Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / Far East and Asia / China/Hong Kong

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Nov 9th 2017, 11:41 am   #1
EK28 
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 42
EK28 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Just a few questions....honest

I'm sorry if any of these have been asked before. I have been using the search button but just to get a bit of advice from veterans in Hong Kong.

We are considering a transfer to Hong Kong from the Middle East. We both work so we are looking at a combined income of about $150k a month. We have one child and will consider having another if possible in the near future. From what I have gathered this is a decent enough salary to live comfortably.
We have looked online at apartments in Kennedy Town and Happy Valley but we are also interested in Discovery Bay. My husband will work in Central. Is it really commutable? It seems a lot further away but I assume lots of people do it?

I am a primary teacher. I know I will be hired locally as I am here in the Middle East. My husband's company only gives an all in salary so no school fees allocated. Does anyone know if school fees might be given to a local hire? Even a discount? My current school gives us a free place even though I'm a local hire. I'm leaving my job open until we get to Hong Kong and decide on a place to live.

Thanks for any help in advance. I'm sure I will think of some other questions after!
EK28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10th 2017, 11:15 am   #2
Moderator
 
penguinsix's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong, mostly.
Posts: 4,959
penguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Hi,

Not entirely sure by what you mean "local hire". "Local" schools are Cantonese-speaking schools, of which there are hundreds. Most of the schools that are willing to hire an English-speaking teacher are private internationals, and there is quite a bit of competition for positions there. Some local schools do have a need for English teachers, but I'm not familiar with the process. Some of the international schools do allow the children to attend the school for free or a discount, but it's specific to each school (some schools even help with housing). You should be looking at schools now as they are already recruiting for needs next year.

As for where to live, I'd advise you to take a look at sites like squarefoot.com.hk and gohome.com.hk to get a better idea of what costs what and where. Even though prices there are probably 10-20% higher than you'll pay on the ground, it will give you an idea of prices. Whether you can find "comfortable" housing at a price point you want is kind of a "how long is a piece of string" question depending on your wants and desires. Your salary is certainly enough to get nice accommodations in many parts of the city. I would note however that at my son's international school I looked up the 'average' price of his classmate's homes on the Southside and they were about $100,000 a month which is an extreme example of course, but it all depends on what you consider comfortable and can afford.

Disco Bay is commutable to Central and is very popular with families. Really depends on what kind of lifestyle you want. Kennedy Town - Urban city core. Discovery Bay - More suburban.

Last edited by penguinsix; Nov 10th 2017 at 11:18 am.
penguinsix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10th 2017, 11:25 am   #3
EK28 
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 42
EK28 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Thanks for the reply.

Sorry I should say local hire is someone (normally a teacher) hired on their spouse's visa. So here in the Middle East because I applied for a job while holding a visa through my husband's work I am only entitled to a salary so no extra benefits normally given to teachers such as housing, medical, schooling etc. I just wondered if it was the same in Hong Kong for teachers. I think it's called double benefits rule or something?

I've had a look on squarefoot and spacious but we wanted to try and keep his commute down to 40 minutes if possible. I think to achieve that we need to look at Hong Kong Island as DB looks like it would be at least an hour.

Just a final question. I would like to get a car. I am not allowed to drive out in Saudi Arabia so I am desperate to get back some freedom and not have to rely on others. Is it really unusual to own a car in Hong Kong? I realise it is a big city so good public transport but after not having a car for 4 years I'm keen to get back on the road! Plus the driving can't be any worse than Saudi!
EK28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10th 2017, 8:51 pm   #4
HKG3 
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 943
HKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Quote:
Originally Posted by EK28 View Post
Thanks for the reply.

Sorry I should say local hire is someone (normally a teacher) hired on their spouse's visa. So here in the Middle East because I applied for a job while holding a visa through my husband's work I am only entitled to a salary so no extra benefits normally given to teachers such as housing, medical, schooling etc. I just wondered if it was the same in Hong Kong for teachers. I think it's called double benefits rule or something?

I've had a look on squarefoot and spacious but we wanted to try and keep his commute down to 40 minutes if possible. I think to achieve that we need to look at Hong Kong Island as DB looks like it would be at least an hour.

Just a final question. I would like to get a car. I am not allowed to drive out in Saudi Arabia so I am desperate to get back some freedom and not have to rely on others. Is it really unusual to own a car in Hong Kong? I realise it is a big city so good public transport but after not having a car for 4 years I'm keen to get back on the road! Plus the driving can't be any worse than Saudi!
You can try and apply for the Native-speaking English teacher (NET) scheme with the Hong Kong Education department -

Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme

Have you think of Tung Chung? You can get to Hong Kong Island by a direct train service and it is not too 'urban'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tung_Chung

With regards to a car - it is very expensive to buy and run a car in Hong Kong. If you are willing to give it a try, then go for it. If you have an UK driving licence, you can exchange your UK licence to a Hong Kong one without test using the form below -

http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/com..._eng_r(v2).pdf

Another thing is to get a school place for your child. The English Schools Foundation is a good place to start -

English Schools Foundation Home - English Schools Foundation
HKG3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11th 2017, 12:13 pm   #5
EK28 
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 42
EK28 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Thank you for the info HKG3. I will have a look at Tung Chung. I did like the look of Kennedy Town and Quarry Bay on the island but I'm worried it will be overly busy. We currently live in a compound with a big 3 bedroom house and it is so quiet at nights. Not sure how I will adjust to city living!

I'll also have a look at ESF. I'm hoping my son will be able to attend the school I teach in but if school places are anything like here it will be tough!

Thanks for all your help!
EK28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11th 2017, 5:56 pm   #6
HKG3 
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 943
HKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond reputeHKG3 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Another point for the OP - in Hong Kong, your salary is paid gross (unlike the UK) and the Hong Kong Inland Revenue will be sending out tax demands asking you to pay for your income tax later. You need to remember to put money away to meet your income tax bill.
HKG3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 13th 2017, 6:35 am   #7
Moderator
 
penguinsix's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong, mostly.
Posts: 4,959
penguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Buying a car can be VERY expensive in Hong Kong. Not only is petrol about 50% higher than the cost in the UK but the taxes on a car can be excessive. A new luxury car for example can be hit with a 115% first registration tax or something like that. You would also have to find a building with parking and then pay for parking when out in the city. Roads are very narrow and driving here is not really a pleasant experience.

Seriously, if your goal is a Sunday drive, rent from Hertz on the weekend every now and then. Take taxis all the other times. It will likely be cheaper.
penguinsix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 17th 2017, 7:21 am   #8
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 335
hong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

I'm sorry Penguinsix but I beg to disagree regarding having a car.

It is common to have a car in HK. Wait until you get here and see the number of cars on the road and you will see what I mean ! For some people living right in the middle of the city areas then you can easily get away with not having a car. But if you live in outlying areas then a car is essential. Buying a second hand car is CHEAP, Insurance is +/- and depends whether you have previous no claims bonus (I pay HK$3,500 fully comprehensive). Road tax (vehicle licence) depends on engine size. Petrol is about same as UK (+/-). Servicing can be cheap and / or expensive depending on your make of car.

Your biggest expense in HK is accommodation and schooling.
hong_konger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 17th 2017, 7:25 am   #9
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 335
hong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Quote:
Originally Posted by EK28 View Post
Thank you for the info HKG3. I will have a look at Tung Chung. I did like the look of Kennedy Town and Quarry Bay on the island but I'm worried it will be overly busy. We currently live in a compound with a big 3 bedroom house and it is so quiet at nights. Not sure how I will adjust to city living!

I'll also have a look at ESF. I'm hoping my son will be able to attend the school I teach in but if school places are anything like here it will be tough!

Thanks for all your help!
Seriously you don't want to live in Tung Chung or Quarry Bay.

Try Clearwater Bay, Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung.
hong_konger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 17th 2017, 1:06 pm   #10
EK28 
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 42
EK28 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Thanks for the info about the car. The car is not negotiable for me. I’ve been without one for 3 years and relying on private drivers or the school bus to get to work. It’s about freedom for me and that’s worth every penny. I’ll need a car for work anyway as I’m not lugging a load of workbooks home on a bus!
EK28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20th 2017, 4:42 am   #11
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 335
hong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond reputehong_konger has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just a few questions....honest

Quote:
Originally Posted by EK28 View Post
Thanks for the info about the car. The car is not negotiable for me. I’ve been without one for 3 years and relying on private drivers or the school bus to get to work. It’s about freedom for me and that’s worth every penny. I’ll need a car for work anyway as I’m not lugging a load of workbooks home on a bus!

Public Transport in HK is second to none but whether it suits you depends on how close you live to a bus / MTR route. You need to consider that when looking for accommodation.
hong_konger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / Far East and Asia / China/Hong Kong


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 1:15 pm.


Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1999-2010 BritishExpats.com