Tianjin, China

Expat Exchange Rental Properties

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Tianjin, China: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know about living in Tianjin?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Tianjin, they said:

"Lousy weather - cold, windy winters and very polluted. Hot sticky summers. Little to do aside from eating out and shopping malls. However, there is an airport close by and a train station - and Beijing is 2 hours away," said another expat in Tianjin.

What do I need to know before moving to Tianjin?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Tianjin, they said:

"Come for what I call a looky-see trip first before committing to come live in this area to make sure you can find a decent home for you and your family. Get a good relocation company to help you look and negotiate for you. Everything in china is up for negotiation! Make sure your company is allowing you enough housing money per month to get you a good place to live and make sure you detail and negotiate EVERYTHING you want the place to have BEFORE you seal the deal and move into the place. *** When your contract for the house is up for renewal that is the time the owner will make other changes you need or forgot to ask for intitally to keep you in the place for another go round," explained one expat.

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How do I find a place to live in Tianjin?

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We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"There were not that many choices in Tianjin of what we call, "western style" housing. Still are not that many choices. We ended up in the place we have(23rd floor of a centrally located Singaporian run apt building) because one became available when we needed it and we grabbed the bird in hand not knowing if there were any left out there in the bushes, so to speak," said another person in Tianjin.

Expat Exchange Rentals

We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search rental properties in China.

We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search rental properties in China.

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Tianjin?

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"I live on the 23rd floor of what is known as a fully-serviced apt building. Fully serviced means that they provide housekeeping six days a week. My apt is a modest sized three bedroom/2 bath place.No dishwasher or garbage disposal but does have access to western TV programming which is banned to the Chinese locals. It is centrally located so I can walk to many places I want to go to or easily flag down one of the little red suicide taxis that play road chicken games all over town. Like most Chinese made buildings, this place while only five years old is already showing signs of falling apart," said another person in Tianjin.

What is the average cost of housing in Tianjin?

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If you are thinking about moving to Tianjin, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The intial cost per month for this apt was $5,000 USD!(They have since dropped the rent down to $4,000 per month) The same apt back in Seattle would run around $1,000 per month and would include a dishwasher and garbage disposal. There are apts in Tianjin to be had for less, of course, but not as nice or offer perks like good western TV programming like our building can get for its tennants," said another expat in Tianjin.

Need a rental in China? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies.

Search for Rentals

Need a rental in China? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search for Rentals in China

What to Bring When Moving to Tianjin (and what to leave behind)

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When we asked expats living in China what they wish they had brought when moving to China and what they wish they had left at home, they replied:

"Three things I wish I had brought 1. My own bed or a new American made King Size bed!!! My poor back may never forgive me for not doing so. Along with not knowing the meaning of safety and sanitation, the Chinese do not have a clue when it comes to making comfortable furniture.PS. Also the complete bedding for that bed. 2. Also, like the bed two very comfortable chairs(like a laz-y-boy) for the living room. Again, your body will appreciate you for doing so. 3. A mixer that has been wired for 220 volt. Can be done by companies in America that wire appliances for overseas living.The chinese do not use(yet) many of the appliances Americans are use to using in their kitchens. Three things I wish I had left at home. 1. At least 3/4's of my clothing (with the exception of underwear, jeans, and shoes) China is a nation of a zillion clothing shops and, also, excellent tailors and seamstresses that do not charge all that much to make good clothing. 2. My breadmaker. China now has lots of bakeries and while their pastries still leave something to be desired their many choices of breads will do just fine for your dinner table. 3. My fear of the Chinese people. I can honestly say that I have NOT had one single intimadating, fearful enounter or situation with any Chinese since moving here over two years ago. Frustrating and confusing at times,yes, but I have never felt threatened. In fact,sadly ironically, I have felt much safer here in China than I ever felt back in my good, ole USA," said another expat in Tianjin.

Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Tianjin accepting of differences?

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"People are accepting of diversity, but it's difficult to meet locals because of language barriers (few people speak English outside of typical expat locations)," remarked another in Tianjin.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Tianjin, ChinaGuide to Living in Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Tianjin

China Forum China Forum
Join our China forum to meet other people living in Tianjin, China.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Tianjin.

Healthcare in ChinaHealthcare in China

Expats living in China discuss health insurance and quality of medical care in China. Tip 1: if you're going to the hospital in China (or to a doctor), bring a translator!

Real Estate TianjinReal Estate in Tianjin

Advice about renting and buying real estate in Tianjin

Tianjin, ChinaExpats Talk about Living in Tianjin

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Expat Report: Living in Tianjin

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