Finding Housing in China
China is known for its beautiful and luxurious apartments. For people living in Hong Kong and Beijing, you can easily get and rent the best apartment of your dreams. This article will take you through the journey of finding your best apartment in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Housing in Hong Kong:
Hong Kong is one of the most well-known cities in the China. Though situated in China, the city is far different from the country. It has its laws and its way of interacting with people. This is what has made the city known as ‘one country, two systems.’ Over the last few years, Hong Kong has developed itself as one of the most expensive areas and at the same time, one of the most crowded areas in the world.
Apart from the skyscrapers, Honk Kong is also famous for its commerce. Thanks to the low tax, and the minimal interference of the government, Hong Kong has become one of the most important centers of trade in the entire world. Naturally, thousands of people come here for business. Apart from that, the number of tourists is not small either. Naturally, there is a huge demand for the good apartments in Hong Kong.
One of the reasons why the visitors prefer the Hong Kong apartments for rent is that these apartments are much cheaper than the hotels and other means of accommodations. There are several other benefits of these apartments as well. For example, there are apartments that come with the round the clock security systems and so on.
Choosing an Apartment in Hong Kong
However, before making any choice, there are several factors that you need to check out. The first of them is, of course, the location of the apartment. This is a very important factor, and you must ensure that the apartment is located at a place that is convenient for you. Also, you have to see to it that the apartment has the all the requirements that you have. For example, it needs to have the adequate number of rooms, and the sufficient space. However, the price of the apartment is, of course, a very crucial thing to consider. Remember, the city is quite an expensive one. But, it is not impossible to find an apartment at a reasonable price.
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But, for that, it is important that you take the help of some genuine real estate agent. There are thousands of them out there in the market. But, you need to pick up the one that will provide you with the best service. An ideal agent will know all the available Hong Kong apartments for rent. So, when you get to them, they will ask you about your requirements and find you out the apartment that you have been looking for. They should consider your budget, your location as well as the facilities that you are looking for.
One way to find out such an apartment is to search through the internet. There are several websites where you can search for a suitable apartment, and these include a Moveandstay website where you can easily book and rent your favorite apartment. But, that can be cumbersome. After all, there are thousands of apartments available, and you have very little practical knowledge about the city. So, there is every chance that your decision may not be the best.
Types of apartments in Hong Kong
Apartments with Rooftops
For the majority of Hong Kong apartment buildings, the top floor units of the building often have their private rooftop. Other than the obvious luxury of extra outdoor space, there are many benefits of living on the top floor such as better space efficiency as the structural walls will be thinner, better views and also being far removed from the traffic and noise pollution from the streets below. In Hong Kong if you are on the top floor of the apartment it is important to check for the presence of leaks, as at the top floor the roof of the apartment will be highly exposed to the elements.
According to the HK Observatory during the summer months from May to mid-September the average rainfall is 364 millimeters and in August, the average rainfall can reach well over 400 millimeters. So it is vital to check for any water stains on the ceiling and walls, also check if there is any discoloring on the floor boards, the presence of any of these can be indications of water damage and the presence of leaks. Also during Typhoon season, which starts from May to November, make sure to fasten all outdoor furniture and fixtures on the rooftop, record wind speed of a Hong Kong Typhoon can reach over 118 km/h and gusts at over 220 km/h. Public warning signs will be easily noticeable when there is an impending Typhoon, Tropical cyclone warnings will be posted on public announcements, signs will be put up by your apartment building’s management and the Typhoon warning symbol will be shown on every television channel. So be especially wary of these times and if you intend to go abroad during this season make sure to Typhoon proof your rooftop before leaving.
Apartments with a Terrace
Many Hong Kong apartment buildings have a podium design with the first floor of units in the building having the benefit of a private terrace. But beware, Hong Kong apartments with terraces come with its disadvantages including falling objects and debris from the above floors, drainage issues, and being located on the bottom floor can be a nightmare when there is a problem with building’s sewage drainage. In Hong Kong, the size of the terrace can even be larger than the apartment itself, and many landlords build out the apartment illegally onto the terrace. These types of illegal structures are very common in Hong Kong but at any moment, the Buildings Department of Hong Kong can request its removal at the owner’s expense. So when looking to buy an apartment with a terrace, make sure to check if there is any illegal structures present as its removal can be a costly procedure.
Modern apartments with facilities:
The majority of Hong Kong apartment buildings feature rooms that come with communal facilities which will mostly be included in the rental price. Some of them number gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, karaoke courts and also playgrounds for children. They don’t only look better and have many amenities, but the security, which is a vital factor, is also better. Yes, all of these sound great, but in Hong Kong, they all come at a price which you must be prepared to pay if you want them. If you move to Hong Kong Island, you should know that some of the Hong Kong apartment developments currently having a high-status number Bel Air in Pokfulam, Hillsborough Court found in Mid-Levels Central, the Illumination Terrace presented in Tai Hang and of course, Belchers found in Kennedy City.
Chinese walk-up flats
The old style Hong Kong apartments that come with no lifts are known as walkups. Even though they don’t have many amenities and lack of security, they are more space efficient as the gross floor area comes with less common areas included. Some of their key features are high ceilings, modern interior designs, and large floor plans.
Housing in Beijing
The capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is one of the imposing cities in the world. Located in the Northeast China, Beijing serves as the cultural, economic, and political center of the nation.
One of the four ancient capitals of China, the city, is much famed for its imperial past. This has credited a large number of gorgeous showplaces and sites of historical significance, such as the Palace Museum of the Forbidden City, the Museum of Chinese History, and Qianmen preserving such attractions as the Tongrentang Traditional Medicine Shop, established in 1669. Then, not to mention about its present modern life, providing incredible opportunities.
Beijing is now a well-planned city, which is a prime center of commerce and entertainment. Also, Beijing serves as one of the nation’s prominent transportation hub, with a large number of roads, railways, and expressways.
Above all, the cost of living in Beijing is tremendously cheap when compared to European and North American cities. Perhaps for these reasons, people prefer to live here. Living in Beijing is not only enjoyable for tourists who want to explore the attractions of the place but also for those who want to settle here permanently since the business opportunities and accommodation options it renders are unparalleled.
Like any other Asian cities, Beijing renders a variety of accommodation options, from affordably priced apartments and single detached homes to luxury villas and flats located in the city’s posh areas. Condominiums are also considered one of the best accommodation options in Beijing. However, this type of accommodation is quite different from owning or renting other accommodation types, like flats and single homes.
One of the prime features of condominiums or condos is that they are mostly of dual nature, i.e., although, owners hold the title and have control over their units, they share the costs and expenses incurred for the property’s common facilities like lobbies, escalators, and passageways. Also, they are required to follow the rules and regulations put forward by the condominium association.
Another prime feature of Beijing condominiums is that they are mostly located within the easy reach of all facilities and attractions of the place such as the Great Wall, the Mining Tombs, Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and Tiananmen Square.
From budget and luxury to single and multi-roomed, a plethora of condominiums is now available in Beijing according to your budget, lifestyle, preference, and some family members.
Beijing condominiums come in a myriad of forms, including, townhouse, apartment, and sometimes even as a single detached structure. Let it be of any type or size, a condominium complex in Beijing is mostly replete with amenities like comfortable bedrooms with adjustable beds, expansive living rooms, fully equipped kitchen, eco-friendly areas, and ironing boards. Some of the most popular condominium units come attached with high-end facilities like parking areas, game room, laundry facilities, whirlpool spas and saunas, pools, and meeting rooms. Many of them are even attached with facilities like game rooms coupled with tennis courts and gym.
A myriad of benefits can be derived from living in a Beijing condominium. The prime one is that it is less expensive, in contrast to other accommodation types. Security is another advantage of condominiums, since there are a large number of neighbors around, apart from facilities like common security monitoring system.
Further, this allows you to go for a tension-free vacation or a business trip. Benefits also include low maintenance and access to common facilities such as pool, library, and elevators. Also, by living in a Beijing condominium, you become a part of a unique community. Above all, condominiums in Beijing serve as an excellent long-term investment.
From the discussion above, it is evident that no accommodation options can rival the comforts and benefits offered by a Beijing condo unit. However, certain factors should be considered when you decide to choose condominiums as your accommodation option. For instance, there are some condominium units in Beijing that do not allow pets. Some may even impose restrictions on renovations and noise levels. Hence, it must be checked for. The neighborhood, condominium interior and outdoor maintenance fee, parking area, and outdoor space are the other things to be considered for.
Choosing a house in Beijing
You have to keep in mind that Beijing is not cheap as it used to be a few years ago. So you have to be willing to shell out a good amount of money if you want a decent house to stay in. You can find cheap flats, but they might be in such a bad state that you just cannot stay in them for a long period. You might have to deal with agents to find a suitable apartment as per your requirements. The agents will obviously charge additional money which will further increase your cost. However, you just have to pay the agents one time. Sometimes the agents charge commission from the flat owner instead of the tenant. In such a case you do not have to pay anything to the agent. While talking to the agent, you should clarify whether you have to pay him any money or he will take it from the flat owner.
Some people are not comfortable dealing with real estate agencies as there have been many incidents of people being cheated by unscrupulous and dishonest agents. One way to avoid being cheated is to deal only with reputed agencies. Or you can browse the local newspapers to find apartments by yourself, eliminating the middleman. But this can be very time-consuming, and you might not be able to find what you are looking for.
Another option is to check out popular websites like ‘City Weekend,’ ‘The Beijinger’ and ‘eChinacities.’ These websites have lots of real estate listings, and you are likely to find something you might be interested in. If you like the apartments, then you have to act fast because it might be gone the next day. Remember that good apartments get rented soon. When you find a property that is in good condition, and the rent fits your pocket, grab the opportunity before it is gone.
When you decide to rent an apartment, choose your locality wisely. People of different nationalities prefer to stay in different locations. For example, Wangjing and Shaoyaoju areas are more popular with South East Asians, while Shuangjing is preferable for Westerners. If you are just going to stay for a short while in China then it’s better to choose a location like Xidan, which is close to shopping centers, restaurants, and transport facilities.