Montevideo - Post Report Question and Answers
What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
I lived in an apartment in Punta Carretas/Pocitos. In general the apartments in this area are very nice and spacious- especially the ones facing the beach. This area has plenty of shopping and things to do vs. Carasscso where people with school-aged children tended to live. I often walked home from work along the Ramblas and it was nice. Anyone living in an apartment building should make sure that it has 24/7 security guards. Carassco has big houses and some with pools but there isn't a lot to do over there and there were frequent break-ins that sometimes ended violently. Commutes from Carassco could take 15 minutes or an hour if there was traffic or an accident on the road. - Jul 2020
The houses in Carrasco are not ideal; they are older, and seem to be complicated with more problems. Some do have pools, but they have to be maintained all year round, regardless of cooler weather, which can run USD 200/month for maintenance. There are also gardens, but they also tend to be difficult to maintain. Electric fences appear to be necessary, and a gardener is necessary to keep the fence from being ruined. Gardeners can run USD 2-400 per month. Insect and small animals (rats, possums, tarantulas) always seem to be present. Crime and break-ins also seem to be on the rise. As some neighborhoods are further out, a family might require two cars. While our neighborhood is closer to the school, the kids tend to spend more time on the bus (so many kids in the neighborhood equal more stops). The apartments in Punta Carretas/Pocitos seem to be more modern, and some of them have beautiful views from Rambla. I feel they are more secure as they have doormen 24-7. One would also not likely need a car as much as people in Carrasco, as it's closer to the embassy. They also have stores, malls, restaurants, the beach; everything is close. - Apr 2019
We lived in the suburban neighborhood of Carrasco, which is close to the majority of international schools. Carrasco is mostly single family homes, interspersed with some small buildings for apartments. Houses have small to medium-sized yards and the streets are nice for walking and biking. Commuting to downtown takes about 30-45 minutes. The airport is only about 15 minutes' commute.
Other neighborhoods are closer to downtown and embassies but are for high-rise apartment living. The apartments can be large and many are directly facing the River Plate and famous 'rambla', which has its plusses and minuses. - Aug 2018
I lived in a 3 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom apartment in the Punta Carreras neighborhood. The apartment was very large, with more than enough storage space. Overall size was around 1500 square feet. Location was perfect because everything we needed was within 5-10 minutes walking distance - beaches, parks, shopping, restaurants, movies, grocery stores, markets, and the Embassy. On foot, the walk to the Embassy was about 15 minutes. The neighborhood was relatively quiet as was the apartment complex. - Jun 2017
I've seen beautiful modern homes and old horrible ones, same with the apartments. If you have a house, you should check before how much you are going to pay a gardener and the guy who maintains the pool if you have one. If you have a pool, you can only use it a few days per year because the water is so cold, but you have to pay the maintenance all year round. - Oct 2016
There are options to live downtown, 'mid-town', and out in the suburbs. Both downtown and midtown housing is almost exclusively high-rise apartments, many of which have lovely views of the water and the Rambla (boardwalk.) The apartments can be large but there are complaints about small parking garages and little storage. The suburbs are between 20-40 minutes' drive from downtown; the houses are nice, with good sized yards. If you're in one of the older neighborhoods where many of the expats and most of the international schools are, the houses are architecturally interesting and the trees are large and well established. There are many newer suburbs where the houses are larger and more modern; but these tend to be either ridiculously expensive or quite far from downtown. - Aug 2016
Nice apartments for those with school age kids; houses for families and higher ranking employees. Houses are in the suburbs near the schools. 10 minute drive and 25 minutes from the houses. - Mar 2014
The apartments in Pocitos and Punta Carretas are a few minutes by car; the houses in Carrasco are within a half hour. The drive can be nerve-wracking, however, since many of the Uruguayans don't respect right-of-way and routinely merge into your lane without signaling. An embassy employee on a motorcycle was killed recently, and there have been many other accidents. - May 2013
Embassy couples and singles (and some families) live in apartments in the Punta Carretas or Pocitos neighborhoods, many with great views of the water. Commutes range from a 25 mintue walk to the embassy or a 5-10 minute drive. Families typically live in single-family homes in the Carrasco suburb, close to the American school where they often have a pool and a "quincho" - a small pool house with a large grill. The drive to the Embassy from there is about 25 minutes depending on traffic. Apartments and houses are all large from my experience. - Mar 2012
For people associated with the U.S. Embassy, either an apt. in town or house on the outskirts near the airport. - Jan 2009