Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Apartment hunting

apartment renting

Apartment hunting in China is similar to the United States. You look at 30 places or so and, when you finally locate the one you like, you pay money and move in.

Utilities are extra, just like the US. Water, gas, electricity, and the Internet all incur extra costs.

Of corse, there is the moving expense. You hire a small truck and six guys with BO to drag your stuff down six flights of stairs, drive across town, and then back up seven flights. You give them $60 for the day and you're done. It's easy.

apartment hunting
What is surprising is the condition of some of the rentals. Unlike rentals in the U.S. some apartments we looked at hadn't even been cleaned. Doors were falling off hinges. Kitchen counters sagged. Other places were full of furniture. One had a huge safe that took up precious floor space. It had to stay.

Oh, and there is another big difference. You have to pay one year's rent in advance. In fact, I heard of one couple that had to pay two years in advance. In China there are no bigger bills than 100 yuan. You need a dump truck to prepay a year of rent.

One place I liked had a great view from the 14th floor. Trouble was, it didn't have a stove nor any gas. I'd have to provide my own two burner stove and propane tank. Or just eat out every day.

apartment renting
You'd better be sure there is nothing wrong with the apartment before you pay, because after you pay you'll never see your landlord again. He has his money. Why should he stick around?

Do the sinks leak? Is there Internet? Do the showers drain properly? Is there sufficient water pressure? You'd better check first.

So here are a few pictures of some of the apartments our friends looked at. We tagged along just for fun.  What could hurt?

apartment hunting
The last picture is the final apartment they choose. It's new, clean, and has an Internet connection.  The toilets and sinks work.

It's huge. There are four bedrooms, two baths, a gigantic dance floor, ah, I mean, living room, and a new kitchen. All for the low, low price of $257 a month.

It's beautiful. There's a view. It's on the 7th floor. But there is no elevator.

Well you can't have everything.

You can't have everything. Where would you put it? - Stephen Wright

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