One of the most stressful aspect of moving abroad is the search for the right house. You don’t know the city well but need to decide quite soon after arriving where you’ll be living. I think this roadmap will help you!
Step 1: Plan a look/see visit. Visit Hong Kong before you definitely move. Get an understanding of how the city works, how to go around, where you’ll work. See my tips to get the most out of your look/see visit. It will safe you so much time if you know the city a bit before you go house hunting.
Step 2: Discover areas. If you had no change to visit Hong Kong before your move, take some time to orientate yourself well. I wrote some pointers on how to decide which area will be the best match for your needs. And have a look at this interactive map I made, to see which are the favourite areas of expats.
Step 3: Determine the right building. By the time you have selected the area you want to live in, explore the different buildings/estates in that area. Ask an agent to show you different buildings and most likely at the end of the day you have a good feeling about one or two of them.
Step 4: Shop around for the best apartment. Now your have selected the right building, you need to find the best deal in that building. There are many apartments in each building and your estate agent might have only a few in his portfolio. Go to other agents to find out if there is more available in the building you like. Or have also a look at websites like Spacious or Squarefoot to have a look at apartments in specific buildings.
Step 5: Negotiate price and contract. Decide which apartment it will be and start discussing with the landlord. It is true that in Hong Kong most of the time you are able to negotiate the price a bit. Know that it is not only you that needs to like the apartment, the landlord also needs to like you. Some landlords wait for the “right” tenant. I wrote a blog about what you need to know when signing rental contracts, so have a look for tips.
If you like to have help in starting your search for a new home in Hong Kong, or would like to know from an expat in Hong Kong how to begin, please contact me!
This blog has been written bij ExpatWise, your Hong Kong relocation friend!