First, let me first clarify what I mean when I say “Expat Housing”. I’m referring to the expats who move to China to work with a large company or as business professionals. People who are moving with families and prefer to live in a comfortable home with similar amenities to what they’re used to. Truthfully, an expat can live anywhere they are able to negotiate a lease. You could certainly find a small traditional Chinese apartment anywhere in the city.
Most expats in Shenyang choose to rent an apartment in one of the many gated communities. I say “gated” because, well, they have gates. But I don’t want to mislead you into thinking there are issues with security. That’s not really the case. Most of the time the gates aren’t closed and people come and go pretty easily. China is a very safe place to live. Honestly, I think the gates and security detail are more of a status symbol than a necessity.
There are several different communities and new ones being built all the time. The most common ones are near the Southern end of the city, right along the Hunhe river. Each community has pros and cons and it depends a lot on your personal preferences as to which will work best for your family. It also depends some on the luck of the draw and what is available when you’re looking. Don’t feel like you have to choose right away if you aren’t comfortable with the first few you see. The apartments here are privately owned and can vary a lot between furnishings, maintenance, square footage, and amenities depending on the landlord and previous tenants. Continue reading