Finding an apartment in China – One teacher’s journey

One of our new teachers in Shanghai told us about his journey finding an apartment. We know this can be a daunting process for your and your loved ones at home worrying about you so we asked him to help with his process so your can see first hand what one person went through.

What kind of apartment do you hope to find? I am hoping to find a studio or one bedroom apartment. Some major selling points are: easy access to metro lines, nearby market(s), an open floor plan, plenty of sunlight, and (if possible) some room outside for future plants. Oh, and somewhere safe (Hi, Mom!)

Who is helping you with the process? I had a whole team helping me find an apartment. Everyone in the office gave advice about what neighborhood(s) I would likely enjoy, what to expect, and some tips for navigating my way through the contract/negotiation process. However, I owe an especially huge thank you to Simona and Emily for taking the time to look at apartments with me. Simona organized our meeting with the travel agent, answered a slew of questions, and proceeded to translate while Emily and I were finding apartments. Simona was awesome. After Emily found an apartment, she also helped search. Emily is also awesome. Long story short, Simona and Emily are both awesome.

How many apartments did you look at before deciding? We looked at six apartments before finding one I really enjoyed. At least three of the six apartments were somewhere I would have been happy to move into. In the end, I managed to find an apartment that met my expectations.

What did you decide on? I decided on a studio that is next to several metro lines, nearby a market, has plenty of sunlight, an open floor plan, a beautiful courtyard full of plants that I won’t forget to water, and an awesome looking fish pond. Basically, I decided on an apartment that is exactly what I hoped for plus fish. Oh, and the apartment requires a key card for access so it is *extra* secure (Love you, Mom!)

How was the process different from what you expected? I expected to spend more time looking for an apartment. We managed to find an apartment the first day because of the time Simona spent looking prior to leaving the office. I found an apartment quickly, within my price range, and matched my personality – To be honest, that was not something I expected.