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I’ve been idly looking at moving to a new apartment lately (looks like I won’t be moving after all – a good thing, too, because I like my current place), and I typically use the Chinese property search sites instead of the foreign ones. The prices are about 4 times as high on the English sites made for foreigners, and the properties they offer there are often aimed at high-rolling executives. It helps quite a bit to be able to browse the Chinese listings, so I’m doing a few here. This is solidly advanced stuff. Local place names abound, so you have to be able to at least guess when something is or isn’t a proper noun, and because we’re working with real estate classifieds, a few words are shortened to save space or the formal version is used to sound professional.

Mandarin Chinese Reading: How and Where to Find an Apartment in BeijingOne thing to bear in mind if you’re actually looking for an apartment in China is that quite a few of the pictures are fake, are from other houses in the same compound, or if you’re dealing with an agency, you should know that most places online have been rented already, but the agencies have left the ads up in hopes you’ll call them anyway and they can show you something else.

You really do have to go hunt around in person in China, but online apartment hunting can give you a few valuable pieces of info: what types of apartments are available in which areas (only old buildings? skyrises? hutong-houses?), which complexes are newer and have nicer amenities, and what apartments in a particular area usually go for.

Here are three of the best and most popular Beijing real estate websites, if you want to practice on your own:

bj.58.com/zufang/
beijing.anjuke.com
zu.soufun.com/

I’m going to list and translate a few different Beijing listings here, but I won’t link to the original listings as I imagine they’ll come down fairly fast, so I’ll just show a couple of photos. You can visit the links above for similar stuff. I’m taking some examples from a little spectrum: one crappy (and very very typical) older apartment near Beijing, a cheaper and nicer apartment in the distant suburbs of Beijing, a high-rolling super luxury apartment city-center, and a traditional-style siheyuan home.

You’ll see a lot of similarities between real estate and property listings in Beijing or anywhere, but a couple of major points of local flavor:

押一付三 - This indicates how rent is paid. In Beijing, rent is not paid monthly. It can either be paid every three months, every six months, or you can pay the whole year in advance. This indicates rent is to be paid every 3 months (付三), which is by far the most common way to pay, and that a one-month deposit will be required (押一).

朝向南北 – Man, the Chinese sure do care which way their apartment faces. People here will flat-out turn down an east/west facing place if they can afford to. The best apartments, apparently, face south / north, so you get sun all day, but it’s not blasting in your windows. Less ideal is when a place faces east / west – and people here care SO MUCH about this, that you can get a cheaper place if you don’t care that it faces east/west (though for haggling purposes, you’re better off pretending you do care). This is why the direction is front and center.

Click to Listen

享受 – xiǎng shòu – To live it up
户型 – hù xíng – Type of house
住宅 – zhù zhái – Residence (usually apartment)
所属 – suǒ shǔ – Belonging to, comprising
环岛 – huán dǎo – Traffic roundabout
城铁 – chéng tiě – High speed rail
巡查 – xún chá – To patrol
周边 – zhōu biān – Nearby
入住 – rù zhù – To move in [to a house]
宽带 – kuān dài – Broadband
豪华 – háo huá – Luxurious
装修 – zhuāng xiū – Interior decor
平房 – píng fáng – Buangalow (separate house)



Title: 超低的价格 美好的享受 就在京通苑 ,3室精装修
租金价格: 3200 元/月  押一付三 
房屋户型: 3室1厅1卫 108㎡
房屋情况: 普通住宅 精装修 朝向南北 
所属楼层: 6层/6层
所在区域: 朝阳 – 管庄 – 京通苑
所在地址: 朝阳路杨闸环岛西北角 (交通地图)




Title: 《眼见为实》果园城铁低价出租翠屏里两居 首次出租
租金价格: 2900 元/月  押一付三 
房屋户型: 2室2厅1卫 89㎡
房屋情况: 普通住宅 简单装修 朝向东西 
所属楼层: 2层/6层
所在区域: 通州 – 果园 – 翠屏里
所在地址: 通州区果园环岛南700米
1.小区位于果园城铁站南侧,绿化面积达50%,有24小时保安巡查
2.周边配套设施齐全,有苏荷时代购物广场、物美大卖场,北机菜市场。
3.出门就是果园城铁站,周边还有多路公交车站可直达大北窑。




Title:拎包入住北京星河湾3期全新地暖房欧式豪装4居、品味高贵生活环境
租 金:43000元/月 (押一付三)
面积 :353㎡
户型: 3室2厅4卫
装修: 豪华装修
楼层: 23/33
朝向: 南北
入住: 随时
建筑年代: 2009年
楼盘:星河湾 朝阳
配置: 电话,热水器,空调,冰箱,洗衣机,床,家具, 微波炉,厨具
设施: 水,电,煤气/天然气,暖气,有线电视,宽带





Title: 什刹海前海四合院 2室2厅110平米 豪华装修
租金价格: 11000 元/月  押一付三 
房屋户型: 2室2厅1卫 110㎡
房屋情况: 平房 豪华装修 朝向南 
所属楼层: 1层/2层
所在区域: 西城 – 什刹海 – 前海四合院
所在地址: 前海银锭桥附近

SHOW ENGLISH TRANSLATION »


Title: Super Low Price – Wonderful Lifestyle – Located at JingTongYuan, Three Beds Nice Decor
Rental Price: 3200 RMB / Month Paid in 3-month increments  
Rooms: 3 beds, 1 living room, 1 bath, 108 square meters
Home type: Standard residence, nice decor, facing south / north
Which floor [in the building]: Floor 6 of 6
District / location: Chaoyang – Guanzhuang – JingTongYuan
Address: ChaoYang Raod, YangZha Roundabout, Northwest Corner (transportation map [link])




Title: “Seeing is Believing” GuoYuan Rail Station – Low price Rental in Cui Ping Li – Two-Bedroom – First come, first serve
Rental Price: 2900 RMB / Month Pay 3 months at a time
Rooms: 2 beds, 2 living rooms, 1 bath, 89 square meters
Home type: Standard residence, simple decor, facing east / west
Floor: Floor 2 of 6
District / location: TongZhou – GuoYuan – CuiPingLi
Address: TongZhou District, 700 meters south frmo the GuoYuan Roundabout
1. The apartment block is located on the south side of GuoYuan rail station, the area’s 50% greenery, and there are guards on patrol 24-hours
2. [You'll have] a complete set of amenities nearby: there’s SuHe ShiDai Shopping Mall, WuMei Retail Store, and BeiJi Food Market
3. GuoYuan rail station is right outside the door, and close by there are also many bus stations with non-stop service to DaBeiYao.




Title: Move in with just your handbag – Beijing’s XingHeWan Block 3, Completely New Warm Home in European Style with Stunning Decor – 4 bedrooms, experience [lit: taste] a grand living environment
Rental price: 43000 RMB / month (pay in 3 month increments)
Area: 353 square meters
Rooms: 3 beds, 2 living rooms, 4 baths
Decor: Luxurious Interior Decor
Floor: Floor 23 of 33
Direction: South / North
When you can move in: anytime
Built in: 2009
Property: XingHeWan (Star River Bay), ChaoYang
Includes: Phone, water heater, air conditioning, fridge, washing machine, bed, furniture, microwave, kitchen implements
Installed: Water, electricity, coal / natural gas, heating, landline, broadband





Title: ShiChaHai QianHai Courtyard House, 2 beds 2 living rooms 110 square meters, Luxurious Decor
Rental Price: 11000 RMB / month Pay in 3 month increments  
Rooms: 2 beds, 2 living rooms, 1 bath, 110 square meters
Home type: Bungalow, luxurious decor, facing south
Floor: Floor 1 of 2
Location: XiCheng – ShiChaHai – QianHai Courtyard
Address: In Qianhai near YinDing Bridge


6 comments to "Understanding Chinese Apartment Rental Listings"

  1. literal translations:
    房屋户型 house style
    房屋情况: house condition
    How do they say “furnished”?
    连家具?

    • Well, “house condition” is mostly right, but they don’t use the word “condition” in quite the same way. In this case, 房屋情况 really refers to where the apartment is facing north/south or east/west, and how fancy the decor is.

      房屋户型 also doesn’t really refer to the style so much as the layout and sometimes the size. How many beds and baths, rather than “a courtyard home” or “an apartment home”.

      In terms of apartments being furnished, that’s a slightly more complex question than you may have anticipated – I’m not sure if this is true in all Chinese cities, but in Beijing and Shanghai, most apartments come at least partially furnished. That’s expected. Every apartment I’ve lived in or viewed has included at the very least a bed, a couch, a desk, a washing machine and a television. It’s actually finding an unfurnished apartment that’s hard – I’ve had to negotiate with landlords to get them to move stuff I didn’t want out of the house. So these listings don’t usually say “furnished” or “unfurnished” – it’s more a matter of which pieces of furniture and appliances are included.

    • well… furnished can be translated as “包家具” or “家具全包”。

  2. Interesting. Didn’t know that China apartments mainly furnished.
    How about:
    房屋情况 house situated (situation)
    房屋户型 house layout
    ??

  3. Reply 深圳代开发票 says: April 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Isn’t the OUYA going to come with a case?!


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