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Moving to HK and freaking out - advice greatly appreciated!

  1. #1
    NewtoHKMama is offline Registered User
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    Oct 2013
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    Moving to HK and freaking out - advice greatly appreciated!

    Hello Mummies,

    I'm moving to HK next year and am slightly freaking out. 6 weeks after Dear Son #2 is due to be born in Feb, we're moving to HK.

    We have 2 weeks in a serviced apartment.

    In that time, I will have to:
    -help DS#1 adjust to being a big brother (he'll be 2.5yo),
    -find and furnish an apartment
    -get some kind of routine happening so I can have the occasional shower / sleep

    Can you provide advice on where to live for a young family of 4?
    - Preferably not too far from DH's work in Central
    - ideally less than $HKD30,000/month
    - near a reasonable kindy for DS (2.5yrs old)
    - less polluted than Central if possible

    Happily DH and I have previously been expats in BJ (a few years ago now) and after relocating to Australia last year, it's now time to go to HK, so the whole expat experience is not a new one, it's just that HK is a new town for me.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Yours in Apprehension,
    NewtoHKMama

  2. #2
    twontheway is offline Registered User
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    Hong Kong
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    Hi New to HKMama

    Sounds like you have a lot on your plate!

    For places to live you should check out gohome.hk they provide a list of places for rent/sale some with photos.

    A place less polluted than Central but not far from Central would probably be difficult, but others may have more ideas to recommend. How far is hubby keen to commute? Depends on what you want really. Do you want somewhere green, quiet, or do you not mind living in the hustle and bustle. Somewhere like Stanley or Repulse Bay maybe less polluted but quite far from Central and also pricey. Kowloon Tong has loads of kindergartens and hubby can commute via MTR.

    I live in Sai Kung which is less polluted but around an hours commute - I also work in Central and commute via motorcycle. It's very green and the pace of life is slower than say Central which is great for us but the commute is not for everyone.

    Perhaps Lantau may be an option e.g. Discovery Bay, I think it's 30min by ferry to Central.

    Joining HK Moms on Facebook will help, it's a very active page with advice and information on pretty much everything.

    Also, kindergartens can be difficult to get into and some require a waiting list so I would get onto that asap if I were you.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with everything!

  3. #3
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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    Welcome to HK!

    Where about is your serviced apartment? We always recommend new expats to stay in a serviced apartment for the first month until they get their bearings and decide on a neighbourhood that suits them. Checking on the internet is a good start, but don't sign any leases based on photos alone.

    Discovery Bay and Happy Valley are both good areas.

    Reasonable Kindergartens maybe a bit hard to find! You can start with casual playgroups with other Mums and look for kindergartens when your little man is approaching 3.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  4. #4
    jamesandsimo is offline Registered User
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    HK is an amazing place to live. Discovery bay is like a community feel, very easy to make friends and great preschools and schools. It would take 30 mins on the ferry but it's a very nice ferry, wireless the whole way and it is not as far as people make out. Many people make trip daily most people I know have a partner working in central.

    HK is a easy place to live with kids because you can get help, DB is very family orientated and lots of programs for kids.

    First thing first get your location and your kids name down at a school as schools can be tough to get into.

    No need to freak out, lots of places to shop and get all you need.

  5. #5
    yuann_teoh is offline Registered User
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    You can get a good-size 2-bedroom apartment at Hillsborough Court on Old Peak Rd for around $30K. It's only 5-10 mins walk down to the zoo (free entry), ~15-20 mins walk up to The Peak, ~10mins shuttle service down to Central and it's very green up here. A number of nearby kindergartens have bus services that comes around to pick up little ones for classes.

    You can often negotiate the rental if (1) you're good at bargaining and (2) have a good agent to help you do so as well.

  6. #6
    thenannyexperts is offline Registered User
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    Kennedy Town is also a nice area. There is a new subway opening up there early next year so it will be perfect for your time. Wall Street Journal calls Kennedy Town Hong Kong's latest Expat hotspot (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...45630663740040).

    There are a lot of kid friendly things to do & parks near by too. Prices are slightly cheaper than Central but will probably go up soon. Taxi from Kennedy Town to Central is about 10 mins.

    I have a list of agents (30+) in an excel spreadsheet (that I made when I was moving house last year). If you would like it you can private message me and I'll send it over to you. You can then contact the agents and ask them to send you some properties based on your needs.

    I hope that helps.

  7. #7
    haydence is offline Registered User
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    Welcome to HK!

    I find Central too pricey and crowded to live. DB is good but taking ferry everyday may be too much for me.

    Finally I chose my current place, somewhere between Quarry Bay and Taikoo MTR station, about 20 minutes MTR / underground ride to Central. It is about 18k - 20k for a decent 3-bedroom.

    Very convenient with local and international supermarkets nearby, shopping malls, fresh market, and western cafe and restaurants in walking distance.

    There are a number of international playgroups and kindergartens in the neighborhood.

    Check out www.asiaxpat.com for apartments leased directly by owners to save commission cost. A friend of mine just listed her newly renovated apartment there.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Lots of flats for rent by owners on GeoExpat.Com too

    Hong Kong Apartments For Rent (Ads By Owner) - Hong Kong Classifieds
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

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