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Festival City in Tai Wai / Sha Tin

  1. #1
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    Festival City in Tai Wai / Sha Tin

    Hey guys,

    Wanted to know peoples opinions of the new Festival City complex in Tai Wai for an expat couple?

    I went to view today and was thoroughly impressed with the complex (brand new/great facilities - though not all complete), however was a little bit overwhelmed in that Tai Wai itself didn't seem particularly like a place where many expats live or have expat friendly amenities.

    A few questions I have:

    - Are any other expats living in Festival City?
    - What are peoples thoughts/opinions of the complex?
    - Thoughts on Tai Wai as a place to live generally?
    - Would supermarkets (citysuper/taste) in say Kowloon Tong or Shatin deliver to my apartment?
    - Best way to get to Central? I don't mean quickest, just easiest. I assume MTR to Kowloon Tong, then to Mongkok, then straight down to Central. How about going East Rail to Hung Hom route? Or a bus?
    - If I am stuck in Central until late. How much would a taxi cost from Central to Tai Wai and approximately how long would it cost?
    - What is the quickest way to the Airport? Taxi? If so - approx cost?

    One final thing - I have been living in HK for just over a year now and the property market is still one that baffles me a bit. Am currently renting from an expat and paid over the odds because I didn't know any better - but how is it best to approach negotiations with an Estate Agent? For example - if the asking price for an apartment is 20k, where should I start negotiations from and what should I be satisfied with?

    Cheers in advance

    FUMAO

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    Quote Originally Posted by FUMAO
    One final thing - I have been living in HK for just over a year now and the property market is still one that baffles me a bit. Am currently renting from an expat and paid over the odds because I didn't know any better - but how is it best to approach negotiations with an Estate Agent? For example - if the asking price for an apartment is 20k, where should I start negotiations from and what should I be satisfied with?
    Renting for 10-15% lower than advertised is normal in my experience but of course you can / should start with a lower offer. It helps to know prices around the area and in the same complex, sorry, estate.
    Also don't forget to negotiate a lower agent fee before you sign the exclusive agreement. If you can't agree on the % ask them to write "Neg(otiable)" instead and haggle later when that agent found a place you like, though of course if he knows you (really) like it will be more difficult.

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    Lots of expats in the area, even bars where you find them in Tai Wai. Not many in the new apartments, there are other complexes in the area as well as village houses and low density, high end properties slightly up the mountain.

    Travel wise to Central you have MTR or 182 bus which runs right through. A case of quickest v more relaxing. It's pretty much a good hub to get anywhere. Shatin centre is a 10 minute walk, Kowloon Tong is a 4 min train. Supermarkets deliver, however use online store for ParknShop and your area is covered by same distribution hub as Taste so more availability.

    In terms of livability there's always advantages / disadvantages to all places. I was there 5 years, loved the convenience, the transport and generally friendly people. Hated lack of kids facilities, busy roads and lack of family friendly streets. I live in kind of the complete opposite situation now!

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    Thanks for your responses so far!

    How long does the 182 bus take to Central?

    How negotiable is the agent fee? I thought it was 50% of the monthly rent and this was standard?

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    Mat
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    Quote Originally Posted by FUMAO

    How negotiable is the agent fee? I thought it was 50% of the monthly rent and this was standard?
    Depends of course but it can be very negotiable

    Overall I have paid so far:

    • once 25%
    • once 50%
    • once 33%
    • once 0 (yeah that was good)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FUMAO
    How negotiable is the agent fee? I thought it was 50% of the monthly rent and this was standard?
    It's only standard if you don't negotiate.
    Skyhook likes this.

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    did you move in?

    did you take the place in Festival City? i'm looking at a place there this week and have the same questions since my husband works in Quarry Bay but i have kids going to school in Sha Tin. It doesn't look like a beautiful setting or very family friendly but the location seems perfect for us since we are committed to NT already.

    Are there other expats at FC?

    Becky

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanoimom
    did you take the place in Festival City? i'm looking at a place there this week and have the same questions since my husband works in Quarry Bay but i have kids going to school in Sha Tin. It doesn't look like a beautiful setting or very family friendly but the location seems perfect for us since we are committed to NT already.

    Are there other expats at FC?

    Becky
    I was looking at the same complex, as we're also looking to rent something in the NT near Shatin. The area looks convenient (close to MTR). The units/apartments look very nice from the pics. Have you seen them in person? If so, I'd be interested in the same questions as OP, as I'm currently not in HK yet, but moving soon. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelbee
    I was looking at the same complex, as we're also looking to rent something in the NT near Shatin. The area looks convenient (close to MTR). The units/apartments look very nice from the pics. Have you seen them in person? If so, I'd be interested in the same questions as OP, as I'm currently not in HK yet, but moving soon. Thanks.
    We are an expat (US) couple with 2 kids (13b/8g) living if FC. We absolutely love it. I will briefly answer the OP's questions.
    - Yes.
    - We love it. You get a decent "bang for buck". Especially now that there are so many vacant units, you can get a great deal.
    -Tai Wai is fine for us. No complaints, and it is quite convenient to get most anywhere.
    -Supermarkets do deliver. We use Taste in KT mostly, and they deliver next day usually.
    -Multiple ways to get to central (I work in CitiBank Tower). In the morning, you can catch the 305 bus from right outside of tower 1. There are only 3 that run though (7:20/7:40/8:00). The other bus is the 182 which runs 24 hours. If you are stuck late, just hop on the 182 at HSBC, and it's 25 minutes to FC. PM me if you want more detail.
    -The easiest/quickest way to the airport is the E42 bus. It also runs 24 hours and is a 5 minute walk from FC.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any other specific questions. Good luck!

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    Creepy Security

    Hey to you folks chatting about Festival City in Tai Wai. Just some feedback from myself as it's something I struggle with here and think is worth considering. I find the previous post accurate and helpful but just beware of one thing... There is an unusual amount of security in this complex. Most of them are standing around doing nothing but staring at the residents (very creepy). At every major corner and every lift/entrance/sub entrance, they are there, sometimes several at a time, dressed like army soldiers. Many times they approach you telling you to swipe your card or ask where you are going because they are all very bored and have delusions that they are some kind of police. Local restaurants won't deliver here, my visiting friends have been harassed by them (i.e. asked to sign in like a university dorm), and they get really close to you near the doorways. I have spoken with other people around here, mostly my wife, and they all think I'm crazy and can't understand why someone would have a problem paying for this kind of service. Another creepy thing - there is no stair access (besides alarm setting fire exits) to the ground floor from the podium level, because they didn't build enough lifts, one must wait in a queue just to leave the building you pay for. This all takes place, of course, while several prison guards smile and stare at you like they are really proud to treat you like a farm animal and you must love them.

    Sorry, just got to put this out there, its a cultural issue and I think a lot of westerners may not like the situation I'm describing.

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