Chiang Mai is popular location for expats living in Thailand. It is favoured by Digital Nomads due to the affordable cost of living and plenty of co-working space. Chiang Mai is also popular with those looking for a teaching abroad experience due to the large number of international school and ESL schools, which is exactly what attracted us to this beautiful city.
If you are looking to stay in Chiang Mai for a short period of time your options are endless. The city is full of hostels, hotels and apartments.
But what if your plans are more long term? If you are looking to stay here for a few months or a year where do you begin when searching for a place to live?
What can you get for your cash?
In our short four months living in Chiang Mai we have rented two apartments. The first apartment was 8000baht per month.
We stayed here for three months. This was a 34sqm one bedroom apartment, spacious living are and modern kitchen and shower room. This apartment was fully furnished and had everything we needed.
After three months we moved to our current apartment. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak rent prices in Chiang Mai fell.
We came across our current apartment where we now pay 12,000baht per month. To put this great deal into perspectives, when we were originally searching for an apartment back in March this very apartment was 16,000baht. A huge 4000baht per month saving!!!
So what does the extra 4000baht per month get us? Our current apartment is 40sqm, has a spacious balcony, we have access to a pool and it is situated in a beautiful green space with a lake. This apartment also came fully furnished with everything we needed.
We had no issues with either company. However, we would say Perfect Homes had a more professional feel.
TIP 1: Always view before you rent
Do not arrange to rent a property here in Thailand before you arrive. Once you get here book yourself into a hostel or hotel and then view properties. Get to know the city, view a few different apartments, shop around and then make an informed decision.
TIP 2: Research the location
If you have previously been to Chiang Mai or you have a job lined up you might have an idea of where you would like to live.
For us we live exactly half way between the school we work at and the city centre in an area called Mae Hie.
Many expats and digital nomads choose to live in Nimmen or Santitham. Keep in mind as these are popular areas the price does reflect that. Both these areas are very trendy with great coffee shops, brunch cafes and boutiques.
TIP 3: How to find your apartment
As mentioned above we have used two estate agents during our time here, Property 66 and Perfect Homes. We would recommend both of these companies. Perfect Homes is a little more professional and we think have a better selection on their website.
You can also check out some Facebook groups where you can find people advertising rooms for rent or occasionally an apartment for rent.
Most apartment buildings all have an office that is open Mon-Fri 9am – 4pm. If you are walking around and spot an apartment building that takes your fancy just pop into the office. Ask what they have available for rent and they will be happy to show you some options.
TIP 4: Things to keep in mind
When renting an apartment in Chiang Mai you will be asked or two months rent as a deposit. This is common practice. Ask for a lease, where the rent amount, electricity and water rates are clearly stated. If you are renting through an estate agent they will prepare your lease.
In terms of rent prices always haggle. Don’t take the first advertised price. You can easily get 2000baht off your month rent.
On average water costs us about 120baht per month for a couple and electricity is 7baht per unit. Wifi is not included in our rent but we have unlimited phone data for 200baht per month which we hotspot from.
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