If you are a foreigner relocating to India or coming to India temporarily as an expat professional, you will need to find a place to live. A few options are guest houses, homestays, PGs, service apartments, hotels, staff quarters, independent houses, and others. After reviewing all the types of housing, do take a look at the special recommendations for single ladies in India.
Sometimes guest houses can also be called “Paying Guest” or PG. If it is a PG, house owners may be currently living there. Check into the details before agreeing to move in.
Homestays are homes where a family already lives there and usually tourists come to stay. It’s akin to the American bed and breakfast. Usually the people who own the homestay cook meals for those who stay there. Depending on the homestay they may cook meals throughout the day, or it may be relegated to breakfast only. (I think the accommodation that Todd in the NBC serial “Outsourced” lived in was like a homestay.)
Service Apartment or Apartment Hotel
Apartments and flats are available galore with the many hi-rise apartment buildings coming up. Apartment buildings could be stand alone buildings or part of a housing complex where there are apartment buildings and independent houses. In complexes, there may be other amenities like swimming pools, children’s parks, community halls, rec rooms, gyms and others.
This may also vary in what’s available when you are inside of it. Most hotels in India would not have a stove, microwave or kitchen amenities we may find in some American hotels.
Yet to be discovered. Share your thoughts if your accommodation fell under this category or if any of the above are misrepresented.
Notes About Moving Into a Place to Live
Ask about what is included in the apartment when moving in. Many apartments and houses may not be equipped with any of the following: gas cylinders, any kitchen appliances (such as stoves or fridges), hot water heaters in the bathrooms, a/c in the bedrooms, washing machines, cupboards in the kitchen, closets in the bedrooms, and furniture. The image to the right is of a kitchen in a ready-to-move in independent house. And, even if there are appliances in the house, if there are people living in the house, when they move out, they may take the appliances with them.
Special Considerations for Single Females
I have learned that single foreign women have a hard time to live alone in India. In some cases, I have heard employers providing a live in maid for foreign women expats so they aren’t living alone. Living alone in India for women is very rare, but also it’s not that common for men to live alone either. That being said, living alone as a local woman in India also poses it’s own challenges. While I think there are be different rules for single foreign women as compared to single local or Indian women, I have heard that in Kerala, Indian women have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a place of their own (if they desire it). I recently learned that local women must provide letters to the landlord from employers about their employment, letters from parents or family members giving them permission to live alone, and even in some cases police permission.
Copyright © 2011, Jennifer Kumar. All Rights Reserved.
Photo credit: Nicholas Mirguet (first photo in the post), all other photos Jennifer Kumar