tick. tock. tick. tock.

Why we thought it was a good idea to break our lease, find a new apartment and move in less than a 3 week period is beyond me. It feels like the right decision though despite the chaos with the time crunch. After landing back in the PRC from our vacation, I’ve spared no time and have hit the ground running for the new apartment search. Inside of a day and a half, I’ve seen 18 places and have more on the list for today. I was petrified to break the news to our property management company earlier this week but thankfully, all went well. As long as guards are not posted outside our door on moving day preventing me from taking our stuff, it’s all good. That is not a statement I made up to sound clever. That really does happen here…hence my being petrified. We are fortunate to walk away with a loss of our deposit and having to reimburse for the gym membership they provided us. Being landlords ourselves, I think it was a fair trade for breaking a 2 year lease 6 months in.

One of the things I’ve noticed after living here is that more money doesn’t necessarily equate to better quality. Apartments can be really nice or really gross, dirty and have terrible quality in the expensive price ranges. We have come to realize China is not exactly cheap. The cost of living is higher than we anticipated so we decided it would be in our best interest to look for a more favorably priced apartment located closer to the action of Shanghai since we don’t have children yet. Our complex is beautiful and very well run which makes me somewhat sad to go but I don’t have an ounce of regret with our decision. Since I’m nosy and love looking at other people’s places, I thought I would share some of the apartments I’ve seen during the search this week.

This is a renovated apartment in the French Concession area of Shanghai. Hubs thinks I will kill myself on the stairs leading to the second floor so nixed this choice. We’ll see. It’s really cute & quite unique.

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The nice thing about real estate here (sort of) is that you are not locked in to one agent. You can call 55 agents to take you to see places. Granted, you could do this at home but most people don’t for simplicity. Since I’m in foreign lands I figured I would go out with a few agents and see who wasn’t money hungry and could legitimately speak English. I saw this place with the first agent…a “two” bedroom was really just a one bedroom with a funky extension to it. No go girlfriend. I ended up opting for the second agent (for several reasons). 

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It’s typical for agents to tell you to make sure you have a second and third choice picked out in case your first falls through. While turnaround at home is done by the day, it’s done by the hour here. At home, secretaries work until 5pm getting all the new listings on the internet for the day. After 5pm, that’s it until the next day. Here, listings are added every hour of every day. Apartments fly off the market within hours of even being available. This is my second choice. It has an odd room right off the living and dining area which was kind of a turn off for hubs. No oven which is a turn off for me. 

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This is the love of my life in apartment form. Owned and renovated by an expat (Yay for English speaking landlords!), it is BY FAR the best quality apartment I’ve seen in Shanghai. Hubs was kind enough to see how excited I was about this place and so we made a verbal offer….2 other offers sit on the table and while we requested to have it furnished, it seems the other offers are not asking for furniture. I’m now on pins and needles trying to negotiate a win-win solution. My agent told me not to look too excited in front of the landlord. Let me be frank. I’m desperate to have this apartment and I will seriously sleep on an air mattress and take it unfurnished. The landlord was super chatty with us. I really felt he liked us and would have been thrilled to have us take it. I can only assume this is because we are expats and he knows we will take care of it. Stay tuned! Fingers crossed for good news soon!

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3 thoughts on “tick. tock. tick. tock.

  1. Wow, that’s awesome about your lease! We broke our lease in the states to move here with only 4 months left and they want the remainder which is about $4,000! I really like that first apartment, but I’m sure I’d kill myself on the stairs too. 🙂 Love that you posted pictures…I love looking at real estate.

    • Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I always like looking at real estate too. Being in a new country adds a whole new level too 🙂

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