19 August 2013
I just came back from my holiday in the US. We had a fabulous time travelling from SF up to Portland and back down again. We all scored the holiday a pretty unbeatable 9/10. It lost a point because of the amount of driving we had to do but I guess we could not have done anything about that! There will be more about the places we visited later. I did manage to post some images on the road but, as with all holidays, the postcards will arrive after we return…sorry about this.
So onto another hot topic, which a recent reader sent me an email about…HK loft living.
This creative type was looking to move to Hong Kong and asked if it were true that you could buy/rent a warehouse building unit and convert into an apartment for a fraction of the price of an apartment in a residential building. The answer is ‘yes, but…’
This scenario is pretty tempting when you consider that a pretty average apartment around 2000 square feet will rent from anywhere between HKD70K (USD9000) to HKD200K (USD25000) per month. For HKD25000 you could rent something pretty large and have the whole Brooklyn loft vibe thing going on.
However, this is not without its downside.
Firstly, it’s illegal. Hong Kong is pretty non-interventionist when it comes to government. However, the main exception is the use of property. There has been a few scandals recently, usually involving politicians and illegal structures. This has lead to a crackdown on the use of property especially in industrial buildings where owners have been enclosing outdoor areas etc for years. There are more and more building inspectors. In my warehouse, I have had building inspectors knock on the door and want to have a look around. They don’t go in very far, as the volume of boxes pretty much convinces them that I couldn’t possibly live there.
I have been told that people who do live in these buildings have got to the point that they have to pack up and disappear for a while if a building inspector gets too suspicious.
Secondly, it’s dangerous. Warehouses are full of people who are storing anything from food to furniture to flammable substances. Some of the goods are dirty, or may contain vermin and diseases. It’s HK and because we have don’t have a lot of import duties & because there is no agriculture, there are not the same amount of controls that may exist in Europe, the US and Australia.
Thirdly, it’s not so nice. Your apartment may be beautiful and have a lovely sea view but you have to go through sometimes pretty dirty and smelly corridors and lifts to get there. There is no real security on the weekends and in the evenings except at the entrances and exits. They are located in out of the way places. It can be difficult to get taxis. You may get pretty tired of hiding from building inspectors.
Have I put you off? But saying all of this, there are tons of people who living in industrial buildings and love it. You need to be a certain type of person-it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Any questions? Email me.
If I haven’t totally put you off, take a look at this beautiful loft style apartment in Brooklyn by designer and artist Alina Preciado. Absolutely gorgeous. Wouldn’t a place like this make those creative juices flow?