As we explained in an earlier article, safety should be your primary concern when moving to Lima. Not to say that it is a criminal city, but there are people out there who see you, if you are “gringo”, as a piece of meat, a wallet with legs. Armed robbery is rare, so you should not worry about that, but pickpockets and other tricksters are all over the city. They might even come up with elaborate schemes that take two-three days to complete, just to scam you for 20-30 dollars.
At the same time, burglary is quite common – especially in the areas of San Isidro and Santiago de Surco. These are areas close to the main expat hub of Miraflores, but security and prices are usually on a lower scale. If you are looking to buy or rent a house in Lima, the quest can be even more daunting.
Price Ranges for House Rentals in Lima
As mentioned, housing prices in Lima are closely related to safety. You could find a small, cosy house for as little as $100-150 per month in the area of Cieneguilla, but when word comes around that there is a gringo living in an unsecured area, a burglar will pay you a visit very soon. The reasoning is simple – if you are there, you probably have something valuable in your house; more valuable than a typical Peruvian household anyway.
Little do they know that some white people are just as poor as them, and are looking for opportunities in the growing city of Lima. If you do get invited by an international company and receive a good salary, you should set aside at least $800-1000 per month in housing costs. Renting a house is much harder than finding an apartment; hence, the prices can go up considerably, even for a small 1-bedroom house. If you have a family with children, you should be prepared to pay even more. What you get in return, however, is twice the value you would expect in Europe or North America.
There are two areas of Lima where you can find good houses for a decent price, and still be in safe surroundings:
- La Molina. This is one of the upscale areas of Lima, and is probably the best choice for families moving to the city. Houses cost up to double that of neighbouring areas, but La Molina offers both a safe, quiet environment and an easy way to reach the city centre. Expect to pay about $1000 per month for a good 3-bedroom house, or $80-100 000 if you wish to purchase a home instead. Oh, and the views over the city are breath-taking.
- The Ate District is just north of La Molina, but is a far cry from meeting the same standards. Few high-class people reside here, but the middle-class loves it. Ate is constantly developing, with some people claiming it could turn into a hip La Molina pretty soon. Here, you can find guarded, residential areas with rental costs from as little $400 per month if a 1-bedroom is good enough for you. 3-bed houses should not set you back more than $800. And yes – the views are on a par with those in La Molina.