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Yet another panicky inbound expat

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    19

    Smile Yet another panicky inbound expat

    Hey folks

    I've been lurking on for awhile and I thought it was about time I made an account and posted. As we say here in America, 'shit just got real.'

    and I don't mean Trump.

    I know this serves as the typical post and I don't have exact details yet but it would be nice at least to introduce myself. I will try to keep this tidy but I'm kind of a blabaholic when writing.

    I have been job searching in the Shanghai and Hong Kong area for the last year to try and bring my 3 years ld relationship closer, she recently relocated to Shanghai from London. Long story short, that relationship went south and after some time thinking about it I decided to go ahead and keep following up on some opportunities. On Monday, I was informed that one of the companies would like to proceed to hire me and we have began negotiations.

    It's a big multinational HK company to say the least, a slight promotion as far as responsibilities with a much better track for advancement then in my current company. China, well, HK, is also an intriguing place for experience in my career as well that will be quite a nugget on my resume should I chose to come back to the States. I mentioned Shanghai, I am a hobbyist Mandarin studier and studied there for a bit. I have gone back to SH about6 times since 2010. I have been to HK about three times. That being said, I know nothing about Cantonese but I'm not appalled to learning.

    So on to the meat, I am currently negotiation potentially for around 67K to 90K a month. This would be anywhere between a 15 to 30% pay raise for me (but I also live in very very low cost of living part of America).

    I -do- believe (and selfishly hope) that I will be in their main building locating in Central, but this isn't clear. I may be in one of the otheroffice locations around town. I hope to get more of this info next week.

    I see this whole thing as a chance to experience something that most people may not be awarded, Iam 42 next year, single and bringing over no kids. I don't have any intention to 'live it up' but I really want to immerse myself into the culture of what HK provides. I am willing to pay a little bit more in rentto be in an area thatencourages that.

    I have no idea what to expect as far as budgeting for rent, I hear anything between 20 to 30% and as high as 50%. I don't plan on buying a car, I don't have many external expenses, I like to cook at home just fine. I also don't plan on shipping many large items or furniture.

    Assuming I will be working in Central, does anyone have any suggestions of what is reasonable rent for me to afford on that pay range? I honestly haven't rented anything since I was 20, I bought a house and lord, this 3 bedroom house is only $1500 usd a month, about half of what rent is there.

    Anyways, its nice to meet everyone, I have many of friends in Shanghai but don't know anyone in HK, so I can't wait to get out into the community.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    A word of caution that a large number of multinationals are moving out of Central these days. Actually have been for some time already. Popular areas lately have been Quarry Bay, Ng Tau Kok, I believe HSBC relocated part of their back office near Nam Cheong etc. If it was me I would make sure I know where I'm going to work, then look for a place to live. And even so, you can always be moved later by your company to another center.

    In my opinion, you could budget $20k/mth for your rent if you're on your own. If it was me, and working in Central, I would look at Olympic. Large number of newer buildings, large foreign communities, along the MTR etc.

    jimbo and Mrs. Jones like this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    19

    Yeah you make a good point. That would definitely explain why there seems to be some confusion on where I will be. I thought Central was mentioned in the interview but it might have been a miscommunication. I know in Shanghai, the latest trend has been to put 'postal address' on the Lujiahui Pudong buildings to entice investors while skirting the worker bees off around Century Park or the Tech Park.

    Hopefully I'll have some info here soon but will go check out Olympic tonight. Thanks for the suggestion and budget recommendation!


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverEndeavour
    I really want to immerse myself into the culture of what HK provides. I am willing to pay a little bit more in rentto be in an area thatencourages that.
    Most people pay more to isolate them from the 'local' culture. There is a premium for expat enclaves or gated communities

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    5,652

    I assume you still have to pay your house of US$1500 a month. The offered salary is plenty for a single guy living in Hong Kong. You can look at a serviced apartments first until you figure out where you're going to work. They offer all kinds of short-term rentals.


  6. #6

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    Nov 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by East_coast
    Most people pay more to isolate them from the 'local' culture. There is a premium for expat enclaves or gated communities
    Yeah, I have seen this in Shanghai too. When I stayed I tended to stick around where my local friends were and less the expat areas. I had good times with the expats but I definitely enjoyed what I experienced with the local friends. Having to actually move and work here now though, you'd definitely want some amount of familiarity available for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by civil_servant
    I assume you still have to pay your house of US$1500 a month. The offered salary is plenty for a single guy living in Hong Kong. You can look at a serviced apartments first until you figure out where you're going to work. They offer all kinds of short-term rentals.
    I will lease my property to a property manager to hopefully offset the mortgage. I just met with them this afternoon and they said my area and location was highly sought at the moment. Of course, they could have just been yanking my chain, but they don't make money without tenets either.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    2,121

    With that salary range you have a lot of options.

    You could go super frugal and save A LOT (e.g. find a flat share, keep it simple, eat and live like a local, you could keep your total monthly expenses under 20K)

    You could go BIG and save a little (30K would get you a nice modern flat, another 30-35K for monthly expenses would provide a comfortable lifestyle for a single guy)

    Or you could do something in between.

    4EverEndeavour likes this.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by East_coast
    Most people pay more to isolate them from the 'local' culture. There is a premium for expat enclaves or gated communities
    That's nonsense. Expats pay more for green space, higher living standards, and due to proximity to work location. Reason being that they enjoy a higher socio-economic status as a large segment of them come from the wealthy class of other nations. It's not their goal to isolate themselves from locals. The irony in all of this is that some 'expat' areas have actually been established for longer than some of the 'local' areas. Does that mean that 'local' areas isolated themselves from the established 'expat' areas? No, it doesn't. I have friends whose families have been in Hong Kong for more than 150 years, yet they're not being called 'local' due to their ethnic origins. Meanwhile all those refugees and their offspring, who came here in the 50s to 70s from China all get the privilege of calling themselves 'local' according to guys like @East_coast. @East_coast, the only divisions that are happening here come from commentators such as you.
    Last edited by civil_servant; 20-11-2016 at 03:31 PM.
    TheBrit and 4EverEndeavour like this.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by civil_servant
    That's nonsense. Expats pay more for green space, higher living standards, and due to proximity to work location. Reason being that they enjoy a higher socio-economic status as a large segment of them come from the wealthy class of other nations. It's not their goal to isolate themselves from locals. The irony in all of this is that some 'expat' areas have actually been established for longer than some of the 'local' areas. Does that mean that 'local' areas isolated themselves from the established 'expat' areas? No, it doesn't. I have friends whose families have been in Hong Kong for more than 150 years, yet they're not being called 'local' due to their ethnic origins. Meanwhile all those refugees and their offspring, who came here in the 50s to 70s from China all get the privilege of calling themselves 'local' according to guys like @East_coast. @East_coast, the only divisions that are happening here come from commentators such as you.
    You are probably correct it is an aspiration of many to live in gated communities.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by East_coast
    You are probably correct it is an aspiration of many to live in gated communities.
    Of course, it's part of tradition.

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