Planning a move to Hong Kong takes some strategic preparation. As an expat living in this diverse, dense city, you’ll find much that is new and delightful and will expand your horizons. On the other hand, there will also be plenty to confuse, intimidate, or even infuriate you depending on what you’ve been used to in your home country.
One thing Hong Kong residents don’t take for granted is real estate. Because the city’s population of 7.2 million is concentrated in a space about six times the size of Washington DC, population density is high. One of the continuing problems in Hong Kong is the demand for housing, which is partially limited because of the geography of the area. Desirable housing is also very pricey, so you’ll need to be prepared to shell out a big chunk of your monthly paycheck for rent or mortgage payments. With Hong Kong consistently hitting the top of the list for being one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live, housing prices aren’t the only thing that will make a dent in your wallet’s contents: furniture, quality household goods, and familiar foods are often surprisingly expensive.
The benefits of living in Hong Kong are many, despite the high prices and sometimes cramped and crowded conditions. Hong Kong is one of the most popular gateways to Asia, giving you a great home base for further exploration. What’s more, Hong Kong boasts a significant population of expats from around the world—many of whom probably speak your language and are eager to befriend you and give you hard-won advice. If you have children, your kids will come into contact with people of many nationalities, world views, and ethnicities and learn a lot about world cultures. In addition, your child or children will have the chance to learn Cantonese (the most popularly spoken language), although the two official languages of Hong Kong are Mandarin Chinese (the language of Mainland China) and English.
The weather in Hong Kong is subtropical, meaning that temperatures remain pleasant-to-hot throughout the year.
Finding living quarters in Hong Kong can be an arduous process as you try to find the perfect trifecta of price, quality, and sufficient size. You might also find that you’ll need to supply your own oven, as most apartments do not have one (most traditional Chinese cooking is done on a stove). Storage space will also be very limited, so now would be a good time to practice simplifying the things you need in life.
The best option for finding accommodation is to go through a reputable apartment-finding service that caters to Westerners. Spacious brings you a comprehensive list of available properties for rent or sale in this region. Agents there can answer your questions and help you find a residence that fits your needs. As long as you don’t expect everything to be like the life you’ve left behind, you’re in for a treat. Adventure awaits you in the exotic city of Hong Kong.