One 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:
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
所在区域： 通州 – 果园 – 翠屏里
租 金：43000元/月 (押一付三)
配置： 电话，热水器，空调，冰箱，洗衣机，床，家具， 微波炉，厨具
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
所在区域： 西城 – 什刹海 – 前海四合院