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Renting PropertyBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
China - Renting Property
The most plentiful rentals for expats moving to China are apartments units, which are either standard or modern luxury units. What differentiates these is the price difference and the features that come with each.
Standard apartments are the most affordable option. They can be found within the big cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Macau and Shanghai. Most expats working or studying in China can afford standard apartments; however, there are some sacrifices to be made. Most apartments of this nature are not spacious, may lack a shower and tub, and may also have latrine-style toilets.
You should also expect poor renovation on standard apartment units. You may have to contend with exposed pipes, improperly working doors and windows, or living in a noisy neighborhood. Standard apartments cost between $100 and $200 a month, and make good places to stay temporarily while looking for something better.
Modern Luxury Apartments
Modern luxury apartments are a great upgrade from the standard apartments. They are also found within Chinese cities, and tend to be in quieter areas. Luxury apartments in the city come with a host of amenities for families or individual tenants.
City luxury apartments come with convenient air conditioning and central heating. The interior is often stylish and may even feature Italian marble. Some luxury apartments include broadband, built-in ovens, washing machines and dishwashers. You may also find beauty salons, tennis courts, swimming pools, pubs and restaurants as standard amenities for the apartments.
The rent for modern luxury apartments is often quite high. However, it is still possible to find an upscale luxury flat within the city at a more affordable price. You may have to forego some amenities such as a luxury tub or marble flooring in the bathroom.
Villas And Town Houses
The Chinese real estate market has in recent years witnessed a growing trend in high-rise villas and town houses. These housing units are developed to target the newly wealthy Chinese people. Expats have recently been added to this group; therefore, it is possible to find villas that are furnished to Western standards.
Chinese villas are often found within gated communities. The houses are detached and are designed in different styles such as mid-American, Japanese minimalist Zen, Mediterranean or the more pronounced, classic European. A villa can be a stand-alone house or a several homes attached to each other. However, they are not as crammed together as most apartment complexes.
For expats who want to really cut on costs, shared housing is a great option. Shared housing is more common for young expats coming to China for studies, exchange programs, work experience or internship programs. Shared housing might also suit older expats who don’t have a family.
There are two ways to go about sharing a house. One is to link up with other expats and search for an apartment in the city. The other option is to find a local family, often a Chinese one, that is willing to rent a room for you. This is called home staying and is common with expats looking for temporary accommodation. This is also a great idea if you do not want to spend too much on rentals within the city.
Students coming to study or take part in exchange programs in China can find cheaper accommodation in dormitories. These are often provided by universities and colleges to expat students that they admit. There are dormitory units that can be shared to help bring down the cost of living for students.
For expats coming to China to work as teachers, the educational center that is employing you may supply an apartment. School apartments can be shared, which is often encouraged to cut costs.
Tips For Finding A Home
It is advisable that you search for accommodation a few weeks or even months before moving to China. This will give you an idea of what to expect beforehand, so that you can make the right choices. Here are some additional tips to help you find the right rental unit in China.
Single or small units are cheaper to rent and are often in high demand. It is advisable to ask a friend in China to help you with your property search before moving to the country. Alternatively, hire a real estate agent to do the house hunting for you. Make sure you hire a local Chinese real estate agent, as this has some advantages.
Chinese housing agents understand the local market better and are in a better position to find the right house for you. Note that most single units and apartments are privately owned by Chinese property owners. The real estate agent will bridge the gap between you and the property owner, eliminating the problem of a language barrier. You are also more likely to get a good rental deal if you let your real estate agent negotiate with a fellow Chinese person.
Every expat is required to register their address with the Public Service Bureau for the period they will be staying in China. When signing a contract with a property owner, ensure that the contract is written in a language that both of you understand. If there is a language barrier, it is best to draft two contracts; one in Mandarin and the other in English or your native language.
In China, a standard apartment could mean anything from a simple room with only a squat toilet to a luxury apartment that includes Wi-Fi and marble floors. Generally, apartments in China are determined by size, location and the number of amenities they come with. Make sure you research adequately before moving to China so that you can find a house that you can live in for a long time.
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