For expatriates moving to Kuala Lumpur, there will be no shortage of options to suit your budget and your taste. You will be able to choose from apartments, terrace houses, semi-detached houses, stand-alone houses, and condominiums. In Kuala Lumpur, condominiums are popular with ex-pats because they usually include a gym and swimming pool.
Factors to consider are price, location, size, and do you need to be close to schools. Do you want to buy or rent? Do you want furnished, semi-furnished, or unfurnished? In Malaysia unfurnished can mean completely devoid of a kitchen.
Finding your new home
Similar to at home, you can search the internet, check for ads in the newspapers or hire the services of a real estate agent. As you are unfamiliar with the city, the real estate agent is a wise choice as his knowledge can save you time and money in finding the right place for you. The real estate agent’s fee is usually paid by the homeowner.
Most rental agreements in Kuala Lumpur are for two years. If you can not commit to this, you can have a ‘termination clause’ written into your contract in case you wish to leave sooner.
You will be required to pay a holding deposit of a month’s rent while contracts are drawn. Then you will be required to pay one or two months’ rent as a security deposit but you will be refunded when you leave if no damage has been done.
You will also need to open accounts for water, electricity, internet, and phone.
Investing in the Malaysian property market can be an attractive proposition as is encouraged by the Malaysian government. Your real estate will be able to show you properties that suit your needs and are within your budget. Low to middle-cost housing is unavailable to foreigners so be prepared to go slightly upmarket.
Which neighborhood will suit you best?
Considering the diversity of the inhabitants, religion, and cuisine of Kuala Lumpur, choosing the best district for you will depend on your lifestyle choices and needs.
Kuala Lumpur city center
How about a modern, western-style condominium or apartment with a gym and a swimming pool in the center of the city, an easy walk to offices, entertainment, and shopping centers? Sounds perfect, but this will come at a cost.
Maybe consider the suburbs?
Suburbs of Kuala Lumpur
There are many fine suburbs in Kuala Lumpur and each has its flavor and positives.
- Mont Kiara is a wise choice for ex-pats with children as there are some excellent International Schools here.
- Ampang is popular with ex-pats as most foreign embassies are located here. It also has a great International School as well as a few privately run schools.
- Mutiara Damansara, Damansara Perdana, and Taman Tun Dr. Ismail are three slightly more affluent suburbs popular with ex-pats due to their tranquil location outside the city.
- Bangsar and Pantai suburbs are popular with ex-pats and locals. The Pantai Medical Center is popular with ex-pats and the area also boasted great shopping centers and markets.
- Damansara Heights and Sri Hartamas are affluent areas that are home to wealthy locals and ex-pats alike. There is an International School, charming cafes, and top-class restaurants in this area.
Where ever you choose to make your home, you’ll be impressed with the high standard of housing options at a very reasonable cost.