Hong Kong family seeking friendly people and natural beauty moves nearly 6,000 miles – to Bolton
The family relocated to seek a better education for their children – but only had a video tour of their new house…
The Lau family – dad Chris, mum Frankie, their two daughters and dog Pop – made the long journey before settling in Westhoughton.
The couple began looking for a new home in the UK in 2020. Chris, who studied at Edinburgh Napier University through a remote programme offered at Hong Kong University, wanted to return to the UK after seeing its education system first-hand, friendly people and natural beauty.
The Lau family say they had their hearts set on Greater Manchester. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Lockdown and travel restrictions meant they had to find a way of purchasing a new home from Hong Kong. After searching around online for their dream home, the parents came across the Silkash development in Westhoughton in August of last year.
Despite the fact the estate was still to be completed – just housing frames – the Lau family decided to go on a virtual tour of the area, learning about the nearby nature reserves and schools for their two girls.
The couple had to make the ‘daunting’ decision over whether to make such a bold move, having only seen the land their neighbourhood would be built on. But they ‘went with their gut’, says dad Chris. Luckily, it has paid off.
“We had to go with our gut, but we are so happy with our decision,” Chris said.
“As this is our first house in the UK, it was quite a daunting process, but the sales team were so helpful, walking us through the site over a video call and answering all of our questions passionately and patiently.”
The Lau family finally moved on February 11. They had to self-isolate on arrival in the UK in their new home for two weeks – yet to be filled with furniture. Instead, the Silkash developers Northstone helped get the family some emergency furniture for their quarantine period.
Chris added: “We arrived in the UK without any furniture for our new home, and lockdown restrictions meant that we couldn’t leave the house for the first couple of weeks.
“The Northstone team helped us to gather everything that we needed, including organising some temporary furniture while we got everything sorted. We’re now completely settled in and are loving our home and our new neighbours. The design of the house is so unique, we especially love the French windows facing the garden.”
The developers say the Lau family’s move comes alongside a ‘significant increase’ in the number of Hong Kong residents moving to the UK.
Anita Jolley, sales director at Northstone, said: “We’ve seen a significant increase in families interested in relocating to the UK from Hong Kong, supported by the launch of the new government visa scheme which offers a fast track to UK citizenship for Hong Kong residents.
“The fact that Chris and his family chose Westhoughton as their first home in the UK just shows how attractive a place it is to live.
“With the stunning landscapes of Lancashire on your doorstep, there’s a real connection to nature at Silkash, but what really makes it stand apart is the strong sense of community, which is only growing as more residents move in.”
Interested to see where why the Lau family chose a Northstone home live? Then have a look here – view the homes