Questions on moving to Taipei from US

Hi all,

I’m new to the boards, so please bear with me if I ask or say anything stupid. :slight_smile:

I went to Taiwan on vacation last November and am now seriously considering going back for a year or two to study Mandarin. I’d probably also want to get an English teaching job eventually, to help defray costs. I’ve got enough cash that I could hold off a few months on that to get settled and get visa things worked out though.

I’ve been out of college and working a corporate job for a few years now. I’ve got a house I’ll need to sell, and I need to figure out what to do with all my stuff. Most furniture I can probably sell, but there are some things I’d like to hang on to, like my stereo equipment. And of course I have a fair number of books and movies and things that I’d definitely like to keep.

As such, I have a few questions:

  1. To others that have made a similar transition - did you take your stuff with you, or put it in storage in your home country? Some of both? It seems like taking furniture may not be the hottest idea, due to humidity?

  2. Do apartments in Taipei come equipped with appliances? (Fridge at least - washer/dryer preferable…) Are dishwashers at all common, or do you pretty much do them by hand?

  3. I realize this is going to be different for each individual, but I’m just sort of looking for a ballpark. If I used a mover and just took everything I’d need to furnish an apartment (bed, sofa, tv, stereo, etc.) What sort of cost might I be looking at? $500? $1000? $5000? Again, I know to get an accurate number, I’ll need to get a real quote from a moving company - I’m just asking for other people’s experiences.

I’m probably not looking at doing this until around this time next year, so I have plenty of time to make plans. I had originally intended to go this fall, but I think I’m going to stick it out for another year and rack up that experience, so I can find a job again when I get back. (If I come back…) :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. Sold everything I didn’t need in the long-term, left some things with my parents and took two suitcases with me to Taiwan.

  2. Some do, sure - and in fact unless you plan on being here longer than 3 years I’d suggest you go with a furnished apartment. Although these do tend to be smaller so keep that in mind.

  3. I spent about $2500. If you do the whole dreaded Ikea run and buy a couch, coffee table, something to put a TV on, a bookshelf, a desk, a chair for that desk, a bed+mattress, fridge, microwave, dishes… etc. I think you’re looking at $1500-$2500 realistically. The prices here are exactly the same as in the States so nothing really surprising. Depending on where you live you might also have to get a washing machine. In any case, buy as much of this as you can used from an expat who’s moving away - it’s a bitch to sell used furniture in Taiwan and you can get rock bottom prices.

I just requested quotes on household moving from a couple of international movers. One company quoted me that a 200 cubic foot shipping crate would run about $2000 door to door from Houston to Taipei. I know some companies will ship oversize luggage like really large suitcases, footlockers, trunks, etc. You might check into something like that for extra stuff you want to take but can’t put into checked baggage. Of course it may take anywhere from 4-12 weeks depending on how much you have and if it goes by air or surface.

Thanks for the replies.

I’m probably only looking at staying a year or two, although if I really enjoy living there it could be longer. The suggestion of getting a furnished apartment is a good one. I hadn’t really considered that. What sort of price range might I be looking at for something like that in Taipei, near an MRT station?

Of my furniture, it’s mainly my stereo stuff that I don’t want to give up - I have quite a bit of home theater gear that will either have to go in storage or come with me. Some of it is custom built, so not easily replaceable.

I’ve also got a bunch of tools and things I’d hate to get rid of, though they wouldn’t be much use to me in Taiwan probably. Not in downtown Taipei anyhow.

I guess maybe I’ll go around and try to get some quotes from movers and weigh that against the cost of a storage unit.

Another thing to consider is that most Taiwan apartments won’t have much for storage space. Most end up buying those Ikea closets so they at least have a place to put their clothes. So unless you like having all of your stuff out in the open, I’d suggest you find a place to leave it in the states.