Apartment Hunting – The Hong Kong Version

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Oh the joys of apartment searching: brokers, viewings, tenants, sticker shock. We’ve been experiencing all these things in our search for a place to live permanently in Hong Kong.

For the past week and weeks to come, we are living in a serviced apartment in Sheung Wan. While it serves it’s purpose (it has a bed), it is far from a home.

As Joel works, I have been searching HK for the perfect place to call home. It has not been easy; nothing like paying $3,800/mo. for a 5th floor walk up. Apparently it is not unusual at all to search for a month and see 50-60 places before you find one that is only OK.

The hunt continues but I thought I’d share some of the odd things about apartments here –

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  • Local (read Chinese) landlords have the WORST taste in decor. I would describe it as the 90’s throwing up on the 80’s.
  • Laundry is included in most apartments, but ovens are not. Yes, finding an oven in Hong Kong is a luxury and rarity. Really great news for a baker.

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  • You have to spend a lot of money to get any space (and they will still not have an oven), but we are at least used to that.

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  • Speaking of space, most renovated apartments are 2-3 bedrooms with 1-2 of those said bedrooms actually being the size of a closet with no windows. But, those really are bedrooms, meant for your live-in “helper” (We’ll get into what a “helper” is next time).
  • Almost all apartments are owned by separate landlords. So out of a building with 45 floors and 4 apartments per floor, no one apartment is owned by the same person.
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