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The House Hunt – a few tips

I ran across a great site today that had some good tips.  Brasil World Movers.  They also give a run down of all the various neighborhoods you may want to consider living in.  We are pretty sure we know where we want to live based on work proximity.

Although we would like to live in Moema because of that park, apartments there are automatically much more expensive because of the proximity to the park.  Also, everyone my husband has talked to said Moema is really crowded with lots of traffic.  Also, Moema is within that circle around the center of Sao Paulo where you can’t drive your car on one of the days of the week.  So, we are focusing our housing search in Campo Belo and Brooklin.

Ibirapuera Park

Ibirapuera Park near Moema

If you are planning on living in Brazil for any extended period of time.  The following tidbits from the above site are helpful to know.

  1. The RENTER is expected to pay for any repairs and improvements to the dwelling.
  2. Make sure that hot water is connected everywhere you need it. Two faucets on a sink do not necessarily indicate a hot and could water supply. This is particularly true in laundry areas.
  3. Have someone check the roof and ceilings for indication of leaks or other water problems. This is specially important if you will live in the penthouse (cobertura).
  4. Don’t look for central heating or air-conditioning in São Paulo. They exist only in rare cases.
  5. Make sure the house or apartment building has adequate water storage (caixa). You don’t want to rely entirely on street water.

This means that the beautiful photos you see online are the cleaned up, fixed up versions. Expect your home/apartment to need some paint, a good carpet scrub, or even new carpet.

Apartment buildings may have their own guards in addition to doormen (porteiros) and the building’s manager (zelador) who may or may not live on the premises. The zelador may be able to help with any maintenance or repairs, or at least be able torecommended trustworthy repairmen who have serviced the building before.


  1. Is street lighting adequate?
  2. Is there a street guard or private security?
  3. Is it near a favela or vacant lot?
  4. Is the wall/fence high enough to discourage intruders?
  5. Is the garage door automatic? If electric, is there a manual over – ride switch on case of power outage?
  6. Be sure to have all the locks changed on the day you move into your new home. The extra security is worth the hassle and expens

Vocabulary terms that will be helpful in finding an apartment and cleaning it up!

Alcohol Alcool
Backyard Quintal
Bathroom Banheiro
Bedroom Dormitório
Breakfast room Copa
Broom Vassoura
Brushes Escovas
Bucket Balde
Building Edificio / Prédio
City Cidade
Clean Limpar
Cleaning fluid Removedor
Closet Armário
Cold water Agua Fria
Condominium Condominio
Country Campo
Den / office Escritório
Detergent Detergente
Dishwasher lava louça
Disinfectant Desinfetante
Downstairs Embaixo
Dust Tirar pó
Dust pan
Dust rag Pano de pé
Employer Patrão
Family room Sala Intima
Fireplace Lareira
Floor Andar/Piso
Furnished Mobiliado
Furniture polish Lustra Móveis
Garbage Lixo
Garden Jardim
Heated Aquecida
Hot water Aguar quente
Iron Ferro de passar
Iron Passar
Landlord Dono
Laundry room Quarto de Serviço
Library Biblioteca
Light Luz
Liquid / powder Liquido em pó
Liquid bleach Agua Sanitária
Living room Sala de Estar
LP gas Gás
Maid’s room Quarto Empregada
Make the bed Fazer a cama
Master bedroom Dormitorio de casal
Pantry(expenses) Despesa
Party room Salão de Festas
Polish Lustrar
Pool Piscina
Real estate Imóveis
Rent Aluga
Scrub Escovar
Sell Vender
Sink Pia
Slum Favela
Soap Sabão
Squeeegee Rodo
Suburb Suburbio
Sun room Jardim de Inverno
Sweep Varrer
Teletel. Telefone
Terrace /deck Terraço
Upstairs Em cima
Vacuum aspirar
Vacuum cleaner Aspirador
View Vista
Wash Lavar
Washer Máquina de lavar
Water plants Molhar / Regar
Water storage Caixa de Água
Wax Encerar