Bassi WorldMovers Consultant


Which Neighborhood is for Me???
House Hunting Suggestions
Real Estate Terms





One of the hardest decisions to make when moving to a new community is where to live. São Paulo offers a wide variety of lifestyles, both in houses and apartments. The options vary from sophisticated city living to suburban type developments, closed condominium apartment complexes with large communal grounds, to even walled-in neighborhoods of private homes with their own security guards.

Given that the traffic situation in São Paulo, it is wise to consider your priorities as a family in choosing where to live. The two American schools are located in neighborhoods which require about one hour rush-hour commute to the Avenida Paulista / Centro business sections of the city. Many businesses are moving to the Marginal Pinheiros / Faria Lima section of the city which is closerto the Centro, but the pollution can be much worse in that part of the city. Also, consider whether you will be using a private car, a driver (motorista), or public transportation.

Your primary decision may well be one of a house v. apartment. Obviously, your life style will have a great effect on this decision. However, to aid your decision you may want to consider the following:

In both apartments and houses:


Apartment buildings:

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Real estate agents are not bound by the rules and regulations to which you may be accustomed.

  1. Some real estate agents are very aggressive toward new ex - pats. Ask friends and people in your company for references.
  2. Insist on knowing which addresses you are about to visit and what the asking price is. Check the map before leaving to ascertain if you have already seen the properties with other agents. (Keep a list of addresses.)
  3. Rental prices are negotiable but leave the negotiations to your agent or company.
  4. In computing total monthly rent, add gas, electricity, water, taxes (IPTU), and condominium fee (for apartment).
  5. You should never give an agent any money.
  6. Do not sign any agreement unless you have it checked by a company or private lawyer. The contract must be signed not only by the owner and the tenant, but also by the guarantor or fiador who is a property owner in the state of São Paulo or a registered company, usually your employer.


  1. Is street lighting adequate?
  2. Is there a street guard or private security?
  3. Is it near a favela or vacant lot?
  4. Is the wall/fence high enough to discourage intruders?
  5. Is the garage door automatic? If electric, is there a manual over - ride switch on case of power outage?



  1. Are there emergency exits and fire escapes?
  2. How safe are balconies and windows for young children?
  3. Is there emergency generator for power cuts?
  4. Can your child reach the elevator button on your floor?
  5. Is building security sufficient (especially at entry points)
  6. How many parking spaces come with your apartment?


A Tel. line often can be rented. Don't worry about extensions however, they are easy to buy. The Tel. line belongs to the owner, but you are responsible for paying the bill. You can arrange to have the bill sent directly to your bank for payment., or you may pay directly at the designated bank. Tel. service will be cut off, without notice, for non-payment of bills.

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The following is a description of the different areas, or bairros which are fairly representative of where many ex-pats live.



Alphaville is an American - style community with very good security and lot of fresh air. It is a very family oriented community where children can play freely outside and ride their bikes in safety. Readily available for children are courses in dance, language, music and sports. The Portuguese nursery school is popular with many ex-pat families, as well as, the English-speaking nursery school. School bus transportation to and from grade school is available.

There are twelve residential areas with single dwelling homes and several apartments buildings. There are supermarkets, restaurants and fast food chains, and a shopping center. Two 24 hours medical centers with well trained doctors and specialists are located nearby. Other professionals have offices in the Centro area. The Alphaville Tennis Club offers memberships for a reasonable fee.

Location: 23km outside São Paulo on the Road. Castelo Branco. One km from Alphaville (exit 22 rod.Castelo Branco), is Carrefour and few shopping centers. Nearby, in the city Osasco are Walmart and Sam's Club.

Aldeia da Serra is very similar to Alphaville, but on a smaller scale. It has four residential areas, a commercial area and a club.

Location: exit. 32, road Castelo Branco


Aclimação and Paraiso are neighboring bairros located in town at the east end of Av. Paulista. The Japanese community of Liberdade, with a large assortment of Oriental food stores, restaurants and gift shops is nearby. Several Japanese schools are located in the area, as well as the Parque Ibirapuera with a running track. Public transportation is very good with a metro (subway) stop making the Centro very accessible. It is a older area, with houses and apartments.


Campo Belo is situated near the domestic airport, Congonhas, It is a residential area with houses and a few-high-rise apartments. The are lots of little shops of all kinds and a quite a few goods restaurants and supermakerts located on Av. Vieira de Morais.

Moema has high-rises, shops and restaurants and borders Ibirapuera Park. On Av. Ibirapuera there is a large shopping center with convenient parking. Moema is also known for its many and varied furniture stores.

Brooklin is separated from Campo Belo by Av. Vereador José Diniz. It has mostly houses, some high-rises and some light industry. There are many cozy restaurants and choperias (small bars) here.


Higienópolis is a downtown residential and commercial area between Rua da Consolação and the Pacaembú Stadium. It offers many older homes and apartments with larger rooms and higher ceilings. There is a busy commercial area with high quality stores around Av. Angélica. Praça Buenos Aires. Av. Angélica, is a delightful spot for strolling with babies or dogs.

Pacaembu is almost exclusively residential with elegant homes and apartments, old and new. This delightfully green area is located close to the Jardins and the Center. There are several night clubs, sports clubs, gymnastic academies, many Jewish schools and the University Mackenzie and FAAP (the art school). There are many restaurants, the four-star Eldorado Higienópolis Hotel and several furnished apartments. The Hospital das Clinicas is nearby.. A large street fair is held in the parking lot of Pacaembu Stadium a couple of times a week.


These centrally-located areas offer high-rise living with convenient shopping. There are many small specialty stores selling food, clothing, and furniture. Good restaurants are abundant. Mappin Department Store is in Itaim and the sophisticated Iguatemy Shopping Center is on nearby Av. Brig. Faria Lima. Shopping Center Ibirapuera is close by in Moema. It borders Ibirapuera Park and has relatively easy access to most other sections of the city.

Vila Nova Conceição currently is considered the most chic neighborhood of São Paulo, so rents will be high. Smaller tree-lined streets with newer apartments buildings make this a charming neighborhood, but both children and parents will have commutes to school and to work.


Interlagos (the name means "between lakes") is situated south of Santo Amaro. It is dotted with country clubs, marinas and restaurants by the water. Plans are underway to make this community of about 1200 homes a closed condominium like Alphaville, with its own centralized security. Settled by many European families years ago, the area is known for its quiet streets and lovely homes, with easy access to both PACA and the chapel schools. Interlagos offers good shopping and convenient access to the city with its proximity to the Marginal Pinheiros.


The Jardins collectively includes the neighborhoods of Jardim America, Jardim Europa, Jardim Paulista and

Cerqueira Cesar, It is bounded by the streets Av. Paulista, Av Brigadeiro Luiz Antonio, Av. Faria Lima and Av. Rebouças. These areas are filled with restaurants, shops, apartments, buildings, clubs and private homes.In Cerquera Cesar alone, you will find over 100 top quality restaurants from the most elegant to fast food, clothing stores to repair shops. Rua Oscar Freire is famous for trendy boutiques. There are renowned art galleries, antique and decorator shops and chic beauty parlors. The British school St.Paul's is located in this neighborhood, as are the large shopping centers, Iguatemy & Eldorado. It is convenient to offices live in it can be exciting and wonderful to be so near to these conveniences but, as in the hear of any large city, you must be willing to put up with some incoveniences, such as traffic congestion, high levels of pollution, and noise, even at the wee hours of the morning due to weekend revelers or street fair set up.




Morumbi is a bedroom community for upper-class Paulistanos. Here you will find beautiful homes, luxury apartments,Graded School and Einstein Hospital. It is very quiet and green and the air is somewhat cleaner here than in the city center. Morumbi's rolling hills and windings roads make for fantastic city views from its many high-rise apartments and condominiums. Paes Mendonça and Carrefour are on the Marginal. Jardim Sul, Shopping Morumbi, São Paulo Marketplace and Shopping Center Butantã offer upscale grocery and Mall shopping. Watch for congestion on the bridges crossing the Rio Pinheiros Commuting to the city during rush hours may take an hour or more each way.


Pinheiros is both residential and commercial. You can find almost any type of store on Rua Teodoro Sampaio and Rua de Pinheiros. Both Av. Rebouças and Av.Brig Faria Lima are within walking distance, and the Eldorado and Iguatemi Shopping Centers are close by. Saint Paul's, the British school, is located in neighboring Jardim America, Alto de Pinheiros is an extension of Pinheiros, but is more residential, offering both houses and apartments. Ceagesp (Ceasa), the famous flower and produce market, is very near.


Portal do Morumbi is an apartment complex consisting of 8 buildings with about 800 families. Morumbi is five minutes from Graded School. Children can run free. There are three outdoor pools,an indoor pool, two playgrounds, two tennis courts, two basketball courts, a soccer field, an aviary, a restaurant, a nursery school and lots of green space. Classes in ballet, swimming, soccer and aerobics for adults are offered on the premises. Shopping Portal and Open Center are two small, but complete, shopping centers nearby. Shopping Jardim Sul, an upscale Mall with a Sé supermarket, is a 10 minutes away and Shopping Butantã with a Carrefour is about 15 minutes away. Blockbuster Video, Hobby Video, KFC and a Pizza Hut are 5-10 minutes away. Mini bus service is available to and from the Morumbi and Iguatemi Shopping Centers. You will need to cross the Rio Pinheiros for other shopping or restaurants.


Sto Amaro, covers most of the southern part of the city including Granja Julieta, Alto da Boa Vista,

Chacara Flora, and Jardim Petrópolis. This area includes a large concentration of luxurious homes, single family residences, numerous apartments and condominiums. Bairros such as Granja Julieta, Alto da Boa Vista and Chácara Flora are particularly green and quiet. Shopping is abundant and varied. (Shopping Morumbi, São Paulo Marketplace, D&D Shopping, Carrefour shopping center along the Marginal bordering Santo Amaro.) Many multi-national companies have offices along this section of the Marginal, making for convenient commutes. The Mercado Municipal is very convenient for fresh foods. Chapel School, Hotel Transmerica, Hotel Meliá, and St.Paul's Angelican Church are also in this area. Santo Amaro offers easy access to other parts of town.

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Alcohol Alcool
Backyard Quintal
Bathroom Banheiro
Bedroom Dormitório
Breakfast room Copa
Broom Vassoura
Brushes Escovas
Bucket Balde
Building Edificio / Prédio
City Cidade
Clean Limpar
Cleaning fluid Removedor
Closet Armário
Cold water Agua Fria
Condominium Condominio
Country Campo
Den / office Escritório
Detergent Detergente
Dishwasher lava louça
Disinfectant Desinfetante
Downstairs Embaixo
Dust Tirar pó
Dust pan
Dust rag Pano de pé
Employer Patrão
Family room Sala Intima
Fireplace Lareira
Floor Andar/Piso
Furnished Mobiliado
Furniture polish Lustra Móveis
Garbage Lixo
Garden Jardim
Heated Aquecida
Hot water Aguar quente
Iron Ferro de passar
Iron Passar
Landlord Dono
Laundry room Quarto de Serviço
Library Biblioteca
Light Luz
Liquid / powder Liquido em pó
Liquid bleach Agua Sanitária
Living room Sala de Estar
LP gas Gás
Maid's room Quarto Empregada
Make the bed Fazer a cama
Master bedroom Dormitorio de casal
Pantry(expenses) Despesa
Party room Salão de Festas
Polish Lustrar
Pool Piscina
Real estate Imóveis
Rent Aluga
Scrub Escovar
Sell Vender
Sink Pia
Slum Favela
Soap Sabão
Squeeegee Rodo
Suburb Suburbio
Sun room Jardim de Inverno
Sweep Varrer
Teletel. Telefone
Terrace /deck Terraço
Upstairs Em cima
Vacuum aspirar
Vacuum cleaner Aspirador
View Vista
Wash Lavar
Washer Máquina de lavar
Water plants Molhar / Regar
Water storage Caixa de Água
Wax Encerar

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