Trends in Montevideo’s Old City--an interview with real estate agent, Bettina Stratta

By David Hammond
Bettina Stratta
“You find every aspect of Uruguayan culture concentrated in Ciudad Vieja," says Bettina Stratta, a real estate agent who lives and works in Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja (Old City).

“Several new hotels, restaurants, and trendy shops are opening in Ciudad Vieja.

And in this age of Airbnb, over 100 apartments in Ciudad Vieja are now rented short term. This is a big change.

“You have shops selling crafts from all over Uruguay, a variety of local foods, shops, and restaurants offering Uruguayan wines. It’s where you find the City’s many museums, including the Carnival Museum. And the City’s theaters: the Teatro Solis and the Sodre.

“Many of the shoppers in Ciudad Vieja are locals from other parts of Montevideo who come here for the day,” says Bettina.

"And it’s a walkable neighborhood. Everything is close."

Real estate in Ciudad Vieja

Bettina's office (with the orange canopy)
 in Ciudad Vieja
"A one or two-bedroom apartment on the outside edge of a popular area that needs refurbishing may sell for $70,000.

“Many who don’t want a cookie-cutter home find the historic architecture in Ciudad Vieja interesting. They like the character of the older places—many with marble, ironwork, high ceilings, and detailed plaster work. 

“English-speaking real estate customers often have two stages: Many come and rent for three to six months, usually between October and April. After a few years of renting, they’ll purchase a second home. 

“A one-bedroom apartment in a good part of Ciudad Vieja that’s been restored and updated with new wiring and plumbing may sell for around $120,000.

“Some buy apartments as an investment. One woman enjoys meeting new people and rents her room for $40 per night,” says Bettina. 

With six years of real estate experience, Bettina recently opened her own office in Ciudad Vieja. It's on a pedestrian street--just a little over a block from the famous Mercado del Puerto. (Perez Castellano 1493 near the corner of Cerrito.) 

In addition to Ciudad Vieja, Bettina assists clients with sales and rentals (both short-term and long-term) in the Montevideo communities of Centro, South Palermo, and Parque Rodo. 

Many properties in Ciudad Vieja come under historic preservation rules. So, if you're considering buying a property to renovate, Bettina strongly recommends using an architect with experience working with the historical commission.

In the front area of Bettina’s office, is a gallery space with the handiwork of 20 Uruguayan artisans, which includes wool goods, leather goods, and ironwork. You’ll also find craft-food items, including preserves made from the fruit of palms in Uruguay’s Department of Rocha.

Bettina Stratta

Entrance to Bettina Stratta's gallery space and
 real estate office at Perez Castellano 1439 
Perez Castellano 1439
Montevideo, Uruguay CP 11000
Phone: (+598) 9397-9800
Phone inside Uruguay: 093-979-800

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