Looking for a house in Goa online is almost pointless because you can’t really guarantee the people will let you have the house when you arrive (because they might rent to someone already there willing to pay higher) and I don’t recommend sending money to someone to hold your place.
How to Rent a House in Goa
There are a few places online to start looking.
- Go to olx.com and search around just to write down the addresses you find so that you can see them in person when you get to Goa.
- I used to use FB groups, but there is too much spam. You can search on FB though if you fancy that! See what some locals are posting- but keep in mind most are really just agents (same as OLX).
- You can also use an agent directly, but for the most part they will find you complexes and places in gated communities. I live in in a gated community, but I know many people want that “little Goa house” that’s old school Portuguese and peaceful rather than an apartment or modern home.
- Try airbnb for a week or monthly basis. Some will even rent all season. I know people who list their homes on here in Goa. Use this airbnb link to get $25 bucks off your first stay. You can also check flipkey holiday home rentals.
After you find a few places online, you really need to see them in person before you decide to rent. The BEST way to find a house in Goa is to come to Goa and stay at a guesthouse for a week, drive around and look for signs (there are plenty), and find a place that way. That’s how Ben found ours.
You have to think location first and foremost. I like Anjuna/ Vagator best but couldn’t live with all the people around, so we like being in the village. If that sounds good to you think: Saligao, Siolim.
If you want trendy busy places that are commerical, think Calangute, Baga, Candolim. If you want the serious hippie scene these days it’s in Arambol. Anjuna is the “old trance” scene in some ways but still full of hippies and where many foreigners have lived for 40+ years.
I love this house by bobby bar, they film a lot here for bollywood!
a house built by foreigners, the ones who used to run animal rescue in Goa- don’t expect something like this unless you build it!
Tips and Rules for renting in Goa
If you’re coming for the 6 month tourist season, then you don’t need to worry about monsoon weather. This is of course really helpful with the older Portuguese and Goan homes that have leaking roofs.
If you are staying year round you need to consider the roof quality and amount of money it would take to repair (you can negotiate with the owner to repair it if you are staying a long time), you need to consider the humidity; in old home the windows and doors don’t close tight and in monsoon it can wreak havoc on your clothing and leather shoes and bags.
Snakes also come out to play in monsoon so you’ll want to consider if you’re up next to a paddy field or jungle if the house has proper seals.
For year round, many people go for a modern home. If you take a house (shack) near the beach for year-round, the salt in the air will ruin your floors and even electronics. The novelty of a “cute” home will go away fast.
this is a typical home for rent for tourists and would cost maybe 20,000 per month
You might be asked to pay one month or two upfront then monthly after that, which is okay. Every landlord will want something different.
The best time to find a place for season is of course before season starts. If you come in September you have better luck getting a place than December. In peak season (Nov-Feb) prices will be possibly double.
If you stay year round, you will get a much better rate and if you take an extended lease an even better rate. Remember in India negotiating is normal, so do not take the first price offered.
If you are coming only for a month or less, you won’t have a lease or contract most likely. Just go with the flow on that but don’t pay it all upfront, only half.
Typically, electricity bill is your responsibility and can be pricey if you run A/C. Most places have no “rules” unless you’re in a gated place. You can have animals, paint the inside of the house if you want, etc. There are security deposits in nicer apartments and gated areas.
Monthly rent varies. I did the show House Hunters International, so my rent is no secret. We pay 65,000 rs per month for our villa. This is on the higher end (about 1000 bucks) but the same villas in our complex go for over a lakh (100,000 rs) during peak season.
You can find a place for 10,000 if you’re lucky and come early as well as take it our for an extended amount of time. If you come in peak season you are looking at 20,000-30,000 for the same type of Portuguese house.
At the same time, an studio apartment with modern amenities might be 40,000 for example Riviera by the Hilton. Sometimes a big Goan house will go for 30,000-40,000 which is a better deal if you have a larger group coming. I have found DREAM houses with live-in staff, modern amenities, pool, garden, and fully furnishes for 70k, but there’s always a catch (this was was too far out in the village about 40 min from Mapusa).
shot of the Hilton complex, I have a friend who stays here.
If the washing machine, A/C, generator, invertor, etc break and you want it fixed, it’s your responsibility to pay even if it’s old and needed replaced anyways. I don’t think you’d have luck talking a landlord into paying DURING the lease, but if you re-sign you can get everything fixed that was originally in your lease. This year we needed a new A/C, new invertor batteries, a couple fans fixed, and a new voltage box (is that a thing, or am I making up that name….) for one of the A/C’s. It seems like a lot, but houses in Goa have a LOT of upkeep.
living room of our villa
Amenities Renting a House in Goa
Oftentimes, the house will be partially furnished with old antique stuff. Almost always it’s not the best looking furniture but really all you need is a bed and maybe a couch. The nicer apartments come furnished with even a TV and decorations.
FYI couches in India are more like patio furniture. Usually you need to go to Mapusa and buy an additional mattress, sheets, and pillows. Our futon is Fab India.
A/C is my best friend but I know plenty of people who don’t use one. If you’ll be in Goa in April, May, or June I really think you should find a place with A/C because it’s very hot. The difference in electricity bill for 3 month cycle for A/C is up to 15,000 and without can be only 5,000 if you’re still using lights, TV, and more. I’m sure there are people with lower bills than 5k, but that’s the lowest our has been with 3 bedrooms and living room which we always have people coming and going from.
windows on old Goan homes look like this – not the best for monsoon
Security is another thing I really like about being in a gated place. I don’t worry as much about break-ins and even had a weird man looking for me from my blog circling the house but I have 3 security guards outside so don’t worry. They also help with things (and I pay them extra) like car washing, carrying in groceries, taking my bills to town to pay, and more. If you’re place has security, it’s included in the rent.
Housekeepers are very common in India and most foreigners have one. Most Indians that aren’t local Goans have one in Goa as well… well really all over India it’s very common. You’ll pay anywhere between 2,000 rs or 4,000 rs per month depending on how often she comes. Our housekeeper comes 6 days a week for 2 hours at a time and will do what you ask like washing dishes, laundry, changing bedding, sweeping and mopping, dusting, or whatever you discuss with them. Funnily, everyone hates ironing! Some housekeepers will tell you what they won’t do- for example I would never ask mine to help with the animals. Our landlord had this housekeeper even before we took the place, so it was kind of part of the deal but we love her.
You’ll want to see if the place has a washing machine. Also it’s nice to have an invertor (batteries charge while electricity is on and when power goes out, as it does often, it will keep a few fans and plugs working for a couple hours), or if you’re here all year you could hope for a generator.
We have a petrol generator for if the invertor doesn’t work. If the invertor batteries die as ours have, it’s about 40,000 rs to replace, but a generator is much more expensive and the batteries for an invertor should last 3-5 years.
Also check for a water filter in the house and make sure to service it so that it works well. Your place should have a refrigerator too.
Dishwashers and ovens are almost NEVER in a Goan house. We have a toaster oven. You can buy things like that on flipkart just as cheap as Mapusa market.
Internet is a pain in the ass in Goa. You will have 3g on your phone most likely but it won’t work in valleys such as Assagao where I live. You can try dongles, but if you’re here a long time I recommend getting actual internet hook-up to the house. BSNL takes way to long to come but are the cheapest. They told us they had hundreds of people to see before they could get to us.
We then went for a more expensive option of a fiber optic line from Eureka in Mapusa. They now team up with popular Gwave and internet was decent until monsoon hit. We paid 2,800 rs per month for 2 MB and usually only get about 1.5 MB. It’s 1,400 for 1 MB and you’ll get about 0.7 MB. Recently, it stopped altogether and they were like talking to a brick wall, so we are getting ethernet installed which is abotu 7k installation and 3k per month for 1.5 mb during the day and 3 mb at night. We’ll see how that goes! Some people have great luck with G-wave directly, but they don’t take any customers in Assagao now.
random village house in Goa near Mapusa, I would guess something like this would go for 30,000+ per month
places like this will go for very cheap; they look bad but are worth checking out! If you here someone saying they pay only 5,000 rs per month it’s probably something like this.
Renting a scooter in Goa, a car, or hiring a driver
Even if you get a car or scooter, you’ll want a driver you can trust. Our Babu is a lifesaver constantly: airport runs, errands, when you’re too drunk, etc you know you’ll get a fair rate because you’re partners.
Renting a scooter is between 150-300 rs per day. If you take it long term you’ll get a better rate. We pay 100 or 150 per day and take it for the season.
Renting a car is about 400-1000 per day, although 400 would be lucky and maybe only in monsoon. A Jeep or Bolero type would be more; maybe 1500 rs per day.
If you’re here a while it’s better to buy a car. Used Omnis go for 40,000-60,000 and are reliable plus everyone can fix them. A nano brand new is about 100,000 rs. A nano to rent is 10,000 per month, so if you’re here over a year it’s better to buy it and sell it when you leave. Car insurance is very very cheap.
For more tips on Goa check out my 170-page e-book, Insider’s Guide to Goa. After five years of living in Goa, I am confident this book is the most comprehensive, up-to-date guide to Goa plus it has all my secrets inside. Click here to buy it now.
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