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Moving from San Francisco to HK in May - Do I need to bring a car seat over?

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    mommysf is offline Registered User
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    Moving from San Francisco to HK in May - Do I need to bring a car seat over?

    Hi Moms! Our family will be moving from San Francisco to HK in May. Few questions.
    1) Wondering if I need to bring my car seat for my 22 months old son? We don't plan to have a car.
    2) Also I've read a lot of posts on housing and where etc. I am interested in DB, Kowloon Station, Bel-Air, and Parkview. My husband will work in central. Our budget is $35-40k. We like to have a 2 bed about 1000 sq ft +.
    3) We will stay at service apartments for a month and will look around. Do let me know if you have any 'good' agents to recommend in those areas. Someone honest and hav our geninue interest ( is that possible or do they all work for landlords? :)

    4) also like to get my son into preschool - sounds like DB is hard to get in? any good options

    5) what is the REAL commute time from DB - Central/IFC building? I know ferry says 25 minutes but when you take door to door - what is the average?

    6) Also so many choices in DB - any one them better than others? Chianti looked good in pics but can't find many comments on them? The pics on developer page is totally different than listings at Savill

    Thanks and we are excited and can't wait to meet some moms! My son is 22 months and would love to have playdates.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    carseat: upto you really.
    Db: best to look around. Chianti is newer but is at the opposite end of db from the pier, so commute is longer, maybe tack 5 minutes to get to pier by bus. La vista and la serene are within 5 minute walk (downhill) from the pier. La costa is next to the pier and beach village is on the other side of the pier from la costa. where ever you choose in db, the buses are timed to coincide wit ferry departures, so maybe add 10 minutes maximum to the travel time. Also, on the other end, the ferry docks across the road from IFC, so another 2-5 minute walk.

    For preschools in db, there is limited selection but there are lots of playgroups around, so you should be able to find something.
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    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    Hi

    I work in Central and the commute for me from DB is 50 mins door to door. I leave my house on the 8am bus to the Plaza, at the Plaza at about 8.08am, catch the 8.15am ferry which gets into HK Island at 8.40am and am in at work at about 8.50am. Takes me about 10 mins to walk from the ferry pier through IFC to my building in Central.

    On apartments, we looked at Chianti when we moved to DB from Midlevels 18 months ago. We had lived in high rises for 5 years and wanted a low rise so we quickly dismissed Chianti. Lots of people like it and it does have the advantage of its own pool (with other apartments you need to join the Clubs to use their pools - but the Clubs are very good for kids so you will likely want to join anyway). With the new supermarket and new shops/restaurants at DB North near to Chianti, it is less of an incovenience down that end of town although you do still need to go to the Plaza to get the ferry into Central. Chianti is convenient for buses to Tung Chung and Sunny Bay (you can catch the MTR train from Sunny Bay to Central as an alternative to the ferry but takes about the same time).

    Car seats are a pain to lug around for use only in taxis. Different if you have your own car which you can leave the car seat in. Up to you of course. We had a sit n stroll car seat which we used when we lived in Midlevels and that was good for taxis. Like a car seat with a pull up handle and wheels that pop out to turn it into a stroller. Can get very heavy to lift once your toddler gets older. The sit n stroll is very difficult to get here so if you want one of them then buy before you come. Having said that, if you are thinking of living in DB then there are no cars allowed in DB so it will just be transport by buses unless you go into Central or elsewhere.

    I've put a lot of info on my experiences with DB preschools on another thread as below. Preschools are fine, it is kindergarten and primary school that is a challenge to get into.

    Where to Live? Stanley, Repulse, DB?
    Last edited by starbucks2; 03-08-2011 at 02:47 PM.

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    ausnyc is offline Registered User
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    35-40K is probably impossible at Bel-Air for a 1000+ (livable) sq foot apartment. You're probably looking at 850sq feet, which is ok if you only have 1 child, and very little furniture. But the amenities, and friendly community of families with young kids makes it a valuable proposition, especially if you are new to HK. Commute to IFC is 20-25 min in the morning on a bus (I catch it at 7.55am, gets into Exchange Square at 8.20am).

    I know from a number of people who are in DB that schools are tough to get into there. Schools in HK are generally a headache to get into so you need to take a more medium term view and understand where you might want your kids to go when they get to 4 - 5 yrs old. OR, you can just play by ear and move when you get into the school of choice.

    Unfortunately for me, having been in HK for a year, the (Britax) carseat spends all of its time sitting in valuable closet space. My 14 month old son loved it when we brought it to Australia for vacation, but that's about as much use it's got. We brought it because I just didn't want to spend anymore money on carseats if we eventually got a car (still in the plans). We put our daughter's booster seat on the dining chair so she's at a more comfortable height eating.

    Hope this helps! These forums are an awesome trove of information when you're researching where to move and once you've moved, where to get things etc. I'm now paying it forward. Good luck!

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    or $40k in db will get you 1400' with a garden...it really comes down to what you and your family are looking for and what you are willing to compromise on. to me, an extra 10 minutes of commute is worth the extra space. but that's not true for everyone.

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    mommysf is offline Registered User
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    thanks moms! very helpful. we will keep our option open but leaning toward DB. Also any recommendation on agents? Should I just go straight to the apartments rather than using an agent? i.e go straight to chianti? or bel-air? or the arch? harbourside? ( not sure if that make sense, are their rental agents on -site? or am I mostly dealing with individual owners rather than developers or management companies?

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    some places will have a shopping centre nearby. you can get an agent there. and yes, you are mostly dealing with individual owners, not developers or mgmt companies, so an agent is usually necessary. it is possible to rent directly through the owner, but i've only ever done it once (in 9 flats) and it was a nightmare.

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    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    We used Norman who is an estate agent in DB - he was great. I can't remember which of the companies he works with but his office is in the shopping centre at the Plaza. Opposite the dog parking spot by the Fusion supermarket. Can anyone help me with the name of his company??

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