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Moving to Kunming (finding an apartment)


pineapplelimeexp

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pineapplelimeexp

Hi all,

 

Over the past year or so I have been doing some serious consideration and have got my heart set on moving to Kunming to study Chinese in September 2019. I would like to study the Chinese language program at Yunnan University which (as far as I can tell) is held of campus at the College of International Students, 14 Qingyun road (north-east of green lake).

 

Now I have travelled to China before on a tourist visa so have a general idea of what I'm getting into with the student visa process. What I'm unsure on is accommodation. I would like a private bedroom and bathroom so living on campus doesn't appear to be an option. In terms of finding an apartment I have 2 questions for Kunming experts :)

 

1. Would my best bet be to book a few nights in a hotel when I arrive, walk around the desired area and find a few real estate agents to show me some places? How practical would this be considering I know only very basic survival Chinese? Other forum posts suggest this is the way to go but I don't know any locals who could help me out.

 

2. What price range would I be looking at to rent a basic furnished studio apartment w/ western toilet within 20min walk from the school? I known Wenlin street is popular (and expensive) with foreign students. I'm assuming the area immediately east of green lake would be at least somewhat cheaper than Wenlin whilst still being close to my school. What is the name of this area, and what would be a rough estimate on current rent as per 2018/19?

 

Thanks,

Ryan

 

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abcdefg
On 12/16/2018 at 6:55 AM, pineapplelimeexp said:

Would my best bet be to book a few nights in a hotel when I arrive, walk around the desired area and find a few real estate agents to show me some places? How practical would this be considering I know only very basic survival Chinese? Other forum posts suggest this is the way to go but I don't know any locals who could help me out.

 

Yes, this is still the best method. Listings on the internet are not reliable, though they might give you a rough idea of the price range.

 

Allow a week to find a place; might not need it all. See if someone from your school (Yunnan University) can help you. You will need to pay six months rent up front plus an agent's fee and a deposit. (Total approximately 8 month's rent.) So budget for that and have cash in hand when you start your quest. 

 

Once you find a desirable place, you need to move fast and seal the deal. Good housing doesn't stay vacant long. 

 

There used to be a local chap (bilingual Chinese) who would do this for a straight per diem fee or a percentage of your first month's rent. He advertised on GoKunming. You might check there and if you don't find his classified ad any more, post one of your own asking for such a paid service. Sept, 2019 is a long time away, however. Lots of thing can change between then and now. 

 

If there is some way for you to arrive early and beat the September "student rush," that would put you ahead of the pack.  

 

Here's the GoKunming website: https://www.gokunming.com/en/ 

 

I know very little about the University area and cannot help with your second question. 

 

------------------ 

Edited to add: Pretty sure there is a good thread somewhere on the forum about looking for housing in Beijing. Lots of those tips and techniques are applicable even though you won't be living there. Suggest doing a search if you haven't already. Use the box in the top right corner of the page.

------------------ 

Welcome to the forum!

 

 

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mungouk
11 hours ago, abcdefg said:

You will need to pay six months rent up front plus an agent's fee and a deposit.

 

Is this standard across all Chinese cities, or does it vary depending on where you are?

 

(When I lived in Bangalore they all expected TEN months rent as deposit!  Had to get a loan from my employer.  But then Delhi was only 2 months. Huh.)

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abcdefg
2 hours ago, mungouk said:

Is this standard across all Chinese cities, or does it vary depending on where you are?

 

I'm not sure, though I've encountered it in several cities, from the south (Zhuhai) to the north (Beijing.) As always in China, terms are negotiable. 

 

In my personal experience, the initially-quoted agent's fee is one month's rent and the deposit is also one month's rent. I've heard of landlords asking for more.

 

 

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For me in Chengdu the contract is one year and the rent is every three months but in the North it was every six months. One important thing to note though is that it's pro landlord in China so if anything breaks, even if it's just wear and tear (which is bound to happen since it's China) then you have to pay for repairs. Unless you have some kind of deal with the estate agents or something. If something doesn't work when you move in then it should be their responsibility to remedy it free of charge but that's not guaranteed.

 

I would definitely get someone Chinese to help you and to find apartments or otherwise you could well end up paying an arm and a leg for the same place since you don't really know Chinese. Staying in a hotel is what you'll need to do while you find a place, but you'll have to pay extra for that since they don't let foreigners stay in the more reasonably priced hotels. The bonus is the ground floor is more attractive though.

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