Going about Renting a Villa
There are a number of platforms on the web that offer listings of properties as well as individual listings by business owners for rental villa properties. Websites such as AirBnB provide these listings. Such listings can also be found at websites such as ours. However, a number of homeowners avoid listing their properties on such websites due to the higher rates of commissions charged by them. Browsing through a number of websites and checking out listings is the best way to get started. Going about renting a villa does require some bit of research and also budgeting for tariffs and other living expenses.
Areas around the coastal belt of North Goa are localities in most demand for vacation rentals. If you are looking for a location that is vibrant, full of nightlife, by the beach and with excellent cuisine, the coastal areas of Baga, Arpora and Anjuna are locations that you could explore. These areas are extremely popular for world-famous nightclubs and bars, excellent seafood, cuisines from all over the world, shopping centres, and so much more.
The downside to these areas, however, is that rents are on the higher side and also you are at the epicentre of crowds arriving from all directions.
Heading further north towards villages such as Vagator, Mandrem and Morjim, you’ll find that the rents are comparatively cheaper as these areas are tucked away from the noises of city life besides being far away from the throngs. The options for rental properties however are a lot fewer in these areas mainly because they aren’t as densely populated and also are slightly remote in comparison to the coastal belt of Calangute, Baga and Candolim. The villages are a lot quieter along these stretches and the night life isn’t as exuberant in comparison to the other parts along the same coast. Explore a different side of life as you live by the beach and among quietness at a pace that is calm and peaceful.
Availability During The Year
The availability of properties and rents varies throughout the year and is highly dependent on the season.
During the monsoon season, which begins in June and lasts until September, properties are at their lowest rate. It is off-season during this period as there are a fewer tourists arriving in Goa during this time. So if you don’t care much for crowds, the wet months are considered to be a good time to visit Goa.
The monsoon is very fierce during the months of July and August, with rain showers almost non-stop for days together. There is not much to do during this time but enjoy the pitter-patter of the raindrops and the beautiful greenery that accompanies it.
If you are considering renting a Portuguese style home or an aged villa, remember that sufficient maintenance work needs to be carried out to ensure proper waterproofing and also for drainage of water. Also consider wiring the home for an inverter or a small generator as power cuts are frequent during the monsoon season sometimes lasting for hours when there is a major breakdown. Ensure that you inspect the property for leakages and discuss with the homeowner if there are any leakages that you should be concerned about.
If you are considering a property in the village neighboring paddy fields or mountaintops, being alert for snakes is always advisable. Bushes, shrubs, wild growth and weeds must be trimmed off before the onset of the monsoons to prevent these reptiles from entering the property to find shelter.
Choosing Your Location
If the property is by the beach, keep in mind that moisture levels by the coast are extremely high and therefore special care would have to be taken of appliances such as laptops.
It is best to first shortlist a few properties on the Internet and hone in on a few that you can check out when you arrive. Getting accommodation at a hotel for a couple of weeks will allow you to see these properties first-hand before actually finalising on one. This eliminates the worry of whether a property suits your tastes are not. Hire a two-wheeler for a couple of weeks to go visit the properties you have shortlisted. Narrowing the list to 6 to 8 properties would be ideal before you arrive.
Tariffs for villas and homes vary according to the time of the year, the locality and also the duration of your stay. We have another article on tariffs that you could check out to know more. A ballpark figure for an independent villa that is fully-furnished with furniture as well as basic appliances having three bedrooms would be in the range of Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 1,50,000.
On an average, a home in a locality of the beach and in the tourist areas with all basic amenities would be in the range of Rs. 65,000 per month for a year-long lease. These villas are also available on daily rentals and also for short stays. Shorter the stay, higher the tariffs and vice versa.
There are always deposits and advance rents that are to be fulfilled before hiring the property. Ensure that this is budgeted for as it is common practice followed everywhere. On an annual lease the deposit is a total of three months rent along with an advance rent cheque. For short stays, minimum advance that you would have to put down is Rs. 25,000- 45,000.
As far as bargaining on the rent goes, it is quite normal to negotiate with the homeowner so feel free to negotiate aspects of the deal such as deposit amount or even monthly tariffs. Every homeowner has their own take on this and therefore a majority of them are flexible to discuss the terms of the deal.
If you’re paying cash for the deposit amount, ensure that you collect the receipt, although it is recommended to transact through the bank rather than by cash. The amount of the deposit must be mentioned on the lease agreement specifying details of the transaction, the name of the bank and most importantly the date. It is also vital to discuss with the homeowner the mode of refund of the deposit amount and more specifically, grounds of deduction, if any.
Pets are allowed in a majority of the listings, the likelihood of this being higher if the location is an independent property. A restriction on having pets is usually seen in properties that are a part of commercial residences such as hotels or timeshare properties. Homeowners are usually upfront about it and mention any restrictions that need to be adhered to.
Shelling Out The Cash
In addition to the rental deposits and the monthly rents, keep aside a budget to service and maintain appliances and for general upkeep. Appliances such as microwaves, invertor batteries, fans, refrigerators are yours to look after. These appliances could be inspected together with the homeowner before you move in to ascertain its condition. However, the working of such appliances during the lease period is upon you. If the repair is major, most homeowners offer a reimbursement. Discuss this aspect before you sign the lease agreement.
Typically a home that is aged for 8-12 years comes along with old furniture with it, which may not be best suited for a long stay. These work perfectly for a weekend stay or for a few weeks stay, but may not be comfortable for a longer period. In most cases, it is best to buy the essentials such as a comfortable couch and a king-sized bed. If the property is under 2-3 years old the furniture would be in a lot better condition, but the tariffs in such cases may also be higher.
If you plan a short stay that runs during the months of March until May, it can get really hot and humid and an A/C unit is a must. If you plan to stay for a longer period, consider purchasing one in case the villa doesn’t come fitted with an air-conditioner. Keep in mind that utilizing the air-con does bump-up the electricity bill up quite a bit. You may see a power bill roughly in the range of Rs. 10,000 on an average with regular use of an A/C, as compared to around Rs. 4,000 – Rs, 5000 without utilizing it.
A water purifier is another must-have appliance needed in the house as the water dispensed from the tap isn’t recommended for direct consumption (without it being boiled or purified). A water purifier would cost somewhere in the range of Rs. 8,000 – Rs. 12,000. Obviously, if it is a short stay then 5 litre cans of bottled water would suffice. These cans are readily available at local supermarkets/stores.
Generally, most villas if not all, are equipped with an LPG cylinder, or in some cases, an induction cooker. Induction cookers are great to fix a quick meal but of you plan to cook all your meals here, it is best to have a fully-refilled cylinder in place.
Everyday Life Costs
Domestic help is easily available for running daily chores around the house. They usually work for an hour or so taking care of the dusting, the dishes, the floors, etc. They are paid on a monthly basis in the range of Rs. 2000- Rs. 4,000. They limit themselves to only basic jobs which generally do not include walking the pets, ironing or washing the clothes. Most homes do not come equipped with a dishwasher or a washing machine, and you would have to make these purchases yourself if you fancy having any of these appliances. Power cuts are frequent and at times could run out for hours together; hence a back-up invertor may be another appliance that you must opt for.
Most properties are gated and have security guards manning the entrances. In case this provision isn’t in place, a basic CCTV camera system would suffice. Crimes for break-ins do surface once in a while; therefore you must be at least on a minimum alert at times.
Lastly, internet connections are easily available offering fast and reliable connectivity. I wouldn’t recommend relying on the internet only from your phone especially if you need to continuously stay connected to the internet as cellular coverage does get shaky every now and then. You can get a decent fibre-optic high-speed plan for as low as Rs.500 -Rs. 600 a month.