7 Things to Look for in a Rental Listing

Listing your rental property online is one of the most effective ways to attract quality tenant leads. However, no matter how hard you try to give your rental listing its uniqueness to make potential renters click on it, you may still not be getting enough responses for your properties. Here are some tips for listing your rental property online.

A detailed description

The details of the property are the most crucial aspect of rental listing because it precisely describes what the property offers. The minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms, floor plan, square footage and storage space should be provided in detail. This should be included in the main body of the listing.

Amenities, Activities, and Attractions

The amenities section serves to describe and highlight the property’s best qualities. Many Hong Kong apartments for rent already have the basic amenities. You should include amenities that show the uniqueness of the property. They include in-unit laundry, air conditioning, ample storage units, and private outdoor space. Ensure to point out amenities the apartment is close to such as movie theaters, malls, parks, and transport access.

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5 Tips for Renting in a Pricey Market

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A home, no matter how temporary, should be able to meet a person’s needs and comfort. When searching for a new apartment, never settle for less. Looking for the best possible apartment may mean that you will spend a lot of money, especially in today’s market where rental property rates are getting higher and higher. This is especially true in global financial centers, such as Hong Kong. To help you in your Hong Kong rental property search, here is a guide for good house hunt to ensure that you get a good house for your hard earned money.

Acquaint Yourself with the Housing Laws

To start off, you should know that in today’s pricey market, you will probably meet a lot of agents and landlords bending the law to their advantage. The worst that could happen is that you will be led into a scam and get nothing out of your money. These occurrences happen because very few people actually get to read housing laws. Who has time to read tedious and long written documents? If you say that you do not, you might want to reconsider.

You also don’t want to violate the laid housing laws yourself because of ignorance. It is not even a proper excuse. If your chosen apartment you have happens to have a no-pet policy, and you have a cat, you might want to know before you start signing papers and giving out deposits.

Grab a Great Deal, Fast!

Great deals usually get grabbed first. Then, vacancies become scarcer and scarcer. When this happens, prices will just increase more and more. Second guessing is then not an option. If you find an apartment which is within your budget and is subject to rules that agree with your lifestyle, you must appeal to the property administration directly. Make sure that you have all your documents at hand, too. This way, when you are called back and your reservation is confirmed, you can transfer without any hassle.

Make Room in Your Budget

In an ideal world, you only pay for the room you have rented monthly. However, this is not entirely true. In pricey markets, agents and landlords usually expect you to pay at least a month’s worth of rent even before you stepped inside your apartment. If you found and reserved the apartment online, you would be charged for the processing fee. If you consulted an agent, you would also pay a fee for consultation, which usually amounts to 12% – 15% of your yearly rent. If you approached the landlord directly, there would be fare expenses.

It’s true that searching for a new place will not only take considerable time, but also requires a significant amount of money, so you better set a budget for that, too.

Deal With What You Have

People usually expect good facilities and spacious rooms with the big sum of money they’ve spent. However, the price you pay for your apartment does not usually entail that you will get to stay in a 5-star hotel. In order to get in such place, you must pay a higher price. If expanding your budget is not an option, you must learn to deal with what you can afford.

Do not dwell so much with the aesthetics. You can change that later on with the permission of your landlord. The important thing is that your apartment has all the essentials, such as a bed and a bedroom, a ceiling, a kitchen, heating etc.

Find a Roommate

If renting an apartment alone is too much for your pocket, you might want to consider searching for a person to share the place and the expenses with you. This will lessen your burden by half.

Finding a new place to stay is no small feat. Luckily there are property services that can help you in doing so. Qi Homes can help you in your search for the best rental property in Hong Kong without compromising your budget.

What is the best time of the year for Apartment hunt in Hong Kong

If you are interested to rent an apartment in Hong Kong, you need to consider the best time of the year to go apartment hunting. Hong Kong enjoys four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

Winter in Hong Kong

Winter in Hong Kong starts in December and ends in February. It is normally a cold and dry season. Its temperature ranges from 15° C to 19° C– even dropping below 10° C.

Spring in Hong Kong

Spring in Hong Kong starts in March and ends in May. It is a warm and humid season that brings unpredictable weather conditions. It rains in some days and brings out clear-blue skies in other days. Its temperature ranges from 18° C to 27° C. It usually becomes very hot in the days heading toward summer.

Summer in Hong Kong

Summer in Hong Kong starts in June and ends in August. It is a season filled with rainy days or summer showers and high humidity with the constant threat of typhoons and thunderstorms. Its temperature ranges from 27° C to 33° C during day time and 24° C to 26° C at night.

Autumn in Hong Kong

Autumn in Hong Kong starts in September and ends in November. It is the ideal season to travel in and around Hong Kong. Good weather conditions are evident through the presence of clear-blue skies, low humidity, and warming temperature. This is the time of year where Hong Kong is filled with tourists from various parts of the world.

Apartment hunting during Winter and Summer months

Based from the facts stated above, apartment hunting is a definite no-no during the winter and summer seasons. These are extreme seasons and the cons of venturing out in Hong Kong to search for properties for rent far outweigh the pros.

Apartment hunting during Spring and Autumn months

Based from each season’s attributes, Spring and Autumn months are the best months to go out and around Hong Kong. Each season’s weather condition is ideal for anyone to explore the country and its islands.

Spring: The best time of the year to apartment hunt in Hong Kong

Between Spring and Autumn, Spring is the best time of the year to apartment hunt in Hong Kong.

As stated before, Autumn is the season wherein Hong Kong is filled with tourists. If you go apartment hunting during this season, you will find yourself in competition with tourists in availing any means of transportation. There will also be instances wherein some apartments are not available for rent during that time because tourists have already rented the place.

5 Reasons to be Thankful for a Great Hong Kong Property Agent

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The advancement of technology makes room for easier transactions. It’s all about less friction nowadays. With just a few clicks, people can now advertise whatever they wish to sell and buy without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes. But the nitty gritty of the real estate business is not as simple as some would assume, and when things get difficult, it is always advantageous to have a professional by your side. Here are five reasons we should be grateful for great real estate agents in Hong Kong.

1. They take over uncomfortable interactions for you.

Not everyone has what it takes to be a landlord. There are people who dislike confrontation and who would prefer to simply nod their heads and let things play out smoothly. If this is the kind of person you are, then the role is not for you. Meanwhile, being a landlord also takes compassion and levelheadedness. If you are hot-headed, impulsive, and have little control over your emotions, a property agent would be more than happy to assist you and pluck you out of what could be a very messy situation.

2. They will not lie to you.

No promises here, mind you, but real estate agents are less likely to lie to you than private buyers because they face bigger consequences if they do so. A licensed property agent is bound by the law to inform their clients of all the need-to-knows of the properties they are about to invest in. Furthermore, these agents rely on referrals and repeat businesses to keep their livelihood going. Acting in your best interest is in their best interest. You need not worry about them going behind your back and slacking off on you because their clients are their top concern.

3. They give you better access to good deals.

Real estate agents work day in and day out with their buyer and seller clients. They have quicker access to whatever property meets your criteria and could easily contact their fellow agents should a certain property peak your interest. A great real estate agent would flip the world over to find you the best deals and save you a ton of money.

4. They deal with the difficulties of the business for you.

The real estate business is not easy. It requires a lot of running from place to place, a pile of paperwork, countless hours on the phone with countless people, and a lot of stress. Because not everyone is easy to get along with, property agents could prevent bad blood between buyers and sellers by relaying concerns and keeping things from getting too personal. Your real estate agent catches all the punches thrown your way and passes them on to you in a gentler manner. Be thankful! Many property agents suffer from verbal abuse but take them on with a cheery smile for your sake.

5. They save you time.

As mentioned before, the real estate business is a big pain. You would have to handle mountains of paperwork, legal issues, troubles with the property, maintenance and repairs, and some difficult people. All this, along with your other responsibilities, makes each tick of the clock hanging on your wall a reminder of your fully scheduled day. Your property agent takes this stress off your shoulders and takes them on themselves so that while you spend your valuable time with your friends, family, and dog, they deal with all the hassles you now don’t have to.

A city of luxury and fashion, Hong Kong is also known for its beautiful skyline and natural harbour. This bustling metropolis has become a mini New York and is now a renowned destination for those wishing to make it big. It’s no wonder that finding a reasonably priced and comfortable living space is a bit of a challenge. If you are looking for a realtor who would make you thank the heavens for their very existence, look no further. Qi Homes Professional Agency is home to top property agents in Hong Kong. They specialise in sales, acquisition, consultation, renovation and letting of your properties.

HK apartment rental Crisis

5 Places Where Rising Rents Are Deepening the HK apartment rental Crisis

As you start your search for a place to rent in Hong Kong, you might get overwhelmed upon realizing how hefty the monthly rates are—especially for the sought-after, high-end Hong Kong apartment rentals. One of the main reasons the cost of living in Hong Kong is so high is its expensive rental market. In fact, Hong Kong’s rental market is consistently part of the world’s most expensive rentals.

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There’s one very logical reason for this: Hong Kong has barely 1,100 km2, yet it holds a population of around 7.2 million people. The lack of space and the increasing demand of high-class developments make its rental rates continually shoot up. Most people choose to live in apartments since suburban homes are something only the rich can afford.

If you want to know the places where rising rents deepen the HK apartment rental crisis, then read on.

Chung Hom Kok

Chung Hom Kok is a luxurious and spacious residential area with around 500 high-end apartments and low-rises with breathtaking views of the South China Sea. It’s located in the western side of Stanley of the Hong Kong Island. Some villas in Chung Hom Kok have private yards and pools. It has also one of the best beaches in HK. The low-rise apartments and townhouses in this place boast an outstanding sea view. This is why the rent could range from HK$ 38,000- HK$ 260,000.

Shouson Hill

Shouson Hill is a hill that’s approximately 150m high. It’s located on the coast of Deep Water Bay in Hong Kong Island. It’s another upmarket residential area with over 600 rental properties. These apartments and townhouses cost a rental of HK$ 43,000- HK$ 380,000.

The Peak

The Peak is the highest locale in Hong Kong. It’s also considered one of the wealthiest residential areas. Their height restrictions ensure that those low-rise buildings do not undermine the spectacular views, nor do they deter the cool night breezes that thoroughly caress the exquisite neighborhood. The Peak claims over 1,300 rental properties, and the rental range here is HK$ 35,000- HK$ 900,000.

Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay is more like a seaside resort than a residential area. This neighborhood is usually inhabited by rich businessmen and their families. Wealthy expat families who fancy palm-fringed beach and a close proximity to international schools opt for this district. This area has no MTR, so residents need to have a car. This elite location has over 3,500 properties whose rentals cost HK$ 35,000- HK$ 1,100,000.

Happy Valley

Happy Valley is another upmarket residential area in Hong Kong that is famous for its Happy Valley Racetrack as well as its accessibility to nightlife and shopping hub of Causeway Bay. From tall, modish apartment buildings to superb low-rise complexes, Happy Valley has it. It is home of over 6,000 rental properties that cost $65,000- $95,000 regular rent.

Hong Kong is a beautiful place, and every resident should seize all its perks. The places mentioned above are high-end that may or may not be difficult to afford. There are actually other areas in Hong Kong that you can reasonably grab. If you are troubled in getting the most affordable HK apartment rental for expats, it’s best to work with a real estate agent you can trust. There are also real estate services like Qi Homes which can readily lend a helping professional hand. All you have to do is to reach out to get the best deals you deserve.

5 Tips for Renting House in Hong Kong

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Renting houses and searching for places to live in can be quite stressful and time-consuming. Here are five tips to help you get started on the right foot.

Explore your options

If you want to rent house in Hong Kong, there are a lot of choices for you. Hong Kong offers a variety of places suitable for different personalities and activities. Some areas are more populated by locals, while some have a majority of foreigners. There are places which offer views of the sea, while some have mountainous views. Some places for rent are near the downtown areas, while some are located in quiet, rural areas. Though houses can be more expensive, there are also townhouses and apartments available. Hong Kong certainly has a lot to offer.

Consider your needs

You may be living alone, with a family, or with a friend. Choose a type of house most appropriate and manageable for you. It is also helpful to consider transportation options if your workplace is not within walking distance. This is also the time to be creative with your wants. Be specific! If you’re having a bit of difficulty, you may opt to consult apartment rental Hong Kong agents to help you.

Prepare yourself

Hong Kong includes one of the most expensive cities in the world. With that being said, don’t be easily lured by signs saying “Flat for Rent HK.” Set limits for your budget. It also pays to check your facts. Is down payment required? Will there be additional expenses besides rent? Are you the one shouldering repairs and maintenance for emergency situations? Moreover, to what extent are you allowed to change the way your place looks? Make sure to check if your building allows it. It may be too old and the size may not be enough.

Allow for adjustment

It will surely take some time before you get well-acquainted not just with your new place, but with your surroundings as well. Just like the people around you, neighborhoods may have different personalities. Properties in Hong Kong are measured in square feet – that may be noteworthy when purchasing new furniture. Some areas also tend to be more crowded and polluted – you may have to find ways to have your schedule work around it. Moving can be quite stressful, but if you give yourself time and space to adjust, you may just get the hang of your new place.

Enjoy your new place

Hong Kong has a lot of new and different things to offer! Why not take this opportunity to explore? It may take your mind off the stresses of moving. Options are available in and out of your new place. Focus on the fun of arranging your new house, but don’t leave the outside world out.

Everyone could use a little help when getting a new place. Qi Homes may just have the answers to the questions bugging you about renting in Hong Kong. We offer a variety of services to make your search totally carefree.

Hong Kong Property Agents

10 Questions to Vet Hong Kong Property Agents

Real estate is a tough industry— especially when it comes to finding the best property agent. Hong Kong is a vast location with hundreds of properties available for purchase at any given time during the year. The catch is being able to lock your sights on property agents in Hong Kong who have the know-how to get you your dream home the quickest way possible. Here are 10 questions you should always ask a property agent before considering a purchase.

Hong Kong Property Agents

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1. What are your credentials?

Learning your property agent’s credentials will give you a better idea of whether or not they are the person you would like to have represent you on the market. Credentials allow us to verify the validity of a real estate agent and whether or not they are actually certified and trained to do their job.

2. What is your marketing strategy?

A good real estate agent has no issue with laying their marketing blueprints out in front of you. You want to be wary of real estate agents who are cryptic and do not openly share their methods with you. At the end of the day it is your money that is being invested— not theirs.

3. How much do you charge for your service?

Contrary to popular belief, real estate agents do actually get paid for their service. Although their payment is generally a commission that is earned through the sale of their homes, some real estate agents are hourly or salary workers that will expect payment per hour. It is vital that you know and understand payment methods, fees, costs and scheduling to avoid any hiccups in the purchase further down the road.

4. How much do your properties normally close for?

This number will allow you to have a good idea of what to expect payment wise. This number can also act as a gauge to let you know how much room you should make to cover your expenses, fees and other costs.

5. How close is the closing price to the asking/selling price?

The closer the two prices are together the better the chances of you actually being able to make a purchase is. These two numbers being close is also a good indicator that your real estate agent is a good closer and more than likely has the ability to help you save money on your purchase.

6. Are you a licensed also a licensed broker/realtor?

Believe it or not, not all real estate agents in Hong Kong are licensed brokers and realtors. This is why it is so important to verify their credentials to be sure that you are working with a legitimate worker who is able to handle your business requests.

7. How many more buyers are you currently representing?

It isn’t a good idea to pair yourself up with a real estate agent who is representing more than 3-5 clients. Why? They won’t have the time to put in inquiries, file requests and fill out paperwork necessary to get your home before it’s off the market. While some real estate agents are fine with managing more than one person, many with only take a few clients at a time.

8. How many properties has your company sold in my particular area?

This is a great indicator of what to expect from your real estate agent. The more properties they have sold, the more of a solid foundation they have to work off of to make your Hong Kong home purchase go from a dream to a reality.

9. What makes you one of the best property agents in Hong Kong?

You will want to know what the agent thinks about themselves and their abilities. If they exaggerate or go to extremes with their goals— you may want to further evaluate their work to ensure that they can practice what they preach.

Do you have any references?

When it comes to realty, references are previous clients that have agreed to vouch for the realtor. The longer the list the more rapport the agent has which naturally means they are more reliable. However, you may want to do your homework on real estate agents. Nowadays, you can perform a quick search to discover virtually anything about anyone online.

Living in Hong Kong

Whenever Hong Kong is mentioned in a conversation, the first image that jumps into the mind is a vibrant hub of finance and commerce, a cultural melting pot located in a beautiful bay in the South China Sea. However, Hong Kong is also well known for the perpetual smog formed from the exhaust of the dense traffic on its ever busy streets, But Living in Hong Kong is also exciting, safe and dynamic.  Here is our insight to living in a town we all call home.

Hong Kong is located in the South of the Chinese mainland, on a peninsula that extends into the South China Sea. What most people don’t know is that the 230 islands near the Hong Kong peninsula are considered part of the city. Hong Kong had been part of the British Empire in the Far East long after the Chinese mainland had received autonomy from the British. It was in 1997 that Hong Kong became part of the mainland when it became a special administrative division. This special recognition arose from the fact that the governing system that had been enforced in Hong Kong was based on the British democratic capitalist system, whereas mainland China had continues to follow the centuries old dynastic system synonymous to communism. Therefore, the provision allowed for the governance of Hong Kong as a separate state.

Due to this unique set of conditions under which Hong Kong has developed, the city boasts of a set of unique qualities that have made it a favorite among many international investors and tourists. For starters, Hong Kong is both politically and financially stable. Secondly, the presence of the British for a much period had the effect of making English one of the 2 dominant languages in the peninsula. This is why all the signs and maps in this city are bilingual which makes it easy to navigate around the city. Finally, the expansive and efficient transport network within the entire Hong Kong peninsula is ranked as one of the best in the world. These are just some of the reasons why Hong Kong is the preferred Asian headquarters for many multinational companies.

The business environment in Hong Kong has been termed as one of the most conducive in the world. This is why so many businesses found it easy to set up shop in this city. Consequently with the ever increasing presence and entry of multinational and foreign owned companies, Hong Kong is a city that has one of the highest numbers of foreign residents of any city in Asia. This is why Hong Kong exudes such a trendy and modern cosmopolitan feel. Hong Kong is truly a city that has a 24 hour economy since it virtually never sleeps. The city boasts impressive numbers of world class trendy night clubs, exquisite restaurants, popular bars, extensive malls, high-end fashion outlets, evergreen parks and beautiful white sands beaches. In Hong Kong it’s never too late to go out shopping, never too risky to go out clubbing never too far to your favorite restaurant. Hong Kong is well known for its 5 star restaurants and hotels that combine unique Chinese hospitality with infinite culinary options to satisfy even the most sophisticated palette. In addition to Chinese cuisine, cuisines from all over the world, prepared by expert expatriate master chefs, are availed to lovers of good food.

Land in Hong Kong is definitely premium real estate considering that the city hosts over 7 million residents. However, despite the population density the city is ever changing. Hong Kong real estate is divided into 4 main regions. These regions are Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, The New Territories and the offshore islands.

Hong Kong Island was the seat of British rule as can be seen from the colonial court house, jail house and the governor’s mansion overlooking the main Victoria Harbor. Hong Kong Island can be further divided into Central and Western district, Wanchai district, Southern district and Eastern district. The skyscrapers, 5 star hotels and malls are found on the Central and Western districts while quiet and rural villages are found to the south of Hong Kong Island. The Hong Kong country club and Ocean Park are found to the East of the island. Most of the open spaces remaining on the island are to be found on the island’s central hills.

Kowloon district is further divided into the Kowloon peninsula and New Kowloon. The New Kowloon region extends to encompass a minor potion of The New Territories. Kowloon boasts a less spectacular skyline due to height restrictions on building. The restrictions had been enforced when the Hong Kong airport was within Kowloon immediate vicinity. Some new residential developments offering luxury apartments have been established with Kowloon Tong becoming a popular residential area for Hong Kong celebrities and actors. The southernmost reach of Kowloon known as Tsim Sha Tsui has evolved into a tourist centric shopping and cultural district. Other notable areas include the Sham Shui Po electronics markets and the Cheung Sha Wan Road wholesale markets.

The Kowloon region and Hong Kong Island border The New Territories on three sides. The New Territories includes the islands defined by the Pearl River Delta which extends slightly into the South China Sea. The New Territories have exponentially transformed from the initial extensive agricultural fields into planned communities and a number of satellite towns. This change was sparked by the similarly exponential population growth on Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. However some parts of The New Territories still possess much of the traditional Chinese rural look of monasteries and beautiful ancient village.

Hong Kong has over 200 outlying islands with Lantau being the biggest. This island is the most economically significant in that it hosts the Chek Lap Kok international Airport and the Hong Kong Disney Land. It also boasts of the famous bronze stature of Big Buddha. An increasing number of the smaller outlying islands along the coast of the mainland have become host resort styled residential developments. This is in response to the growth of an increasingly effluent middle class in Hong Kong. However, it is important to know that an increasing number of the outlying islands are inhabited by small fishing communities.