$120,000 decision: Downtown HCMC apartment or suburban house?

December 31, 2023 | 03:05 pm PT
$120,000 decision: Downtown HCMC apartment or suburban house?
Land, apartment buildings and houses in HCMC's Thu Duc City in July, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
With VND3 billion (US$119,937), you can definitely buy a one-bedroom apartment in the inner city whereas you may need an extra VND1 billion to buy land and build a house in the suburban area, said an expert.

Question submitted by reader Thanh Trung:

I have a stable job in HCMC and earn about VND20 million per month. In addition to my current savings of VND3 billion, I can borrow a maximum of VND1 billion from the bank. I am undecided between two options: buying an apartment near downtown HCMC or borrowing more money to buy land and build a low-rise house in a suburban area far from the inner city.

I am seeking advice from experts and experienced readers. Thank you!

Advice from Dinh Hoang Thang, Senior Manager at PropertyGuru Vietnam Joint Stock Company, property technology company:

Thank you for sending your question to us. Considering your situation, first, I would like to congratulate you because with your savings, you have many options for buying a house in either the central districts or suburban areas of HCMC.

The choice between buying an apartment or a house depends on each individual's needs and financial situation. Are you buying to live in it or for investment purposes, perhaps to rent out? Do you need to move in immediately, and will you be living alone or with your family?

From the information provided, I understand that you are looking for a long-term residence while you are working in the inner city. Additionally, you also want the house to be available in the near future.

With your current finances, you can certainly buy an apartment in the central districts or within a 15 kilometers radius from the center or even purchase land to build your own house. Each option has its own set of pros and cons.

If you buy an apartment in the inner city, like District 4, District 5, District 2, or Binh Thanh District, it would be more convenient for commuting to work and enjoying nearby amenities. You can choose from existing apartment projects that are already completed and ready for transfer so you can move in immediately.

This option would require around VND3.8-4 billion for a two-bedroom apartment. If you opt for a one-bedroom apartment, the price will be approximately VND3 billion per unit, depending on the project and location. A one-bedroom apartment would fit within your budget without taking a loan from the bank, which reduce financial stress.

If you are willing to accept a daily commute of over 15 kilometers, another viable option is purchasing a 50-to-70-square-meter plot of land in areas like District 9, District 12, Binh Chanh District or Nha Be District for around VND3 billion.

Considering the current construction costs of a two-story house, which is about VND6-7 million per square meter, you would need to invest an additional VND1 billion and wait three months for construction to wrap up before moving in.

This option requires an additional bank loan and comes with a daily commute of 45 minutes to one hour. However, with the current pace of infrastructure development, transportation will become less of a challenge, making this option acceptable for many young families.

Above is a basic analysis that you can refer to when choosing a suitable option. The actual cost may vary slightly depending on your preferred house/apartment size, distance from certain areas, and other factors like nearby amenities, security, surrounding infrastructure, etc.

I wish you the best in finding a dream home that suits your needs and circumstances.

*The question from reader and answer from expert were translated into English by AI.

go to top