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House hunting in Shanghai

The last week has flown by and I have been left with little time to write about my experiences. But during last weekend my wife and I decided to view some apartments. In fact my wife had already been looking while I was working last week and wanted to show me a particular one that was within budget and also in the location that we wanted.

A meeting with owners and the letting agents was arranged and both my father-in-law and sister (who lives in Shanghai) wanted to also come along. We all met at the letting agent office and waited for the owners to arrive. Little did we know that the owners had advertised the apartment with various other letting agents and arrived on time for the meeting only to be told that they had just let the apartment out to somebody else! A huge heated discussion ensued, which involved everybody except my wife and I. This went on for at least 15 minutes, until I told my wife to simply ask the letting agents if they have other property to view.

We then spent the next few hours previewing property, most of which did not meet our requirements. I am not sure whether this was the letting agent trying it on or it's just the way things are here.

We eventually found a place that we simply loved and decided that we would sign a lease, the only catch is that the owners will not be moving out until December 21st. After about 30 minutes of what appeared to be negotiations on the phone, I thought we were getting closer to getting to signing a lease and relaxing for the rest of the day, but the apartment owners decided it was lunch time and asked to meet us back at the letting agents office at 3pm!

I didn't have a clue what was going on, my wife was not translating anything for me, so I just sat back with a very bemused look on my face.

After a bite to eat we returned to meet with the owners, I am not joking when I say there were 10 people in all in the room, all appeared to want to say something about the finer details of rent, contract etc etc. This 'discussion', that also appeared heated at times when on for nearly 1.5 hours when finally documents appeared and names were signed!

So, we now have placed a deposit on a nice 135m2 apartment located opposite the Longyang Road Station where there is not only a subway station but also the Shanghai Maglev Station that gets you to Shanghai Pudong Airport in 8 minutes at 430 km/h (268 mph). I'll be taking this next time I fly out of Pudong Airport!


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All I need now is a residence permit and I'm sorted!