Buenos Aires - Post Report Question and Answers

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

U.S. Mission housing is varied, and during our tour, I found that the housing board did a reasonably good job of accommodating people’s preferences. Singles, couples, and those who prefer city apartments: there are apartments in various parts of the downtown area, closer to the Embassy. One building is a short walk to the Chancery. Other apartments at short driving distance from the Embassy are available in more fashionable neighborhoods. Amenities of the buildings vary but usually include a large pool and small gym. Apartments were at least 3br/2.5ba, even for singles. Families and those who prefer suburban homes: attached and standalone homes in the suburbs north of the city, closer to most of the schools mission families use. Commutes to the Embassy ranged from 15-50 minutes, with an average of probably 40 during rush hour, but in bad traffic it could take well over an hour. Most if not all houses had a small to medium-sized pool and 4+br/4.5+ba. All had a medium sized or larger yard, a patio, and a parilla. Some had large and lovely gardens. Most have quarters for live-in staff. Some had serious safety and maintenance problems (roof cave-ins, for instance, beware any house that has a flat roof because Buenos Aires is not a desert). Some were ugly and built like cement blocks with bare concrete floors. Area rugs were not provided for us. Our home (for our family of three) was beautiful, and the best housing we’ve had in the Foreign Service: a brick home, gorgeous wood floors, fireplace, three large levels, large eat-in kitchen with a bay window nook. We had four large bedrooms (two of which were en-suite), and the third floor was a fully open, beautiful, enormous room with vaulted ceiling and exposed wooden beams and full bath. We used it as a playroom, and it was amazing. Appliances: Full-size ovens were rare, and ours was one of very few homes that had one. Many people complained that their ovens were too small to fit any of their pans/casserole dishes. Argentina is very pet-friendly (one of the best things about the country, in my opinion), and Argentines especially adore dogs. I do not know of any housing that didn’t allow pets. In fact, a friend who lived in one of the apartments asked the building management what process he should follow to get permission to have a dog in his apartment. They stared at him blankly for a second and then responded, “You… take your dog into your apartment.” - Apr 2022

We lived in an apartment complex in the city as did MANY other singles and couples or small families. Larger families (or those who wanted to) lived in houses (often with pools and yards) out in the suburbs near the international school. In the city, the housing pool was diverse and spread out in several neighborhoods. Some buildings have gyms and pools, others don't. Some are closer to public transportation. Many are within walking distance of Embassy. - Jul 2020

We live in the city, in the area called Palermo Chico. We chose to live here because we like city living (see above for previous cities lived). Most (but not all) families choose to live in the suburbs so that they are close to the international school. Out in the suburbs, most families have houses with pools and grills in their backyard. The commute in car is about 30-40 minutes from the suburban areas to the US embassy/city center, depending on traffic. In the city, we have a big three-bedroom apartment, with maid's quarters (which can be made into a small bedroom or office, if desired), right in a fantastic part of town. We have multiple doormen, a gym, a pool, and a parking garage in our building. And right outside our door, everything is walkable: the grocery store, the embassy, the movie theater, and the social club that we go to on the weekends. The walk to the US embassy is 15 minutes from door to door. - Jul 2019

Most people live in big apartments close to the Embassy. Most are in modern buildings with garage parking. People with kids live close to the Lincoln school in the suburbs. The biggest complaint is the length of time to commute from the suburbs it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Traffic is a huge problem here and add to that protesters are allowed to block many of the highways to get into the city. - Jun 2015

I can't speak about government housing. I live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city (Las Canitas) for a very reasonable price. - Jan 2015

In the city, high-rise buildings with views of the city and water. Suburbs, beautiful large houses with yards and pools. - Aug 2014

We live in the suburbs to be close to the school. The commute into the city is nasty. - Aug 2011

Singles and couples tend to live in the city in beautiful apartments. Families are in the suberbs in single family homes with a pool, but have an hour commute to work. - May 2011

I rented an apartment in Las Canitas - it was approximately 15 minutes in a taxi to Puerto Madero, Retiro, Palermo, etc (except at rush hour). When going to Pilar, it took 30 minutes without traffic, up to 80 minutes with traffic at rush hour. - Jul 2008

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