a car, my preferred commute to the city (2-3 days a week) is using a combination of any/all the methods listed above.If you want to escape the confines of Buenos Aires (provincia) I recommend you check out Mendoza or Missiones. Beautiful and affordable!
One last thought...An Argentine friend says that if he had to move outside the country for any reason, he would choose Uruguay. All the charm and none of the stress. There are daily ferries, although a bit pricey for daily commutes, that will shuttle you between the two countries. Check out Colonia, even during high season, for an idea of "un pueblo tranquilo!" Cars stop to let you cross the road, almost zero visible trash on the streets, and a community that walks and talks with Mate!
"WynnsWoods" said:
Mitscherman, I am stuck on living in Buenos Aires oddly enough because this is where I want to live. I must have missed the meeting where I had to have the approval of others. Sorry. LOL
I am a city dweller and I like to be here where I am within easy walking distance to the places I frequent. If that costs me more money or offends your sensibilities, I would re-suggest that I can easily be plied with Malbec or cheap beer. LOL.

And I do agree that there are many benefits to living out from the city; it is just not my choice to do so.
Thanks for the reply WW. It is nice to know my comments are appreciated (one way or another) by readers on this forum.
The original article in this thread was from 3fromOz (I wonder which 3) who asked about "all the options". Unfortunately, most people seem to reply with the limited scope of city dwelling and many seem to believe Buenos Aires 'IS' Argentina... For Tango lovers, maybe!I too enjoy the life in the city, albeit in small doses. That is why I commute 2-3 days a week. But come to think of it, until last Monday, it had been well over a month since I visited the city and I really didn't miss it. Out here, birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and people are again walking the streets and keeping shops open later.I guess that is because Spring is in the air ;-)

But come winter and the rainy season, I need it (the city) to shake up the routine here. So, my friend WW, I really can empathize with your reasons for living in the city. As for Malbec and cold beer... I will host an inauguration party for my new home in November. Close friends, BBQ and Fiambres, and good music. Perhaps, if we stay in touch, (and if you are nice) you will receive an invitation :)Cheers!
I would like to know what Bill thinks the following costs for a 80 metre appartment and 3 persons are:
ABL(local Taxes):
State taxes:
Building expenses per m2:
Fixed line:
Other cost like advice, tax filing, maintance, etc, etc: