Finding a new home

After making the decision to moving to China I spend a week in Beijing to find a new home, see the most important places and facilities as well as to confirm my decision.


My employer hired a company that helped me to find a suitable new place to live. Up front I had to fill in a questionnaire to give them some information about myself: Do I go on my own or is somebody joining me? Do I bring pets with me? Where do I want to live? Near the city centre or on the suburbs? Whether I prefer an apartment or a house? …

A few days later they send me a proposal with several apartments that might suit my desires. Basically there are two types of housing for expats: serviced and  non-serviced apartments. First ones include house keeping, change of linens and towels and a 24/7 front desk service. All of the apartments are fully equipped meaning you just have to bring your luggage and buy some food. The other ones are mostly unfurnished and without house keeping. However, you get much more space when you decide to take a non-serviced one. I was shown one of them and felt like in a big warehouse. The apartment had 200 square meters!

After weighing the pros and cons I decided to take a service apartment. The relocator told me that most single persons take such a kind of apartment because it’s the easiest way of living. You just have to do the washing and cooking, nothing else.

The first three days of the week in Beijing we checked fourteen apartments in total. After making a preselection five were left. The last two days we checked them once again but this time in more detail. Additionally I was shown the area around these possible new homes to get an impression what kind of people live in that place and whether shops or supermarkets can be reached by foot or not.

In the end I chose an apartment in CBD area. Here, lots of foreign companies are located and it is populated by locals as well as foreigners from all over the world. Moreover, shops and supermarkets are pretty close and Beijing’s most famous gym is just across the street. My bedroom has a nice view on the headquarter of CCTV, China’s main television program. If my coffee machine should be out of order one day, I can go to Starbucks in a nearby mall. You see, nothing can go wrong.

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