Simple Tips on How to Look for a Room, Apartment, or House for Rent in Cebu City

March 01, 2017


It's not a secret that renting a room or house in Cebu City is the trend. The majority of tenants, like us, from the different province who just came here to work. Mostly from upper to lower middle class.

And the main culprit why we've been very busy lately was that we had to find a new place to move in, stat. However, considering that Cebu City's tagged as the most populated province in the Philippines, it took us almost a month to find new room (yes, room) to stay in.

The art of renting a home away from home, which I totally made up, is not an easy task. It will drain you; from the search to the transfer. Also, you have to consider a lot of factors (e.g. sink, windows, and the like).

Seriously, it's not easy. I've been an NPA (no permanent address) here in Cebu for almost four years now. I've lived with my brother, lived alone, used to live with a housemate, and now living with my husband in a room. Yes, a room that just fits our closet, bed, and PC.

So, how did we decided to live in this tiny home?

1. Location, location, location

The farthest I've lived from the office is a 10-minute jeep ride, and that's without traffic. After that experience, I swore I'll never live that far from work again. It took me almost an hour to get home if we add traffic during the rush hour.

After that experience, I swore I'll never live that far from work again and, luckily, hubby agreed. Now, if we move in to another home, he'd always consider places which are just a walking distance from my office. And also think if it's safe to walk home after my shift.

So, I strongly suggest that if you're looking for a room for rent in Cebu City, put location in your number one priority. Remember, an hour in traffic can go a long way, like sleep or exercise.

2. Price

Of course, I'd be a hypocrite if I'd skip this part. Always find the space the fits your budget. This is important so you won't have any problems in paying your rent.

Security deposit and a 1 or 2 months advance payment are what landlords often ask. There are also other landlords who strictly applies a 6-month or 1 year contract.

But how much is cheap when it comes to renting? The answer clearly depends on how much you earn and how much do you want to save. Most of the rooms or apartment for rent in the city ranges from P3,500 to P25,000. So, rent an apartment if you're living with your friends and just share the bills.

3. Will I be comfortable living here?

At the end of the day, you have to consider whether or nor you're comfortable staying in the place. Is it safe and will you be able to sleep soundly during the night, or day, especially if you're on the evening shift? Don't compromise comfort with price. If you think you can't afford the place, then find someone you trust to share it with.

As for us, we practically have very low standards when it comes to house hunting hahaha. Seriously, comfort is relative. Also, our accumulated experiences, from practically just living in bed to sharing a home, taught us that comfort doesn't equate to having your comfort room. We consider a place comfortable if we won't get stuck in traffic for hours just to get home.

Whatever floats your boat, use that as part of your house hunting. Consider what you want, but always remember what you need.

4. Where can I find rooms for rent in Cebu City?

There are a lot means to find a place to stay in Cebu, whether it's for a long or short term stay. You can start from one of the following:
  • Online - you can search for pages and groups in Facebook such as House, Room, Apartment, Condo for Rent/Sale in Cebu or just search for "room for rent in Cebu." You'll get a lot of hits and even latest posts. You can also just key in the phrase in Google or Yahoo and it'll take you olx.com, Craiglist, and other websites where you look for available rooms.
  • Scout by foot - decide on a preferred location and scout around the area. Vacant boarding houses have vacancy posts outside their gates or the building. Rooms for rent are also posted on posts and strategic locations in the area. It's also best if you call the numbers in the posted bills to ensure that the place is still vacant.
  • Ask a friend - Ask a friend - most of our friends here are working, so I also asked them for help. Make sure to tell them what exactly you're looking for to help them save time, too.  

5. Should I rent or buy a home?

Currently, there are condominiums and low-cost housings in Cebu City that you can easily apply. Still, you have to consider a lot of things before committing to buying a home. Here's a simple yet helpful diagram to help you decide:

These are just some of the tips I learned from living away from home and renting in the past four years. It's tiring to move around and even look for the best place that fits all your needs and especially the budget. I hope these tips can ease your burden when scouting for a room/apartment/house to rent in Cebu and in other cities, too. 

Share your comments or advice; I'd love to learn from your experiences, too! 

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