You are in an enivable situation. Your budget & wants are good enough for pretty much anywhere in Hong Kong. Here are my thoughts.
Since you have no kids (no worries about being close to school) and wife is going to work from home. Your only criteria is convenient to work and some room to run.
Top Choice would still be Happy Valley; very convenient transport wise and close to the racetrack if you just want to run around. Close to everything else. Plenty of greenery with views of the mountains as well as racetrack.
Second Choice : Mid Levels; can walk to work (escalator) but bit of a concrete jungle with very little greenery. Can run/jog nearby (BowenRoad).
There are many many other choices, if you are willing to put up with the commute. eg : 40-50K will get you a full house (2100sqft+roof) in SaiKung, Lamma, Lantau as well as many villages in the New Territories. 40-50K will also get you very nice apartments with full facilities in many locations around town near MTR.
I consider HV and PKL to both be not convenient because they are not on the MTR. Buses in HK are much better than other countries, but nothing beats the convenience of the MTR. But thats just my opinion.
If I was paying $50k per month rent, Id pick somewhere like on top of Kowloon station.
But, regardless of your income, do you really want to blow that much per month on rent? Even if I was on megabucks, if it is just me and the wife, I would settle for something like $30k and have an extra $20k per month savings/extra flights home/etc. Thats a pretty huge amount in anyones books regardless of your financial status. But everyone's different I guess.
I have 2 kids and live in Pokfulam. Pokfulam is very kid friendly and a lot of the apartment blocks are very family centred. I love it here. However, if I had no kids I would choose a place in Mid-Levels where you are close to lots of restaurants and bars (which, incidentally, is where I lived before I had 2 kids!). If you live on Po Shan Rd or Conduit Rd you are close to great walks up to the Peak.
... if I had no kids I would choose a place in Mid-Levels where you are close to lots of restaurants and bars (which, incidentally, is where I lived before I had kids).
Yup, Mid-Levels sounds ideal for mid-20s, 30s, and others still inclined to party a LOT during the week or very late on weekends. Balancing access to restaurants and a few drinks versus loud mid-week bar noise (ML?) or perfectly normal, screeching little people (PKL?) early on weekends, maybe HV is a possibility for my wife and I. Our plan is to be open minded, look at all 3 areas and others, and go for the apartment and location that feels right. We'll have a month or more in a serviced apt to (over)analyse and/or figure things out. Thanks all for your helpful input.
WFH: Pick a newer building if you WFH a lot. I just realized that HK apartments transact frequently and you'll hear jackhammers taking tiles out (renovation) while hosting conference calls. It's killing me!!!
Pokfulam is very convenient (relative). When all else fails, a 50 HKD taxi ride will take you to Central. There are just too many good non-Chinese/Canto restaurants in the northern side of the island to name.
Originally Posted by HK-Husky
DINKS: With 2 incomes and no kids, we're well past the raging party animal stage yet still enjoy getting out for drinks and dinner (sometimes in-week; often on weekends). Will Pok Fu Lam be boring? Will we find reasonably good quality, non-local restaurants? Beyond Cantonese or other Chinese cai, can we order in later in the evening?
We're on Kotewall Road, which is in between Pokfulum and the rest of Mid-levels. We love it as we can literally walk to the Peak, walk to HKU and walk to the bars, restaurants and markets in Sai Ying Pun, where I can take the minibus 45A back up. Bus 13 in front of our building takes us to City Hall and Minibus 3 terminus up the road will take you to IFC. Minibus 56/56A terminus is right below our building and goes through Garden Road, Admiralty, Queen's Road East, Causeway Bay and North Point. As we always board at the terminus, we never have any trouble getting seats on the minibus getting to work on time. There are two public playgrounds within walking distance for small children and it's located near some pretty great public schools - Kau Yan, St. Stephen's Girls, etc. Minibus 45A will also take me past Tsan Yuk Hospital for all my ante-natal tests and scans and I transfer to minibus 10, 8 or 28 to go to Queen Mary Hospital for all my ante-natal visits. The local Maternal and Child Health Clinic is in Sai Ying Pun, but I'm more familiar with the one in Tang Chi Ngong in Wanchai, which is accessible on minibus 56/56A. So far, we've rented two apartments in the past two years here for under HK$50,000 with 3 bedrooms, 2,000 square ft and a carpark space.