I think that I have found the underlying reason why everyone wants to buy a house here.
Chinese in my experience are very private. No one trusts anyone. You get your money up front. Bargain with everything. Protect yourself.
Lot’s of times the contract is just the starting point. Its often a point of tension with Westerners doing business here. In the Western world, or America specifically, the contract is the end all over everything. We sign and that is what we are held to. However in China most of the time that is just the start of everything. It’s not concrete and can change anytime.
Well, renting a house, or apartment is a business deal. You sign a contract and that’s it. But in China it’s different. Most of the time everything goes fine. In fact it’s mostly like the States. Landlords leave you alone. Sometimes you get a bad one that bugs the hell out of you for whatever reason. But that can happen everywhere.
So my landlord has a contract with my company til October. But now she is trying to sell the apartment. This is what is happening.
A few months ago she planted the idea. She talked to me about wanting to sell the apartment. This basically was a big hint to get the F out. But I didn’t. She has the money for the 6 month, or year. We have a contract. But god help anyone who wants to stop someone from doing what they want. Contract or not.
So a few weeks ago she called. I didn’t answer because, I really don’t like answering numbers I don’t know. She texted me and wanted to have someone see the apartment. This was out of the blue. And she wanted to do it that instant. I wasn’t home and really didn’t want to go back. Plus it wasn’t clean. I told her it wasn’t ok and that I need a heads up when she wants to do this. She never responded. Later that day I arrived back at the apartment and 5 minutes later two women were banging on my door. Some realtor and a women. Wanting to see the apt. I said I told the landlord that I needed a heads up and that I hadn’t cleaned. She said it didn’t matter and insisted that they look. This is pretty normal. It doesn’t matter what you say in China people will push. It’s a game. You tell me a price and no matter what I have to say it’s too expensive. You say no and no matter what I have to insist that it’s ok.
So I put the foot down and she said that they just needed to look through the door. They did and left.
Last week Saturday I get a call from some random person. The landlord is giving my number out to realtors that want to sell the house and come look at it. So I get calls saying that they want to come over. Now here is how I think it works. The realtors are all near the apt. It’s like private realtors for one housing development. Someone would come into the office and they would roll around the complex looking at apts. But if there is someone living in one then they have to call them to go look. Problem is that I work and am rarely home on my day off. Apparently Chinese people always stay at home because this shocked the realtor. She asked to see the apt. I said I was at work. It was a Saturday. She then went off on how weird it was to work on Saturday. I then said Sunday I had plans. She then said oh, and hung up.
Last night at 10pm the landlord texts me saying that people want to see the apt and that I had to show them. More or less the meaning of it. I asked when and she never responded. I am guessing that she is a little pissed.
While she texted me I was talking with a girl that I met a while back. I told her and she immediately said not to let anyone in. If she wanted to sell the apt she could wait till I moved and that I should move asap. The landlord will probably start hassling me so that I decide to move on my own. Instead of asking to move out, it’s the Chinese way. Also since she already has my money she is making money on me and selling the apt. If I move, or the apt is empty she won’t make as much. So best case for her is to have someone rent it out and also sell it at the same time. So she will never ask me to leave. It will cost her money.
So why do Chinese want to buy a house. Power. that’s it. Investment, yes, shelter, yes. But power. If you rent from someone they have the power over you. They can hassle you, control you, etc. But if you own your own house, the gov is the only one that can. I think this is a important point. From what I have seen Chinese people, or really anyone, doesn’t want someone controlling them. Family is important here. You don’t mess with Chinese family. So the best way to protect that is to not let anyone in. Renting seems to disrupt that.
Also there have been reports that people act like they are buying a house and case the joint out. They come back later and rob you. So they would see all the valuables and what not that you have. Again, Chinese are private people wary of strangers. So I would assume that they never let strangers into their homes. Letting a stranger in because your landlord wants to sell. A big no no.
Anyway, even though the contract is good through Oct. We paid, etc. It doesn’t matter. Because everyday things here change. You have to look out for yourself. Because no one else will. This is China.