by Irreleva Wu
With Beijing now the definitive centre of cool and hip, the capital of developed rising China, now is almost certainly the time to get out the check books and start buying properties here. Having worked on commission for a real estate leasing company catering for foreigners only, I am perhaps one of the leading authorities on real estate in Beijing, and through association, China. I hope that this article gives you some ideas and hints when you are setting up your crib here, be it a chill-out zen feel art studio or a wacky party hub and home bar.
It's all in the Name:
When choosing the location of your future pad, remember to spend as much time as possible selecting an apartment complex / development with a suitable name. Remember, the name of where you live will be a direct reflection of who you are and what you are like. If you feel that Beijing will be a new start for you, then Phoenix Town would be a good choice. Are you finding on the dating front that your generic mid-range black Audi A6 is failing to distinguish you from the tens of thousands of other Black Audi A6 owners in Beijing? Then another way to impress girls/guys with how much money and elegance you have would be to move into Chateau Regency or Van Palace. It may seem that these names have been selected by Non-English natives, but they are significant.
Also pay attention to the English copy that you will find under the main name on any signs advertising the property. These are important as they show you what your neighbours will be like, for example: Peace Town II - Home of the Modern Noble. China World Apartments - where the Passions of Life Matter. Season's Park - Home of Tycoons.
Above: the Home of Tycoons. Even in the snow, it still screams quality.
Xiao Qing, 40, a mid-level manager in Xin Hua Dong Ming Xin Shijie Holdings Corp. ltd, was having a pretty poor time. "I was single, and whilst successful at work, I still had never had a girlfriend or really talked to a non family female." In an effort to reverse the situation, Xiao Qing bought a black Audi A6 in late 2003.
"After that, I felt things were getting better for a while. Several women looked at my car at various times over the following few months, I felt like Brad Pitt! Maybe he drives a black car too!" Several months later, Qing was no closer to speaking to a woman.
"It was then that I noticed an advert for Season's Park - Home of Tycoons. I moved in the next week." Qing's voice is visibly excited as he continues. "Within months, I had a girlfriend. We met in a KTV bar, and she kept talking to me after I let it slip that I lived in the Home Of Tycoons." Xiao Qing pauses for effect, "The ride home in my Audi was just a build-up, it was the apartment that did it. She left the next morning, and I only had to lend her 500 kuai for the taxi home, which has now become a kind of tradition between us." Qing grins and gazes upwards.
So there you have it, people. You can't give an old dog a new name, but you can score some major points with that special someone if you choose your abode well.
Names That Didn't Make ItNot all housing developments are created equal, as evidenced by the empty, godforsaken hollow shells of once-flash trendpads that hug the ring roads like an affectionate drunk on a late night bus, now inhabited by Beijing's terrifying Morlock community, who shelter themselves and their mewling, dead-eyed children in the abandoned projects of the overconfident developers from the howling winds outside. Here are a few compounds whose names didn't win many customers over.
Stinking Ninth Village
Golden Cock Hall
New Rangoon Tower
New Gaza Strip - "the settlement of bigshots"
China Asia Management Design Enterprise Node
City CBD Park Life Apartments
Capital Palace - "second home of the boss's mistress"
TimeSPAN - "apartments of the future built in the recent past"
Cornercutting Towers - "Home of Fools"