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Q: Is Zhuhai a good place to live? What should I know about buying a house or apartment?

I've had a hard-on for Zhuhai, and especially Guangdong province, for a while now. It's a costal city, and the pollution is far lower than the majority of places in China. In fact, it's lower than a lot of cities in the U.S.

 

What should I know about this place? Lately, I've considered buying a house or apartment there and using it as our China-stomping-ground because fuck Hunan, that's why. If I buy a house or apartment, whose name should it be under? Mine, or the wife's? I'm aware of the 70 year crap.

 

The idea is to make sure our children have a place to go in China when we're there. Zhuhai keeps coming up as the #1 place to go. The climate is good, and the pollution isn't so bad. I don't want to move up north because I'm afraid of snow in China.  To top it off, the location is pristine, being close to Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam and Guangzhou.

 

More importantly, it has a METRO and a Wal-Mart, both of which I cannot live without. It also has a CarreFour, which is nice. Yeah. And if we ever wanted to visit the other in-laws, they're a speed train away, but I may just set the in-laws up in Zhuhai and have them take care of the house while we're away. I just hope they don't destroy it.

 

What am I missing? What else should I be aware of?

5 years 24 weeks ago in  Housing - Zhuhai

 
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Ask @scan hes been there for years.

Zhuhai is cool. Macau is right there. Food is great. Lots of stuff to do. The sea wall, parks. It now has the largest aquarium /theme park/ water park in the world. Transportation isnt the best without a car. But manageable. Not the busiest place. Feel a bit more laid back than the rest of guangdong. Lots of rich macau dudes driving around. I saw a line of ten lambos cruising the beach roads.

Its not as good as other cities in guangdong for finding western foods but compared to where you were before its heaven. And zhuhai is growing crazy fast as a tourism place
New 5 star hotels going up every day.

Not the best for work and finding opportunities but for what you want it for. It would be perfect. Id live there in a heartbeat.

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Come by, buy me a drink and I'll tell you all you need to know. 

 

Anyway. Apartment prices are kind of steep. 15-20000 per sqr/mtr depending on area. If you need a place you can go, hang with the family, to be in China, you could go for the outskirts of town, there is a district called Doumen, 30 mins drive from downtown, prices would be lower there and there is actually a lot of nice communities out there (with no people living as people can't be bothered to commute)  If you don't need walking distance to Starbucks, then living on the outskirts can easily pay for a cheap Toyota to be parked there for your convenience. 

 

If you think you wanna pop to Macau or Hong Kong often, then being in the downtown area is the better option. Here you'd be able to pick up an apartment for not much, if you feel like a handyman project. Some of the older hoods are being torn down, but it would still be possible to find some 1980ies crap buildings that would be possible to make into a nice home. After some time here, I am getting new found respect for some of the older buildings, they seem far sturdier than the new buildings. 

 

There is no METRO, there is in Zhongshan, realistically you need to hire a car or drive yourself to get there. (upwards an hour drive)

 

 

One thing about buying in Zhuhai, the city is rapidly growing. Present plans are to let it grow by a million people in the next 5 years. It might turn into a hellish place.... and if you buy an apartment and think "wow, what a nice view" you will soon after feel screwed when a building pops up to ruin your view. 
The growth also means more cars, more pollution. In the time we've been here the crap in the air has gone up noticeably and the days of blue sky down. Still, if you compare to Changsha, the air here is like that of the garden of eden. 

 

Another note on buying. As far as I can tell there are no new building projects being started, and there is even a community where the cranes have been taken off a group of half finished buildings (and this is in a location with water view) I am guessing the sudden stop in building means either prices will go up due to supply/demand changing or down due to people getting nervous and flocking off their apartments. 

 

Zhuhai is full of new-money-douches. Just yesterday as I was coming back from walking my four legged friend, a neighbor was standing in the car park looking like he was not really doing anything. He was standing right next to a brand new Lexus (white because this guy doesn't have enough balls to even try grey) and he is just standing there to be seen. I say to him "Congratulations, a shame you couldn't afford to get child seats too" (he has two children 1 and 4) to which he replied "I drive safely"... no he doesn't. 

In the fancy communities people are arses showing off. Sure the apartment we live in is nice, comfortable etc. but I sure as hell don't want to get any firends amongst the neighbours. 

 

Anyway, There is a decent expat scene. Some expat hangouts that has a good mix of expats and locals, there are quite a few restaurants that claim to sell western food, the key word here is "claim", it is typically possible to get the most common western types foods, and if not in Zhuhai, Macau has a couple of well equipped supermarkets. 

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Zhuhai is great man, I go there a lot during weekends, ferry boats hook you up for trips to HK and SZ.. It's really a city that's growing fast and has a beautiful river I love to go to each time.

For me, I love Zhuhai.

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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I only hear good things about Zhuhai. I would consider getting a place there but paying about 300k USD for a 100 square meter apartment doesn't wet my apetitie. 

 

Maybe on the outskirts you could find something at half that price. I am buying an apartment in China in smaller city because of my wife. 

 

My concerns are usually the same as yours. Will the residential actually look like the plans when it is finished? Will the view be the same always or will they decide to build new buildings in front of the beautiful lake thus significantly lowering the value? How long will these damn apartments last anyway (I heard they were only build to last 30-40 years tops)? Is it a good time to invest in real estate in China? Seems like they over built and I hear about a ton of ghost towns...

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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If you're looking for clean air, etc and don't mind a short train ride or drive to Zhuhai then have a look at Zhongshan. In the top 10 cities in China for air quality.  Apartment prices still around the 6,000/sqm for a new one on the edge of the city (some are more depending where). High speed train which can get you to Zhuhai Gongbei in about 30 minutes and Guangzhou South station in 35.

 

As stated it has a Metro and some other reaonable supermarkets, a reasonable choice of restaurants including a couple of reasonable "western" ones. One okay Indian place. It aso has a small expat bar scene with a new branch of Hooleys Irish place from Guangzhou opening soon.

 

If you have a car you are within reasonable driving distance of Zhuhai and a number of reasonable beaches along the coast towards Yangjiang/Zhanjiang.

 

I'm currently living in Guangzhou but contemplating buying a place in Zhongshan this year due to the huge diference in costs.

 

Zhuhai is okay but no good beaches within the city. A car is a must from what I've seen of the place as it is one long strip along the coast.

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Fun things to do in Zhuhai:

1. During mango season, pick mangoes without the use of ladders.

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Trying to buy in the central districts of ZHuhai (Nanping, Gongbei, Jida, Xiangzhou) will be almost impossible if you haven't worked there and paid insurance for at least a year. Neither your Chinese wife will be able to do anything if her 'hukou' isn't from Zhuhai. Tangjia and Doumen should be easier though.

Property prices as someone noted are between 14-22K per sqm, depending where you buy. Prices grew significantly in less than 10 years when the sqm was between 3.5 and 10K at that time. Still compared to other cities this one is a good bet, the city is growing fast, the speed train connecting with GZ and modernisation of roads have contributed with this. Expect the completion of the bridge HK-MAC-ZH as another factor to add value to residential and commercial property here.

No metro, but good shopping options are Vanguard and Jusco. Altyernatively, occasional trips to HK and Macau should help mitigate your craves for foreign and deli food.

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5 years 18 weeks ago
 
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Trying to buy in the central districts of ZHuhai (Nanping, Gongbei, Jida, Xiangzhou) will be almost impossible if you haven't worked there and paid insurance for at least a year. Neither your Chinese wife will be able to do anything if her 'hukou' isn't from Zhuhai. Tangjia and Doumen should be easier though.

Property prices as someone noted are between 14-22K per sqm, depending where you buy. Prices grew significantly in less than 10 years when the sqm was between 3.5 and 10K at that time. Still compared to other cities this one is a good bet, the city is growing fast, the speed train connecting with GZ and modernisation of roads have contributed with this. Expect the completion of the bridge HK-MAC-ZH as another factor to add value to residential and commercial property here.

No metro, but good shopping options are Vanguard and Jusco. Altyernatively, occasional trips to HK and Macau should help mitigate your craves for foreign and deli food.

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5 years 18 weeks ago
 
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Trying to buy in the central districts of ZHuhai (Nanping, Gongbei, Jida, Xiangzhou) will be almost impossible if you haven't worked there and paid insurance for at least a year. Neither your Chinese wife will be able to do anything if her 'hukou' isn't from Zhuhai. Tangjia and Doumen should be easier though.

Property prices as someone noted are between 14-22K per sqm, depending where you buy. Prices grew significantly in less than 10 years when the sqm was between 3.5 and 10K at that time. Still compared to other cities this one is a good bet, the city is growing fast, the speed train connecting with GZ and modernisation of roads have contributed with this. Expect the completion of the bridge HK-MAC-ZH as another factor to add value to residential and commercial property here.

No metro, but good shopping options are Vanguard and Jusco. Altyernatively, occasional trips to HK and Macau should help mitigate your craves for foreign and deli food.

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5 years 18 weeks ago
 
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