Long Term Rentals
I’m going on my third year in Rome and I’ve never really explained how or why I decided to move here. Of course, maybe you know bits and pieces – I love Italy, I like to travel, I studied in Rome, etc.
My new series, “Moving to Rome,” is all about the behind the scenes stress, work, and craziness that went into my life today. Each post will contain a different topic so my story is understandable and chopped into bite-sized pieces. This week, I wanted to start with a more practical aspect of moving to Rome: finding an apartment.
When I first arrived in Rome, I was a student and stayed in student housing. After a few months, I grew tired of student housing and moved into my own apartment, which was much cheaper and allowed me much more freedom, not only to avoid awkward roommate situations, but also to customize my space with as many succulents as I wanted (see below).
Pros: When you rent from AirBnb for a month or longer, you’ll receive a significant discount. Landlords hate flipping apartments over so quickly, so they will reduce the prices just to avoid having so many different guests over a short period of time. Plus, the payment method was super secure – you just enter the credit card on the website and your landlord does not see the details.
Cons: Prices are inflated as much as 600 euros. You are probably paying an agency, your landlord who is renting from the agency, and additional taxes. Another thing I find frustrating with AirBnb is that is it impossible to split payments when you are living with other people.
Italy is a modern country, but many Italians still hold strong to old traditions. The best restaurants, holiday destinations, and cold remedies are usually “facts” shared by someone who knows someone’s nonna. This also goes for apartment vacancies. In Italy, seriously it pays to know people.
Pros: Places are usually cheaper this way.
Cons: Unless you have lots of connections in Italy and lots of Italian friends, you are out of luck.
Facebook groups are like the virtual version of word-of-mouth, but, in all honesty, I’ve only used them once and it was because I was super desperate for a quick place. The most common types of offers on Facebook groups seem to be single rooms. That being said, you can find some of the most lovely and affordable places in groups like Rome Housing and on Rome Rentals.
Pros: Facebook groups have a search bar that allows you to enter keywords when trying to find your perfect apartment.
Cons: The contracts can be unstable.
Affitto manages houses for sale, private ads for flats, real estate agencies, and ads for rooms available in both Milan and Rome. It also shows bedrooms for rent specifically for students in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Venice and Genoa, as well as houses for sale in Bari, Naples, Bergamo and Padua.
Pros: Affito has some of the best prices I’ve seen.
Cons: About half of the apartments are not furnished. It’s Italian. It’s disorganized. Unless you are ready to talk to your agency and landlord in Italian – good luck!
I recently found Nestpick online and decided to try it out. Nestpick is a search engine used to aggregate furnished flats in main cities around Europe (plus San Francisco and Singapore). Think of it as a mixture of Airbnb and Skyscanner, except that it is specifically optimized for long-term apartments rentals.
Pros: Instead of having to search hundreds of apartment websites on Google, Nestpick allows users to search these sources simultaneously. Users simply enter the preferred location, keywords, and other individual needs, and Nestpick will do the rest.
Cons: Because Nestpick is pretty new, there aren’t as many accommodation options as I would have wanted with a search aggregator. That being said, they are growing, so I can imagine that this will improve quickly!
Have you ever been to Rome? Interested in moving here? I would be happy to answer any questions you might have!