Sao Paulo - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Housing is a mixed bag. Some apartments are large other are small-depending on the area you're assigned. Our apartment is large but old and outdated. We were assigned a 4BR/5.5BA apartment in a larger size condominium community. Inside our gated/walled/secure community there are 2500 residents in roughly 500 apartments. We have all of the amenities-though they have been closed for a long time due to Covid. Amenities inside the gates include: 2 pools (1 heated), large community workout room, tennis courts, soccer field, basketball courts, a larger community playground, a restaurant, a hair/nail salon, and a wooded area with trails for walking. Our housing in the the Santo Amaro area near the British school and Chapel School. Commute to work in normal times range from 20-45 minutes depending on the time you leave. - May 2021

All housing is in high-rise apartments that tend to have good amenities (pool, tennis, indoor pool, gym, etc.) Housing that is more centrally-located in Moema is smaller and has fewer amenities. - Apr 2021

US Consulate housing is comprised of high rise buildings in the southern zone of SP. Expect 3-4 bedrooms. You can live in Moema, near the consulate, or near the schools. Commutes are typically 15 - 45 minutes but depend greatly on traffic. It's gotten better since the metro line to the consulate opened. - Aug 2019

As with most housing in Sao Paulo, we were in a high-rise apartment. We were in a sleepy neighborhood that was a short 15-minute drive to the consulate, but a bit of a haul to go anywhere else (45 minute average). We had a nice large apartment that was relatively new in comparison to others, but lived next door to a remaining favela (slum) that made walking the neighborhood not a good idea after dark (and even sometimes during the day depending on specific events). - Nov 2017

Here it's high-rise apartment buildings. They are quality, have 24/7 security, and frequently have other amenities like pools, tennis courts, gyms, BBQ areas, or other stuff. Commute times for most consulate people range from 5 minutes walking to 30 minutes driving. In the afternoons it's usually a bit longer - can be up to 45 minutes or more when it rains. When it rains, drivers melt down and can't drive right. Also the roads tend to flood. - Apr 2017

Housing is city apartment living, all generally in nice high-rise buildings with security and most with nice amenities. The big issue is location. It used to be that apartments were located in lively neighborhoods like Jardins. In the last couple of years, folks have been moved closer to the Consulate in sterile neighborhoods like Brooklin, where there is very little activity. If you're stuck there, you'll have few places to walk to, whether that be restaurants, shops, or nightlife. If you're looking for that, you'll need to get in a car and travel to a more lively part of the city. The one upside is the new places have a shorter commute to work with less time spent in traffic. I have to say that as a single person who wanted to take advantage of being in a big city, I would have felt cheated if I were stuck in one of the neighborhoods they're putting people in now. - Apr 2017

Nice apartments. Everyone except for the consul general lives in apartments/condos. They are all pretty nice with pools, gyms, and most have playrooms/playgrounds for the kids. I walk to the consulate from Brooklin (15-25 minute walk). Most people drive and some use bikes. The commute to/from the consulate from most neighborhoods where we live is 15-30 minutes. - Jan 2017

Housing is hit and miss. Everyone lives in apartments. Apartments in quiet neighborhoods are typically spacious (Campo Belo, Brooklyn, Campo Grande, etc.) and apartments within metropolitan areas are typically small. - Jan 2017

I live in Brooklin, which is a little lacking in terms of street and sidewalk vibrancy, but it's a 20-minute walk to the U.S. Consulate. Other neighborhoods, like Moema and Jardins, are more lovely and have more options for bars, shops and restaurants, but they are further from the consulate. - Aug 2015

Mostly high rises, some areas are about a 10 minute commute to the consulate, others an hour. It's important to note that some days, even the normal 10 minute commute can take over an hour with the traffic here. - Aug 2013

We live in Jardins, which is about a 20-minute drive to the consulate in the morning and usually a 40-minute ride back in the evening (sometimes more when it rains). Despite the drive, we LOVE our housing. It is a 3-bedroom apartment in the heart of Jardins, within walking distance to reat restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping of all kinds. The rooms are good size, and the kitchen is very nice with good counter space. There is enough storage space for all of our things. Other people live in Moema, Morumbi, etc. Almost everyone lives in a condo/apartment, but there are a few townhouse-style places within a compound for the US Consulate. - Dec 2012

The consulate housing pool consists mostly of apartments and a few houses – all within gated compounds across the city. The best compounds are the ones that have multiple residential buildings as they have more amenities like pools, tennis courts, playgrounds etc. Commute times vary depending on traffic (ha!) and weather (rain=double commute time) from about 20 minutes to 1 hour. - Jan 2012

All kinds. Mostly apartments, some houses for families. Apartments can be large for families--best are some compounds with playgrounds, tennis, pools. Commute time varies from 10-15 minutes to 40 minutes. - Jan 2012

Typically high-rise apartments, which are all nice and vary in size, depending on the neighborhood. Jardins is a safer area, but apartments there are smaller than in the south or west part of the city. Traffic is almost always heavy. - Jan 2012

Excellent, in my opinion. My apartment is in a prime location, ample space, and has a commute varying from 15 minutes to an hour depending on traffic and rush hour. - Oct 2008

Jardins to the Consulate takes 30 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes coming back. You should definitely have a car, if you can afford one. - Aug 2008

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