Apartment Hunting in Taichung

591.com is the primary real estate site that owners and agents list properties on for the Taiwan real estate market. Unfortunately for non-mandarin readers, the site seems largely inaccessible. Hopefully, this post will give you the tools to make use of this site and make it a little easier to search for and secure your housing. We are also here to help. Don’t waste time going through endless searches to be disappointed. Tell us what you are looking for, your budget and what your time frame is. We understand the western mind and the eastern way. We can make this process a bit easier.

Before searching, make sure your browser (Google Chrome is the easiest, is set to translate pages from Mandarin to English – this will make your browsing experience much easier. It doesn’t get everything right, but the general things translate well and will give you a starting point) Some of the instructions below assume you do not do this, so take that into account as you read.

  1. Go to www.591.com.tw
  2. The default screen is set to search for rental properties. If you want to search for something else, you probably need to ask for help.
  3. Now, you need to tell the site where you want to search. There are two ways to do this. By using a map based search and by adjusting the search parameters. First, I’ll show you how to adjust the search parameters. Look below for map based search instructions.
    There are three drop down’s under the main search bar. The first one selects your city and area. Choose this option: 台中市 (Taichung City), immediately after choosing it, a list of areas will present, there are two to three characters for each option. The last character (區) means area, so it’s the first character or two that form the name of the neighborhood or part of the city. You can use the map I have attached in the comments to this post to help you know where to search. Match the characters to the areas you want to search. The second box has options for what type of property you want to look for. The easiest thing to do is leave this one alone. It’s for advanced users. The last box is a range of rent you are willing to pay. Now, press the orange search button. The search will return all properties in the selected area with monthly rent in the selected range.
  4. In the search results, you will usually see a picture, the name of the property and to the right, how many ping (size) the exact monthly rent and how many people have viewed that particular listing. Underneath the name, it will usually show how many bedrooms and living rooms along with some other information.
  5. On the far left side of the screen you can further filter the results if you want. Here is how to do that. The top section you can change the monthly rent. The next section down is the number of bedrooms. 1房 - 5房。 The next section is the size. Ping – 20坪 is about 700 square feet.
    Under that section are a bunch of other items. Here’s what they typically mean.
    房屋形態 (Type of Home)
    公寓 – A multi-story house, usually attached to others, but not always.
    電梯大樓 – A multi-story building, usually with an elevator.
    透天厝 – A small home, usually 2-3 stories.
    別墅 – Something more akin to a western style home, but not really.
    經辦人選擇 (who do you want to do business with)
    屋主刊登 – owner rented properties
    代理人刊登 – agent published
    仲介刊登 – agency published
    其他條件 (Other Stuff)
    有車位 – Parking Space;
    有陽台 – Balcony;
    可開伙 – Can prepare food;
    可養寵物 – Can you have a pet;
    近公車站 – public parking close by;
    可短期租賃 – short-term lease available.
    提供設備 (Other Items)
    有電視 – tv
    有冷氣 – a/c
    有冰箱 – refrigerator
    有熱水器 – hot water heater
    有洗衣機 – washing machine
    有天然瓦斯 – natural gas
    有第四台 – cable tv
    有網路 – internet
    提供家具 (Furniture)
    床 – bed
    衣櫃 – wardrobe
    沙發 – sofa
  6. Once you have found a property, look for the phone number of the contact. This is where it may become a little more difficult.
  7. The best option is to ask a Mandarin speaking friend to make the contact for you. If you don’t have someone to help you, Please contact us for help.
  8. If you and the landlord come to some agreement, more than likely you will need a Taiwanese friend to co-sign the contract, so please be ready for this. Not always, but often. The higher, the rent, newer you are, less Mandarin you speak, the more likely you need a friend.
  9. Map Search – To the right of the search bar, there is a link that says: 地圖找房 – this means, map look house. Click it. A map will open up and you can zoom in and out. Now on the left side of the page, in the middle you can adjust your options.
  10. Don’t bother with the first option, it’s for advanced searches. The second one is to choose the number of rooms (obvious by the number choices). The third is to choose the rent price. The fourth ping and so on, like above.
  11. As you adjust your options, the map will auto update. You can click on the tabs that pop up to view the homes at their real locations. You’ll see a snapshot of the same information. If you click on the links, a new tab will pop open with the homes full information.

Are you wondering which neighborhoods to consider? We can give you some insight as to the traffic patterns, shopping, ease of access and “vibe”. Don’t hesitate to ask.

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