Flat hunting

As per my last post, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to flat hunting, or more especially the time that could be spent going round various grotty places. In the end, I’ve managed to land nicely on my feet. I figured searching for somewhere to live would boil down to three factors; location, size, and cost – and that I could probably have two from three. I’ve taken the easy way out and am moving into a flat currently rented by one of the guys I play hockey with. Basically, he’s got a new job which provides housing, so he’s got to move out, and needs someone to take over his rental agreement.

This works out well for me, as it means I don’t have to look round a succession of decidedly unpleasant flats, the location is great for me – being in Admiralty I’m one stop on the MTR away from work, and easy access to Kowloon side of Hong Kong. So, what was the compromise? Obviously not location. It’s costing HK$14K per month for me, which is within the budget I set for myself. Which leaves size… It’s listed at 450 sq feet. I must admit I didn’t have much interest in looking when I read this description. My current serviced apartment, affectionately known to me as either a shoebox or a rabbit hutch, is listed at 470 sq feet according to the building’s web site: http://www.112apartments.com (one of the 01 rooms if you’re suitably interested).

The prospect of moving to a smaller apartment was not a good one. However, it seems there’s a certain amount of flexibility to dimensions in Hong Kong (either that or my current place has a kind of reverse Tardis quality to it…). The 450 sq foot studio apartment is considerably larger than my 470 sq foot serviced apartment. So much so that I’ve almost been tempted to go out and buy a tape measure to see how small my current place really is! I’ve signed the pre-rental agreement today (one month’s rent up front unfortunately) and shold have a moving date for later in October, which is convenient as I will finish my stay in 112 Apartments on 4th November. At that point a further two months rental is due, so it’s quite expensive to get started renting in Hong Kong (as essentially a two month deposit is required).

Other positives about taking this particular apartment: it has a fully fitted kitchen which means fridge, freezer, 4 ring hob, and most importantly an oven. Means I’ll be able to cook if I want to. It also has quite a lot of storage space designed around it – not that I have accumulated a lot of crap yet. And lastly, it’s been recently decorated and fitted out by a professional interior designer – so it actually looks pretty stylish. Admittedly some of it not necessarily to my taste, but it is pretty stylish. Which, of course, means if I break things like lights it will be expensive to repair/replace. Rather embarrassingly, I found out when signing the agreement today it was featured in a style magazine over here (Marie Claire I think). I’m sure one half of the Aged Parents will be impressed about that, can’t say it does much for me though.

Definitely approve of these bank holidays being close together. Apparently there’s another one coming up round about the 19th October. Being off today meant I didn’t need to worry about staying up late to watch Ireland lose to Argentina to round off what has been a very miserable Rugby World Cup.

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