I have made a list over things you should check when you are looking for an apartment in Shanghai.
– What are the sources of heat / Aircondition in the apartment?
In southern parts of China, it is usual with apartments which is powered solely by solar panels (太阳 气 taiyangqi), but then there is no central heating system.
Ask your landlord/real estate agent and be sure that you have the possibility to gain the right temperature in the apartment.
– Is there hot water to both in the kitchen and bathroom?
Ask to check the shower to be sure that everything i working. I lived my first month in China without hot water because of this mistake. Believe me, hot water something you will really miss.
– Is it a fridger/freezer/washing machine/other electrical machines that you can not live without?
This is especially important if you want to make food yourself. A lot of people in China have restaurant food for every meal (it´s very cheap), but making some food at home sometimes might be a good alternative for some people.
– Is the apartment cloes enough to the supermarket?
Most compunds do have their own small supermarkets, but they often don´t contain any western food. Carrefour and Walmart are two enourmous supermarket chains that can be found all over Shanghai.
– Is the apartment furnished, and how hard is your bed?
– Is there a Chinese or western-style toilet?
Almost all of the apartments have a western-style toilet and I would never live in an apartment that didn´t have one of those.