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Moving to Hong Kong in August with 2 year old and 2 month old. Need Advice.

  1. #1
    fraxbo is offline Registered User
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    Moving to Hong Kong in August with 2 year old and 2 month old. Need Advice.

    Hey all, new to the forum. My wife and I are moving to Hong Kong in August with our two young children, a toddler and a newborn. We will be living in a company apartment in Tsim Sha Tsui for the first two months but will need to find a place after that. The school where I will teach is in ShaTin/Tai Wai, and my wife will attend language courses at Chinese University HK after she finishes her maternity leave. For this reason we are thinking about a place in ShaTin or Tai Wai, or alternatively anywhere else along the blue MTR line. I am not sure what our housing allowance will be, but since I am a lowly assistant professor I don't expect it will be much more than 20-25k/month. I imagine we will need 3 bedrooms and somewhere in the neighborhood of 800+ square feet. We would prefer to be in an estate with amenities, but realize that, given our limited budget, that might not be an option. Does anybody have any suggestions for places we might look? We are really open to anything. We will eventually get a Filipina, once my wife goes off maternity leave, and don't really want to commute more than 30 mins each way. I hope this is enough info to get some feedback from the wise crowd here. Thanks.

  2. #2
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    I have a friend living at Sceneway Gardens in Lam Tin over the MTR and loves it. Sounds like it would meet your requirements and budget. Good luck!

  3. #3
    babydoll is offline Registered User
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    I think there will be a few places in Shatin/Tai Wai, but best to get in touch with a property agent when you're here and visit them yourself. Be careful about the property agents though - they may try to get you to rent at a higher price if you're new to HK. Try to go with a local if you can.
    One place to consider is Royal Ascot in Shatin - it has a big clubhouse, shops and local/international kindergarten downstairs, shuttle bus, and close to the MTR line depending on which block you live in. It's also very close to the Chinese University (one stop away by MTR).

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    taysty is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonge View Post
    I have a friend living at Sceneway Gardens in Lam Tin over the MTR and loves it. Sounds like it would meet your requirements and budget. Good luck!
    Agree. Have a friend staying there and he said it's very kids friendly.

  5. #5
    fraxbo is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the recommendations. So it would not take too long to commute from Lam Tin to Tai Wai? Just from looking at maps it seems I'd have to make a connection to a different line at Kowloon Tong? The multiple-stage aspect makes me a little wary, but I'll definitely give it a few dry runs when I get to town to see if it will be doable.

    Does anyone know anything about Festival City estate? There seem to be a glut of properties for rent in my price range and with my estate desires on sites like squarefoot and gohome. Is there something wrong with it, or is it as simple as a lot of new property coming to the market at once? The fact that it is actually in Tai Wai has me intrigued.

  6. #6
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    sceneway garden and laguna city ARE kid-friendly, but they are nowhere near shatin/tai wai. they are miles away.

  7. #7
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Stick to the blue line, that is your best bet. Lam Tin and Kwun Tong require a change at Kowloon Tong, it's pretty crowded at rush hour at the Kowloon Tong interchange.

    I live in Fo tan and work in TST, I commute daily on the blue line during rush hour. It's an easy commute not having to change train lines. Possibilities for you with your budget:

    1) Tai Po Market has lots of developments with shuttle buses to the train station.
    2) Fo tan station: Royal Ascot is a good bet, also consider Palazzo right across the station, or The Grandville which is 1km up the hill from the station
    3) Shatin station and Tai wai station with surrounding developments - I am not too familiar with the developments there but they should have facilities for kids and shuttle buses to the train stations too.

    Another alternative is for you to live at Ma On Shan. You can get the train to Tai Wai, and your wife gets the public shuttle bus 807A or 807B to Chinese University. MOS is a bit further out but there are tons of very family friendly developments plus good public facilities - public park, pool, even a public beach. It's very suburban though, it really depends on how far out you want to live and lifestyle you and your wife want.

  8. #8
    fraxbo is offline Registered User
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    Thanks. That is very useful information. I had a feeling that those transits from line to line might take a bit more time. Just going from my experiences in NY where I'm from, I know that three legs of ten minutes each cab easily turn into an hour if you get unlucky with the transfers.

    I have been considering most of the options you recommended. Particularly the Palazzo looks very nice, though I fear it might be out of my price range. I have also been thinking about Ma On Shan, but had reservations because it does seem very far out. Though we have two kids, they're both young and my wife and I are on either side of thirty, so we would still like to be in some semblance of an urban environment. I suppose we would consider Ma On Shan only if we could get more apartment and more building (especially more kitchen) for our money. It would then be worth being farther away from Kowloon and Central.
    Anyway my instinct was that the blue line was the way to go, so when I get there I'll go out with my local contact to search in those areas you mentioned.

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