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Advice on Housing Location

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    166

    Advice on Housing Location

    I have appreciated the wealth of information found on the Geo Expat website. As this is my first post and I am asking the well known best place to live question I will try and add further details to make the post pertinent.

    We will be arriving in July 2010 from Canada.

    Background

    • Budget for Housing: $9,500 HKD per month
    • Total Budget: $45,000 HKD per month
    • Family details: I am an American Born Chinese and my wife is Caucasian. I can understand some Cantonese and speak even less. We have a five year old daughter (March 2005) and a four month old son (Feb 2010)
    • Schooling: We are leaning towards local schooling. My daughter will attend K3 in September.
    • I will be working from home so transportation distance to work is not an issue. I may need to travel to Chinese University in Tai Po for the first couple of years.
    • We need to achieve fluency in Cantonese. We are looking to live in Hong Kong long term.
    • One of our concerns is air quality so that will also play a role in where we locate.
    • With our young children we wont be participating in the night life
    • We are considering Sha Tin district and Lamma Island. I know that Sha Tin would be much closer to the Kowloon area but Lamma Island and the beach and living conditions are plusses.
    • We are thinking of a roof top village house with 3 bedrooms. We are okay with being somewhat remote although we will not have a car.
    • I would like to be under an hour to Jordan Station/Kings Park and Kowloon Bay/Mega Box via KMB Bus/Public Light Bus or MTR.
    • Proximity to a LCSD or like option for running track, broad band internet, and library would be great.


    Recommendations/Questions:
    • What district and specific area/villages to research and any recommended real estate agents or agencies for our budget?
    • Any other input is welcome.


    Kind regards

    GH

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Fo Tan
    Posts
    2,389

    You can't escape air pollution in HK.
    Minibus is hard with two young kids, a stroller and bags.
    Looking at the schools, seems locals prefer the non-local schools.

    Golden Hawk likes this.

  3. #3
    jgl
    jgl is offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    10,217

    Wow, that's one of the best first posts I've ever seen... you actually bother to provide meaningful info!

    Unfortunately, my own reply is going to be more sparse.

    Lamma is very impractical if you need to travel to Tai Po regularly because of the ferry ride - walk - MTR.

    The air here sucks, pretty much equally across the entire territory (and especially in some of the more built up areas). If you are concerned about the air, ignore district and get a good filter to run indoors. After a fair bit of research, I decided that this is the best one to get: http://www.iqair.com/residential/roo.../healthpro.php. Bring one out from Canada- they are ludicrously expensive out here, and run it on a transformer.

    Golden Hawk likes this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,569

    i would STRONGLY suggest sai kung. you have the same benefits as lamma, but MUCH closer to the universitey.

    also there is a FANTASTIC local kindergarten. SAI KUNG LOK YUK kindergarten. they are used to having mixed kids and caucasians in their mainly chinese classes. fees are VERY cheap as it is a church-run school (but so far as i can tell, the religious aspects are not beaten into the kids).

    there is also a local primary school that has many mixed kids in it. as of next year, they will have chinese stream(using cantonese) & english stream (using english & putonghua). again, the fees are VERY reasonable.

    you could easily get a cheap car to run around in if you find the public transportation to be too much... we just got an old (but in pretty good shape) corolla for $9800... it costs $500 to fill the tank to the brim and lasts me 1 week (i do A LOT of driving!)...

    if you have any questions, please do not hesitate. i'm a fellow canadian who has lived here for 15+ years.

    Golden Hawk likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,569

    forgot to say:

    sai kung- telford garden minibus
    sai kung- causeway bay minibus
    sai kung- mongkok minibus
    sai kung-choi hung minibus
    sai kung- hang hau minibus

    GREAT public pool, library, running track, tennis courts

    lots of restaurants (all variations)

    i'll dig up the website for the kindergarten i mentioned...
    index1.jpg

    my son will be in K3 there and my daughter in K1 in September.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    166

    Sleuth,

    Appreciated your thoughtsI agree navigating a minibus would be difficultI was thinking more of just myself using the minibus to get to Kings Park or Mega Box for sports.

    JGL,

    Thanks for the kind wordsthat is helpful to know about the walkin looking at things online I assumed it the central ferry pier would right by the MTRit would definitely add to the commute time. Thanks for the heads up about the air filter as well.

    Carang,

    Wowthanks for wealth of information about Sai Kung. It has made the cut

    Do you think Sai Kung would facilitate my goal of achieving fluency in Cantonese?

    While I realize that you can get around anywhere in Hong Kong with just English there are some places that more of an immersion situation than others.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,569

    there are a lot of expats in sai kung, but i still practice my cantonese every day...everyone appreciates it when they see you trying to master the language. they remember you and are always ready with a smile.... it is not as "un-english friendly" as some other areas, but still manageable without using english! LOL! funny, most people are looking for the opposite!


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    166

    Carang,

    Thanks for the lead on Sai Kung...I am now looking for a painter for our flat I will post a request for recommendations in the Sai Kung forum.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,569

    so you guys settled on sai kung? which area?


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    166

    We are excited to be living in Sai Kung...we will be living in a village house just outside of Sai Kung town center.


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