The cost of living in Hong Kong is high. So high in fact, we have been ranked as the most expensive city in the world to live in. The major reason for this is housing of course. According to Expatision.com, a 45m-sq apartment in an area away from the city will cost you 18,655HKD per month(sounds about right). You can find something double the size in Melbourne, Australia for 13,979HKD per month. So it’s vital as an expat in Hong Kong to find a place that makes your small space and high rent worth it. Here are 5 Tips for choosing the right Hong Kong Apartment for you.
Prioritize Proximity to Transport Hub
Most Hong Kong people don’t own a car. So it’s worth noting where the closest MTR(subway) station and the bus stops are to your apartment. I love where I’m living because all forms of public transform is 1 to 2 minutes walk from my apartment. Some beautiful apartment complexes have all the works, but you might have to walk 15 minutes till you get to public transport.
Prioritize Proximity to Work
With a world class public transport system, it is very easy to go from A to B in Hong Kong. For me it’s a priority to live close to work. Hong Kong working hours are long. It can be nine to ten hours easy. I personally don’t want to spend two hours(to and fro) on commute. The tradeoff is a smaller apartment that is a little more expensive but I gain more time with my wife and kids. But for many expats living here, a longer commute is not a problem because a more tranquil district is an escape from the breakneck pace of the city. So what is your priority regarding proximity to your workplace?
Find a Community
How much do you want to be part of the expat community? How much do you want to be a part of this dynamic Hong Kong culture? Or what about this, would you consider a co-living arrangement? These are important questions to ask. Hong Kong has so many nooks and crannies for people from many backgrounds. From the relaxing life of Mui Wo, to the vibrant Japanese and Korean community in Taikoo Shing, there is a place for everyone here. I happily live in a district that truly is a melting pot of restaurants and dog owners. It’s nice to walk around and be greeted with a smile everyday!
Check the Age of your Apartment
You must look at the skeleton of your apartment, particularly if it is an older building. You have to, have to, have to! How old is that air conditioner? Does the toilet flush properly? Stove top turn on properly? How about the internet, do you have a service provider for your old walk-up building? The current apartment I live in only carries PCCW broadband. It’s fine, but if I want to switch provider, I unfortunately don’t have this choice.
Understand your Apartment Building Inside Out.
Don’t only look at the apartment, understand your apartment building and its surrounding areas. Does it face a noisy road or nearby construction site? If it’s an older building or a walk up, is there a security guard or a gate so strangers can’t randomly just come up your building. It’s worth digging a little deeper and looking outside the box when finding the apartment right for you.
5 Tips for choosing the right Hong Kong apartment will get you off your feet. But we’ve only scratched the surface.
We show you how to find, design and live in a small rental apartment in Hong Kong, so that it feels like home.
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