Your Personal Rental Property Checklist

Looking through rental properties is exciting but can be an exhausting and overwhelming process. Whether you’re pressed for time or eager to make a decision, you could settle with a rental property that only partially meets your needs. No matter if you’re using an agent or searching yourself, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re paying market price when you decide on a property.

To help you navigate the rental minefield we’ve created a rental property checklist with some tips to help you filter your rental search and find the property of your dreams in Shanghai.

To start off, we suggest you make a detailed outline of your needs and create a MUST HAVE list and LIKE TO HAVE list so you can view each property with a clear idea of what your wants and needs are.

The Property

– Is the property developer or privately owned?
– Who handles the maintenance?
– Is it 24/7 English speaking?
– Does the property have central heating or wall mounted?
– When was it last updated?
– Does the property require updating in the kitchens, bathrooms or rooms?
– Has the property been altered in any way?
– Has the property been recently decorated?
– If you have pets then ask if it is pet friendly?
– Are the rooms big enough for your requirements?
– Are there enough bathrooms?
– Is there enough storage for all of your belongings?
– Does it have basic facilities you may need like a dishwasher, oven, or washing machine?
– Does it have a home office?
– Are there enough outlets in convenient locations?
– What is and isn’t included in the property lease?
– Are the windows double-glazed?
– Is there damp anywhere?
– Has the property been well maintained?
– Does it have a private or shared garden?
– Does the property get enough natural light?
– Why is the previous lessee moving out?
– What are the compounds facilities like?


– What are the closest methods of transportation?
– How far away is it from your work?
– How far is it away from international schools?
– What are the neighbors like?
– What is the community like?
– Are the surroundings noisy?
– Are there any restaurants or bars nearby?
– Where are the closest shops?
– Is it close to any major roads or flight paths overhead?
– Is there allocated parking if needed?
– Are there any plans for development near or around the property?
– What is the area’s crime level?
– Overall, could you see yourself living there?

Once you decide on the perfect property to rent, you’ll then need to prepare for the big move! Whether you’re moving into a house or an apartment, there are many things to consider at both the old and new locations. Here is a count-down moving checklist to help you manage the move.

6-8 Weeks Before Moving
– Book a moving company
– Pre-plan and schedule repairs to be done
– Redirect your emails

2-4 Weeks Before Moving
– Organize your contents insurance
– Disconnect current utilities
– Connect all utilities for the new property
– Change your address (banks, license, subscriptions)
– Discontinue any delivery services
– Transfer all your accounts (payTV etc)

Day Before Moving
– Complete packing
– Confirm details with the moving company
– Clean as much as you can

Moving Day
– Complete your condition report
– Change the locks of your new property (check with landlord beforehand)
– Final clean
– Check the old property to make sure nothing is left behind

If you have any other questions or personal concerns, feel free to contact me at and I’d be happy to assist. Happy hunting!

adrienne farrellyAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties


What Makes A Good Real Estate Agent

As the Real Estate game here in China is different from the one back home, not all agents strive for Western standards. Still, as a client one should not compromise on some very important points. How can you tell if your agent is working on your behalf or his/her own?

Below are some helpful tips to help you navigate through using a real estate agent in Shanghai. Also, keep an eye out for our “Shanghai Property Rental Guide” that we will be posting about very soon. We plan to include multiple posts with helpful information regarding the different types of property rentals in Shanghai, the difference between living in certain Shanghai districts, how to make sure you are getting your money’s worth, navigating both Chinese and Western real estate agencies, understanding your leasing terms and conditions, and more! We are passionate about helping expats finding the home of their dreams in Shanghai and this information will surely help you accomplish just that!

real estate shanghai properties
A good property agent will show you properties that match closely the criteria that you give them at a price that is close to your budget in the areas of Shanghai that suits you best. They will let you know if your housing requirements and budget are reasonable for the area and advise you accordingly. If you have a good pro-active agent there is no need to see more than 10-15 properties.

Your real estate agent should be able to answer most of these questions:

  • property’s décor/style and furnishings
  • any renovations
  • past tenants
  • the landlord’s background
  • landlord’s location
  • compound’s management & facilities
  • estimated number of expats
  • distances to shops, bars, restaurants, subway and major roads.

If you have a good agent then stick with them and let them find you the right Apartment in Shanghai. Using too many agencies can ruin your chances of finding a good home quickly because good agents will feel less likely to work hard for someone who is using three or more different agencies. So, if you find a good agent then give them some time to do their search and a chance to find you your new home.

 real estate shanghai properties


The easiest way to overcome the problems of finding your rental home in Shanghai is to use the services of a trusted and recommended agent that is experienced in dealing with expatriates and their whole relocation process. They will understand your needs and can quickly source the best home for you at the right price.

adrienne farrellyAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

New Year Resolutions 2015

The New Year is upon us once again, and with it, brings feelings of hope and renewal with a desire to make changes in our lives for the better. What are your New Year resolutions for 2015? What do you hope to accomplish or achieve this year?


Here are some tips to help you make it through the year with your New Year resolutions firmly by your side. First let’s start with the most common of New Year resolutions.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and Healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

How to achieve your goals

Goals are hard to achieve and even harder when abstract and immeasurable. Instead of wanting to “Enjoy life to the Fullest”, figure out what it exactly means to you. Is it visiting different countries, going out more or seeing your friends? If so, try to make the goal more specific such as “visit 2 countries this year”. How often do you hear “I really lived life to the fullest this year”? This was number four on the most set goals in 2014. Many successful practitioners use SMART goals for helping their clients achieve their goals.

Specific – who, what, when, where, why and how
Measurable – when will you known it is done
Attainable – is it realistic?
Relevant – How does it fit into your life now?
Time-based – When will you achieve your goal, what’s the time line?


For example, if your goal is to lose weight, be specific on how much you want to lose and how you will lose it. It must be measurable! Looking in the mirror every couple weeks and guessing your loss won’t help you stay on track.


Make sure the goal is realistic. If you weigh 600 pounds and are trying to lose 500 in a year to become a bikini model, seriously, it is not going to happen unless you amputate or choose liposuction. Ask yourself if losing weight is relevant to your life right now and is it something you are able to do? Are you really driven to lose weight?

Time based

Goals need to be time-based. You can set miniature goals every couple months, such as lose 10 pounds by March.


Make sure you tell people about your goals. Having people there to support you will increase your chances of succeeding. If your goal is to lose weight, find a workout partner. You will feel as if you are obliged to show up, otherwise you will be letting someone down. If your goal is to help others, commit the time to volunteer for organizations.


Always ensure your goals are positive. If your goal is to be a better student, don’t word your goal as “miss only 2 scheduled classes” word it as “attend all classes”. The wording of a goal plays an important part. If you have worded the goal negatively, there is a negative association with the goal. For example if you partied last night, and you wake up groggy, you will say to yourself “it is only one class”. This kind of thinking leads to a snowball effect. After you have missed 2 classes, you will have the mindset that you have already missed two another one won’t make a difference.

Ignore the goals focus on the process

Goals are always accomplished by hard work and diligence. Simply setting a goal won’t make it happen. You must develop a process to make that goal happen. Simply setting a goal like “to learn a foreign language” is just a thought. However, putting in motion your study plan is how you will learn that language. Putting aside scheduled time each week will get the job done. A kid’s goal may not be that he wants to learn math, but since an allotted time each week is set forth for he/she to do so, the child will eventually end up learning it. If you have a goal, you must come up with a process or system to achieve it.

Reward yourself

Make sure that you reward yourself for achieving your goals and mini goals. This will keep you on the track. Looking at kids, you can see how a little reward here and there can make the world of difference in the child’s participation. You can watch a small kid work 10 times harder for a teacher, if the teacher offers a sticker. This sticker will without a doubt be lost before the kid returns home. As adults, not much has changed. Our sticker is an hour of free time a trip to a massage parlor. Rewards for achieving miniature goals do not have to be big. Having someone else verify the completion of these goals will limit any cheating. After achieving your one-year resolution, have something big in mind or something that you will truly look forward to.

Choose 1 goal!

Make sure you limit the amount of goals you have set. Goals can be compared to football players. Tackling one football player is a hell of a lot easier than trying to tackle a whole team at once. The more goals that you have set the more confused you will be on where to begin. You will immediately be neglecting goals, from lack of time. Make sure you choose the goal you want to achieve and prioritize it. Trying to prioritize too many things at once is a recipe for destruction.


Did you know?
The University of Scranton has done some research on goal setting. People who explicitly set goals are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than someone who has not explicitly set a goal. You can check out other fun new year resolution statistics here.

Another interesting post with fun facts about New Years Resolutions can be found here.

At Shanghai Properties, our 2014 New Years Resolution was to help many expats find their dream homes in Shanghai, and we succeeded! As 2014 has come to a close, we want to give a big THANK YOU to all our followers and loyal clients. We had a great year at Shanghai Properties and it wouldn’t of been the same without you!


In addition, we have decided to extend our Holiday “Goat” Sale until the Chinese New Year (which is the year of the goat coincidentally!), so make sure to spread the word. Choose to rent through us, and with Oxfam we can both help a family in need this holiday.

adrienne-black-top-smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

New Year’s Traditions in Other Countries

Many countries have their own unique traditions of welcoming a new year. The Chinese hang or paint red characters on their doors that symbolize happiness and good fortune, Danish break piles of dishes to symbolize friendship and brotherhood, Brazilians eat dishes with many legumes which symbolizes wealth and prosperity, Americans celebrate with champagne and football, and Japanese traditionally eat long noodles to symbolize longevity. However, Scottish New Year traditions are still quite famous and widely practiced today, called Hogmanay.

The Scottish New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay or Night of the Candle. Special foods such as haggis, three-cornered biscuits, cheese, shortbread, oatcakes, currant loaf and scones are exchanged as gifts and enjoyed along with the best cold cure of all, the water of life, Scottish Whisky!
An integral part of the Hogmanay partying is to offer warm hospitality to family, friends and strangers and wish everyone a Guid New Year. The simple and basic underlining purpose is to clean away the vestiges of the past year and welcome the New Year on a happy note.

Days before the New Year, Scots clean and scrub their houses including emptying fireplaces of coal. A purification ritual is typically performed by burning juniper branches, which are then carried through the house to remove any bad omens, germs or lingering diseases.

hogmanay cleaning
Another important aspects of Hogmanay is the foot footer tradition, where the first person to set foot into your home on New Year’s day will decide the family’s luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, this person should be male, tall and dark-haired because when a blonde stranger arrived on your doorstep during Viking days, trouble would soon follow. The first footer must bring a lump of coal for the empty fireplace, shortbread or a black bun slice and whisky to eat and drink and salt to symbolize fortune.

On New Year’s Eve, it is also custom to have large torch and bonfire ceremonies. Even in modern times, some magical firework displays and torchlight parades are quite similar to ancient Scottish Hogmanay pagan parties. Traditionally, townspeople will dress in cattle hides and run around the village being hit by sticks. Festivities would also include bonfire lightings, rolling blazing tar barrels down hills and tossing torches. By doing this, evil spirits are warded off so a fresh year can begin.

In fact, one of the most spectacular fire ceremonies takes place in Stonehaven, just south of Aberdeen on the North East coast of Scotland. Huge fireballs, weighing up to 20lbs are lit and then swung around on five-feet long metal poles. Around 60 men carry them as they are marched up and down the streets. The fireballs are believed to consume any remaining evil spirits.


No matter where you are from or where you are right now, we at Shanghai Properties hope you enjoy your New Years and New Years Eve 2015 with your own special traditions! 🙂 Cheers to a New Year!

adrienne-black-top-smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

Shanghai New Year Events 2015 in your Neighbourhood

Am sure you’ll want to head out to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Shanghai and see in 2015. As we know, taxi’s are rare as hen’s teeth on New Year’s Eve so the team at Shanghai Properties have put together a helpful list of local restaurants, bars and clubs in your neighbourhood so you can easily “walk” to and perhaps “crawl” home in the wee hours of the New Year and not spend your New Year morning furiously trying to flag down fully laden cabs.

Check out below locations for some fabulous local New Year’ s Eve 2015 dinners and parties:

 new year party




Paulaner Braeuhaus Xin Tian Di

Jean Georges

Chi Q

Waldorf Astoria Long Bar

Light Salt

Bar Rouge

Le Royal Meridian

Mr & Mrs Bund

Three on the Bund

Boxing Cat Brewery

Peninsula Hotel


Windows Scoreboard

Just on the Bund

Windows Garage


Mexo at the Bund


Grand Brasserie


Whampoa Club



The 15151 West




Windows Too

The Spot


10 Corso Com
new years drinks



Paulaner Braeuhaus Expo

Park Hyatt Shanghai

Vue Bar

Kerry Hotel

Pudong Shang ri la



Kee Club

Paulaner Braeuhaus


Cs Shanghai

The Apartment

Liquid Laundry

MAO Livehouse

Kee Club Shanghai





Happy New Years from Shanghai Properties! 🙂

adrienne-black-top-small Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

New Year’s Eve 2015 in Shanghai

Well, it’s that time of the year again! Time to create new goals and resolutions, reflect on the past year and the year ahead, and prepare to welcome a new year with new experiences and surprises. What accomplishments from 2014 are you most happy about? What challenges have you overcome and grown from? Here at Shanghai Properties, we have enjoyed a wonderful year, and hope you did as well.

If you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve 2015 in Shanghai, here are a few New Year’s Eve parties and events happening around the city. We hope you enjoy the last few days of 2014 and have a great time celebrating!

1) 3D Laser & Firework Show at the Bund
Certainly a sight you don’t want to miss, every year at the Bund you can watch the amazing New Year’s Eve firework show. Multiple cruise boats set across the Huangpu and set off a beautiful display of fireworks and lights. The show usually begins at 11pm, with the laser show climax beginning 15 minutes prior to midnight. Just a word of caution, it will be crowded and difficult to get taxi afterwards, so come prepared! The Oriental Pearl Tower will also have its own set of fireworks that night.

Have a look to check out past firework shows at the Huangpu:

The Bund between Fuzhou Lu and Hankou Lu or Binjiang Avenue between Lujiazui Xi Lu and Dongyuan Lu 福州路至口路之的外家嘴西路至园路之江大道, free of charge, 11 p.m.-12.05 a.m.

2) Bell-ringing at the Longhua Temple
If you’re interested in welcoming the New Year in a bit of a traditional fashion, you should visit the Longhua Buddhist Temple. Many Shanghainese and locals visit the temple to make a wish and then ring the huge bell. There are bell-ringing ceremonies on both New Year’s Eve and Lunar New Year’s Eve. There will also be traditional Chinese lion dances, fireworks and folk performances.

Longhua Temple, 2853 Longhua Lu, near Longhua Xi Lu 龙华路2853号, 龙华西路, admission: RMB 200, reservation hotline: +86 21 6132 2037. Bell-ringing ceremony runs from 10 p.m. on December 31 till 2 a.m. on January 1, 2012.
3) TECHNOW at Mao Live House
All techno and dance enthusiasts are sure to attend this 3.5-hour blow out on New Year’s Eve at the Mao Live House. The evening with feature three techno lords from the Austrian and German group, Mushido. They are currently touring between Berlin, Tokyo and Shanghai, and will bring in the New Year here in Shanghai. In addition to the music, there will be a crazy neon light show. All guests receive two free drinks and a special gift package.

Mao Live House, 3/F, 308 Chongqing Nan Lu, near Jianguo Zhong Lu 南路308, 近建国中路, +86 21 6445 0086, 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m., RMB 80 (presale), RMB 100 (at the door). Buy ticket via

Other great bars and clubs to check out for some cool New Year’ s Eve 2015 parties are The Shelter, Light & Salt, Bar Rouge, Arkham, Cirque Le Soir, Zapata’s, The Apartment, MAO LH, etc. On New Year’s Eve, many of these places have drink specials, unique dance performances and awesome DJs. In particular, M18, M1NT and Vue have good indoor views of the Huangpu where you can watch the fireworks show.

4) New Year’s Eve Dinner at The Portman Ritz-Carlton
Simply looking to enjoy a nice, delicious New Year’s Eve dinner with close friends and family? There are many great bars and restaurants in Shanghai where you celebrate your New Year’s Eve. There are some great New Year’s Eve 2015 dinner specials at the Portman Ritz-Carlton, as well as The Mercato, Whampoa Club, and more.

The Portman Ritz-Carlton, 1376 West Nanjing Rd, Jing’an, Shanghai 南京西路1376号静安区上海市 86 21 6279 8888

In the end, 2014 has been a great year for us and we have very much enjoyed helping many expats find new homes and offering advice to those wanting to move to Shanghai. We want to thank all of our clients for choosing and supporting Shanghai Properties and hope to assist even more next year. In addition, we have decided to extend our Holiday “Goat” Sale until the Chinese New Year (which is the year of the goat coincidentally!), so make sure to spread the word. Choose to rent through us, and with Oxfam we can both help a family in need this holiday.

Have fun celebrating and Happy New Years from Shanghai Properties! 🙂

adrienne-black-top-smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

Christmas Eve 2014 Events in Shanghai

Looking for some Christmas fun to close out 2014? Look no further! Here are multiple Christmas Eve events in Shanghai to attend this holiday season. Happy holidays and enjoy your Christmas in Shanghai!

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party

Craft brewery and restaurant Boxing Cat Brewery hosts yet another ugly sweater party on Christmas Eve at their Sinan Mansion location. Dinner is served buffet-style, with free flow drinks. There will be an ugly sweater contest with a prize as well.

The Cabaret

The Library Distillery in Light and Salt is getting nice and naughty for Christmas Eve with burlesque dance acts by Olga. Starts at 10pm. Table reservations recommended.

Christmas & Bachata Party

Enjoy Latin heat all night on Christmas Eve at this underrated top-floor bar near Yu Garden. There’s a free Bachata class from 9pm, music by the Los Amigos Trio, and a Christmas party. Free entry. Dress code is gold and silver and they are giving away a bottle of champagne to the best dressed!

Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet

The Infinity restaurant in the Radisson Blu Hotel showcases festive favorites like roast turkey, a deluxe seafood bar, sushi and sashimi. 388rmb per person. Add 50rmb for all-you-can-drink soft drinks and beer.

Radison Blue
Christmas Eve at the Waldorf

The Grand Brasserie in the Waldorf hosts an extravagant Christmas buffet dinner with all the traditional trimmings. There is also musical accompaniment from their resident jazz band and entertainment for children with a special visit from Santa Claus. 1188+15% per person and includes red and white wine. 468rmb+15% for children. Lasts from 6-10pm.

2014 Super Pillow Fight Party

Certainly one of the weirdest, coolest events of the year. It is just a massive pillow fight at the Mao Livehouse. Beat on your friends and strangers in the name of Christmas. There’s some bands and DJs playing as well. Price at the door is 200rmb including a pillow, or you can get tickets pre-sale for 168rmb. There’s a session at 7:30pm and 9:30pm on both December 24th and 25th.

Pillow fight

Kerry Parkside presents Santaville, a festive Christmas market featuring vendors hawking gifts and Christmas treats and drinks. In addition, there will be live performances and carolers as well as a merry-go-round and other fun stuff. Free Entry. Open Mon-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sun 10am-10pm, Christmas Eve & Day 10am-10pm.

Christmas Wonderland

The Kerry Center Christmas market, Christmas Wonderland, begins early December and is open every week until the beginning of January. The market will include activities for children such as a Merry Go Round, snow slides, and Santa’s house. Food and drinks are available such as Gluhwein, hot chocolate, and more. Open Mon-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sun 10am-10pm. Free entry.

Jing An Kerry Centre
Naked Stables Holiday Season Package

Naked Stables in Moganshan has holiday packages starting at 1088rmb+15% per person. Cost includes one night at Naked Stables, gluhwein, ginger bread man decorating, a bonfire with marshmallows, winter sampling lunch at Kikaboni, holiday rosemary massage at naked Lead Spa, the Land Rover Experience, horseback riding, morning yoga, a Naked Farm tour, and a breakfast and buffet dinner at the Farmhouse. Special Christmas and New Years Eve packages available. Available daily until December 31st.

Winter Afternoon Tea

The Lobby in the Peninsula Shanghai has a festive holiday afternoon tea available daily until Christmas. It features a teared stand of savories and sweets along with a glass of chilled bubbly. 300rmb+15% per person, 460rmb+15% for two. 840rmb+15% for two including one glass of champagne each.

penninsula hotel lobby
Not to mention, this year at Shanghai Properties we are offering a present to all our special clients. Curious? Check it out!

adrienne-black-top-smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties