Finding Somewhere to Live

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Finding Somewhere to Live

Postby Visitor » 10 May 2001, 03:14

Hey, I've got some advice:
No matter how good your Chinese is:
DON'T HUNT FOR AN APARTMENT BY YOURSELF, BRING A VERY SAVVY CHINESE FRIEND.

I'm currently looking for an apartment in Taipei, and thought that since I can speak Chinese, and one of my Taiwanese friends gave me some advice on not being ripped off, that I was ready. I wasn't ready.

I went to this aparment building which has a lot of empty apartments, and asked to see a few. After seeing one I liked, I decided to use my friend's advice and bargain on the rent price...well, before I could even start, the guard who showed me the apartment said, "before I call the landlord for you, you need to know that you have to give me $3000nt for showing you the apartment, and you can't bargain" What???!!! I said, uh, isn't this your job? He said, no, this was something else...then, I basically said no way. He called the landlord, and because he was hovering over me, I felt a little intimidated...I wasn't ready to discuss a lower rent with her, but I did get her down to 1 month deposit. Then, he took back the phone and of course went on in Taiwanese about something...

Anyway, I used my Taiwanese friend's tactic of saying mabye and coming back the next day...but the doorman wouldn't call her for me saying it was "Sunday" and she wouldn't want to be disturbed...he also wouldn't give me her phone number! Well, I think you can figure out why...

So, anyway, I'm giving up and taking my most shrewd bargaining Taiwanese friend with me...I just can't believe even after you can speak Chinese, they still think they can pull the wool over your eyes.

(but I'm sure there are also some very fair landlords and doormen, too)
Visitor
 
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Non-Chinese: DO NOT APARTMENT SEARCH BY YOURSELF

Postby Visitor » 10 May 2001, 11:29

Good idea !!!
..take some Chinese friend who is really shrewd and pushy.. in business Chinese seem to repsect this above all else...and make sure you be pushy over even the smallest details
Visitor
 
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Non-Chinese: DO NOT APARTMENT SEARCH BY YOURSELF

Postby Visitor » 15 May 2001, 12:30

Hey,
Just wanted everyone to know that it works...I went with a Chinese friend and suddenly...everything was cheaper! 1 month's deposit, rent includes guard fee, and no "extras" for the doorman...yep, don't do it alone.
Visitor
 
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Non-Chinese: DO NOT APARTMENT SEARCH BY YOURSELF

Postby Visitor » 15 May 2001, 14:04

You can alsodo this with motorcycles, computers at some shops and most large purchases in Taiwan, not just apartments.

Bargaining is a way of life on Taiwan and at some point, you should try to do it on your own. It'll sharpen your negotiating skills and you'll get a better understanding of business on the island. Although, there's nothing wrong with calling in Chinese support too. Its works even better when you 2v1 somebody.

Last apartment I had I saved NT$3000 on the monthly rent and took the deposit down to one month. My motorcycle went that way too.

Of course, each person on Taiwan is different, so there will be different levels of acceptance when it comes to bargaining. But, I think if you don't do it, then they'll think you're another ben ben de wai gwo ren.

Salary also can easily go up, when you negotiate as well.

The most basic strategy is pointing out the deficiencies of something you want to purchase to get that price down, and pointing out the positives when you want to start out with a bigger salary. Try to be willing to lose what you're buying (you can always go to the next place) and don't promise too much when you're selling (otherwise you get your self in hot water when they find you can't deliver). By doing this, you'll be able to see your income go up 10 to 20% and your expenses go down another 10 to 20%.

If you feel uncomfortable in bargaining, just call in a Chinese friend, and then you can also listen him/her to know how to do it the next time.

Image
Visitor
 
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Non-Chinese: DO NOT APARTMENT SEARCH BY YOURSELF

Postby Visitor » 15 May 2001, 23:13

Hey,
I have to say, I've bargained for stuff before, but I don't think for a foreigner to do it themselves every time works. In the case of my apartment, I'm living in an area where there are not many new apartments (Ximending), so I really didn't want to lose it, because it was cheaper than a lot of others, and really good. (and, despite what a lot of people say, there aren't really that many good, affordable apartments in Central Taipei with good landlords.)

Also, just when something happens like the security guard starts B.S'ing me about some special fees etc, I can't help it, I get nervous and feel like I need a Chinese friend's help...it's not a bad idea, actually, in America my Asian friends often asked me to do this kind of thing with them because they were afraid that they would be ripped off...

Yeah, it's just like this, it's just better to save money, and I'm not gonna be proud about it, if I have a chance to save money, I really don't care if I do the bargaining or my Taiwanese friend does it...but yeah, by the way, for smaller stuff I always do it myself...I just felt a little stuck about the apartment because I don't know Taipei that well, etc.
Visitor
 
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renting for 3 months in Taipei

Postby taiwantaiwan » 27 Apr 2004, 06:36

Can you guys please tell me how difficult it is to rent an appartment in Taipei for 3 months (mid Jun - mid Sept), under NT10,000/month? Thanks a lot.
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Postby ironlady » 27 Apr 2004, 07:58

First, for less than NT$10,000 per month, you're renting a room, not an apartment.

Second, people don't usually like to rent short-term. You might have to lie and say you're staying a year, then have a "sudden emergency". You'll likely give up a month's rent for the privilege of moving out early (that is if you're on a lease).

Renting a room from someone who has himself rented the apartment from the landlord might be easier. depends on what you can work out.
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Postby Illah » 27 Apr 2004, 09:18

i heard there is some decently clean hostels for between 6-8000 a month
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estate agents? What estate agents?

Postby mrwill » 27 Jul 2004, 01:39

Is it just me or is it hard to find an apartment here? Am i missing something that everyone else knows about? (For the record we want a one bed place with kitchen, near an MRT somewhere!)
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Postby Nunfay » 27 Jul 2004, 21:56

My ex roomie (she went home 3 weeks ago) and I got our place through an estate agent after being screwed by foreigners in the place we got through Tealit. We were left with 9 days notice to find a new place! Not a cool or fun time.
If you want the number of the estate agent who sorted us out, pm me.
The big draw back though would be their fees, the equivelant of a month's rental. On the plus side though, everything has been above board.
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