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School and location advice for young family of 5

  1. #1
    tbl
    tbl is offline Registered User
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    Question School and location advice for young family of 5

    Hi! I'd love to hear some opinions about where to live and send my children to school.

    I have 3 young ones ages 3, 6 and 8.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    michelef is offline Registered User
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    Hi! I am also a mom of 3 (12, 7 and 4.5). It very much depends on how big your wallet is when it comes to housing. With a limited wallet, I much prefer Pokfulam. Discovery Bay is also a good either but you will have to consider how to get the kids to school when they are older. The rent for large flats in South Side of the Island (ie. Tai Tam, Stanley, Repulse Bay) had gone down quite a bit lately so you might find some good deals there.

    With schooling, all my kids go to English Schools of Foundation cos I do not receive expat package at my job so I cannot send them to anywhere else which requires hefty debentures. Moreover, ESF has a lot of schools in HK, when I decide to move out of my kids current school catchment area, I can always transfer them to the one in the other c.a. They are also changing their curriculum from British to International Baccleurate, which means your kid will be able to go to Uni anywhere in the World.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    tbl
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    Yes thank you. That does help. I have just returned from our visit to HK and schools is the first thing I have to take care of. Almost all my friends there have recommended HKIS, but it is so expensive and while we could fit it in the budget, if another place works just as well or better, that's money in our pocket. I don't know that we'll be there longer than 3 years, but who knows, I know a lot of people end up staying longer that originally planned, and the Int. Bac. sounds great too.

    Do you know if they are very hard to get into? I think Bradbury would be our c.a.

  4. #4
    michelef is offline Registered User
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    When you are expats, your chance is almost 95% (the leftover 5% is because the year your kids should be in are full). You should contact Bradbury now (which area will you be living in?) and ask if they have spaces for the year your kids should be in, if not, ask them to put you on waitlist and contact you right away. They do not test the kids (my eldest got into ESF when he was 8), only group assessments, you get the results right away if you are granted an appointment. Don't worry, a lot of kids come and go due to their parents repatriating, call them quickly!

    HKIS is outrageously expensive and a lot of the kids are so spoilt with luxuries. We simply cannot afford that kind of lifestyle and neither do we want our kids to live that way, therefore it is definitely out for us. (Maybe there are different kids at HKIS, but I haven't met them yet.

    A lot of expats do extend their contracts and ended up staying longer but they all grew to love this place.

    If you need to ask more questions about HK, feel free to email me at [email protected]

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    tbl
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    We are hoping to be in or near Repulse Bay. A lot depends on issues yet to be determined, mainly our salary. I'm afraid my husband nor his new boss, who lives in Florida, underestimated the housing costs in HK, so after our visit, they're having to rethink some things.

    We don't move until Sept-Oct, so hopefully if we apply now the school will have a place by the time we arrive.

    Thanks again for your ideas.

  6. #6
    michelef is offline Registered User
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    Good Luck! BTW, housing in Hong Kong is really expensive, however, the rent for more prestigious areas (ie. Repulse Bay, Tai Tam etc) had gone down in the last month. I have seen a 1330 sq ft flat asking for HK$25K which is already cheap in HK.

    My advise is try not to go to the agent who only handles expats, their prices are generally more expensive than others. Check it out at www.gohome.com.hk or www.centanet.com.hk, choose English for these sites and look at the available properties for yourself.

    Cheers,

  7. #7
    tbl
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    We have already hooked up with a realtor by way of recommendation from an acquaintance over there...her firm charges 1/2 first month's rent...I have no idea how reasonable that is...we actually didn't even realize that the buyer pays! It's opposite here. Anyhow, I know their firm is pretty diversified as far as who they service. And we were pleased with her work.

    Also, we are looking for 4 or 4 + 1s since we have 3 children and will maybe have another while there, and my husband needs a home office. So the places we saw were all about 2-3000' and anywhere from 60,000 or so up to about double that.

    Thank you for the websites; they are good for comparisons.

    I think as far as schools we are going to apply to several and see where we can even get a place...it may have come down to that!

    Thanks...

  8. #8
    Sai Kung PPA is offline Registered User
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    Why don't you try Sai Kung? Many expectriate are living at Sai Kung. If you want to rent a house around 2100 feet with garden, around HK$30,000 per month. Might have sea view as well. For your children, can to to Clearwater Bay School (primary school) and quite a few kindergarten for your youngest child as well.

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