What to expect in terms of housing for a large family?

Hello folks,

I’m currently planning a move to the Taipei area for roughly a year, hopefully in the fall, assuming my gold card and dependent visas come through. We’re a family of 6 with 4 children under the age of 10, and we’re trying to figure out what the best housing setup would be for us. A few notes:

  • Min 3 bed/2 bath, prefer 4 bed to have room for a home office.
  • Planning to send our older kids to the local public elementary school, they already speak and read Mandarin.
  • Fairly flexible in terms of location as my work is remote. Need to commute to the Taipei Main Station area probably 1x/week.
  • Trying to balance being centrally located vs price vs size/quality of home.
  • Preferred price range of < 40000 TWD/month, although that could be stretched if necessary.
  • Totally unnecessary, but having access to Costco would be nice!

With that, I have a few questions.

  1. Are my expectations reasonable? What do I need to adjust?
  2. What size/quality of place can I expect to get? Is it worth it to rent a furnished place?
  3. When looking for a place, what should I keep an eye out for? How much does age matter?
  4. Will the kids generally be able to walk to and from school?
  5. Is there a recommended area of town? We’re looking for an area which has convenient access to “everything”, but isn’t too hectic. We also don’t need easy access to western food.
  6. Is buying a car recommended? We love public transport generally.

I perused 591.com.tw, but there’s such a large price variance I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. I also searched but feel free to link me if I missed something. Thanks in advance!

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Are you looking to buy or rent? Are you OK with commuting or do you need convenience? Do you intend on driving or taking public transport? What do you consider a long commute?

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Looking to rent since it’ll probably only be 1 year. Ok with commuting for myself 45 min-1 hour each way especially since it’s only 1 or 2x/week, need convenience for the family. Generally prefer public transport!

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I recommend near Zhuwei. It’s about 40 minutes to Taipei Main but the prices drop as Guandu is the last Taipei station.

Here are a couple. Would you like me to make some template URLs for you when the day approaches?

These are a few that fit most of your requirements for $40000

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If you have that much budget I would suggest you to use a 日商租屋仲介, a housing agency targeting Japanese companies.

They have higher standards in terms of sanitary, service, furniture, layout, basically everything. You could even ask for the Japanese housing, that’ll blow your mind. Dude their bathroom equipment is CRAZY!! Saves so much cleaning work.

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I would not recommend 紅樹林 and 淡水 though. Because of the weather. You might need dehumidifier if you’re staying in the north (doesn’t matter which city).

I would recommend Taoyuan. Basically natural disaster free. Good air if you pick the right location. Not as pricey as Taipei and New Taipei. Their COVID policy is a bit worrying, but I guess you would have that part covered if you’re vaccinated in your own country.

新竹 on the other hand, bad traffic and air.

Wow, those all look really nice! Re: template URLs, yes please! Is that like a pre-filled search?

Also, do I need to be concerned about distance to schools? For example, looking at this listing, when I search Google Maps for 小学校, the closest ones seem too far for walking and would need a car. Or are there school buses?

What’s wrong with the weather in Danshui?

OP says they want a balance of central living and price/size and convenience.

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Yeah basically.

Zhuwei Elementary school is close by and serves that area. They should have buses, but it serves all the high rises near Zhuwei and Hongshulin.

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You want access to (台北)捷運 (MRT) in that case.
機捷 or 高鐵 are your second options.

Rain and traffic. Local people would avoid there if they have a choice. The humidity is not easy to overcome.

The OP has enough budget to afford better places in Taipei and new Taipei. Bancio would be a better option than tamsui.

That’s an interesting option I’ve never heard of. Is 日僑房屋仲介有限公司 the right link? Do you know how much they charge?

Thanks, one of our friends recommended Taoyuan too, but it looks pretty far on the map. Also, would you need a car in Taoyuan?

If you’re not familiar to humidity, the molds would drive you crazy.

That’s not true. It rains half the time it rains in Taipei. I know cause I live in Danshui and commute to Taipei daily. Often I leave a sunny house in Danshui to be hit with rain in Taipei centre.

Secondly, the humidity in Greater Taipei barely varies. It’s just as humid and hot in Taipei centre due to the basin and density causing a heat dome. I commute every day and there’s no difference.

OP also said they’re taking public transport. Traffic is a non issue if you’re taking the MRT and if you live in Zhuwei or Hongshulin, you’re right at the border of Taipei and avoid any traffic issues.

A 4 bedroom house in Banciao would be way out of the OP’s budget.

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You would need a car in taoyuan. Definitely need a car. Remember to look for a place with a parking space, preferably in the same building and with a roof.

I’ve never personally used the service in Taiwan before, so I do not have a particular agency to recommend. You’ll have to use the keyword: 日商租房仲介 to google. There are many options as you can see.

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Though I’d recommend you to ask them to show you “the Japanese interior”. And ask about how they reduce the housework lol.

It’s open to interpretation. All I know is local people, including me, would think twice on tamsui housing.

Imo taoyuan is a much better option than tamsui.

I thought the OP wanted 3 rooms?

Here’s one I found on the Japanese agency:
http://www.withyou.com.tw/world/chinese/index.html

Doesn’t seem too pricey. I dunno if this is a good agency though. Never used one in taiwan.

Virtually identical. It feels humid when you step out of a dry and air conditioned MRT. But it’s the exact same.

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Thanks guys. You all reply so fast! I can’t keep up :sweat_smile:

Got it! Needed to search for 小学 not 小学校.

Well, we’re from Houston, so we’re no stranger to humidity, but shouldn’t the AC keep away the mold?

3 is the minimum, but we’d prefer 4 if possible. We weren’t really sure what’s realistic.

Any thoughts on how much age of the building matters, and how to see it on 591.com.tw? I see it referenced a bunch.

Also, are there additional costs beyond the rent that I need to watch out for? I assume there will be utilities, e.g. electricity/gas/water/internet.