Continue to Seek for an Apartment

After I decided not to move to Pudong, I continued to seek for an apartment near the Hua Shan road. I cycled around the decent area of nice old houses today (taking annual leave). The more apartments I saw, the more hopeless I were. There is almost no chance for me to move into this dream area.

map-huashan-no.house.JPG

The area within the red line is among the best areas in the Xujianhui

There are many old houses (built in early 1900’s) alone the quiet roads. I have to say, the architecture of that times are wonderful. They have large gardens, nice design, and perfect decoration. Each house will have its own history back to the beginning of the last centaury. Their price is typically 20,000,000 RMB or higher. (Yes. I am not wrong with the zeros).

At the same time, there are some very badly designed, old, dirty, and crowded apartments among them. They are the legacy buildings of the 1970’s. Even these houses are more than 10,000 RMB per sq. meters. Although there is no doubt that their locations were perfect, I cannot be convinced to relate it to high quality life. The stairs have been full occupied by residents so one have to struggle to find his way to home. Not to mention to the typical bad habit of old Shanghai style (the major reason why Shanghainese has bad reputation in other places of China). For example, I found myself monitored by everyone in that area and some old ladies gathered and talked about my visit to an apartment. I only heard they mentioned that I was the forth person to see the apartment – if they want, they will know all the details of your life. :-(

Good luck for me. I still have a dream to enjoy the decent life Shanghai has to offer.

14 thoughts on “Continue to Seek for an Apartment

  1. claire

    really a too-expensive-to-be-true dream. It’s like trying to buy an apartment on Champs-Elysee at Paris.

    The district you circled really belongs to the highest class in Shanghai. It is what old shanghaineses used to call “Shang Zhi Jiao(up-corner)”, while north east district of Pu Xi was called “Xia Zhi Jiao(down-corner)”.

    I have several friends who live in this district. They are either “Gao Gan Zi Di(descendants of high-ranked cadres in chinese communist administration hierarchy)”, or artists, famous old people.

    Anyway, good luck! You have very good taste, go ahead!

  2. Paul Ayala

    Those old homes may look nice from the outside but from my experience even a 40 year old home needs maintenance. My wife and I just bought a place here in Garden Grove, California (distance wise think: Puxi). It is 40 years old and in pretty good shape, but it still needs new plumbing, and electrical. I would have preferred to buy a new place in San Jacinto, California (think: Hangzhou) like my sister did. 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms a very large house and yard, prewired for cable, internet and computer metwork in every room. The difference is the location, we moved to where our work is a very close commute for us, approx. 30 minute commute or 10 miles away one way. In San Jacinto the commute would be approx. 4 hours one way. Pudong was very appealing to me because it was new and relatively close to the center of Shanghai but then Americans do not mind the commute and quiet so much.

  3. ELLEN

    hehe, you might reconsider Pudong soon.

    Agree with Paul that old home needs maintenance. If you ever watch the movie “under the Tuscan sun”, you may have this picture.

    History means old. In Rome and Paris, the hostels were so old and so scaring in the night. I don’t mind to soak a few days in the old house.

    Indeed I like a decent, new house. Meanwhile I can go to visit the history once in a while.

  4. claire

    well IMHO, life style in Asia is quite different from that of the States. If you are a party young cool and love the nightlife, Pudong can really kill your mind. It’s different when the place you want to go is just about walk distance, or it takes you 45 minutes’ drivin’.

    All the same in Paris. Some will prefer living in the “banlieu” to have a bigger house, a easier-found parking place, etc. they will choose to drive to everywhere, even to bear the terrible traffic jam of downtown paris. While others may prefer a smaller old apt in downtown. Walk several minutes to the Metro and use the public transport to visit every wonderful museums in the weekends. When you invite a friend to dinner, it won’t take you so long to arrive on the “Latin District” near La Seine, and you just need to sit down and have a red wine in hand and enjoy the violin player standing nearby!

    it depends.

  5. JH

    You certainly have a good taste when it comes to residential locations in Shanghai. The place you picked is THE most expensive area there. It is off limits to ordinary Chinese people.

    One of things I don’t quite understand is that in China house owners actually don’t own the land. They have only the right of using the land for 70 years. It seems to me that the propery value will decrease dramatically when it approaches to the end of period.

  6. WilliamW

    JH raised an interesting issue about property ownership & valuation. A roughly comparable situation is Belgravia, which has the most expensive residential real estate in England. A large proportion of land in that area is owned by the Dule of Westminster estate, & people can only acquire leases of houses & apartments. These leases are usually quite short, sometimes less than 50 years. What happens in practice is that a premium will be negotiated well before a lease’s expiry to extend the “ownership” period.

    Given the nascent laws & regulations relating to property ownership in modern China, let’s hope a viable & reliable system evolves soon!

  7. Paul Ayala

    On not moving to Pudong: I would reconsider that option, Puxi will still be there along with all that it has to offer and it is only a taxi cab or bus (excellent public transportation system!) ride away. What you gain would be a new home or apartment within master planned community, new appliances and services, construction that is “hopefully” not suspect. A opportunity to own a car and have a place to park it. Some peace and quiet when you arrive home. The one thing I remember the most when I was staying near Tongji University was being woken up everyday by the sound of the car horns, it took me some time to get used to it, and I was staying in a place not very near the center of the city. Good luck!

  8. Li Jingyi

    Jianshuo selected one of the best areas in Shanghai. You may also consider Xinhua Rd/Fanyu Rd, Yongjia Rd/Fuxing Rd, or Shaoxing Rd/Gaolan Rd/Fuxing Rd. Having a *house* in those areas is really a dream. If you do, you will live like a king in Shanghai and in China.

  9. Li Jingyi

    I should add Gao’an Rd/Kangping Rd/Wuxing Rd, but it is more difficult because you need money and high political rank to be *qualified* to own a house there.

    I used to study in that area. Really miss the trees on Kangping Rd. :)

  10. Xu

    In this faster and faster moving society, compation and what you feel bad now curiosity about others are disappearing in the same speed, which is replaced by the terrible word appathy. If one day you really moved in those most sophisticated area, you would find such BAD habits are not so unacceptable, no any single stranger is out of monitor of eyes does means the most reliable safe, and moreover being curious about your life does absolutely mean the warmth of heart every one shows. I clearly remember in my childhood when I lived in such area, the whole building is just a big family, who is ill, who need help about anything, whose kids in co-worker parents home haven’t school lunch to take, all of them can take it for granted to go to neighbors for help and will be accepted warmly for all. That is definitely nice experience. Hope you be able to realize and enjoy it some day.

  11. S Shen

    Yes, I would have to say if you have the money to own an apartment/house in HuaShang Rd, etc. You should go for it. If you truly enjoy the history and the culture of the area. The renevation of the house would be a great experience for you. Just Image the detailed wood work, or the unique architecture style you would have. They are all one and only in Shanghai now days. I am not sure about the property right in Shanghai, but that’s something you can definitely pass down to generations.

    Just listen to your own heart!

  12. tony

    I am interested in this topic, how about the houst prices recently? Some said it started to decrease and some said it kept increasing?

  13. Arman

    apartment for sale in One Park Avenue

    located at Xin Zha Rd and Chang De Rd ,

    3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ,

    131Sqm,

    price is RMB2.7M

    new renovation,high floor with good view ,10 minutes to JingAn Temple Station,

    new clud Gym,and indoor Swimming pool.the rental is above USD1800

    the price is cheaper than any other

    pls contant quantangsky@yahoo.com.cn

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