thinking about moving to HK

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

    thinking about moving to HK

    it's really more of a daydream at this point, but after my nephew's born in august and my lease expires in september, I've been thinking about getting out of dodge. I'm sick and tired of living in the North East... well, mostly, I'm sick and tired of winter. lol.

    anyone have any suggestions on the best place to start?

    I'm thinking hong kong because my company has an office there -- looks like it's in/near Sai Wan, according to google maps -- and my position is such that I could work from any of our offices. since I'd be the one asking to move, though, I wouldn't exactly be in a position to ask for compensation for moving expenses or a cost of living wage increase...

    how much USD/month do you think would be the base for a single, child-free guy living in Hong Kong?

    I'm comfortable cooking my own food (don't know what local food is like in HK, but in the US, I subside mostly on sandwiches, salads, chicken, and rice/pasta). I'm likewise not super big into clubbing, though I'd have to make new friends somehow

    also, where's the best place to start trying to find an apartment? I've been looking a bit on craigslist, but it's hard to judge how close they are without knowing where different neighborhoods are. I wouldn't mind commuting 30-45 minutes, but being in biking distance is really my ideal (~3 miles); I worked in NYC for 4 years, though, so mass transportation is no problem. not having to pay for car upkeep / insurance is a linchpin in my plan, though.

    I've been living in a 700 sq-ft 1-bedroom and would like to not go much smaller than that (though natch, I'd have a lot less stuff than I have now since I'd be leaving all my furniture behind if I can find a furnished place, and I'd probably trade my dual-monitor desktop PC in for a laptop)


  2. #2

    kennedy town maybe?

    hi, I made a thread here for my apartment hunting couple of days ago, this might be useful also for you.
    http://www.geoexpat.com/forum/thread...tml#post201958

    Many expats are living in a place like 20 - 30K per month.
    But if you only need a decent life, you can find a place with around 6K HKD. No, It is not like dark dirty apartment you see in hong kong movies,believe me.
    If you don't need great sea view, a lot of security guys in front of the building and hotel-like lobby, you can find a nice place with the budget from 6K to 10K.

    I think in your case.. your office is in saiwan, so kennedy town is the best, you can go to work on foot or maybe by tram.

    unfortunately, I think it is not possible to go to work by bike, there is too much traffic. in hong kong, only you can ride a bike in the suburb, your place is close to Central.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    477

    try GOHOME to look at apartments. it gives you an idea of the cost by area and what you get for the money. but to find something comparable to a 700sqft new york apartment, you should look at something that's around 800-900sqft - because the squarefootage posted is the gross - the net (ie. liveable space) is usually 80% of the posting.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ex Sai Kunger Sunny Qld for now
    Posts
    8,238
    General rule of the thumb is.

    The newer the property the lesser the usable floor space.

    Most apartment complexes sold new after 1997, are down to as low as 70% net floor space. Especially true for estates under 5 years old that failed to meet the govts green garden laws, failing to provide enough garden area's at the planning stages, gave the developer a narrower floor plan or foot print allowance penalty. Normally 8 apartment per floor buildings suffer a 70% ratio of efficiency, as the developers crammed as many apartments as possible, to maximise their profits.

    The best apartment complexes in my opinion, are 4 or 2 apartment per floor complex layouts, which are generally 85% efficiency. You don't see 4 or 2 per floor apartment complexes being built much, if at all these days.

    To give you an idea, our fully renovated 15 year old 3 bedroom, 1 bath room top floor apartment of 836FT2 is as big as our previous 1189FT2 3 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment of 8 years old, minus one bathroom, say 50ft, thats a discrepancy of 303FT2 in regard to the newer complex, quiet creative how they included space from all the common area's, lift wells, stair wells, club house, etc etc etc etc.

    Buy yourself an ultrasonic or laser tape measure, and check room dimensions from apartment to apartment, then compare them, you'll be amazed just how much smaller they are from what's been advertised.

    Quiet dodgey
    Last edited by Skyhook; 04-03-2008 at 08:58 AM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

    it's Sui Sai Wan, btw, not sai wan.

    somewhere along chai wan rd.

    [ame=http://maps.google.com/maps?q=saiwan&ie=UTF8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ll=22.266143,114.250216&spn=0.028992,0.040169&t= h&z=15&iwloc=addr]saiwan - Google Maps[/ame]

    as far as finding apartments go... are local agencies superior to anything I could find online? seems like anything I've seen on craigslist is a lot more expensive than what people talk about on these forums.

    my current apt. is about 7215 HKD, so moving to HK would only really be an option if I could get something in the 6-9K range.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561

    yeah, i'm guessing you've never been to hk... biking to work is not a great option. even when you take away the insane drivers that have no regard for cyclists & the mountainous terrain, you are stuck with weather that for 8 months of the year ranges between 28-35deg C and humidity that can reach 98% without rain...oh and then you get the days that there is literally torrential rain and things shut down because of it(granted black rainstorm warnings are few and far between but riding a bike in a red or yellow cloud is equally dangerous/icky!).


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

    for what it's worth, I was wrong in the OP... the office is in chai wan, not sai wan:

    [ame=http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=chai+wan&sll=22.270273,1 14.23378&sspn=0.028991,0.040169&ie=UTF8&ll=22.2653 49,114.239187&spn=0.028992,0.040169&t=h&z=15&iwloc =addr]chai wan - Google Maps[/ame]

    is the best option for finding a place just being there and looking locally? everything I've seen online and on craigslist seems to be much more expensive that what people have mentioned on these forums.

    everyone says HK has remarkable mass transportation, but if I were living off HK island and needed to get to the office in the middle of the night, would I potentially be SOL?


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

    re:thanks

    thanks for the replies.

    I've lived most of my life (outside of a year in JP and 4 years out in the appilachian mountains in the US) in a town outside of NYC that's a glorified swap; 90%+ humidity days aren't uncommon in the summer, though I'd imagine it's like that for a much longer portion of the year in HK.

    I was wrong in the OP, also... the office I'd be working at is on the east side of the island, in siu sai wan.

    just to get a general idea, how much cash would you recommend having available to live on between the time I land in HK and get into a flat? I'm guessing I should have ~3 months rent available to cover deposits and commission fees?


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561

    the initial deposit standard is 3 months (this includes the 1st month's rent) PLUS 1/2 month for real estate agent's commission.

    as far as i remember you can get all your hook-ups without any up front payment, they'll bill you for it.

    most likely your best form of public transport would be MTR. I would look to live somewhere along the island line. you'll be minutes from the night life and also from work. once here you will see just how biking UNfriendly hk can be, especially hk island!

    it now depends on how "local" you want to go for a place to live.


  10. #10

    Yeah, 3 months should do. 1 month deposit, 1 month in advance and 1 month max agency fee.

    Would allow a bit of cash for signing up for gas / electric / water but TV, mobile, phone etc you provided you have a credit card (which doesn't have to be a HK one) you will be fine.

    check out agencies for short-term serviced apartments before you move. budget based on what they say. will allow you to look around and decide where you want to live before tying yourself into a 2 year contract.

    and try for an orientation trip before you make the decision to move. yes, you can get most things out here but it will also be quite different to living in the US. though not as foreign as JP...


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