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New Delhi

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

When we first arrived it seemed as though the jungle had overtaken our residence. Mud slicks in place of lawns and the low hum of the Aedis Egyptii dengue mosquito persistent through the undergrowth. With years of monsoon rain the whitewashing of the Lutyens-style bungalow columns had dissolved to in a red-streaked puce. Planters, for years untended, choked with the evolved remnants of a long-forgotten pleasure garden. Everywhere, a vague sense of sorrow and a somehow ineffable loss. - Dec 4, 2017
We are pleased with housing. It's in a safe and green neighborhood, with 15 minutes drive to work. There are a lot of leased properties in which occupants complain about mold, old bathrooms and kitchens, and distance from the Embassy. The two government compounds are decent, but a bit dark inside. One compound is where the embassy is located and that will become a construction site once the new embassy annex construction starts. I would not like to live there, as the air is enough polluted without the construction dust and noise. - Oct 22, 2017
The vast majority of expats live in apartments. Each apartment in Delhi occupies its own floor and buildings are about 4 floors high. Most buildings are gated with parking inside the gate for smaller cars (typically one per apartment) and open street parking. Most have roof access that often belongs to whomever has the highest apartment. These roofs can be turned into nice patios or garden areas. Some ground floor apartments have small yard access. Many apartments are pretty nice and open, though they lack storage and some have an odd layout-especially the older ones. Most have plenty of space.

Many embassies have housing within their compounds, which varies by embassy. The US Embassy has townhouse-type living with their homes. Each home has a fenced small backyard that then opens to larger common grassy space. Homes are two stories and tend to be on the smaller side-most have a kitchen, dining area, and living room downstairs and the bedrooms upstairs. Each has its own parking spot.

We actually lived in one of the rare exceptions-a single family home in a local neighborhood, Vasant Vihar. The layout was really odd, but we had a dining room, living room, kitchen, three bedrooms, and a small finished basement. We also had a tiny yard, our own driveway, and a roof with laundry room. The home was old but gave us plenty of space.

Many expats with families live in Vasant Vihar or nearby Anand Niketan, Shanti Niketan or West End. Many of the preschools are located there and it takes about 20 minutes to get to the embassies in Chanakyapuri. It is also a popular area for people who work in nearby city Gurgaon. In the evenings it can take 45 min to get home. Many singles or couples without kids like to live in Defence Colony where there are more restaurants and night life. It is also about 20 minutes+ to the embassies. Traffic can be a bear, so live near where you work. - Mar 15, 2017

There are 2 compounds and various neighborhoods with on-economy housing. We lived on the smaller Bhagwan Das compound and LOVED IT. It's farther away from where most others live, but it has staff quarters onsite and the community was amazing. Commute to embassy was 15 mins in no traffic (ha!), anywhere from 30-60 mins in rush hour on the way home. - Feb 14, 2017
Homes are mostly older, there's a trend toward building newer apartments. Yards are limited. - Nov 8, 2016
Housing is expensive in New Delhi for anything approximating the safety and neighborhood you may be used to in the North America. The U.S. Embassy has comfortable flats not too far from the diplomatic community or the American Center. Compound housing is great, but it is a very small percentage of the housing pool. So, while many families request to live there, in reality very few do. And many of the compound houses are too small for a family larger than 2. - Jun 2, 2016
Embassy housing is on 2 separate compounds plus various neighborhoods around the city. Commuting time ranges from 30 to 40 minutes depending on location and traffic at that time of day. Housing is generally adequate, though yard space is at a premium in most places. Housing assignments appear to be somewhat arbitrary depending on available properties. Life on the 2 compounds is much different than living elsewhere--some love it, some don't. - Sep 6, 2014
Depends on where you live but traffic can be a real issue in New Delhi. Not too bad for me, about 15 minutes going to work and 20-25 minutes going home. Depends on when you leave. Rush hour tends to be closer to 9 am in the morning and 5:30 or 6 pm in evening. You can beat the rush if you leave home at 7:30 am. - Sep 3, 2014
We have a house with a very small yard. It's not a design that Westerners would really like, but it's a nice little house. We have one extra bedroom. If you are with the USG and you are on the compound, your housing will be very, very tight. No one seems to have an extra bedroom on the compound, for instance. Since we have a big dog, I'm glad to have a walled yard. She gets a little more freedom. And since there are stray dogs everywhere, I'm glad I don't have to walk her out on the streets. Those who do walk their dogs on the streets say that they often have to stomp their feet loudly at stray dogs to get them to move along and/or threaten them with a big stick that they always carry. I'd hate that. - Aug 14, 2013
Housing varies - everything from sprawling lawns in Chanakyapuri, to walled compounds, to newer apartment buildings. Commute time varies; the morning commute before 8 a.m. is decent; the evening commute is a mysterious creature. Wedding season means night traffic is a nightmare. Always carry a book to read in the car :). If you can afford it, hire a good local driver. The traffic is not worth the aggravation. Aggressive panhandlers target western auto drivers. - May 18, 2013
The road system is limited in many ways, and more than 1000 cars are newly registered on the Delhi streets daily. Just assume 30 - 40 minutes to get anywhere regardless of the distance. - Oct 21, 2012
Depends on where you live. Gurgoan is very popular, and commute time to schools from there can be up to an hour. Vasant Kunj, Annand Niketan, and West End can be up to 30 minutes, longer with traffic. Surrounding embassy compounds and be 5-10 minutes. - Sep 16, 2012
Mostly apartments. They are old, poorly constructed a lot of the time, and road connections from one part of town to another is limited. Makes commuting a long and sometimes arduous effort. - Aug 12, 2011
housing was great for me - 3 bedrooms, huge balconies. Commute could be an issue, particularly in monsoon season - up to an hour plus sometimes. - Aug 7, 2011
Decent housing, new construction prone to mold. - Aug 4, 2011
Most expatriates live in semi-gated communities -- in flats of short buildings -- and commute 20-30 minutes - Jan 8, 2011
Housing is getting tougher and tougher - 30 minutes or more of commute time to south Delhi/school. All apartment living for the most part with constant construction noise and dust. - Sep 18, 2010
I live in Gurgaon (in the outskirts of Delhi), a "modern" and "upscale" neighborhood (potholes and cows are all over the place, nevertheless). My commuting time is only twenty minutes but sometimes the traffic is a real pain... I live in a closed community with all the amenities included, we have a pool, 24-hour-power back up and hot/cold running water. All the above are considered luxury features for most delhiites. - Aug 30, 2010
Embassy housing varies and things have a tendency to break. Facilities Maintenance was responsive and efficient in fixing our problems. - Aug 12, 2010
Government housing is getting smaller and smaller if you live off post. Housing is a big problem here. It really sucks to be living in Indian houses. FMS is very bad. They do not want to do anything, and management doesn’t care about embassy members. - Aug 1, 2010
Government housing is getting smaller and smaller if you live off post. The rent for housing is getting higher every month and only big companies can pay the ridiculous rents that landlords charge. - Mar 11, 2008
We live in an apartment. It's very nice, much nicer than what we're used to at home for this price. It has marble floors, window AC, and all amenities we would ever need. - Feb 4, 2008