We can have you over for dinner soon

debbi's picture

So things are settling down in Hong Kong. We are as boring as ever. When given a night to do something on our own, we choose to surf the internet and put together computers. Heaven help us. However, it is good to note that my constant access to internet at my friend Ellen's house (whom we are staying with) has made it possible for several posts to be written. And also because we are boring I can further update you to the lives of the Doube Dees:

We put a deposit down on a house. It is in an area called Shek Kok Mai and is really a stunning house. The apartment is huge in Hong Kong terms. We have about 700 sf of apartment and then sole access to the rooftop which is another 700 sf. We have 2 bedrooms (meaning one guest bedroom, *hint hint*), 2 bathrooms (one is our en suite! The other my darkroom?), the kitchen is pretty western; meaning there are cupboards, drawers and room to actually prepare food. Our bedroom opens out onto a balcony. The flooring is wood. I will post photos when we move in. But I am so happy with this apartment.

Searching for it was very typical Dave and Debbi style. We looked at 5 and then I convinced Dave to go for the most expensive apartment. We put the deposit down the very same day. The last time we needed to find an apartment it took us a day as well. We don't mess around. Its like look, look, look, like, ok lets get this one. To tell you the truth Dave didn't need to be too convinced. He really liked the place and after he did his obligatory number crunching decided that we could afford it.

The crazy thing about Hong Kong is that when we are told the price to rent the place we are told the asking price. (emphasis on ASKING) The asking price for our beautiful little new home was HKD$12,000. Yikes! That was a huge amount when we only wanted to pay HKD$10,000 maximum. And that didn't include a washing machine. So what do we do? We offered her HKD$10,5000. She said HKD$10,8000. We asked our agent to work on the landlady about the price and when we show up the agent got the landlady to HKD$10,600 plus a washing machine if we paid for the movers(HKD$200). Heck yes! We were so elated as we took out our deposit and handed it over.

Now some of you are like....whats with the agent? And so were we when we found out that we most likely had to go through a real estate agent to rent a house. It was very strange and, we thought, a bit unnecessary. But let me tell you, renting in a foreign country is confusing and you can get screwed over. The agent works for both the landlord and the tenant and tries to find the happy medium between both interests. I totally didn't want to use one but after we did, I recognized the error in my thoughts. She had all the paper work for us. She told the landlady what her responsibilities were, what our responsibilities were, sign this paper here, this is what you are agreeing to... I loved it. So easy and since we got this agent as a referral, we felt confident in her trustworthiness. We still have to pay her 1/2 a months rent but hey, she took us to look at places in her car.

So we move in Jan 1. We will hopefully be able to get in a little bit early to measure for furniture. You'll find me lounging on the balcony when you come to visit.