I have very recently (as of yesterday) been offered the opportunity to transfer to my firm's HK office (from UK) and, having only spent a few days in HK en-route to a holiday in NZ 6 yrs ago before we had kids we have no idea where to start looking for accommodation and schooling etc!
It'll be me, my wife, and 2 sons (aged 16mo, and 4yrs[in Nov]). We don't really know what we want/can afford at this stage - a figure of HK$30k per month has been mentioned as a housing allowance, but is that likely to get us anything half decent? Unfortunately everyone else in the HK office is single/without kids so they all live in apartments close to the office so can't really advise
Reading up it seems competition for school places is quite fierce and also requires debentures (bribes?)! We'd obviously be looking at an English language school, and I guess we need to start looking ASAP for the eldest son (who would start school in the UK in Sept 2017) - or are we potentially too late. Given the timings, would we be best placed looking for a school first, then finding accommodation nearby?
Also, with regard to family areas, where is nice/affordable? We are moving from a 4bed detached house so it'll be quite a culture shock, and we realise we won't get anything nearly as large, but is a three bedroom apartment/house (not in a high rise) a realistic aspiration? We'd like nearby amenities for the kids (parks/pools etc) as well if possible. I currently work in London and have approx 1.5hr commute in by bike/train so distance from the centre is not necessarily an issue, but ideally I'd like a commute of less than one hour if possible.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated at this stage?