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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: RuntoFIRE on February 19, 2016, 06:37:17 AM

Title: Which apartment should we rent?
Post by: RuntoFIRE on February 19, 2016, 06:37:17 AM
Hi  Mustachians,

Need your advice on which apartment to rent in Hong Kong. We thought we had it all figured out with a nice walk up big apartment in an area we liked for cheap, but it fell through. The landlord now wants $800 more for it than what we thought he agreed to.

So, here are our options, or we can keep looking:

1. An awesome 2 bedroom apartment in a new development in the area we love. Great light, great views, great kitchen/bathroom, etc., common amenities like a gym (which I would use), outdoor space, etc. Good value for the money. We can get it for $26K HKD ($3344 USD) down from $28K HKD.

2. An older 2 bedroom, a bit more spacious, but not much.. Not a lot of natural light (which is important to me), mediocre views. Older building with the infrastructure issues that entails.  Missing a fridge and washing machine which we'd need to buy. Farther away from the neighborhood where we want to be. A steal at $16.8K HKD ($2150 USD) with a $1500 USD investment for the fridge and washing machine.

I have a good but not extravagant salary and am getting a housing stipend for two years that would more than cover the cost of the more expensive apartment (about $1k a month left over). Still the savings from going with the cheaper place would be close to $30K USD over two years.

What do we do? Do we live it up in the place we love that is more expensive than we'd like? Or go cheap? Or continue looking with the risk of our temp housing running out (so we'd incur extra costs). Looking at this point may bring diminishing returns but may also uncover gems. We are not looking to live the expat lifestyle and our other expenses would be fairly cheap.

Other than that, I have my final  student debt loan that I  will get rid of with this year's tax refund, and no other debt. We are getting married this year but our parents will cover most of our wedding (which is super nice of them).

Help! My heart tells me to go for the more expensive place but my mind tells me to save.

What would you do?
Title: Re: Which apartment should we rent?
Post by: jda1984 on February 19, 2016, 07:20:13 AM
How long do you plan to stay in Hong Kong?  If a long time, then I'd say go for the cheaper place and save money.  If this 2 year stint is most likely it (transferring to another location with the same company for example) I'd be more inclined to savor the experience and go with the more expensive place.  You're still saving money, just not quite as much.
Title: Re: Which apartment should we rent?
Post by: lhamo on February 19, 2016, 07:30:30 AM
I lived in an apartment I didn't love for nearly two years when we first moved to Beijing.  The apartment itself was not bad -- spacious, good layout, ok furnishings, etc.  But the building/compound was really depressing.  There were brothels in the building, and it felt kind of creepy.  I knew the minute I walked into the apartment we would eventually buy that it would be home.  It made living in Beijing for the next six years tolerable.  I would choose the apartment you love.  For the light and the views if nothing else.