What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
We had friends living here who advised us well on what to bring. We did bring way too much furniture though. HK apartments are generally smaller than apartments/houses in the USA and you won't need as much furniture. Plus, it's fun to have furniture custom-made here, so you will want to be able to have room for that!
DO bring your beds and bed linens, though.
Leave all of your appliances in the USA - you'll need a transformer to work them and it's not worth it.
Moving to Hong Kong
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
As I said before, just think about your priorities. Make a list. For example, is a spacious apartment more important than having Starbuck's outside your door? Do you want to be near the beach or would you rather have a shorter commute to work? Each area in HK has it's own flavor and, like any other city, it's plusses and negatives. Just think about what's most important to you, discuss with your family (if applicable) and your real estate agent. There's such a variety here, you'll be likely to find something that will meet (most) of your needs.
Once you are here, get involved with local expat organizations, the YWCA, etc. And there are also lots of charities that welcome volunteers. These are great ways to meet people and stay active.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
Our first apartment was a very nice, large (for HK) apartment in an expat neighborhood (MidLevels). Yes, I think most expats live in this area. The apartments in this area are generally Westernized (for example, they have ovens - many HK apartments do not!). I'd recommend the area to newcomers, then they can assess if they want a more walkable area with local culture (as we did). But we are happy that we started in MidLevels.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We used a relocation company/agent to help us find our first neighborhood and apartment. It was great - but full of other expats. We wish we would have lived in an area with more local culture. Newcomers will want to think about that - do they want more local culture or comforts from home?
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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Housing costs are astronomically higher in HK than in the USA. I can't really say what the average cost is, as there is a large range depending on the neighborhood and size of the apartment. But it is much higher even than, for example, NYC. Most companies will subsidize housing, at least partially, even if you are a local hire.