London to HK with baby - Bring it on?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    London to HK with baby - Bring it on?

    Hi all

    Apologies if this has been asked before.

    So many questions!

    My partner has been offered the opportunity to work in HK next year and we are massively excited by the prospect but also slightly worried about certain things.

    Where to start? mmmm well we are in our early thirties, unmarried with a one year old. Love going out boozin and dancing (well i say that but that was obviously before kids anyway). WE live in LOndon in a georgian terrace in Islington. Parner works in computers for bank in city and I am an interior designer (self employed).

    We desperately want to do something adventurous like going to Hk with the travel possibilites and buzz of the place. However we are now proper grown ups (as parents) and have to consider the implications for our baby.

    So.... the big question i suppose is, is there anywhere we could live that would be good for a toddler (away from pollution with maybe a bit of space) while not too far to commute the central HK for partner on a budget of HK30-35,000?

    As we are not married I believe I can't work so if we do get married and I try and get interior design work, do people actually do their properties up bearing in mind most expats have rental properties?

    Do most expat families have live in maids? I know this is quite reasonable but do not know actual figures. Bearing in mind it costs me £622 a month to send my toddler to nursery for 2 days/week in LOndon it must be cheaper!

    Sorry for the long post but any ideas, suggestions etc would be great.

    Thanks x


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561

    ok, first thing's first...

    you CANNOT work legally because you are not married. you will NOT be eligible for cheap medical care (gov't) because you will not be eligible for a HKID. you basically need a HKID card to do many, many things, ie. get a mobile phone in your own name, join a gym etc. you are not LEGALLY allowed to look for work while here either. (not to say it isn't done all the time.) you CAN exit HK and get another 6 months visitor visa, BUT after one or two of these, the gov't will start to ask questions as to why/how you can support yourself for such an extended period of time without working. you then may be given a very short period of time to leave HK.

    if you only consider marriage a piece of paper, then i'd suggest getting that little piece of paper. you don't have to tell anyone that you have gotten married, except for immigration. that would open MANY doors for you and make life so much easier!

    now... onto your other questions...

    So.... the big question i suppose is, is there anywhere we could live that would be good for a toddler (away from pollution with maybe a bit of space) while not too far to commute the central HK for partner on a budget of HK30-35,000?

    ANSWER: there are many places that would fit your requirements. Check out Discovery Bay & Sai Kung, even Gold Coast.

    As we are not married I believe I can't work so if we do get married and I try and get interior design work, do people actually do their properties up bearing in mind most expats have rental properties?

    Rarely do people put too much $ into decorating a flat if they will only be in it for a couple of years and it belongs to someone else.

    Do most expat families have live in maids? I know this is quite reasonable but do not know actual figures. Bearing in mind it costs me £622 a month to send my toddler to nursery for 2 days/week in LOndon it must be cheaper!

    I would hazard to say that a huge number of families, not just expat, have live-in maids. daycare is virtually unheard of here. i'm not sure what the current exchange rate is, but you can budget about $5000 (all inc) for a full-time, live-in helper.

    good luck! hong kong is great!


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Thanks so much for your response carang (saw your name in the babyexpat forum too with some useful advise so thanks for bothering again)

    I am really excited. Guess we will just have to pull our heads out of the sand and get that piece of paper.

    I am a bit worried about the not working thing as a designer but maybe I just have to get a real job again and go to a design firm (have seen that there are lots of commercial design firms in HK).Boooo! Not sure we would survive on one wage as my partners firm are not being generaous about our package. In fact we are just getting the basics really (medical, msetting up costs etc) so although we already pay steep mortgage in London the rental in HK looks a lot.

    Will check out the areas you mention. Someone had suggested Lamma island but I think it would be too far to commute for my partner.

    Anyway all very exciting and thanks again.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    54

    Designers Job

    Maybe if you are aware that many Hong Kong local people are investing in London properties, many are for rental, you could explore a potential business opportunity to be a HK-based consultant in providing design / renovation service to those investors who own London apartments. This is only one possible business, and in fact a niche market that not many people are doing. But personally I don't know how easy it is to work both in HK and London for the endeavour and the scale of the investment. Please forget it if the idea is not viable or unrealistic.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Thanks

    Interesting. I don't know if it is viable. Would have to look into it. Do you personally know any HK locals who are looking to buy in London?

    Even if it is too niche it does make me think that I shouldn't just assume i can tranport my existing business model to HK, and that there could be all sorts of diffrent design avenues which still allow me to be self employed. Hate to use the term thinkning out side the box - so I won't! You know what I mean.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    54

    Parchie, I was one of the HK locals who tried hard to get my London apartment furnished up without the need of travelling abroad (and I'll have to do it again later). The furnishing company I contacted had offices in both places or an associate in London. They advised on designing and furnishing my new apartment to the extent that it is suitable for rent as a fully furnished flat.

    Some developers launching property sale in HK often team up with property agents, financiers, lawyers and sometimes designers, whose fees are more expensive than local-based consultants.

    So far there are many London property purchase transactions in HK going on, judging from the frequency of sale exhibitions.

    Just hope that the information is useful in triggering your further thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by parchie:
    Thanks

    Interesting. I don't know if it is viable. Would have to look into it. Do you personally know any HK locals who are looking to buy in London?

    Even if it is too niche it does make me think that I shouldn't just assume i can tranport my existing business model to HK, and that there could be all sorts of diffrent design avenues which still allow me to be self employed. Hate to use the term thinkning out side the box - so I won't! You know what I mean.