Sunday, May 8, 2011

First Apartment: Success!

Big accomplishments this weekend. Found an apartment today!! I can't believe it but I managed to find (with lots of help) a place that satisfied all my requirements at a reasonable price. It is a one bedroom! I don't know if my readers understand how difficult it is to find an affordable one bedroom place in HK. I didn't either, until I started looking. This place has a bathroom, kitchen, living room area, and a bedroom, separated by another door. The building has security and an elevator. Mom, even the air conditioner is the quiet kind. It is also only 1 mile from work, so if I feel like it, I can walk to work. There are also buses that I can take. The neighborhood is good, lots of parks, shopping, everything I need. But let me start from the beginning.

I spent basically the entire day looking at apartments with agent after agent. This morning, I left my place at 9:30am and met someone to look at 2 places. But the rent was high and there was furniture. I don't need furniture. The guy is the actual owner and he wanted me as a tenant. But his stuff didn't fit with what I wanted. I met up with another guy an hour later and looked at a couple more studios. The first set was too dark, too small, and had a washing machine where I wanted to put my fridge. He then showed me a studio that I really liked in terms of space, lighting, and location but the building is a walkup and has no security.

At this point I was hungry and conflicted. I had seen another place yesterday that I thought was pretty good. It had an elevator, security, and a balcony. We'll call this the balcony place. The actual room in the balcony place is bit small but overall, it's not too bad. I ate at a McDonald's, because I wanted to use their bathroom and they would let me sit however long I wanted. I called my parents and asked them what they thought. I called the agent back about the balcony place but she said that it was already taken. I liked the agent because she seemed trustworthy and very friendly. So I went back to them to look at more places. She took me to two more places, one of which I liked.

At this point, my parents called to say that my dad's friend was willing to help me out. He gave me a call to say that he can come and show me around his neighborhood. So I left the agent and went with him. He took me around the agencies in his neighborhood but the apartments there weren't that much better. And he lives farther away from the subway stations. While we were looking at places, I swear all the previous agents called to see if I was still interested. After walking around some places with him, I didn't see anything that I really liked and wanted to be back in the neighborhood closer to work. . So we went back to see the place that the agent showed me before. My dad's friend wasn't impressed because it turns out that the place is an addition to the actual building. He said that it would get really hot in the summer. The ceiling is low so I don't think I could fit a bunk bed in there. The agent showed us another place that was bigger but the building itself is no good. At this point, an agent that I had called twice previously called me back.

This guy has a website where he posts Youtube videos of the places that his company is renting out (the owner is the real estate company). I had been stalking his website because his places looked pretty good and they are all in the neighborhood I'm interested in. We met up at nearly 6pm and he showed us a place that I liked immediately. The place is newly renovated with five individual suites. Two of them were no good and by the process of elimination, I found the one that I liked. The agent didn't want to bother with bargaining and told us right off that he can give the place to us for $200 (HKD) less than the price listed but that was it. We bargained hard but to no avail. In the end, I took it because the it really is what I want and the monthly rent is less than what I budgeted for.

So, if you're interested in seeing the video to my new place, I can email you the link. I don't want to repost other people's links randomly. I put down some money to hold the place. Once I give the entire deposit and such, I can get the keys and basically start living there. We finished the deal at around 7:30pm. So my day was pretty much like a day at work. We called my parents even though it was 4am their time. We ate dinner and my dad's friend even showed me a place to buy furniture at a wholesale price.

Very happy that this is all done. This place is definitely big enough to have visitors. Now I just have to find a good futon. I can finally go look at furniture! Very exciting. I'm also very glad to have someone helping me look and ask questions. I honestly didn't know what I needed to know. Read that previous sentence carefully. I was a bit hesitant about asking someone to help me out, especially on such short notice. But then I thought about it. If any of my friends (when the time comes), has a kid who needed my help to find an apartment or anything like that, I would not hesitate to help. I would have done the same thing. I think I could have been able to do it on my own, especially since I had contacted the agent and he was returning my call. But I might have signed with somewhere else that I wasn't completely happy with and then missed out on this place. And it was really good to have someone help me ask all the right questions and to read the contract.

Furniture shopping is next! Very excited.


X said...

Congrats on finding a place! :-)

docey101 said...

Yes! Congrats! Glad it fits all your criteria and within your budget. And should your children in 25 or so years need help in something I can help with, I'd be down to try my best at it. ;)