Looking for our new home!
We have looked at so many potential new homes, from high rise apartments in the down town area to spacious American style houses in the suburbs. Having lived in the American suburbs for 15 years, and because the kids school is in the suburbs, this is where we find ourselves drawn. It will mean a longer commute to work for me, but everywhere is a drive away in Shanghai.
The compounds (gated communities) are very secure and all have clubhouses with pools, play areas for the kids, little cafes, little shop and gym. Most have a lot of planned activities for the family too.
It is absolutely impossible to find a house yourself if you do not speak the language. English is not commonly spoken here so you need a local expert who can liaise with all the property agents, security people and can drive you around. Luckily we have such an expert! Queenie is our lovely co-ordinator for all things Chinese. She took time to listen to our requirements and then offered a good selection of houses for us to view. We found a great place and we move from temporary accommodation this weekend. Queenie has negotiated the lease (which includes all sorts of things we would never think to ask for) and she has summarized all the major points for us in English. Luckily, again, I also have my company’s legal department review it, otherwise we would have no idea what we are signing!
Things to get included: garden maintenance, whole house water filter replacement, international satellite service (connecting to the Philippines is supposed to be the best service, BUT it is illegal so would never be included in a formal document – all done off the record), management fee, clubhouse membership, wireless router, internet connection, appliances, and any furniture you need.
Our furniture is on its way but the ship does not arrive until end of May. Who knows how long it will take to clear customs! (I expect that will depend on how large the bribe is from the shipping company!!!!!) So, we will have a house full of rented furniture until then.
Best of all for Tetley – a garden! Poor thing has had to get used to riding the elevator/lift for every outing.