Sharing a house

Hi all

Been here a while and I have decided I need more space than I have at the moment. The moment being a room with a bathroom. Have found the perfect house. Affordable, good area etc. Have found a roommate to share it with but seeing as I have never shared a house with anyone in Taiwan I was hoping that those who have been here longer and have shared etc could give me some practical advice for instance how much ADSL hookup for a house is , better to buy your own appliances or share it etc etc etc.

Thanks in advance

I shared with a Taiwanese woman for a while and it was a good experience. We had a good laugh, I learned more Mandarin and a little Taiwanese, she learned a bit more English and, especially good, she often brought back homemade goodies from her parents’ house down south. If you share with a Taiwanese person, I suggest obviously sorting out the main points - 50/50 on the bills etc- but not worrying too much about the fine details as long as the person seems honest enough. Things will sort themselves out.

I’ll be sharing with another foreigner. We have sorted out the bill part so far.

Can’t really offer you much advice. I’ve lived in ten shared houses in my home country and each one was quite different. They can be a joy or not. Obviously give the other guy some space. Normally appliances in communal areas can be shared - it would seem a bit strange if you each had your own toaster, microwave etc. Are you subletting to the other guy? If so take a month’s rent as deposit. Phones are always a problem. My housemate and I here both had cellphones. I’ve tried different systems in different houses and it really depends on how much you trust the other guy. In my home country there are various options for incoming-only calls, PINs etc; don’t know if they have those kind of options here.

Hopefully you and your mate are a bit beyond the complete student house lifestyle, so you shouldn’t need recourse to the bottom lines but they are- for me;
1 If you want something cleaned, do it yourself.
2 Always keep your own spare roll of toilet paper locked in your bedroom.

The last time I shared an unfurnished place, I bought the fridge and my flatmate bought the washer and dryer. I bought the sofa and he bought the dining room furniture. You get the idea. It worked out pretty well that way–we both spent about the same amount of money and walked away with our own stuff when we moved out. Just be careful with those Taiwanese sofas–I’ve had 2 break. And I’m not a fatas. Really, I’m not! Anyway, many sofas have rubber straps holding up the seat cushions, and they tend to snap after a few years. The kind with actual springs are more durable from my experience.

I’m going to be looking for somebody to move into my freaky apartment and was thinking of just taking anything that pitches up at the door…taiwanese, foreigner, male, female, whatever.
Has anyone ever had problems living with somebody Taiwanese, not because of the individual, but because of the extended family involvement? I had to get out of a place a few years back because I discovered that I was not allowed to have boyfriends over, but family members kept wandering in and out of the place.
Luckily this is my place, and I’ve got ADSL, cable, furniture mostly set up, so I should be able to defend myself against these kind of assaults.
If only I could find a Persian kitty who would be willing to share rent and loved the guinea pigs as much as I do.

I know exactly what you’re talking about, the extended family can be a real cramp on one’s lifestyle. I was sharing with a Taiwanese person, and it became a really tough living situation. Soon after they moved in, their whole extended family moved in, and then friends and then even random acquaintances they’d seen recently. People were coming in and out of my room all the time, I had no privacy. To top it off, they wouldn’t let me leave under any circumstances.

Last time I’m living in a SARS ward. :mrgreen:

I’d suggest getting a part-time, once-a-week maid/housecleaner. It’s rare to have two roommates with the same standards of cleanliness, and whoever is doing more work might resent the slacker. A maid gets rid of the problem and guarantees that your place gets cleaned regularly. You can probably get a part-timer for about $300NT/hr.

If you live with Taiwanese I’d make sure that any shared areas are clearly explained to be areas that all are responsible for, not just you. It’ll save a lot of clean up on your part.

Good point by Maoman. If you need a recommendation for a housekeeper, I have someone I can recommend–she’s terrific. Send me a pm if interested.

I lived with two Taiwanese people in my last apartment. It sounded nice. We were all moving in at the same time. The whole place, including my room was going to be furnished. The guy from whom I was renting was the third roommate and said he loved cats so my cat wouldn’t be a problem for them. It was a three-year-old building in a quiet residential neighborhood. We lived on the fifth floor (with an elevator) which was the top floor of the building. There were two large balconies, the back one overlooked a beautiful flowery hillside full of butterflies and there was a washer on the back. The utilities were to be shared evenly and I would pay $10,000/mo. for my room which had an in-suite bathroom. We shared the cost of the appliances three ways so one roommate bought the refrigerator and I and the other roommate paid him back…I bought a microwave and oven and they paid me back for their shares.
Then when it came time to move in, they said their friend didn’t give them the furniture so I had to furnish my own room. The living room furnishings consisted of three broken down little chairs and an end table with various suitcases and boxes of the roommates’ lining the opposite wall on either side of the TV and because the living room was huge it looked even more pathetic. They stopped talking to me altogether although I tried talking to them in my broken Mandarin and invited them to go out with me or asked if they wanted me to pick something up for them when I went shopping. The girl showed up after visiting her mother in Kaohsiung and brought back a dog without letting us know, let alone asking if it was okay then bitched when my cat freaked out on it. The landlord then started screaming, throwing things, and shooting water at my cat whenever it came near the dog. My cat had suddenly developed a fear of the female roommate while I had them take care of him when I went home for a week. The girl got air conditioning and my share of the electricity went up $1000/2 mo. I was paying…get this…$2,000+ per bill and this was supposed to be split three ways…I currently pay $1,500 for my place with no one else sharing my lights or electricity usage. They would complain that I played the TV too loud when it was on 12 of 50 points and sitting a good 10 feet from the tiny 19-in. TV and told me to turn it up to no higher than 8. My mother came to visit me and the female made a point to lock her bedroom door in my mother’s presence (which I asked them if it would okay if she stayed with me since she had already spent so much money just flying there), but her mother would give me dirty looks when ever she was staying there from Kaohsiung despite my being polite to her and trying to speak to her in Mandarin. Then I when I asked why my utilities went up at the same time as the one roommate having her air con installed, I learned that I was paying $10,000/mo. in rent while they each paid $5,000 and they thought it was justified because they had to share a bathroom and I didn’t. When I asked about getting my deposit back since I wasn’t breaking my contract, he said that he used part of it for my rent during my last month there and I still haven’t seen the other half ($10,000). And then there’s that incident where my bedroom floor underwent domestic plate tectonics…
Moral of the story? Get everything in writing and learn how much you are paying because you can be royally screwed if you aren’t careful. As for me, I hope to never deal with living with flatmates for the rest of my days so help me God. I think having a two-bedroom apartment to myself, for only slightly more than what I was paying there, only begins to make up for enduring a full year of being scammed and used by those two.