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Moving to Hong Kong in Jan 2014

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  1. #1

    Moving to Hong Kong in Jan 2014

    Hi, I've today been offered a job in Hong Kong (starting Jan 2014). Office is based in Quarry Bay and will be given a serviced apartment for a month and then left to get on with things.

    My girlfriend will be coming over too and we'd be looking to move to a nice apartment (pref two bed) within an hour's commute.

    We're 31 and 24, not 'party animals' but we do like a drink, fun living and meeting people.

    Any suggestions for a good location on a budget of around 20,000 HKD per month or maybe a little more if it makes a big difference?

    Any help greatly appreciated please. ps - a good and social rugby club nearby would be a bonus!


  2. #2

    Your coming when the weather is nice and cool...but prepare yourself for the humidity and heat of the summer....its gonna be a shock.

    I assume your girlfriend will be on a tourist visa.....she will either have to leaver every 6 months to stamp her visa or look for a company to sponsor her and give her a job.....very hard out here.

    Hope you also have some pennies saved as you will need upfront an additional HKS $40K as deposit and a further HKS 10K for estate agent fee...and that is additional to the first months rent of HKS 20K so your looking at paying out HKS70K in one go! i am not joking....this is standard practice out here in HK...i just want you to be prepared for the shock as i was when i first came....

    It all depends on your package obviously $$$$$...but it is not cheap here...especially if you like a drink and want to frequent the bars all the time...it's going to eat into your funds big time!

    You don't need a car..HK has the absolute best public transport system in the world....and its CHEAP...taxi's too!

    Watercooler likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by neosphere:
    she will either have to leaver every 6 months to stamp her visa ...
    That assumes that she holds a UK passport.

    You might want to look around the Tin Hau/Tai Hang area. It's becoming more gentrified with restaurants and bars, and losing its 'local' flavour. But you might find something in your price range there. And it's close to Valley RFC.

    Other posters will put forward their pet areas too. So you'll get some choices. The service apartment will give you time to find the lay of the land - and I know many people chose not to do this - but a pre-move trip is even better because then you're not moving to a new place, settling into a new job all while also looking for a place to live.

    BTW, in most 2-bed flats the second bedroom is usually pretty small. Also, it's a rarity (but not possible) to find a 2-bed 2-bath flat, which may be a problem depending on where you are from.
    Watercooler likes this.

  4. #4

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    Quarry Bay is within an hour's commute of Quarry Bay.


  5. #5

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    yes, I'd recommend a pre move trip too. I didn't do one and it took much longer to get sorted than if I'd taken up my company's offer of a 2 week trip out here beforehand. (comparing my experience with colleagues who did do that).

    2nd bedroom in 2 bedroom flats are usually broom-cupboard sized, unless you find one where the owner has knocked 2 bedrooms together, or a really old flat built in an era of more generous proportions :-)

    Not sure where Grand Promenade rentals are these days, but you could also try Lei King Wan, which is next door. It does not have the same glitzy facilities. However, it is right next door to a public swimming pool, a govt sports complex, and the HK film archive, with decent restaurants, an art gallery cum pottery studio, and a great foot massage place right under the estate, so life can be quite pleasant at a lower rental cost than GP. For the 2 bedroom flats, the 2nd bedroom is small, but the main bedrooms are large by HK standards, and for me, makes up for the size of the 2nd bedroom.

    Last edited by z754103; 29-10-2013 at 10:21 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by neosphere:
    Your coming when the weather is nice and cool...but prepare yourself for the humidity and heat of the summer....its gonna be a shock.

    I assume your girlfriend will be on a tourist visa.....she will either have to leaver every 6 months to stamp her visa or look for a company to sponsor her and give her a job.....very hard out here.

    Hope you also have some pennies saved as you will need upfront an additional HKS $40K as deposit and a further HKS 10K for estate agent fee...and that is additional to the first months rent of HKS 20K so your looking at paying out HKS70K in one go! i am not joking....this is standard practice out here in HK...i just want you to be prepared for the shock as i was when i first came....

    It all depends on your package obviously $$$$$...but it is not cheap here...especially if you like a drink and want to frequent the bars all the time...it's going to eat into your funds big time!

    You don't need a car..HK has the absolute best public transport system in the world....and its CHEAP...taxi's too!
    From now until March/start of April, the weather should be reasonably pleasant, in terms of humidity and temperature, OP. Right now it's still pretty warm short-sleeves weather during the day, but the humidity is now low (and much better than it would be in the summer). During the morning and evenings, there is also a slight but noticeable coolness in the air which is quite comfortable (hence this is the start of the hiking season). It should cool down a bit further by the end of November and start of December. You can get the occasional cold snap from up North, bringing down the temperature below 10 degrees celsius (and maybe below freezing on high ground-i.e. Tai Mo Shan). That may not sound very cold if you are from the northern latitudes, but since HK's buildings don't have insulation, it can feel surprisingly chilly.

    From around May until the end of September, it's usually very hot and humid, with the humidity often making it feel hotter than it actually is. Some days the humidity is downright unbearable, and living without air con in HK in summer would be hard to imagine.

    As for living space, as others have said, not very big and also rather pricey. Your expectation should be adjusted, especially for HK island, where rental prices are high.

    The key is to look for a convenient spot, near a MTR station or bus stops. Tin Hau is ok, but prices not that great. North point is an alternative, but the neighbourhoods there are rather cramped with little greenery. Tai Koo Shing would be a better option, depending on the particular flat, some can fall within your budget. However demand for Tai Koo Shing is high, so be warned on s sharp rise in rents by the landlord. Heng Fa Chuen is also a nice option, but like Tai Koo Shing, the rents are near the top end of your budget (and some may exceed it), and demand is also strong there.
    Last edited by Watercooler; 29-10-2013 at 10:44 AM.

  7. #7

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    Really don't mind a small second bedroom, am used to a 1 bed in London so not a concern. It's more for if a mate or family member visits and doesn't fancy a hotel.

    Regarding my girlfriend....am I not right in thinking that if she comes over on a 'dependant visa' then she can work? (British passport, masters educated?). I thought that was allowed?

    ps - annoyingly can't do a pre-visit due to work commitments so gonna be a bit blind from day 1.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDenny:
    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    Really don't mind a small second bedroom, am used to a 1 bed in London so not a concern. It's more for if a mate or family member visits and doesn't fancy a hotel.

    Regarding my girlfriend....am I not right in thinking that if she comes over on a 'dependant visa' then she can work? (British passport, masters educated?). I thought that was allowed?

    ps - annoyingly can't do a pre-visit due to work commitments so gonna be a bit blind from day 1.
    It is allowed if you are married. Hong Kong does not recognise 'common law' relationships. If you are not married she can't work, study or volunteer uinless she gets a work visa herself.

    I'm hearing the sound of a spanner clunking in the works ...
    Last edited by kimwy66; 29-10-2013 at 03:14 PM.

  9. #9

    Hmmm....that's annoying. Not sure why or where I got the info but I thought that we could provide evidence of the relationship (historic joint bank accounts, leases, photos etc...) and be okay? That's a little awkward!


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDenny:
    Hmmm....that's annoying. ....That's a little awkward!
    Marriages in Hong Kong are quick and painless.
    I provide my witness services in exchange for cold beers.

    If you dont get married, be prepared for a lot of pain
    kimwy66 and elle like this.

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