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Renting a House or Apartment in Davao, Philippines

In America and I would guess in other parts of the world, if you want to rent a place to live, you open up a newspaper and read the classifieds. There are also free rental guides. Most apartments are in a building or a complex with amenities.

It is not as easy here. Even though there are Real Estate agents here, most Filipinos just put up a banner or a hand painted sign. The banners usually have a photo and location. Most just have a cell number. You can look at the internet, but not many people here have realized the power of the net and/or have no experience using it to advertise. Also since most businesses cater to Filipinos, most do not use the internet. If you find something on the net there is more information but a lot of the time there is no pricing. Being a foreigner, you need to realize many times they see you and the price goes up. I would recommend using a Filipino to inquire about the price and see what happens when you show up to sign agreement. A lot of visitors coming to Davao, unless you have family here or a friend you plan to live with once you’re here you first think of staying at a hotel. Here in Davao there are hotels from the high end to the lower end.

If you are staying for a short time, or just want an inexpensive place to live until you are sure the location you want for long term there are other options.

There are Apartmenteles. These are like efficiency apartments with daily maid service. Some I have seen have levels. There is a furnished room with a bed, TV with cable, an Air Conditioner, a small table with chairs, CR (bathroom) with hot water shower and a refrigerator. It has a community kitchen for your cooking. Then they have a room available with a kitchen and their forrentsignupper end rental has a small sala (living room). Some have a restaurant too if you want to eat and not cook. There are some at the higher end that looks like a small resort style with a pool and some are small with just the rooms, restaurant and laundry area.

If and when you rent, talk to the owner/manager. Ask about the lease, repairs and services, who pays for what with repairs. Also ask about increases at lease renewals. Here there are so many things not discussed and pop up at a later time.

I know of one place that is a compound with boarding rooms where you share CR and a more efficiency type room with a private CR, a kitchen type counter with sink, Cable TV hook up and a small wall air conditioner.

Something I have been seeing more in the city are Bachelor Pads. These are fully furnished affordable units with own CR and shower heater, mini kitchen, complete kitchen utensils, refrigerator, electric stove, electric kettle, with cable TV, air-conditioned units. Prices start at about 6000 Php ($128.00 USD) a month. Sometimes all is included, sometimes you pay electricity.

If you need any with your plans to come here, do not hesitate to contact me, I can also go as far as make arrangements, pick you up at the airport, or drive you around to see places.

23 Responses to “Renting a House or Apartment in Davao, Philippines”

  1. Great article Bruce. I am very interested in this. It would be funny to know about a similar thing in smaller cities around Mindanao. I know you can’t know that, cause is where you are. But I assume that, as in most places, Davao being the big city in Mindanao, it surely has to be cheaper in a smaller town. I will contact you for sure, the next time I am going to Davao! If not to pick me up in the airport, after I am settled for sure! This is a service you could charge people for! It is hard for newcomers to get this kind of firsthand knowledge.

    • Bruce says:

      I like to help people, but also would like me make a little money. If someone needs me to drive them around, help with immigration or any govenrment agencies, finding rentals, I will charge a small fee.

  2. Vanessa says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I’m new to your site, heard it from my husband who visits bob’s website often. Told me about another american blogging about Davao in particular. I’m a filipina born in Mati(3hrs drive from Davao City)has been leaving in Texas now for 8yrs and married to an American. Very informative site, don’t know a lot of western man who blogs passionately about their experiences. We will be visiting Davao and Mati this coming September for one month. Btw, we are renting a villa in Davao City(buhangin area) for the entire stay. We had a good deal though. Hubby found it online.

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for enjoying my site and the way I write. I am not a journalist or even a writer, I just write as I would tell a story.
      I know of sites online, but if someone wants me to check things out, I am happy to assist.

      • Vanessa says:


        I often read blogs of my filipina friends here in the U.S. who are also married to a “kano”. YOur site interests me more since you are blogging from the city where most of my immediate family lives as well as my parents before they moved to Mati. I like it since it’s more personal and authentic stories… I’m pretty sure you already know my husband through email. I know he emailed you about properties in Davao, his name is Richard of San Antonio, TExas. Btw, we used to live in sunrise, fort lauderdale 4yrs ago.

        • Bruce says:

          Again, thanks for reading and enjoying my site. If there is anything you would like me to write about, I welcome suggestions. Also if you ever have anything you would like to write, I welcome guest writers.
          I remember your husband and always willing to help with information or assistance here.

          • banot says:


            What about money exchanges? your preferred bank? Food you hate and learn to love. Did you miss anything here in the States?

          • Bruce says:

            We usually just exchange any monies at our back. To me it is easier and safer than taking out US cash and walking around with it.
            About foods, I have learned to eat foods at home and learned to love Ampalaya, but only cooked by Elena.
            I stay away from the small fish and some of the stranger items.
            I miss from the states the better traffic, some restaurants and good beef.

  3. Neal in RI says:

    Hey Bruce
    I am a daily reader here on your site but I don’t recall ever commenting. I figured it was about time to say “Thanks” for all your very good information/work here.

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you. It is nice to get comments. I enjoy hearing from readers and also getting to know them. I try to write as if I am telling a story and also like to help others understand what it is like living here. At times, from comments, it helps me think of other things to write about.

  4. Alan says:

    My wife and i will be visiting Davao next month and at the very least hope to meet up with you . A ” mutual acquiantance ” has offered to show us around a bit so hopefully our paths will cross . But for certain it is difficult here in the Philippines to find a place to rent and we have never found one suitable except by word of mouth . 🙂

    • Bruce says:

      I hope to be able to meet you. I know our “mutual acquaintance” will give you a good tour, but your welcome to contact me for any assistance you might want from a second source.

  5. Dan2vero says:

    Hey Bruce,

    I have Rose checking out the prices of apartments/houses for rent in the Maasin City area…but if you feel like driving up there to Southern Leyte…be my guest… kidding my friend.
    I have already heard about letting a filipino be the one that inquires about the properties, so when the owner of the rental see’s a “kano”, the price dramatically gets larger.
    So Rose and family will be checking these things out for me, and taking pictures of the places too. Just something simple, don’t need the live at the Trump Plaza…lol.

    Thanks Bruce,
    Danny 🙂

  6. mike acree says:

    I LOVE YOUR SITE – very informative… I have been emailing with Jim Whitney there – Im retiring there in september… Jim and I might be sharing a bigger place and split expenses…. what do you do about receiving mail there? thanks for everything…

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for enjoying my site. Good you made a friendship with Jim. He is a interesting man.
      Mail here is a pain, most bills are delivered by messenger. The postal service here is not like the States, there is not postal delivery person coming by every day. If you plan getting a lot of mail, see about a postal box at the Post office. Mail can take 2 months to arrive here if at all. If your planning to have checks mailed, I would suggest you set up direct deposit and then transfer your money here.

  7. Paul says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I found your blog looking for a house to rent in Davao. I have only arrived here in Davao a couple days ago with my girlfriend who is from South Cotabato. I am from San Francisco California.

    We are looking for a small house or apartment for rent here, furnished for between 3-8 month stay. Also we need wireless internet in the dwelling as well. Our price range is 10,000-20,000 pesos a month hopefully including utilities. If you can help us find such a place soon, I would be glad to remunerate you with a fee sir. My email is enclosed in this comment.

    thanks for your great blog about davao.


  8. kempozone says:

    Im sure many of you are like me and one of the first things you do in the morning is head here and check out the new post. Along with seeing the new posts, I’m also always checking out the blog roll rss feed and watching them grow, or shrink sometimes. In one of my past …but all in all excellent site. Keep it up!

  9. Donnieboy says:

    Just wanted to drop you a line to say, I enjoy reading your site. I thought about starting a blog myself but don’t have the time.
    Oh well maybe one day…. 🙂

  10. Frank says:

    My name is Frank an i lan on viisiting Davo in dec to see my fiancee for the 1st time i will need a safe an nice apartment or condo or house 4 30 days can u help me? she has mentioned 1 place called Chateau Veronica Apartelle have u heard of it? I am open to others I need help on pricing also i will be on a budget Please contact me asap

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