Saturday, 10 July 2010

Second Time's a Charm?

I still can't believe I found a flat on the second try.

Yesterday afternoon I met up with my agent; while she could not get in touch with a landlord who had a flat in my price range (the place probably already rented out), there was another available in Sheung Wan for HK$7,800 ($1,003) a month.

It's on Bonham Strand West, just a few blocks from where I used to live on Bonham Strand East.

The flat is on the 21st floor of a building over 25 years old, near shops that sell Chinese medicine or dry goods like beans and oats.

And once we went inside I was surprised by how "big" it looked despite the space being sectioned off into a small bedroom and bathroom. It was recently renovated, with new air conditioners, light fixtures, a new tiled floor, new counter top and gas stove. But there was no fridge and no furniture.

Oh and did I mention that the bathroom is the size of a closet? The shower is even in an enclosed stall.

While I didn't say much or make a decision right away, I could feel the two agents, mine and the one acting for the landlord telling me that flats like this didn't come by everyday, especially in this price range.

I told my agent I needed time to think about it as I had only started looking. I didn't expect to find such a decent place in such a short time.

The usual routine is that agents will show you crap apartments first, hoping to get rid of those listings before showing you better flats. So it's a test of patience in terms of how many duds you are willing to see before tearing your hair out in frustration.

But in this case, there was nothing else to show. My agent ran out of listings in my ideal price range.

The other agent explained that he had already shown the place to a few people, though the size was a bit too small for a couple otherwise they would have taken it. But for one person it was enough space.

We walked back to her office. Could she help me get the place for cheaper, like HK$7,500 ($965)? And a fridge?

The landlord replied back HK$7,500 but no fridge.

I had to think it over again, but with the property market so hot for landlords, I didn't have much choice. It was in the price range and area I wanted.

So... I put down a month's rent for a deposit and we'll finish the deal on Tuesday.

Last night as I tried to go to sleep I was thinking, "What have I done?" as I usually see a number of flats before finding the one I want.

But this one, facing south with a view of Western Market and Shun Tak Centre gave me a good feeling when I walked around in it.

And if my hunch is wrong, it's only a year lease and then get back on the flat hunting scene again.

1 comment:

  1. may be about time hong kong government should have some form of rent control. at present it seems the government and the land lords gang up against the people.