Yerevan - Post Report Question and Answers
What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
Mostly the housing pool consists of single family homes in three areas: one by the school, one a little closer in, and then the other within walking distance of the embassy. There are also apartments downtown. The single family housing is spacious. The neighborhood by the school is designed like an American neighborhood and does not have fences, which can be problematic because of the feral dog problem. The other two neighborhoods have walls around the houses, which makes it better if you have kids and dogs since they then can enjoy the yards without fear of the strays. Overall, I would say the commutes are not over 30 minutes for any neighborhood. - May 2021
Housing is the sole reason I felt it necessary to write up a Real Post Report. Housing locations are great, with relatively short commutes. Sizes are also decent for the most part; apartments downtown vary in size but homes are mostly large to accommodate families.
However, it's the sing-family homes that are the main issue. Many people I know living in them have had roof leaks. Even one apartment dweller who was on the top floor of a building had a leak this spring. Repair work isn't the finest here so several people also reported recurring issues with their roof. One person I know suspected he had some items inside his home stolen by repairmen; he certainly hasn't located them and they were last seen as the workers arrived.
The homes also lack insulation in walls and ceilings, making for cold winters and hot summers. The situation is better in the apartments downtown, but you still tend to run the A/C regularly to deal with the hot summer. Apartment dwellers have radiators for heating that are turned on or off seasonally by the building, so you have periods of freezing or overheating when the seasons change. - Mar 2017
Three main housing areas for Embassy personnel. Vahagni - right outside of town, it is a gated community, for the wealthy, or expats. Walking distance to school, about 20 min. to work, depending on traffic. Houses are large and all have gardens. Great for families with kids, but it is somewhat isolated from the center. Singles/Couples without kids or with very little kids live downtown. Very easy to walk everywhere and very convenient. Also about 20 min. commute to work. Third area is Noy and close to Noy (don't know that name of that area). It is less than 10 min to the Embassy, large houses with gardens. Need to drive to school (10-15 min), sort of middle ground between Vahagni and downtown. More "connected" with Yerevan life than Vahagni, for good and for bad. For example there is more trash on the streets, but also more shops and closer to town. - Oct 2014
Housing clusters and apartments in the center. Commute from the houses furthest away, Vahakni, is about 30 minutes in the morning. From the city center, 10 minutes maximum. Housing is decent for families, close to the international school. However, far from work. Singles, couples and small families should consider living in apartments in the city center. You don't have to worry about driving as much. The only downside is that if you have a small family and live in an apartment, you child will need to take the bus to school. Not a tremendous hardship, though. - Sep 2011
Housing is generally large, especially for families, although singles or couples without children are often housed in smaller city apartments. Houses are outside of downtown, much more automobile-dependent. All U.S. Embassy residences are within 10 kilometers and a 20-minute drive from the Embassy. - Oct 2009
The Embassy has apartments for singles and couples, and stand-alone single residences for more senior officers and those with families. Housing is generally generous, as Armenia is in the largest category, Tier Two, for Posts (20 percent above DC standards). Most stand alone homes have gardens with grapes and fruit trees (fig, apricot, pomegranate, apple, cherry). Armenian architecture is very interesting--they love large foyers with very high ceilings but cannot seem to grasp the importance and utility of closets. In most homes, therefore, the large interior landings in the homes are covered with Embassy-provided wardrobes. Embassy housing is clustered into approximately 6 districts in town. Yerevan is a very compact city. At worst, Embassy folks have a 12-15 minute commute; most folks get into work in less than 10 minutes. - Jul 2008
For U.S. Embassy people housing is typically large houses in the suburbs with yards, etc. For others, catch as catch can (Armenian landlords have an overinflated sense of value of their homes). - Jan 2008