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San Salvador

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

Houses with a few apartments. Housing is less than a mile from the US embassy. Comfortable homes. - Nov 22, 2017
Almost all families are housed in a gated community very close to the Embassy (less than a mile away). There are some in another complex about 15 minutes away and others in apartments in a different part of the city. The traffic can be bad at weird times, but overall this has been a "traffic lite" post for us. The housing tends to be very nice for whatever family size/rank applies to you. - Jul 14, 2016
USG folks used to be split between really nice apartments in the fancy urban part of San Salvador, and houses located a 10 minute walk from the Embassy. Now we all are put into houses near or relatively close to the Embassy. Houses are fairly new, large, and usually have decent yards. All come with maids quarters and usually a nice porch/lanai. And often mature fruit trees as well! Typical commute to the Embassy is never more than 20 minutes from the furthest place, and many folks are within walking/biking distance. Although the suburban feel really doesn't appeal to many people, the housing quality, location, and amenities are all quite good. - Dec 8, 2015
We have a big, comfortable home. Commute time to Embassy is 4 minutes in car or 12 minutes walking. - Jun 9, 2015
Mostly houses. Most housing is located walking distance from the Embassy. Others have short commutes though it can vary based on construction projects. Houses are generally large and okay, though the finishings are never that nice. Houses are typically surrounded by 12+ foot high walls, razor wire, security cameras, and bars on every door and window. Sometimes it feels a bit prison like. - Mar 23, 2015
Most singles and couples without children live in apartments in the center of town. Families live in houses about 5 minutes from the Embassy. Typical commute time is usually 5 minutes from the houses and can be up to 35 minutes from the apartments. Traffic (and the despised traffic circles) make morning and afternoon commutes a lot longer to the center of town. - Oct 29, 2014
Mostly houses. The commute to the embassy is 5 minutes. - Jul 8, 2014
Rental options are limited and basic. Apartments are virtually non-existent, but 2-3 bedroom houses in gated "residencias" can be found in the $500-800 range especially in Santa Tecla and San Benito at the south end of town. Be advised that landlords have no problem retaining your entire security deposit on cooked-up reasons. Work through your employer or the embassy to find ethical landlords/owners. - Apr 28, 2012
Families live in houses and couples/singles often live in apartments. Embassy employees frequently live very close to the embassy. Traffic is an issue if you live further out but the city is quite small and traffic isn't as bad as it is in other countries in the region. - Jul 15, 2011
Embassy people live either in houses in Escalon, about a 15-minute drive to the embassy, or in apartments in Escalon, or in a subdivision about 5 minutes from work. Singles are relegated to high-rise apartments with stellar views but no yards and longer commutes. People with kids or pets are given 1-2 story houses with yards. Escalon has more shopping and restaurants, but it also has the longer commute. The subdivision's commute can't be beat -- some people walk to work. But ALL your neighbors are co-workers, so you will never have any privacy. Got a loud, weird, embarrassing hobby? Ask to live in Escalon. - May 21, 2010
Housing here is beautiful. Most homes are very large. Singles are generally in a single apartment complex that is secure, has beautiful views of the valley, a swimming pool, etc. Couples and families generally have large homes with three or four bedrooms. Yard space is sometimes limited, although several of the homes have quite spacious yards for entertaining or playing. Most of the homes are very light and airy, with large windows, cieling fans, and open porches. - Feb 28, 2009