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American family considering Hong Kong

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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by wacpol:
    ....If we double housing to $40k, does that open anything up, or is it still invalid?
    Your biggest issue is kids and schooling. All the other stuff is easier in comparison.
    Concentrate on solving that issue first.

    To be successful with local education the adults have to be on the same page - it seems you are not. Local schools are not easy and kids will not pass automatically - they will need to work hard and will need their language supplemented. Your school and teachers will not be all happy and cuddly, giving everyone extra time and tuition - you either keep up or you fail out.

    If it falls apart and you have to find private schools for your kids, it will cost you in/around $100K per kid, per year for the middle of the road schools and 200K per kid, per year for the nice ones. I dont know any private schools below 60k/per year.....

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire ex-ax:
    What do you feel you/your family will gain from coming to Hong Kong?
    Besides the potential business upside, I'd really like my family to become bi or trilingual, as the children at least would in HK. The laws and regulatory structures in HK are very favorable, as you all know. HK is a safe, modern, clean metropolis where they can experience a huge array of different things without having to travel far. It's located pretty centrally in the region, so traveling to other locales for business or vacation is easier.

    We'd be going there to attempt to open up a new line of business for a company that I'm involved with running in the US, but alone that wouldn't be enough to make me consider the move. HK's general awesomeness makes it something I'm willing to consider if I can figure out a way to make it possible.

    Wouldn't consider it for basically any other country. Don't like the heavy regulation and tax of other Western countries, not confident in the prospect of stability or the robustness of the development for other non-Western countries. Just from this unique arrangement of factors, we already know HK is amazing, and we haven't even visited yet!

    tl;dr: probably most of the same things others on this forum are trying to gain from living in Hong Kong.
    Last edited by wacpol; 03-11-2015 at 03:31 PM.
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  3. #13

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    $40k would give you a lot more options on location and property size for sure.

    You need to answer a few questions that have been raised though, most importantly why are you considering HK, it does not seem from the tone and content of your posts that you need to come here.

    Edit - Ok seen the answer now.

    I would plan a family holiday here first before making a decison and try and view some properties while here to give you an idea of what you can get for your budget. However as others have pointed out it's the schooling which will be your main issue. Luckily for me i don't have kids and i'm not planning to for as long as i am in HK as i can't afford 1 let alone 5!

    Last edited by Trebor; 03-11-2015 at 03:32 PM.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by wacpol:
    Besides the potential business upside, I'd really like my family to become bi or trilingual, as the children at least would in HK.
    This will only happen with the enthusiastic support of your wife.
    I speak from experience of seeing a lot of failures in this area - you need to get her on board with fanfare before you hope to achieve this goal.
    Titus likes this.

  5. #15

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    You could consider looking into an area like Mui Wo or Pui O. They're beautiful areas and actually, in my opinion, potentially more livable than the big city anyway (kind of like the countryside). There is an expat community there, so I don't think you'd feel to far away. I'm not completely sure, but I would think one of these village houses that's tucked away from good transportation links (which isn't too much of a concern for you) would be within your budget. You can look at the prices of the international school there, Lantau International School. You wouldn't by chance have any contact here who could help you set up by browsing local ads for village houses, do you?

    Personally, as tough as it might be, I do think children can benefit greatly from the experience of living abroad, which would open their horizons. Learning a second language (esp. natively) will help their cognitive development and thereby other skills. It's a fun language.


  6. #16

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    I don't want to be negative (but you know that means I am going to be) but as you have never visited before and seem to have a picture of HK being glorious in all respects, do you know about the pollution? The crowds, the climate in summer? I really would not move the family without a visit. HK is a great place but like most places there are downsides.

    Titus, Mrs. Jones and huja like this.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    I don't want to be negative (but you know that means I am going to be) but as you have never visited before and seem to have a picture of HK being glorious in all respects, do you know about the pollution? The crowds, the climate in summer? I really would not move the family without a visit. HK is a great place but like most places there are downsides.
    We absolutely would not move without making multiple visits first. That said, yes, we know about the smog. It sucks, but I'm hoping being semi-remote will help somewhat. Since I work from home and don't necessarily have to be outside on bad air quality days, hoping it won't be a massive issue. We've lived in places in the US that had seasonally poor air quality, and it sucked too, but wasn't a deal breaker.

    Crowds, I'm sure I can't fathom until I get there. I do have some experience with crowds, but hate them. Another reason we don't want to live near the big districts.

    We live in Florida now so not that concerned about the climate. Should be roughly analogous from what I've seen.

    The cost of HK itself is a big downside for us. As this thread has already established, space in the US is way cheaper. No matter how much less expensive everything else is (and the prospect of reasonably-priced medical care is another big plus), it's going to be hard to make up a 250% jump in housing costs.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wacpol:
    HK's general awesomeness makes it something I'm willing to consider if I can figure out a way to make it possible.
    Really, come and visit first. Have a look at the sort of places you'll be living on 20k (or 40k). You'll need to rethink a lot of these ideas about Hong Kong being a clean, modern city. Some of what you write is fair - personal safety is excellent here, regulatory structures are generally light (not in my industry though!) and so forth. But statements like this

    HK is amazing, and we haven't even visited yet!
    set some fairly loud alarm bells off.
    Claire ex-ax and shri like this.

  9. #19

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    (and the prospect of reasonably-priced medical care is another big plus)
    Are you referring to the public health system?

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    Really, come and visit first. Have a look at the sort of places you'll be living on 20k (or 40k). You'll need to rethink a lot of these ideas about Hong Kong being a clean, modern city. Some of what you write is fair - personal safety is excellent here, regulatory structures are generally light (not in my industry though!) and so forth. But statements like this



    set some fairly loud alarm bells off.

    it's going to be hard to make up a 250% jump in housing costs.
    With five children I would worry a lot more about schools than housing.

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