Mumbai - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Large modern 4-bedroom apartment about 1500 sqft. Location is about a 10min rickshaw ride to work. Quality work in the housing space is non-existent. Paint will chip off during your stay and the AC will break very frequently. I count at least one unit every month. During my two years, I came home to my place being flooded by the plumbing or AC drips three times. - Aug 2021


I live in Khar West, part of the Bandra neighborhood. This is a high-end neighborhood in Mumbai. It is mostly occupied by Bollywood actors, movie directors, business people. I live in a 3.5 bedroom apartment with 4.5 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, and storage room. The housing is very modern, with nice amenities. The location is around 8KM from the U.S. Consulate. I have my own scooter and it usually takes 20 minutes one way without traffic. Most of the staff from the Consulate live in this area, occupying various buildings. - Nov 2020


Housing in Mumbai is very expensive and space is at a premium so everyone lives in apartments. Most expats live in Bandra, BKC or Powai. Commute times vary, especially depending on the time of day. Traffic gets bad, so it’s best to go for housing that is close to work. - Aug 2019


Nearly all housing in Mumbai is in high-rise buildings. Many buildings feel sort of dingy, a product of years of grime and tropic weather, coupled with minimal maintenance. US government housing is spread throughout Mumbai. Our commute is 15 minutes in the morning but can be an hour returning home late evening. Some new housing is closer to the US Consulate, a short walk away but in a less interesting area, dominated by new construction. Apartments are small by US standards; don't count on much storage space. Be aware that anything you store outside on your high-rise patio will be rapidly covered with mildew, grime, or rust. Traffic in Mumbai is often very bad. From where we live in Bandra/Khar, it usually takes 60-90 minutes to South Bombay. It is better on Sundays or early in the morning. - Mar 2019


Nice housing, spacious and close to the US Consulate. - Jan 2019


Housing is scattered between Bandra and BKC, very few in South Mumbai. Commuting is crazy so BKC people seem to be better off than Bandra. Housing is very low quality, things are always breaking or not working. - May 2018


Four bedroom apartment, but don't let that fool you - the actual living space is small. Indians are used to packing three generations into a single residence, so 75% of the apartment is devoted to bedrooms. - Jun 2017


All apartments. It's the luck of the draw, unless you have a large family. Housing seems to be the number one complaint among singles and couples without kids. - Aug 2015


We're all in apartments. Usually 4 bedroom, all have air-conditioning. Some have green spaces, pools, gyms, etc or some combination. Some have none of that. All are high-rise. The majority are a 15-20 min commute in the morning, 45-90 min in the afternoon, but there are a few in South Mumbai who have longer commutes. - Nov 2014


You only have a house here if you are a billionaire. Everyone has apartments. Commutes depend on your location. Most people try to keep them under an hour but it is common here to have a 1.5-2 hour commute home. You can get a crappy old building with nice space inside in a place like Bandra that is somewhat walkable (though you still fight the traffic and get brushed off the road). Or you can go for a high-rise with all the amenities in a different area that is less walkable but most people even in Bandra aren't walking that much. Everyone gets in their cars (with drivers) to go places or takes taxis. - Mar 2014


Cramped apartments but many are comfortable to live in. - Feb 2014


Mainly apartments. If you have an apartment with several rooms, each room typically has its own private bathroom. There's usually a small quarters for household help. There are a lot of expats in Bandra. If you live and work in Bandra the commute isn't bad but if you're driving to and from South Mumbai during rush hour expect to be stuck in traffic for over an hour. - Feb 2014


Housing is exorbitantly expensive. It makes no sense how expensive. And unfortunately outside most buildings, it is not very nice, even in expensive neighborhoods like Bandra: there are no functional sidewalks, the streets have potholes, etc. South Bombay is very nice and has wide streets. My commute is 10 min in the morning and 30 in the afternoon. - Aug 2013


Most expats live in apartments. I have a 2-bedroom flat in Bandra, which I don't think I'd be able to afford on my own (my employer pays the rent) because rental prices are outrageous in Mumbai. It's nice enough, has two tiny bathrooms and a small kitchen, but having come from Bangkok where I was able to afford a spacious flat with large balconies (and for a fraction of the price), I was quite disappointed to arrive at my dark, dingy apartment with no balconies and bars on the windows. Still, considering that 75% of Indians live on less than $2/day, and many are homeless, I know I am extremely fortunate to have so much space, security, and comfort; so I try to maintain a positive attitude. I live on a busy street, so it's LOUD (Indians honk constantly and for no obvious reason--and they do it into the wee hours). If possible, try to find a place that's on a smaller street with less traffic, or higher up. It takes me 15 mins to get to work in the morning and 30-45 mins to get home due to traffic. Unless it's very early in the morning or in the middle of the night, traffic is terrible. The airport is exactly 8 miles from my house and takes 15 mins to get to at 6am. But at any other time, it can take an hour. The Sea-Link makes travel between the suburbs and South Mumbai much easier, but you can still expect to spend lots of time sitting in traffic. - May 2013


High-rise apartments. For ConGen USA personnel, these are concentrated in Bandra, Khar and Santa Cruz. Commute times are about 15-20 minutes in the morning and 45-60 minutes in the evening. - Feb 2013


The commute time is not good. For US consulate employees it should improve after the new consulate is opened, but there's no guarantee when that will happen. Our US consulate housing is spacious but things break quite often. Although there's a water distiller in the kitchen, it's tough when the shower water smells terrible. - Dec 2010


All apartments, some nice, some not so nice. - Nov 2008


Apartments vary from pretty good to really poor. The apartments that are not serviced by consulate staff have frequent problems with a/c units and other utilities, and getting service from the landlords is difficult. Consulate does not provide nearly enough support. Some of the apartments are downright terrible, with awful bathrooms that were put in as an afterthought. Think showers that drain directly onto the floor, or a toilet inside the shower area. Really inexcusable, brought on by the high price of rentals in Mumbai. The consulate will move (current plan: late 2009, but it has been delayed many times). New arrivals are being put closer to the new site, 1+ hour commute from the current consulate, in one of the most congested cities in the world. The new housing plans are also unclear: instead of co-locating housing with the new consulate, there is talk of a lease-to-own building much farther north. Permanent commutes could be 45+ minutes at best. Really bad situation. - Aug 2008


Apartment Living- Very expensive and very small. Mumbai's real estate boom, and strong rupee vs. dollar, leave alot to be desired for housing. Your average--reasonable 3 BR, 3 Bath Apartment is between US$6-10,000 per month. No need to pack your furniture, or anything that cannot hang on a wall or sit in a cabinet. - Jul 2008


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