Tag Archives: buying an apartment in China

New Apartment Part II

Remember when I wrote about the apartment my in-laws had in mind? Back then they were not 100% whether to buy it or not. They did not even know if they move into the apartment  or rent it out in case they buy it. Shortly after that blog post my in-laws decided to buy it and keep it for a few years before selling it for some profit. Everything seemed so fine back then as I was happy that they wouldn’t move out of their old apartment. Well my in-laws are apparently changing their minds very often. Because they could not decide on a certain move I did not give any further updates as I hoped, nay prayed that they would change their mind again.

As the situation is right now (actually ever since the beginning of December) is that they buy the new apartment and move in! This is like the worst case scenario, it just can’t get any worse than that. I have no clue at all how on earth they got the idea to actually move to the new apartment. Not only is it on a very bad floor (nearly the top thus the water pressure is miserable) and the location is terrible as well. You might think that the area will be developed soon as so much is being build there right now but you are wrong. Sure it used to be an industrial area for half century but the factory workers actually lived right there. It is full of old apartment blocks from the 1950s-60s and never any supermarket or similar has opened there. According to the city planning there is nothing at all in the books for the near future so my dear parents in-law will have to take the bus for every little thing they need.

He ain’t happy with his grandparents as well

The only good thing right now is that they have decided to move into the new apartment towards the end of the year. Thus our trip to China in April/ May is saved and we do not need any terrible bus rides just to buy some snacks. I do not kid you the busses (at least in Xi’an) are terrible. They are always stuck in traffic, they are filled to the brim with people, they would definitely not pass any safety inspections in Germany (for what could you possibly need breaks or or mirrors?) and they are like a bad-smelling sauna during summer time. Yes there are also busses with air-condition but they are very rare and I do not really like to wait half hour for a certain bus in the terrible heat when the other scary ones are stopping every 5 minutes.

I guess my in-laws expect from me and my dad such miracle work as in our apartment few years back

My dear parents in-law now want that we (my father and I) will go with them to check for the materials to use for the new apartment and make some basic plans. Sounds like tons of fun to do during your holidays. The best is that both MIL and FIL have completely different opinions and “taste” when it comes to refurbishing that place. While MIL has some crazy Italian materials and furniture all planned out good old FIL wants to keep everything more subtle with dark and light coloured contrasts (dark floor and cream coloured walls for example). I really do not know what I will do this holiday in China, enjoy my time there with great food or renovate an apartment I hate?

Do you know people who change their mind all the time?

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Plans for the new apartment

Following my last article about the new apartment I have some new developments to write about. First of all I am sorry that I didn’t manage to do so last weekend but some basic company related mess kept me away from writing anything. For everyone who doesn’t know about this apartment and does not want to read through the whole blog post from two weeks ago called “This and that” I will give you a quick summary.

My parents in-law are about to buy a new apartment in Xi’an. This apartment is roughly 25% cheaper for them through some reason I still don’t really understand, it involves somehow them being former workers at that factory which used to be on the grounds of that new apartment block. Two weeks ago I wrote that I am not too happy about them buying that apartment as it is first of all far away from the city center and second of all it would also mess up their daily lives as they need to commute everywhere by bus and thus making everything harder and more expensive.

Those lovely buildings in the background is where my in-laws are living right now

For the past twenty’ish years they have been living right in the city center of Xi’an within the old city walls. Sure the area is not the prettiest around as the buildings haven’t been taken care of at all ever since their existence but it had some certain feeling to it as most neighbours know  each other, on the streets in front of the buildings you can have all kind of delicious food, all kind of stores are all around there and it feels just real. In short it is for me the real Chinese city life, not those fancy malls or new skyscraper apartment blocks. My parents joked when they first saw the area that it looks like Germany after WWII (which my father even witnessed so there must be some truth to it). My in-laws apartment is in stark contrast to the outside of the building as everything was nicely renovated six years ago and everything inside is more “western” orientated with the basic Chinese kitsch to top it off.

Yeah this is me with long hairs eating an apple in my in-laws old apartment

The new apartment they want is in another area of the city which used to be an old industrial site. Apparently both of my in-laws used to work there (also the entire rest of the family as far as I know) and now they all got some nice discount on buying apartments there. My in-laws are planning to buy a 98m² (1055f²) apartment which would be about 1/3 bigger than their old one. Of course in China those 98m² are not actually the entire living space you buy as some of those m² are counted into the stairway and what not all so I believe the new apartment will be 85m² at most. Next to the new apartment buildings are the old buildings of the factory workers which are also in a terrible condition. There crazy granny still lives with crazy Uncle and his family (they already purchased the biggest available apartment in the new building). All around there is actually not much to do. There are not even many street kitchens, during daytime you can by only some watermelons from one vendor and there are some car repair place, nothing more. The nearest supermarket is 20 minutes away by walking so all in all it is not really a dream location.

Now to the apartment itself. The apartment is right now pretty much bare brickwork (okay it is concrete) without anything but some windows and the piping done. This means after you purchase such apartment you still have to invest tons of money. What else is not that great is the layout of the apartment which is in my opinion (everyone we asked) really bad, especially the kitchen is the size of a small storage room and I do not know how they will fit anything inside there. As they have installed already windows you can’t purchase yourself proper windows. In China the basic windows you get are some kind of “sliding” windows and they have as much insulation as a sheet of paper. All in all it is a real mess.

What is the new development when it comes to the apartment? You see my wife and I already convinced them to keep the old apartment as its value will increase a lot once plans are made for tearing it down and building a new apartment block there (not one of those ugly skyscrapers but something more traditional looking and not that high as it is within the city walls). After we brought our concerns forward regarding how hard life would be for them when living there they started to think about it themselves. MIL quickly realized that there would be no shopping for her any longer and that she would have to travel for over half hour to her dancing lessons and classes (half hour in case there is no traffic so it is more like one hour for a normal day). Also FIL would not be able to go to his table tennis sessions everyday as it would be the same as with his wife too: much traveling.

This is just 10 minutes away from the old apartment…

Right now they still want to buy that apartment but no longer want to live in it. They also do not plan on renting it out at all! They just want to buy it and leave it in its current condition. As they can get the apartment 25% cheaper they want to wait for a few years and then sell it with a nice profit. I must admit that I kind of like the idea especially as 300k RMB (~45k$) are not from their own pocket but from another source located in another country…

Would you move to such new location? What do you think about my in-laws new plan?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily