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Will

Apartments and Houses

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Will

Hello folks. This is my first post. I've been giving a little bit of thought to moving to China but I don't know where to begin. I'm an American. I'm 28.

How feasible is owning a vehicle as a foreigner?

What kind of living arrangements can I make? Will there be central air if I live in a newly constructed house or apartment in a major city?

What about toilets? What about carpet, tile or linoleum? What do most new houses and apartments have?

What are showers/bathrooms like?

How bad is the crime in the big cities? Are foreigners viewed with suspicion?

I have a ton more questions, but I'll leave it at these for now. Thanks!

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roddy

Give us an idea of what you'd be doing, how much you'd be earning, what city (or even what size city) you'll be living in and we can come up with some useful information . . .

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HedgePig

Some quick answers which may help a bit. I'm in Shanghai and this influences my answers.

1. I don't think I've ever seen a carpeted apartment. Tile/wooden floors/fake wooden floors, yes, but carpeting, no.

2. Construction quality is generally not very good.

3. I would expect Western style toilets in most major cities. (I can't remember seeing a aquat toilet in Shanghai)

4. If you plan to drive a car, you need to get a Chinese license. I believe requirements vary from city to city but if you have a foreign license, I think you'll just need to take a written test.

Not sure that you actually want or need to own a car though.

5. Serious crime is not a major issue. It happens of course but I think China is safer than the US, especially for a foreigner.

6. Bathrooms/showers are recognisable! (i.e. pretty much what you'd expect)

[Posted in a hurry:edit later for corrections and a few more bits of info]

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abcdefg
What kind of living arrangements can I make? Will there be central air if I live in a newly constructed house or apartment in a major city?

You need to do a whole lot more background reading. You probably already knew that, so I don't mean to sound harsh or critical.

But, as to living quarters, you are unlikely to find a "house" in any city in China if by that you mean a free-standing single family dwelling like you might find in suburban USA unless you are very rich. Housing is generally an apartment or a flat in a building with other occupants.

As to air conditioning, it depends on the part of China you live in; and if it is furnished, it's quite likely that it will be a room-by-room affair instead of a central unit. A newly build luxury high rise could be the exception.

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jbradfor

Define "very rich".

There are most definitely US-style planed suburbs in/near major Chinese cities. 龙湾别墅 is one, for example, near Beijing. It's of course a bit outside the main city, this one for example is outside the 5th ring, near the airport. I was trying to find the cost; if I did the math right it's about USD 1.2 million for a 3000 square foot house. That may seem like a lot, but it's certainly not out of line with major US cities, especially in California.

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abcdefg
Define "very rich".

very rich = someone who has a lot more money than me. (I admit that's real subjective.)

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jbradfor

Similar to "promiscuous -- someone who gets it more than I do."?

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