Moving to HK shortly

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    86

    Moving to HK shortly

    Hi and hello to all, great forum you have here.

    I'll be relocating with work in 6 weeks time (approx) and just wondered if you'd be so kind as to answer some initial questions I have, apologies if I have posted in the incorrect location. Also my apologies for the length of the post.

    I am 23, and will be moving alone. I will be receiving a salary of HKD 560,000 and a minimum annual bonus of HKD 320,000, but due to credit commitments will need to account for HKD 9,000 to send home. My employer is paying my shipping costs, putting me in a serviced apartment for one month at their expense and I get a HKD 60,000 relocation allowance, but this will most likely go straight on the deposit for an apartment.

    Q1 - am I correct it is one months rent, plus another month deposit upfront? So if I paid this in July, my next payment of rent wont be until September/I hear electricity is expensive, how much is it roughly due to A/C etc. Most sites I've viewed rentals for state there is zero management/government fee and utilities are
    included, but my new boss says this is rare in HK. My employer uses Santa Fe to deal with everything,so hopefully will avoid agent fees as Santa Fe will pay those.

    Q2 - I have been told that my UK applicances should work as HK uses near enough the same currency,I may just need a plug adaptor - is this accurate?

    Q3 - If I spend HD 20,000 monthly on a nice place (central or mid-levels) will I still have enough left a month for a relatively decent living? I

    Q4 - How much is the MTR from Central/Mid-Levels to the CBD? Can you buy annual tickets, or like tokyo are you only able to buy single ones.

    Q5 - Is it correct that you don;t pay tax monthly, you are billed annually? I used the HK tax calculator from the Inland Revenue site and it showed on my salary (excluding bonus) annual tax of HKD HDK 76,000 - is this accurate ? (hope so as that is fantastic!)

    Q6 What month is tax billed in if annually ?

    Q7 Are there any English language sites anyone can suggest where I can view HK internet / cable television packages to gauge how much they will cost.

    Q8 Are mid-levels too much of a financial area to live in? I want to escape work without having to commute for hours (hense new terrortries is out) how far from Mid-Levels to CBD?

    Apologies again for all of the questions,

    Many thanks


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sham Tseng
    Posts
    622

    If you post your questions one and I time you will probably get a better response and most of what you are asking has been covered before so try some searches but..

    Q1. You need 3.5 months rent to start. 1 month in advance, 2 months bond, .5month for the agents commission. Most leases are 2 years with a 1 year break clause which means you can leave after 14 months. Bills here are cheap compared to what I'm used to. Yes your power bill will be quite high in summer due to all the air-con which you need every minute you are home but to give you an idea on average for a year we pay $1k pm for all bills (power, water, gas, phone, tv).

    Q3. Start talking about your salary in months and people will be able to help. Nobody works things out here in terms of what you earn annually and of course everything is relative and depends on what kind of lifestyle you want.

    Q4. Central, midlevels is the CBD so no MTR needed, you just take a free escalator down the hill, walk or catch a cab. Cabs are cheap but rush hour is busy so walking is fast but gets hot. Amazing system called Octopus here - you put money on a card and use it to pay for trains, buses, McDonalds etc just by tapping your wallet against a reader - you don't even take it out of your bag.

    Q5. You have to save up and pay tax in a lump sum. COmplicated so do some searches for other answers but basically if you save 16% you should be good, unless you are from the US when it all gets weird.

    Q7. PCCW is the Telecoms company you want. Their internet is called Netvigater and the TV is Now Broadband.

    Q8. Lots of expats in the midlevels and lots of bars and restaurants. Stay in a serviced apartment for a month at the beginning while you look for an apartment so you can check it out.
    Good luck with your move!

    Last edited by larac; 16-05-2007 at 07:38 AM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    26

    Hi adam65,

    larac's given you outline answers for most of the above, so I'll keep my supplementary ones short:

    Q1. Management fees/government rent can either be included or excluded in your quote of the rent (mine is inclusive of both), but will probably be reflected in the price you're given...

    Q2. The plugs/sockets are pretty much like the 3-pin ones you get in the UK. Some older ones will be of the round pin variety, but newer ones are the same as your UK variety.

    Q4. Travel is really reasonably priced. The Octopus cards mentioned by larac is like the Oyster cards used in London for different forms of public transport (with slightly discounted prices for travel when using the cards), only you can use them in places such as 7-11, fast food shops etc as well.

    Q7. Have a look here: http://www.nowbroadbandtv.com/eng/?G...0333413c5d35f&

    Good luck with your move, and welcome to HK..


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    86

    re Moving to HK

    Many thanks to you both for your helpful responses.

    Re monthly calculations - my monthly salary is HKD 46k which from research I should be able to live relatively comfortably on.

    I'll be in a serviced apt provided by work for the first month, so I'll have 4 Saturdays to pick a place !


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    35

    Hi and welcome to Hong Kong! We have just moved here from London as well so I can tell you that most of the appliances work just fine and the plugs are the same. In terms of living you should be fine in mid-levels but for something a bit different and more interesting, why not look at some of the outlying islands which are just a short hop to CBD? Lamma is a fantastic place to live in my opinion, but maybe too far for you - Discovery Bay is another good option - you will get a bit more space for your rental dollar for sure though - midlevels is very crowded.

    Octopus card is great, get one as soon as you land. And, if Santa Fe is paying, try and stay at Lily Court or Daisy Court, both well located in mid-levels just off escalator - and very convenient/easy to meet others/go on your house hunt! If you do a websearch for Hanlun Habitats you will find them. Cheers.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    26

    adam65,

    A month doesn't seem like much time to find a place, but unless you work Sundays and late into the evenings, you'll find that a lot of agents are open long hours, 7 days a week, which really helps.... (I even had a look at some midlevels apartments on a Sunday afternoon during my search for a flat).

    Sorry if you've already done this, but have you had a look at http://www.geoexpat.com/basics/district-guides/ Gives you an outline of some different areas you might want to consider...

    Happy house hunting!


  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    86

    Disco Bay

    Hey IMO, thks for the district link.

    Great advice Snagito, thanks. Quite shocked at how much more I can get for my buck in DB - even the ferry crossing is only 20-25min and at less than $30 is not bad at all (single)

    Only worry is that I like city life (indeed why London and Tokyo are two of my favourite places)... not sure if DB would seem to "far out" and isolated?


  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    86

    Abeo in Aberdeen

    Quite like the look of this, good standard and size - lots of fixtures and internet/satellite inclusive, as are all utilities

    http://www.wotif.com/hotel/View?hotel=48407

    Check out pictures, for 1bed specifically rather than studio.

    500 sq ft with mountain view HKD 14-19,000, but are willing to offer a discount for a letting of 6 months onwards.

    Is Aberdeen quite a commute to CBT ? Would welcome anyones thoughts on Abeo, seems very good value and quite nicely spec'd.

    ""Abeo offers in-house facilities and services include: LCD TV with DVD home theatre system, ipod dock, extension choice of cable TV channels, Wi-Fi broadband internet access, individually controlled eco-friendly and energy-efficient A/C and heating system, ample in-house storage facilities, and maid service, grocery delivery, movie library and 24-hour security.""

    Last edited by adam65; 16-05-2007 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Additional Info

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sham Tseng
    Posts
    622

    Aberdeen is basically the other side of HK Island from the city before you head down the peninsula to Stanley. Not bad becasue the public transport is pretty good but no MTR there and a bit of a trek. Try Pok Fu Lam or Kennedy Town for something similar but closer also with no MTR or out along the Island MTR Line like Quarry Bay.

    You can get something similar in central though and there are lots of agents. Start with a walk along Caine Road and if you are looking at central then you could go at lunch time.

    You can always stay in a serviced apartment for longer. Look at moveandstay.com for some option. You also have no bills or sset up costs but if you have furniture coming that wont work.