The main purpose of viewings is so that if you picture yourself at the place you are viewing you can instantly, pay for it and have it removed from listings. Have a plan and ensure that your funds are available, and you are ready and able to bind yourself to the contract. I cannot stress how important this is. EF offers 12000 RMB cash advance to new arrivals as assistance with the rent and deposit, but keep in mind that 1200 RMB will be deducted from your salary for 10 months, it may not seem like much but that’s money that can be used to go on adventures on your days off.
Additionally, the advance is not given to you as soon as you land, just like everything else, processes need to be adhered to before that money makes an appearance in your bank account. For instance, you may see the perfect place but if you’re relying on the advance from EF you may lose it to someone more prepared than you. Therefore, please be proactive, ensure that you have enough funds to cover your first-month rent, Deposit, Bed linen (incl pillows and an iron etc), Kitchen utensils (cups, plates, pots, pans, spoons, and sometimes a Kettle) I digress. This probably sounds like a lot, welcome to adulthood. You want to be as comfortable as possible, make sure you have enough funds to turn your new place into a home away from home. How much should you save up, as much as you can.
EF has language centres all over Beijing. The district or centre you’ll be assigned to, will be confirmed after you arrive. Consequently, depending on where you are appointed, presumably you will prefer to live fairly close to your centre. Although, you and your new mates may decide to live at a midpoint from everyone’s centres. Try to think about what’s best for you, because that morning commute over the weekend is not going to be fun, as that’s rush hour and I’m sure you’re more than aware of the population in China. If not, go ahead and google the Beijing population.
You will have the option to pay rent either monthly or quarterly. Monthly is self-explanatory, quarterly is too, however, the following is worth mentioning; If you choose to go for this payment method you have to have decent self-control when it comes to money management. We all love shopping, eating out and partying and China has a plethora of activities for expatriates and we’re all keen to participate. Thus, if you trust yourself with money this will be a suitable option for you, as it provides a sense of calmness knowing your rent has been paid, for three months at a time. The first hurdle is, ensuring that you have the deposit to match your ambitions, the ongoing challenge is making absolutely certain that you have the amount required to cover your rent when the time comes. It is imperative to make the calculations beforehand if you don’t want to have difficulties with your landlord. This leads into a separate but relevant matter of deciding whether to live alone or with others.
There are three different types of accommodation available, I currently live in a one-bedroom apartment which is located 10 mins from the subway station and 7 minutes from my centre (by subway). Yes, the commute is most certainly majestic. This can be attributed to a bit of luck, proactivity and having a standard. Admittedly, pricewise a decent 1-bedroom apartment is generally on the pricier end of the scale, but I think they are not expensive, one just needs to earn more. Additionally, this is relative to the person and what they value as one-bedroom apartments, afford a little bit of privacy that may not be enjoyed in a shared apartment. Studio apartments are just a level below, however, they also afford personal space; you get your own kitchen, bathroom and living space. Shared apartments are the cheapest of the lot. These can be shared with either friends or strangers. You will have a room, but you will be sharing the bathroom and kitchen with your other housemates. The upside to these is that you get to meet people from all works of life! Notice how I did not include any figures regarding the prices of accommodation, the reason is that, they are relative to the individual and how much they’re willing to spend on the roof over their head.
Regardless of where in the world you are, physically going to the property, standing in the room to absorb the atmosphere, opening drawers and doors, flicking switches, looking out the window, opening the window to do a noise test and sitting on the sofas and the bed, these are integral parts of apartment hunting. Therefore, choose the times wisely, if you can help it go during the day so you can not only see how much sunlight comes into the room but also the surrounding area. If your viewing is late in the day this is also fine, you will get to experience just how busy the area gets during peak times. Whenever you do your viewing just make sure you have the finances to make it work for you.