樓奴一生 – life with mortgage

Most of us are slave to money. If you’re not born ‘out of the right vagina’ (beautiful phrase that Sing claims is legitimate in Cantonese), you will join us in living with mortgage.

As you may know, we got our mortgage approval for a flat in Hong Kong. Way too close to Momzilla. I bet she’s already planning to move in with us.
By the time we finish paying off this mortgage, the whole building will be 55 years old. As old as Sing, and just 5 years older than me. It’s really weird to think about that moment, considering I don’t even know what I’m going to do during long weekend for St. Patrick’s Day.

The dust settled down and we are now back to the reality. Reality with mortgage for two flats, one in Ireland, one in Hong Kong. In 3 weeks, Sing will sign the last document, making that flat ours.
It actually blows my mind every time I think how big this money is.
At this point, we both are slaves, working our butts off to make sure everything’s on track. Every morning on our way to work we will listen to Sam Hui and his song ‘半斤八两’.

You probably noticed that I do not write as frequently as before, that’s because our life cycle looks like this ‘Wake up, eat, work, eat, work, go home, sleep, wake up…’ – every day, Monday to Friday. We’re just charging our batteries over the weekend and try to sort our lives, make a plan how we get back to Hong Kong, through what country, when and how do we take Biscuit with us, how much it will cost to renovate the flat, will Momzilla really live with us?

There are million questions I have no answer for. How much we need to save prior to moving back? What is going to be our income during first few weeks in Hong Kong? What to do if either one of us cannot find a job?

Am I unhappy about all of this? Honestly speaking, even though it may not seem like that, but I’m not. I’m actually grateful and excited. Bit tired, bored with the daily life, but I have something to look forward to.

I know it’s stupid. I should not be happy that we owe our lives to bankers and pay them interest every month. But let me explain why I feel this way!

32 thoughts on “樓奴一生 – life with mortgage

  1. Mortgage is a scary thing to me…I am the kind who always like to pay upfront and be done with it. But when it comes to housing and property, this is literally impossible 😦 I am saving as much as I can these days and it helps that I have a job. My dream is to save enough money to pay upfront, or at least pay off half the house or an apartment at once – which would be many, many years ahead, lol.

    Haha, might as well call me dreamer like you and Sing. Congrats on your mortgage. Getting into the mortgage state is already a challenge in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your place isn’t cheap either. I wish we had enough to put cold cash on the table, but sadly mortgage is our only option 😦
      But I’m sure for you that’s a possibility as you’re popularity as an author and writer is growing 🙂


      1. LOL. I am making zero dollars from writing and blogging right now, and probably will be for a long time 😅 Good thing I love my day job. I will probably have to be like you at some point, get a place with a mortgage 😅😅😅😅😅


  2. My wife and I are thinking of getting a nice house in the next years as our current apartment will be too small in a few years when our daughter is older and needs her own room.
    So far we have been lucky with mortgage, in fact we were able to pay everything g at once for our flat in Finland and then later for the one here in Germany. However the renovation needed for the apartments was another thing entirely. For the Apartment in Germany it was nearly again half the amount of what we paid for the flat itself…even though we did most things ourselves!
    I think it is great that you challenge yourselves with the two apartments at once in order to have something for the future. I am myself a person who prefers investing now into something to have a better future and thus we never do any fancy travels as so many others are doing in our age, never can imagine traveling for three months around Asia and not earning meanwhile any money


    1. I’m always so jealous of those ‘backpackers’ who can travel the world and still earn on it, but that’s not the stable life. You yourself should know it the best as your second baby is on the way 🙂 I don’t think crazy MIL would love if you two all of the sudden give up a stable life and start spending all your savings 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    2. With all that thinking about the future it is easy to forget to live in the present. What kids need when growing up is the loving presence of their parents, not parents who are never home because they work crazy hours to pay off an overpriced mortgage.


      1. I guess the part about crazy hours depends always on the country. For example here there are strict rules how many hours a person is allowed to work per day. Besides my wife and I are running our own business from home so we can spend anyways more time with our child than parents who work a standard 9-5 job


        1. I was more thinking about people whose jobs officially are 35-40 hours, but employees are expected to work more like 50+ (just think about young consultants who are aspiring to make a career). It also depends on the field you work in: some people work 12-hour shifts, or are on call for 36 hours if they are doctors working in a hospital. Moreover, not many people have the luxury to be able to work from home while raising their children. And as for living space, a Finnish friend and his family lived in a one bedroom apartment (plus kitchen and big living room, with an extra office corner) with two kids until their first child started school.


    1. These days people say 贏在起跑線,but he watched a TVB show that the phrase became 贏在射精前, this is how he translated it, the birth is carefully calculated and planned. Not the best translation, very free translation I would say but sounds much more powerful 😂 That’s why I say Sing claims its existence in his language 😂


  3. I am so scared of mortgages. Who knows where will I be in 30 years? Here in China people usually pay their mortgages super fast, in 5 years or so. I wonder how they do it because apartment prices are not exactly cheap!


  4. Yeah, I’m one of those who would willingly trade places with you. When I retire, I dream to retire in white people country that is more peaceful and quiet.

    Still, “On the weekend, I want to go to the beach, catch some sunshine, eat dim sum with Momzilla”… eat dim sum with Momzilla??? Sure???

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love our house. It’s tiny and the mortgage is huge, but it’s got flowers and sunshine and a yard for dogs. In a neighborhood that’s great for walking dogs, too. Except for skunks.


  6. You’re at such an exciting time in life. Living in Asia is unlike living in any other region in the world, I think. It has its unique stressors and cultural expectations along with excitement, newness, history, and such current issues with global identity. I’m glad you can experience it in a good way; as a part of your life that you may never have otherwise experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think once you step in this “money slave” circle, there are not many choices except playing that role and keep going or draw back. As far as you enjoy it, go with it, try to surf above the waves! I love Asia too, but personally I feel HK is too squeezed and neurotic and hiking here is the only option to barely keep a kind of mental health, cause human are born to live in nature and not among concrete walls or boxes. I would rather prefer to live in a cheaper place in Asia a better quality more human-like and cheerful life than a “successful life” here. I’m also living in HK but i cannot bear it so I’m heading somewhere else maybe Thailand or some other south east asian country where I can eat Dim Sum in a Chinese street or in a Chinese restaurant next to the beach.😄


  8. I’m 55 – would recommend a balance. Don’t ruin your life with big payments when you’re young but get yourselves a stable place to live. Don’t assume your house is your legacy – it could just end up paying for health care as you get older! Good luck!


  9. I have two mortgages AND insane HK rent, so you’re not that crazy! My father always said if you’re buying the place to live for some time and it’s what you’re looking for, then it’s worth what you are willing to pay for it (and he’s a very thrifty guy!). I believe in following your dreams. AND you can have a mortgage and freedom too. I bought my place in NYC when I lived there and now rent it out. I bought a place in Australia when I lived there and now rent it out. Both of those doubled in value in 10 years. I will say though, buying in HK…. I’m not sure. I like buying in up and coming areas, and here that’s hard to find! Or I like Sheung Wan which is far from cheap. But hey, I might like a little house on Lamma so we’ll see 😉 Congrats, if you love it in HK than it’s never a bad choice!


  10. Are you concurring with the developers in Hong Kong that it is perfectly alright to treat Hong Kongers badly by demanding outrageous housing prices? You already have a blissful life in Ireland away from the prying eyes of both sides of parents. Your choice reminded me of one line in Eat Pray Love ~ together in misery but happy not to be apart. I really hope the reason you decide to move back to Hong Kong has nothing to do with feeding your needs for drama just so that you can improve your skill as a writer. I’m not sure about the legal landscape in Hong Kong in regards to cyberbullying. However, if you are posting Momzilla’s and your sister in law’s photos publically without consent or slandering them without consent, be prepared to get sued when discovered. Please watch this documentary about the effects of housing on humanity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioT6pdX6o18


  11. Really liked this post. We are looking for a place in Hong Kong too. We rent and are looking to buy. Hope it all goes well for you!


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