Discussion » Beijing Life » Seeking 2br Apartment - No Agents

  • Father Of Boring
    Father Of Boring wrote:
    <p>Here's my deal: I'm looking for a 2br apartment anywhere inside the third ring road east of Gulou. I'd go as far north as Hepingli and as far south as Shuangjing. I do not want to deal with an agent. Ideally 3.5k a month, but I would go as high as five for the right apartment, and I can pay a minor finder's fee if you can refer me to a good landlord. With agents, the thing is, no matter how clearly you articulate your demands, they still waste your time and show you apartments you don't want, and they know nothing about the actual landlord or what it's like to live there. </p> <p>Requirements: This landlord doesn't mind if I move some of the furniture around, throw some out, etc. I despise old TV's, old mattresses, random crap on the porch, etc. I will also be more than happy to sign a 2+ year contract for the apartment. I prefer older buildings/apartments, and don't terribly mind if it's dirty-ish, but functional plumbing and air conditioners/heaters in bedrooms &amp; living room (if there is one) and a not-tiny bullshit washing machine and no broken windows are musts. Furniture, no hardwood couches. </p> <p>I move at the end of May. I'm also open to sharing an apartment for a month or two or three with you if your other room is empty and you're looking for someone to split the rent with you before you move out. I will have Stuff, but you're moving out and you probably can't find a roommate for a month/two/three, so we'll compromise. :) </p> <p>I'm clean, quiet, and won't smoke in the house if you/your landlord don't want me to. I also don't mind you or whatever proclivities you may have. I can fix stuff and won't bother your landlord with stupid problems. I speak Chinese and rarely if ever have friends over. </p> <p>Message me here if you've got some leads.</p>
  • Father Of Boring

    Moonriver, you say that like I'm not doing that already!

    Boring or no, one of the few legitimate uses of this forum is finding connections like this, right? It kind of obviates the point of my presence on this website if I don't glean a few useful connections from it. And boring or no, I'm plastering every social media at my disposal with this message.

    One resource I've found that seems to be rigorously policed for agents is the douban housing rental group: http://www.douban.com/group/26926/ If you feel like kicking ass and doing your house search yourself, you might find this useful.

    Speaking of which, O Website Lords, why don't we have a rental forum? We all know what the agent posts look like. If you need a mod, I'm sure some people, including me, would be happy to delete the crap out of any agents who show up there.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    alt text

    I found my first apartment in Beijing--a steal of a room at 1400/mo. near Dongsishitiao, no agent, no fees--by trolling thebeijinger.com's forums asking about what the Chinese equivalent of "420 friendly" might be.

    And that was how I learned the Chinese significance of the number 250.

  • Father Of Boring

    Here, I'm counting on people who are moving away and want to pass on their place.

  • Silje Linnerud

    I'd really like to help, but currently I just have no resource for that. Sorry, FOB. Mark me as irrelevant if you like.

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Go on FOB, mark her as irrelevant. Do it!

    I think what you're doing here is pretty fair play:

    I have tapped up these forums for all sorts of things, Teachers, room mates, questions, fact finding, recommendations for places eat, travel and go fishing, visa things, a bit of the old in and the out, friends, and have, in the main, found it very useful indeed.

  • Father Of Boring

    Just bumping this up.

    In case anywhere here isn't aware (who knows how many Beijing n00bs are browsing this?), some Chinese-language resources to help you get an idea of what's out there are:




    Obviously they're full of agents, and more often than not they're full of fake ads, but it's a good tool to price-check an area. VERY OFTEN when you walk into an agent's office and ask about things in that price range, they'll say, "Uhh...we don't have any that cheap." Hell no. Whip out your smartphone and do a search right there and show them. They will suddenly have some available, especially with the largest agencies, who put their brands in their posts (链家,我爱我家, etc.). That's how I got myself a 2br with big living room for 3500/month inside the 3rd ring in Xibahe last year. It's old, but cozy. In my case...just a little TOO old, and the agent hasn't been too proactive about fixing things, and won't let me be in touch with the landlord, which is why I'm looking.

    There are some more, but I'll save them for later bumps, unless anyone feels like adding them. In the meantime, the request in the original post still stands.

    Also, if you plan on using an agent, here are some things to ask for that you might not think of (these are mostly applicable to older apartments):

    • 24-hour elevator (if not in a walkup)
    • the right to throw things away (if you plan on buying your own furniture)
    • cleaning service before you move in AND after you move out, make sure they don't knock your deposit for this
    • whether any broken windows/lights/toilets/pipes/showers can be replaced before you move in
    • how fast the internet in the community is (some communities, like 力鸿花园 near here, only have 2MB ADSL, vs. 8MB that's available in some Dongzhimen communities; this is because ADSL requires a "booster station" within a certain distance of the main line, and those booster stations are installed at the discretion of each community's management, and some, like the 力鸿花园 folks, think it's too expensive)
    • whether you're allowed to drill holes in things (don't get your deposit knocked for putting up coathooks!)
    • the right to throw away old furniture if you want to buy your own (I think I've commented here that 2nd-hand furniture markets sell things for very, very cheap - it's possible to furnish an apartment for under 2000 RMB, and most agents & landlords managing older apartments do exactly this, they buy the cheapest junk on sale there and call the apartment furnished; you can find much better junk, I'm sure, and letting them buy it would result in more of the same)
    • no broken/drafty windows! A lot of older apartments have some of the exterior windows missing, don't have screens, etc. Check for that, and ask if you can have those replaced. This is a big one, because this city gets cold in the winter! This is another reason I'm moving - the light fixtures, I can fix, the windows? They'd just tape it!
    • mailbox key! I didn't get mine and had to cut off the padlock.

    Hopefully that justifies the bump. I'll try to keep them valuable for everyone else who's househunting.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    Here, I'm counting on people who are moving away and want to pass on their place.


    In four years of living here and not speaking the language, I have paid an agency fee for a rental property only once. And even then, we probably could have gotten away with cutting out the middle man had he not been such a helpful guy, as my Chinese-speaking roommates deal with our landlord directly.

    This thread should prove to be an invaluable resource, especially to sleazy bohemian expats like yours truly. It should be stapled to the top of thebeijnger.com's classified ad section.

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