I’m trying to squeeze in as much information and as many posts as possible before May 2nd, because that’s when a lot of the new students will be arriving. I’m writing this post in inform students about how to get good housing without getting ripped off.
The people here know that students have money so they will jack up the price for students. Real Estate companies in Bonaire are the worst; they will charge students at an incredible rate. I used to pay close to a $1000 for a two bedroom house with one bathroom. On top of the rent electricity, internet, and water bill was also added. Now I pay way less for electricity, internet, water, and rent. We found a better place and we are paying very less. The following are factors to watch out for when looking for a house.
Proximity to School
Make sure the walking distance from school is 15 minutes or less. The sun light and the heat is intense so look for a place close to the school. Unless you plan to buy a car or a bicycle, 15 minutes should be the the maximum time it takes for you to walk to and from the school and your house.
If the real estate agent or a landlord ever insists for a 2 months deposit then walk away; don’t waste your time talking to that person. A month’s deposit should be good enough. A two months deposit is very shady and they’ll find any excuse to keep a month’s deposit at the end.
If you find a place without an air conditioner then ask the landlord to install one in order for you to move in. By Bonairian law, it is the responsibility of the owner of the house to install an AC at the owner’s expense. DO NOT buy an AC for the house; it is not your responsibility and it is very expensive to have someone come in to drill the holes in the house and install the AC system.
Electricity and Water
Make sure you ask the landlord if the utilities for the previous month were paid. Because in rare occasions the bills don’t get paid for by the previous tenant and so the new tenant suffers for it. If you have the opportunity to keep the utilities under the landlord’s name then do so. Try your best not to have that many bills under your name. Electricity varies from house to house due to the AC, laptops, TV, etc; however, the water bill should be around 60 Nalfs or less per person living in a house.
WARNING ABOUT A REAL ESTATE COMPANY: Across from the school is an orange building, which is occupied by a real estate company. Many students have complained about them because they don’t respect students and they charge excessively. Stay away from them unless your OK of paying $915 for a closet. One Xavier Medical student walked in their office and as soon as she walked in the lady told the student to get out becuase the girl was a student. All Xavier Medical students wear polo shirts with the school’s logo on it so, people know who are the students from that school.