Settling in a country you don’t know is often very difficult. Where to live? What is the price of the real estate market? Who to contact in case of problems? We answer all these questions in this article, by teaching you the best services to help and guide you throughout your installation.


In Chile, there are accommodations for all tastes and budgets:

  • classic houses in the beautiful districts for an expatriate family,
  • modern and central apartments for a young couple,
  • furnished rooms in a bohemian apartment in Santiago, ideal for an exchange student.

Finding a place to live in a foreign country can be a difficult task, but in Chile, foreigners have a wide range of options and prices.

Choosing where to live

Living in Chile gives you the opportunity to wake up surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. If you love nature and are not afraid to live a little isolated, there are really sumptuous places.

In the capital, the Andean mountains are easily accessible, and Santiago is one of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities in South America. Living outside the capital usually costs much less and there are climates for all tastes, from sunny beaches in the north to greenery in the south.

In Santiago, the French generally live:

  • in Vitacura or Colina for families who have their children in the Alliance Française, whose two campuses are located in these municipalities,
  • in Providencia, for young couples, or families with young children.
  • in Las Condes,
  • in Santiago Centro, for students, or workers who want to live on a lower budget.

Outside Santiago, many French people live in Valparaíso, or in Viña del Mar for its proximity to the sea.

How to find accommodation in Chile?

The main real estate sites in Chile are as follows:

It should be noted that the ads on these sites can often be dated several months old. Many agencies leave ads online in order to attract prospects. This can sometimes give the impression that a good deal is available, at a price far below the market. The reality is often that the house or apartment in question was published two or three years ago, and that property prices have since changed.

We advise you to use the services of a real estate agency, preferably a French-speaking one, which will be able to guide you towards the available properties corresponding to your expectations and your budget.

Moreover, if your profile is atypical (entrepreneur, recently arrived French, without a Chilean identity card), a French-speaking agency will be able to use what arguments to “sell your profile” to an owner, and reassure him about your solvency.

See our article on real estate agencies in Chile for more information.


What is a relocation agency?

Relocation companies offer a full range of services to companies and individuals.

Support begins a few months before departure, with an analysis of the needs of the family moving abroad: school for children, definition of the necessary criteria for housing.

Upon arrival, or during a preliminary visit, the agency offers an orientation tour to discover the area, as well as visits to houses or apartments that may suit the family’s needs.

Once the future residence has been chosen, the agency negotiates the rental contract with the real estate agent and/or the owner of the property, as well as activating the basic services: internet / electricity / water / gas.

A relocation agency can also coordinate the registration of children in their new school, or the transport of the furniture container between the port and the family’s home, but also the opening of a bank account, or the transport of domestic animals.

Why use a relocation agency: feel at home quickly abroad

Working abroad allows you to gain new professional experience, but it is also enriching because it allows you to discover another culture.

However, the first steps in Chile are always the most difficult. A failed arrival can generate stress, and jeopardize the smooth running of an expatriation.

There are many questions to answer when you arrive in a new country:

  • How can I manage in this new city that I don’t know?
  • How can I use public transport?
  • In which administration should I go to do this?
  • Which banks in Chile are interesting for expatriates?
  • How can I find an apartment that matches my criteria?
  • Which school in Chile can I send my children to?
  • How can I cope with cultural differences and culture shock?
  • What can I do if my spouse, who is accompanying me to Chile, is not working but wants to keep busy?

Answering all these questions takes a lot of time, energy and patience.

Feeling at home faster in Chile requires a good preparation before departure as well as a quick handling of problems upon arrival in Chile.

This is exactly what a relocation agency offers. Whether the employee comes here alone, with his spouse or with his whole family, a relocation agency saves him time, by facilitating installation and offering additional services covering all aspects of the stay.

French-speaking relocation agency in Chile and Santiago de Chile

To our knowledge, is the only relocation agency in Santiago de Chile managed by a Frenchman.

This relocation agency helps French people in their visa procedures, as well as in the search for apartments or houses. Familiar with the tastes and expectations of French families, as well as the neighbourhoods in which they are used to settling.

More information on the website:


Regulation of real estate agents and agencies

Unlike Europe and North America, real estate agents in Chile are not regulated. Anyone can become a real estate agent. However, there is a law to regulate the profession, which was approved by the Chilean Chamber of Deputies in 2018, and is currently at second reading in the Senate. However, it will still take a few more years before it is implemented.

However, there are corporations that bring together real estate agents and professionals in the construction sector. The two most famous are:

  • ACOP, the “Cámara Nacional de Servicios Inmobiliarios”, (the national chamber of real estate services),
  • COPROCH, the “Asociación Gremial de Corredores de Propiedades de Chile”, (the Corporation of Real Estate Agents of Chile).

For this reason, we recommend that you ask agents if they are affiliated with one of these two corporations, or if they have taken a course in one of them, which gives them a much higher technical background than most agents.

French real estate agents in Santiago and Chile

The most serious French-speaking real estate agency in Santiago is Bretagne Immobilier. Its founder, a Breton, has developed a good knowledge of the districts that appeal to the French, and of the price levels, both for rent and for purchase. We highly recommend it!

The agency also advises companies that wish to rent or buy commercial or industrial premises in Santiago, as well as people who wish to invest in Chile.

Points to note when renting a property

In Chile, most of the time, a residential lease has a term of one year, tacitly renewable for the same period. It should be noted that you cannot leave at any time during the term of the lease, as can be done in France by giving notice. Here, you must return your apartment at the end of the contract, notifying the landlord of your intention not to renew the contract on time. It is possible to include a diplomatic clause that offers more flexibility. Generally, this is activated from the second year onwards, and is valid in specific cases, such as dismissal, refusal to grant a visa, or the need for the company to repatriate you from Chile.

Points to note when buying a property

In Chile, the purchase-sale contract does not act as a transfer of ownership, as is the case in France. This contract should be registered with the Real Estate Register to validate the change of ownership.

This requires a certain level of formalism, and you will need to conduct a title study before buying, to ensure that the current owner is the owner, and that there is nothing to prevent the sale.

The associated payment must be made via a deposit with the notary, which will only be released to the seller when the property is registered in the buyer’s name.

Make sure you are assisted in this task by a lawyer who is competent in this area.


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