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Thanks for another good article Jeff!
For the uninitiated, perhaps you could explain your acronym CDT? What is it? I assume its some kind of deposit held in trust? with who?
How does one get this? how much do they cost? where does one get it?
A CDT in Colombia is like a CD at a bank in the U.S. Third parties like insurance companies offer this as a type of security deposit for rentals. We have a separate article about overcoming the fiador requirement that explains using CDTs in more detail, see: https://medellinguru.com/overcoming-fiador-requirement/
An insurance company used by several real estate agencies is El Libertador, which investigates and analyze the documents for a rental application to determine the economic solvency of the potential tenants looking to lease property. This company essentially evaluates your safety as a tenant by looking at economic activity you have inside Colombia. El Libertador determines how big of a deposit is needed in the form of a CDT at a bank if a renter doesn’t have a fiador. This is typically anywhere from 5 to 9 months but could be longer.
Thanks for the very helpful post. How easy was it to move from apartment to apartment? And can you share the name of the real estate company you rented the inexpensive house from. Thanks in advance!
Hi Dan, thanks. It was relatively painless and inexpensive to move each time. We hired movers. When we move to the house we recently rented, I plan to cover moving in a separate article.
The real estate agency we rented from is Arrendamientos Envigado – https://www.arrendamientosenvigadosa.com/. This is a sizable real estate agency, which specializes in unfurnished rentals and they have over 100 employees. They primarily rent properties in the southern part of the metro area like Envigado, Sabaneta and Itagüí but also rent some properties in El Poblado. Their office is near Parque Engigado. And the agent we worked with only spoke Spanish but they told me they also have someone working there who is bilingual – English and Spanish.
Thanks for providing info about the real estate agency you used.
Thanks for the article. I have been looking in Sabaneta and there are many inexpensive places. Is the house you found on a busy street? I noticed some of the streets are pretty busy. I prefer to live on a street that isn’t very busy.
Hi Mark, the house isn’t on a busy street and is set back from the street unlike many houses that are directly on the street.
Nice article and very true you can get real estate agents to show you many unfurnished rental apartments and homes for free. See my comment in your gringo pricing article https://medellinguru.com/gringo-pricing/.
I repeat that comment here so that others aren’t taken advantage of by the youngsters pushing high priced relocation services including a service to find apartments:
WARNING be careful of expats charging high prices to newbie expats. 2 kids are heavily promoting on youtube their How to Expat services with overpriced sneak peak and relocation services. For example I see a Getting Settled package with a high price of $670 for finding an apartment, neighborhood tour, visa assessment, 2 hours of Spanish classes and 2 hours customized services. IMHO you should be able to do this yourself for less than $100. Visa assessment is free at any visa agency, real estate agencies will show you apartments for free, for a neighborhood tour hire a taxi for less than 40,000 pesos per hour, only 2 hours of Spanish classes – worthless and you can go to a language exchange for free. These kids are taking advantage of newbie expats with high prices for things you can easily find for free or low cost.
Wow, pay $670 for a bunch of services that you can mostly find for free. What a complete rip-off!
Also what value is a quick neighborhood tour for a few hours. If you want to really experience a neighborhood you need to do a trial of living there for several days and walk around. I don’t believe you can really get a feel for how it is to live in a neighborhood in only a few hours.
WARNING. How to Expat’s relocation services are GRINGO PRICED and VERY HIGH by two young expats from Switzerland that are taking advantage of newbies to Medellin.
I spent about 10 minutes Google searching and essentially found everything in How to Expat’s $1,070 Premium relocation package for free or relatively low cost.
– Airport Transfer – $35 – http://www.medellin-airport-transfer.com/
– Finding an Apartment – FREE – http://www.arrendamientosenvigadosa.com/ a big agency specializing in rentals
– Neighborhood Tour – about $70 for a 4 hour private tour for 2 people from a bilingual guide – https://tourguides.viator.com/Listing.aspx?Country=Colombia&Region=Antioquia&City=Medell%C3%ADn
– Transportation Tour – $5 for self-guided tour – https://practicalwanderlust.com/2016/08/city-tour-of-medellin-colombia.html
– Visa Assessment – FREE – Expatgroup.co plus has a low cost $125 visa service – https://medellinguru.com/visa-agencies-colombia/
– 3h Spanish Classes – instead 450,000 pesos ($144) for 10 hours of private classes – http://www.toucanspanish.com/pricing/
– Health Insurance Assessment – FREE – Angela Berrio insurance broker – firstname.lastname@example.org – https://medellinguru.com/health-insurance/
– 5h Customized Service – NOT sure what this is…
My total cost = $254 but with more Spanish class time (10 hours) and this took only about 10 minutes…
I started a thread about this on Colombia Connections – http://colombiaconnection.freeforums.net/thread/5803/expat-overpriced-relocation-services-pricing
Thanks Dan! It is ironic that in the How to Expat videos they talk about Gringo Pricing but then the relocation services they offer are GRINGO PRICED since they charge over 400% higher prices than the prices for local services. Their prices are over 4 times more expensive than using local services and many of the things they include you can find for FREE.
So, this is a complete rip-off taking advantage of newbies that needs to be widely shared.
Dan thank you for your detailed information. I’m planning to visit Medellin and I speak Spanish. I will utilize some of your information if I decide to live in Colombia.
Hi Dan, thanks for the warning. I let my friends who are visiting about this ripoff. They were shocked when I told them How to Expat is reselling free or cheap services for a BIG GRINGO price with 400% higher prices. My friends had seen some of the How to Expat videos and were thinking about using their services until I showed them your post.
We all need to get the word out about these gringos from How to Expat that are taking advantage of newbies.
Thanks for the nice article and wow a 3 bedroom place for only 1,050,000 pesos per month, that is a real bargain. I have been looking for a 3 bedroom places in El Poblado for the past week and found everything is at least 1.6 million pesos per month and I have seen several for over 3 million pesos per month. I plan to look in Sabaneta next week that looks to be much cheaper.
Hi William, thanks. Yes, we found that El Poblado has the highest prices for unfurnished apartments in Medellín in our survey, see: https://medellinguru.com/2018-unfurnished-apartment-rental-costs/. On average, for similar sized apartments we found El Poblado has 24.5 percent higher rental prices compared to Sabaneta.
I founded a new web page to search apartments and houses to rent. Is different to the other web pages because it have 360º photos. I can see the places with more detail with this photos.
I put the URL here. You can exploring de web page and update your article or write a new one.
Retirement visa is there a spectific age requirement and what documents are required to show income i want to get one now im 57 and want to get sura health care this year let me know if its possible. I can go to coral gables colombian consalate
There is not a specific age requirement – see our retirement visa article for information about requirements – https://medellinguru.com/retirement-visa/
And for information about SURA health insurance see our article about signing up for SURA health insurance – https://medellinguru.com/health-insurance/