Housing Allowance?

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  1. #1
    inprov

    Housing Allowance?

    What is a reasonable housing allowance to ask for in HK? We will only be gone for a year or 2 at the very most.
    My husband works for a relatively small company that has nevr moved anyone to HK before. They have a factory in China and 6 employees in HK. He is the boss and would be restructuring the operation in Asia. His base US salary (we do not live in a major metropolitan area) is in the mid 100s range now plus a bonus, which is never that large and a car allowance. We will keep our home here and will lose money even if we rent it. (about 16,000 a year with taxes and stuff we figure-the rent won't cover the whole mortgage)

    We have three children who will go to school as well, so that will be very expensive! I think a housing allowance of $48000 HKD is reasonable, but my husband is a cheap and loyal employee who does not like to ask for anything.(have you ever heard of such a thing) He claims that he wants to do this to better the company as he truly cares about it and also because he thinks it would be a good experience for the kids, even if we live in a hovel and end up in financial ruin.

    I want to save money and get ahead financially!
    Who gets a housing stipend? How does it work?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Hong Kong
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    23,207

    It's pretty much every man for himself - you negotiate for whatever you can get: I know plenty of expats with none, and some with allowances of over HK$100,000 per month.

    I understand that recent tax changes in the US mean that housing is a bit of an issue now. You should also explicitly get school fees paid.

    You may decide that a car is an unnecessary luxury here, depending on where your home, the kids' schools and your husband's office(s) are in relation to each other. Public transport is excellent, and taxis are cheap.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Sai Kung
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    8,561

    with 3 kids, that is completely reasonable.

    has your husband ever been in HK? has he ever visited flats here? i'm guessing probably not.

    some bedrooms here are the same size as your bathroom probably is!

    i bought an american book once about decorating small places. i can honestly tell you.... they have no idea what small places are!

    with that housing allowance, chances are you will still be living in a place smaller than what you are used to, but at least you should be able to find somewhere that has a bedroom for each child.

    ps. DO NOT forget the schooling! the company should be paying for it!

    (i'm so jealous, i've never had any kind of package...i've always had to pay for everything out of my own pocket. for this reason, when my son gets to school age, we'll have to leave. too bad, by that point i will have lived here for 15 years and my hubby was born here.)


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    PS... do you know how many times we've heard... "we'll only be here for 2 years at most!".....10 years later, they're still here!
    (i honestly came for a week long holiday, i've been here 11.5 years now!)


  5. #5
    inprov

    My husband has been to HK numerous times and is a frequent visitor all over Asia. (India, Spore, Phillpines, Japan...etc) I have also traveled in China, so I know the craziness of being in Shanghai without any of the tranquility I hear Hong Kong offers.

    I forgot to mention that his office is in Sha Tin. Should we look in NT? Hong Lok Yuen? Sai Kung? 3 kids do need to ride their bikes and run, although I am definitely not a suburban chick!
    I need lots of people... at least some interesting ones...


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    8,561

    if he's in sha tin, you should be able to find something for less than $48000/month. i'd look at sai kung.