a new house!!

So here’s the story on my new apartment!

Bec went to The Seasons on Friday afternoon to see an apartment. It turned out to be in the same building and same room number as the place we already saw – which meant almost certainly the same floor plan. Anyway, they knocked on the door for ages but no one answered. The real estate agent called the landlord who said sorry, he’d had to go out, and they couldn’t see the place. (They had spoken to the landlord not 15 mins earlier!)

After leaving Bec was wandering past a line of real estate offices, and came across one called “Rebecca International” – which caught her eye since that’s her name! When she stopped, one of the staff asked what she was looking for. She explained what we wanted but in a halfhearted way – she wasn’t expecting anything. The lady told her that there were some good apartments nearby (not in Seasons itself) that were cheaper. She said she was showing a 4 bedroom place for only 7,500 a month (most 4 beds in the area are more like 10,000 a month or even more). Since she was already there, Bec decided to go take a look. It was so interesting that she called me from the place and told me about it, and we arranged for me to come see it as soon as I got off work.

We liked it a lot, but knew we’d need a third flatmate to afford it. We didn’t have long to decide, however, because some other people were interested and, more importantly, it was not finished and there isn’t much time left between now and when we need to move. We took the night to think about it and decided we really wanted it – felt *right*. The landlord asked for a one month deposit on the place (a guarantee we would rent it, so he would feel confident spending the money on getting it ready for us), then a second month’s rent to make a 2 month bond, plus the first two months’ rent when we sign the contract. That is set for June 25th; the apartment should be ready around the 20th. Along with some other “hidden” fees that makes it a big financial investment for the two of us when we aren’t exactly rolling in dough to begin with. We’re still confident, however, and are looking for our third flatmate now.

So! About the place itself!

It’s in a small complex about 300m south of The Seasons, at the end of a small side road. That makes it 300m from the new subway (which will open at the end of the year and go north to Riviera and the new exhibition centre) and 600m from the line 13 station. It’s quieter than Seasons because it’s smaller and away from the main road. The apartment is on the 10th floor and goes the whole width of the building – we have north and south facing windows in the living space.

The flat is 200m2, with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a huge living space, smallish open kitchen and another random little room. The living space is probably bigger than in my Langfang house, and that’s saying something! The far side of the apartment has three bedrooms: master bedroom is on the south side and has an en suite, the second has an east-facing window, and the third is north-facing. There’s also another decent sized bathroom by the third bedroom. The fourth bedroom is also north-facing, but on the other side of the living space. This will be my studio (for teaching, recording, painting, and a spare room for visitors). There is a small bathroom next to it. Also there is the random room – there was no door on it, and it has no windows, but we think it will be really handy to have a communal space that’s not public – for drying laundry, or for the cat’s stuff, or for storage… who knows!

It isn’t finished yet – the central air ducts are still exposed, there are no floors, the kitchen is just a shell, there is no furniture, the bathrooms only have toilets and sinks. The best part of this is that it means we get a “new” place and some say in what furniture goes in it. It won’t be much, but it will be a start. Sounds like we’re getting wood-finish floors which is nice! I prefer even fake wood to tile, I think. It will be my first place in China that isn’t tile floored.

The landlord seems pretty easy going, and sounds like it’s fine to have a cat, which was a detail that we were a little concerned about. The main concern now is getting all the money together. Definitely worth it, and not a big deal long term, but personally I’m pretty strapped right now as all my cash is going into the album and I also need money for my overseas travel. It will work out one way or another, though.

Alright, I think that’s the whole story!

Love to you all,

Tanya

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