4 Tried and True Tips for Finding an Apartment in Guam
Whether they’ve come for the beaches, the nightlife, or because of a military posting, visitors to Guam often find themselves falling in love with the island’s beaches and its people. Once you’ve experienced Guam, you will almost certainly entertain the idea of living here.
Many visitors go one step further and try to make living here a reality by finding apartments for rent in Guam. Given Guam’s extremely dynamic real estate market, this can be more challenging than it appears on the surface.
Here are four things that every newbie apartment hunter in Guam should know:
Expect to Pay More for Almost Everything
For many people experiencing Guam for the first time, it may be as close as it gets to paradise on earth. The territory’s idyllic lifestyle, natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage make a very strong argument for living here. But for all its positives, Guam is still a sparsely populated island located in a relatively remote corner of the Western Pacific.
The geography of the territory, which is out of the way of most major shipping lanes, makes it expensive to ship goods here. Construction materials such as steel and concrete also need to be shipped from overseas. The high cost of importing goods from the mainland US or Asia also has the knock-on effect of increasing labor costs on the island.
Guam is also an incredible place to live in, which means there is almost always a high demand for apartments in the territory. Tourists, military personnel, and business travelers who thought Guam would just be another stop constantly fall in love with the island’s many charms, which means there is some heavy competition for most of the available apartments.
Taken together, this means that an apartment in Guam will tend to cost more than a similar-sized one in most parts of the mainland US. The good news at least, is that you will be only a few minutes away from the beach wherever you choose to live.
Find a Good Real Estate Professional
There’s a lot more to finding a good apartment in Guam than just collecting openings online. Because of the high demand for apartments in Guam, it’s common practice for savvy investors to snatch up all the best units before they even have a chance to be listed. Any apartment that you do find online is probably either too expensive or has some issues that have caused someone else to pass it over.
Partnering with an experienced real estate company is your best bet for getting access to good apartments before other people get to them. Make sure to find one that actually sends people out in the field to look for prospective units and can efficiently deal with all the red tape that comes with moving to a new apartment. This will not only improve your chances of getting a great apartment in Guam, but it will also help you save time and headaches dealing with the local bureaucracy.
Don’t Rely on Online Listings Alone
For one thing, nearly all prime properties are unlisted. This could be because the realtor wants to sell to a very specific market or because the property has only recently become available and there hasn’t been time to publicly list it. With so much competition in the market, anything that does show up online is probably not prime real estate because all the best apartments tend to be snatched up the moment they become available.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to call or email realtors to ask them if they have any properties available that aren’t on their website yet. While local listings can sometimes be a great tool, you will want to use the yellow pages to find experienced realtors. Be sure to hit up personal contacts who already live in Guam as well, as they might be able to point you to an unlisted property in their neighborhood. Doing these can increase your available options and dramatically reduce your competition for prime apartments.
Understand the Factors That Affect Guam’s Real Estate Market
Properties close to popular tourist areas such as Tumon and properties that are a walking distance away from the beach tend to command the highest rates. Properties near Anderson Air Force Base likewise carry a slight premium. As with apartments anywhere else, having a lawn or garden will almost certainly bump up the rates.
It’s also worth noting the island’s real estate market has also been growing almost every year for the past decade, mainly thanks to Japanese and Korean investors. Even though the cost of property in Guam is relatively high by average American standards, they are quite reasonable compared to the property rates in big cities in Japan and Korea. This trend will likely go on for some time in the foreseeable future. This makes it important to snatch up available apartments ASAP, as costs will only continue to rise with time.
Whether you’re planning to live in Guam part of the year or planning on moving here for good, it pays to do some research before you spend money committing to a property. Guam’s real estate market has many quirks that make it challenging to find the perfect apartment for your needs. Following the tips above will not only save you money, but they will also maximize the chances you’ll find an apartment you’ll love.
What other Guam-related real estate tips can you share? Tell us!