Moving to a new country can be as stressful as it can be exciting and one of the main stress factors includes finding your ideal home away from home. For many expats who move to Hong Kong, their home is the place to escape the overwhelming amount of people bumping and dodging them on the streets. However, you soon learn that any hopes of having your own, spacious, ideal located haven can be dashed if your budget is not high enough. Read on for tips on preparing yourself ahead of your move to Hong Kong with regards to your accommodation.
Securing Accommodation before You Arrive
It is always best to secure some sort of temporary accommodation before you arrive in Hong Kong to make your transition easy. The best option here is to look out on websites for shared, short term (month to month perhaps?) accommodation. If it’s your first time in Hong Kong, my advice is to find a shared short term place so that you get to:
- Meet people and don’t feel terribly lonely, they can also be helpful in sharing their experience and helping you out.
- Familiarize yourself with the transportation, route to work, different areas.
- It gives you time to search and view apartments before settling for one.
- If you decide to get your own lease then they will request proof of employment, bank details etc. so it gives you time to get your admin in order
Finding an Apartment
There are many platforms to search for apartments to rent in Hong Kong such as online sites. A useful tip is to join Facebook groups as agents post available rentals here and usually provide all the important details including pictures. It is also easy to engage with them and set up appointments to view. There is always a demand for apartments in Hong Kong so if you like a place, there will be pressure secure it immediately. Once you decide on your ideal location and budget, you start the research process. Try to schedule a few viewings with an agent. They often have more places than the one advertised. Always check what their requirement is and if you can afford it. The norm is 2 months deposit, 1 months’ rent and in some cases, they will also request an agency fee which may be half of the rental amount. There are places that are month to month, only request 1 months deposit and no agency fee. Try to look for the best option for you.
What Happens after You Find a Place You Like?
Once you find a place you like, you will be required to provide paperwork which includes copies of your passport, Hong Kong ID card, and proof of employment, bank details and your deposit and rental amount. It really is quite easy to secure the apartment once you find it. Make sure to ask questions about the utility bill amounts for water and electricity, Wi-Fi and so on. Always negotiate the initial price they give you because in most cases, they do lower the rent amount. I have not heard of any unpleasant experiences with rent or deposits in Hong Kong and people are generally fair here so all should go as well as possible!
If having a spacious place on Hong Kong Island is very important to you, do not despair because it can be achieved with sharing and being prepared to pay extra for it. And as mentioned prior, if you don’t mind the commute, you can secure beautiful spacious homes on other islands. Apartments generally have a modern finish, a western toilet system and separate showers and toilets, which were a few key deciding factors for me but you have to look out for them and not just settle. Once you find out what your deciding factors are, finding your ideal place in Hong Kong will be possible. Good luck!