30 Things to Check Before Renting or Buying Flats in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the world. Homes that have little living space can fetch or sell for millions of dollars. Many factors are in play in property price: location, views, building age, economic situation and so on.

But whether you are buying a flat for investment or renting it for the next two years, it’s important to get what your money’s worth. Here is a simple due diligence checklist of things to see once you and your property agent pay a visit a flat available in the real estate market.

BUILDING LOCATION
One of the factors that influence property price is the location of the building. It’s understandably more appealing (and more expensive) for flats and apartments that are close to public facilities, transport links and away from risks or inconveniences.

  1. Is it close to public transport facilities? Are there multiple options (bus, subway, minibus)?
  2. Is it close to source of noise pollution such as roads, ongoing construction work or concentration of people?
  3. During rainy weather, is it connected from subway or bus stop with all-weather cover?
  4. Is it close to areas at risk such landslips or hillfires?
  5. Is it close to supermarkets, hospitals, schools, playgrounds or other public facilities?
  6. Is it close to known health hazards such as landfills, factories or other facilities?
  7. Does it offer unobstructed views to attractions?

APARTMENT LOCATION
Flats can be classified as low-, mid-, or high-floors which have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages (better views, accessible to stairs, etc).

  1. Is the main water supply and electricity switch work properly?
  2. Is water supply and drainage for washing machine work properly?
  3. Do all power sockets work?

CEILING

  1. Are there signs of water stains? If so it is possible that seepage may exist and this could lead to a big headache.

WALL

  1. Does the wall have cracks?

FLOOR

  1. Does it have cracks?

DOOR

  1. Is the door solid with secured locks and hinges?
  2. Does it have secondary lock?

WINDOWS

  1. Does it have loose screws?
  2. Does it have any scratches on the glass?
  3. Is the window pane or handle damaged?

BALCONY

  1. Does it properly drain water within the balcony?
  2. Does it allow hanging of clothes?

KITCHEN

  1. Does it show water stains on the floor or at the sink?
  2. Are tiles cracked?
  3. Does the drainage at the sink work properly?
  4. Do the cooking stoves work properly?
  5. Does it have a properly working exhaust fan?
  6. Does it have a secured gas valve?
  7. Is the garden disposal work properly?

BATHROOM

  1. Do the washbasin and bathtub drain well?
  2. Are the sides of the washbasin and bathtub properly sealed?
  3. Are there any water leaks in the pipes?

The checklist may be incomplete but it’s a good starting point when you have an apartment you ponder on renting or buying.

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