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

We were very lucky and for a family of two got this huge 3 bed, 5 bath house, with live-in maid's quarters. We have a covered parking space in our yard as well, not a garage per se. We have got a big yard with some grassy area and a covered patio. If you have a bigger family, you will most likely get a house. All houses are very huge and spacious out here. Usually 2-3 level houses with maid's quarters and some sort of a yard. Many couples get apartments as well. All of them are new construction, so they are very fresh and clean, and relatively big. Apartments do not have garages, just assigned parking spaces. The downside to all of the housing is that they are not quality construction, so issues are not uncommon, like mold, a pipe burst and flooded our bedroom recently and another house had an electrical fire. - Aug 28, 2017
Houses tend to be large and multiple stories. Most housing is in three main areas all 5-10 minutes from the Embassy and 20 minutes from the American school. Some houses have strange layouts, but all are more than large enough. The apartments are some of the best housing in the pool, but are only large enough for singles and couples. A few of the housing areas and apartment buildings have pools and a small rec room. Yards are non-existent, but some areas have enclosed driveways for children to play. Maintenance on the housing varies depending on the landlord and storage areas/closets can be limited. - Oct 25, 2014
There is about an even split between newer townhouses with small, paved yards and older single-family homes with larger yards. Also, some nice-sized apartments with good amenities. - Jun 7, 2012
A 10-minute or less commute. No traffic issues to speak of. Housing for families is quite large. All have someplace for a live-in nanny to sleep -- in either a downstairs bedroom or a separate maid's quarters apart from the main residence. - May 3, 2012
Big houses; some with yards if you get lucky. Singles usually get apartments. - Aug 25, 2011
Housing is good. Some are old but have yards. - Feb 20, 2011
There are several areas to choose from. We lived in Al Azaibah and loved it. It was relatively close to the school and easily accessible to a lot of things. I hear that they are building a lot more mall structures and even a new ice skating rink (to replace the old one) in the Madinat Sultan Qaboos area where there are also lots of expats. - Apr 1, 2010
Large family homes and some apartments for single and couples. Our first year was a tough one, no apartments at all or none worth living in and you had single folks living in mansions. Landlords were not willing to fix problems. We knew of one family that had almost every ac unit in their house inoperable and the landlord still put up a fuss. Believe it took over 3 months to sort this out. - Feb 12, 2010
All houses and town houses, in Shatti al-Qurum, Medinat Qaboos, and al-Khuwair. Commutes no more than 10 - 15 minutes, especially since they have re-done the traffic patterns to make them more efficient. - Jan 21, 2010
Many homes have tall ceilings for the heat and at least three floors and roof access. Homes run larger since a great part of the year is quite hot for being outdoors all day. We moved a few months ago to an exception -- a smaller 1 1/2 story "ranch" style with a large meandering garden and brick patio. The home was built for cross ventilation and we are enjoying it and the gardens we have worked on immensely. - Mar 19, 2009
Embassy housing is good to excellent - a mixture of townhouses and freestanding villas, most within ten minutes of the Embassy. As of early 2008, a few smaller apartments, mostly for military singles, are being added to the housing pool. Much of the housing is close to the sea. Few houses have large gardens, but most have at least a small outdoor space. All have some eccentricities - odd layouts, small kitchens, the usual overseas housing issues, but also some features (balconies, high ceilings, etc.) that make up for them. - Feb 18, 2008