Finding Somewhere to Live

If you are willing to pay someone who speaks Chinese to help you - why don’t you just go through an agent? I mean that is basically what agents do right!

I think that you are probably wasting more time and losing more money looking for a place yourself than you would if you just went through an agent. Why not just save yourself a lot of time and trouble, bite the bullet, and go to an agent?

Try these (from the Taipei Times)

Master Realty :
New Asia Realty :

But there would be an agents fee.

I agree with the other posts, its can be a lot less stressful in the long run just to cough up the fee. I got my current appartment by walking into an agency and talking in English. They took me to see a few places that day. 24hrs later I had the keys to my apartment. Having tried going the ‘free’ route before, took about a month both times, this was a dream. And all for the equivalent of half a months rent…

I have used Tsue Ma Ma. You can either go to their office or use their website. There is an english version of their website but you would definitely need to speak Chinese or know someone who does to help you since they just give an address and a phone number. It’s popular with the Taiwanese because it’s very cheap. It’s been a long time since I used it but you just give them the area you want to live in and how much you want to pay and they will generate a list for you. You have to pay a fee but it’s only a few hundred dollars. At least it was a while back.

Their web site is

Hope this was helpful

Basically, I don’t use/trust real estate agents of Taiwan. No matter how they describe themselves on TV commercials as honest + trustable + professional groups, personally I believe that they will definitely pull your wool, even if you’re able to speak Mandarin Chinese. (But, I can’t be sure about that, if you speak Chinese dialect which we call Taiwanese or Min-nen-yu)

Asking someone to give names for you that would be a better way, if you insist you have no time to look for own living. The names’d better be someone who has used for successful accommodation rent, otherwise, ask ppl here would be better than blindly believing strangers on streets.

By the way, agents normally charge renters 0.5 month of rental as their commission. Don’t give them shit if they ask for inspection fee, that’s unreasonable because someone else could be willing to direct you to look free of charge. Every Taiwanese agent I’ve met charge to both landlords and renters.

New Asia Realty :


I went to that website and my first impression is that they show pricey apartments. Do they also show cheap ones, for us poor teachers? :s

Lotus Hill, baby, Lotus Hill.

You should have come and checked the place out over Christmas.

Finding a place in Seattle is incredibly easy. My wife was truly amazed expecting a bit of racism and ignornance that I faced while living in Taiwan. The folks at the bank were more than happy to take care of the loan and the realtors were extremely happy to show us around to as many homes as we wanted… in a car nonetheless. They were also nice enough to not point at my wife and say, “look a foreigner… and she can eat with a fork so well.” The nearest nightmarket is something like 2000+ miles away and the few folks who ride motorcyles ride them in the street, not on the sidewalk. Finally, the attorney who looked over the documents never once changed from English to French (so that my Taiwanese wife would not know what we were talking about). If you’re trying to find a really nice house or apartment, I recommend looking in North America.

My wife is amazed at how friendly people in the United States can be. Not one person has chatted with her only to practice their Mandarin.

North America isn’t nearly as accomodating as Pres_dabien portrays it. He assumes 2 things.

  1. You’re getting a good agent. In the states, it’s a crap shot. There are more bad than good. Also it’s a damn sight easier to get around in a car in the states, than it is here in Taiwan.

  2. You’d have to know English fairly well. Americans are well known for saying… “If you can’t speak insert favorite expletive here English, get the beep out.” Or the more common… “Go back to where you came from!!” to anyone other than white skin.

Yes Taiwan is far from perfect. But if you’re willing to spend the effort and time (or cash in lieu of time), you can find a great place. My standards are a bit higher so it took me 3 months to find the wood floors, 18 pings, washer/dryer, elevator, MRT, etc. for 16k

Oh and I also recommend It’s how I got mine. Good luck to those in search!

[quote=“grayson”]2) You’d have to know English fairly well. Americans are well known for saying… “If you can’t speak insert favorite expletive here English, get the beep out.” Or the more common… “Go back to where you came from!!” to anyone other than white skin.

Maybe in a convenience store, but I wouldn’t expect this from a real estate agent or bank loan officer trying to make a commission. While I’m sure they are circumvented daily, fair housing laws do afford some protection against racism in the US.

But I do agree that finding a good agent, for buying or selling, is difficult.

Hi Forum members.

My wife & baby, 2 cats & I will be relocated for 2 years to Taipei where my company has their offices in “section 1” of the city. I was searching the net to find some clues finding a place to stay, but in vain…
Seems that not many agencies have their own sites to investigate further.
So, why not addressing to a community who knows probably more about finding a house

Taiwan- Overview housing:

  • Most apartment units are owned by individual landlords - leasing contracts are signed with individual landlords.

  • The overall market is as tight as last year - selection for foreign housing is still limited -

  • Best service apartment (move-in with suitcase) is US $3,500 - 5,000 (per month) depending on location (low or high floor) & facing/view (size is approximately 2,200 sq ft) - In downtown a service apartment is US $3,000 - 8,000 depending on location & facing/view -

  • Apartments that are not “service apartments” usually are NOT furnished - Price range US $2,500 - 7,500 unfurnished - furniture can be rented at a number of locations - Price determined by type, style, quality & length of time - 2 bedroom units are very scarce as most apartments contain 3 bedrooms unless you have a very low budget & the “budget” apartments are located in areas not recommended for westerners

  • All the rental prices quoted are for rent only - monthly management fee & club usage (swimming pool, gym, tennis etc.) are in addition to the monthly rent

  • A 2 year lease is very desirable to landlords

  • It is strongly suggested that advanced information on housing budget & arrival dates provided ASAP so that home research can begin prior to the arrival of the transferee - with most units privately owned, on site knowledge/relationships with owners is critical in “knowing” when units will become available - This is valuable for “securing” the best units

If you have any questions or require additional information, do not hesitate to contact me directly. My e-mail address:

House hunting can be a lot of fun or frustration in and around Taipei.
There are several resources, which could help you find a place to stay in or around Taipei.

The earlier mentioned Tsuei Mama Housing Service is a good option for English teachers. It also might be recommended to look for a place in Taipei County, where it might be cheaper. … OrgID=2453

I had to edit this because it wasn’t placed under the snow globe fit…

Dude. That’s one of the most clearly stated culture differences I’ve ever heard. I laughed me arse off.

Off topic - My scoo (kindy) had to close the bushiban that was supporting my ARC so they come to me to say “hey your ARC is void”. They say I had to ask my friends if they could help me get one :loco: so I asked for all my documents (degree and tesol) and they said “we threw them out by mistake” :fume: I told him he better get them back to me or he’ll be picking up his teeth with a broken arm… I quit 2 weeks later.

I will just asume you have a Chinese friend.
I just chose an area that I wanted to live and rode around looking for for rent signs.
i wrote th numbers and address of about 6 in 2 hours and the next day went to the reality companies that were the listers with my G.F. and saw each place.
During the tours I noticed the small details that gave me an estimate regarding how long they had been empty.
The one I wanted had been empty for 18 months indicated by the dates on the mail and power bills.
The landlord wanted 12,000, I said no and offered 6 and my phone # 3 weks later he called and accepted 7.
Then my G.F. hammered out the lease details with the rental company.
18 pings with hot spring water in the tub and a back porch for 7 is pretty damn good, I think.

I think the key is patience and not to look desperate, landlords can smell that like sharks and blood.

Can you still try to bargin on rent if you go through a real estate agent, or are the prices roughly fixed?


Taipei County/Taipei City
Househunting/finding a place to stay.

-Renting a place in Taipei County (Yonghe, Zhonghe, Hsintian, Beitou, Wugu, Linkou, …) usually is much cheaper than renting a place in Taipei City. Wanhua District in Taipei City is rather cheaper too.

-Tsuei Mama is a good option for English teachers.
-You can also check some of the bulletin boards at the Chinese language schools, the English newspapers, the bikefarm and some other places to find more ads.

-One month deposit (sometimes even two months is quite often required).
-Some people come to Taiwan and prefer to stay a few days in a youth hostel and try to find a place while staying there.

-Real estate is of course another piece of cake. You can have a Chinese speaking friend check the yellowpages for you (if you do not have one; otherwise hire somebody to do it for you) :wink:
-You could try the financial district (around Xin Yi Road) and the Tienmu area of course.

-There are of course plenty of adds in the Chinese dailies and some specific real estate magazines.

Some general remarks:
-Do you want to ask yourself a few questions?
How long do you want to stay?
How much do you want to pay?
Distance work/study/home
How much comfort do you want to have?
Do you want to share a place or live by yourself?

My 2 cents.

question when you move out do you have the clean the place up and move everything away? like in the states you hve to do it or they take money from your deposit…but I had a friend I was helping him move…he didn’t clean anything the place looks very dirty and he left little things like soap, empty trash cans, bloomsticks and some storage stuff in basement…he said in taiwanese standard this is very good already…lol is it true?

How about translations for the following:

Hello, I am looking for a place to live in this area.
I hope to find a ______ to ____ ping apartment/house.
I want it to be furnished/unfurnished.
The price range I am looking for is _________ to _________ dollars.
I do/don’t need a parking spot for a car.
How much is the guard fee? __________
Are pets aloud? ____________
How much is the deposit?

This could help a lot of people! :wink:

Yes, a lot of places you clean up when you move in. The next tenant cleans up when he moves in. But a lot of landlords now expect you to clean when you leave. I have a place I rent in Taoyuan and I make it clear that the apartment will be cleaned by the tenant when he moves out or the deposit will not be returned.

My wife and I are planning on moving to Linkuo by the end of the year and I was wondering, what’s it like living there? How expensive/cheap is it to rent a decent sized apartment? In HsinChuang, I was living in a roughly 30 ping apartment and paying 10 000 a month. Can I expect something similiar in Linkuo? Or more expensive/cheaper? Also, what’s the area like to live in? I’ve made a few trips there to the temple with the in-laws but never really spent any time there.