How to rent an apartment in Tbilisi for under 1000$
Now that you’ve decided to move to Tbilisi, Georgia, let the house hunt begin. This is what we thought. Ha ha… After our first searches we thought, how are we going to afford the rent in this “developing” country. Don’t let the high prices put you off; it’s all just a crazy price posted on their house rental ad. Everything is negotiable, and you should negotiate towards the correct price, 30-50% less.
You should negotiate towards the correct price, 30-50% less.
Next step, what kind of property are you looking for? Are you looking for a house, apartment, basement, loft? Do you want to have a private garden, an Italian garden, live in a big high rise, live in a shared house? The world is your oyster, but you must start somewhere. For ourselves, having had the luxury of visiting Georgia twice before relocating, we knew we wanted to live in a private house with a garden. Anything else was not an option. So, we got down to business and started combing through every real estate page on the internet for house rentals in Tbilisi, nearly six months before our planned relocation.
The Republic of Georgia offers two types of real estate sites on the internet. During your first searches, you will stumble upon independent real estate brokers, such as Remax.ge, obviously offering the cream of the pack at a premium price. Then you will come across a handful of sites that run general ads both by independent house/flat owners or freelance real estate brokers. Ideally, this is where you will find your best deal, after negotiations. However, differentiating between the two can often be tricky and then chances of an English response are low. Keep trying and when one answer, make them your first Georgian friend.
We spent months looking for the right house. Both Place.ge and Myhome.ge became or “go to” sites throughout our house hunting mission. Both pages offer English versions though from time to time the translation is a bit slim. Place.ge has a large supply of properties, as well as filters for your search. Filters include district, size, price range, and amenities you may want in your house. Like a fireplace, for example. Myhome.ge has similar filters, but also offers a pretty handy map option. Something likes what you’d find on Airbnb.com or Booking.com. We found both sites worked better in Google Chrome, as Firefox often did not load the property rental or full description of what the property offered. Often even if you are operating in the English versions, the description will still show up in Georgian. We just copied and pasted everything into google translate. With these two websites, you will have most of the market covered. There are several smaller pages here and there, but in the end we found most of their listings were also on the two pages stated above. No need to waste your time or effort.
As for why house rentals are so expensive in Tbilisi. It’s simple; there are a huge amount of NGO or foreign companies hiring from their home countries. The Georgians are no dummies and know the companies are footing the bill for their expat hires. Hence, the exorbitant prices for seemingly ordinary houses. From the beginning, these prices estranged us. How is it possible that a house with three bedrooms cost 1500-2500$ a month? Then, you have a national monthly salary at 200$ a month. Fortunately, after “making a Georgian friend” and he kindly visiting several properties for us prior to our arrival, we found a nice house for $700 a month, negotiated down from 1500$. We packed our bags and moved to Tbilisi.
In conclusión, your best bet to find a house with a normal rent is to have a local do the negotiating for you. Irakli and Taco from www.brokeri.ge were an awesome team when it came to helping us find our house. Irakli speaks English and Taco speaks Spanish.