What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
When searching for a place to live, some important factors to consider are safety, location preference and individual needs. Depending on your preferences, you may want to find a place close to work, school, shops, medical facilities and, most importantly, in an area that is secure and safe. Choosing the right place to live is essential to having a pleasant and safe stay in Penang. It’s also important to select an area that suits your lifestyle.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Most expatriates moving to Penang choose to live in one of the following areas:
Jesselton: This is an up-market residential area in the northeast area of Penang island by the Turf Club and Penang Hill. Located nearby is Youth Park, a recreational area, and the Botanical Gardens. It is a five minutes drive to Penang Sports Club and an international primary school. Distance to Bayan Lepas, Penang Bridge and Penang International Airport is approximately a 20- to 30-minute drive.
Pulau Tikus & Gurney Drive area: Located northeast of Penang Island, it is quite a diverse area, complete with general consulates, an international primary school, bungalows, link houses and low-rise condos. Bellissa Row is a popular and trendy shop, cafe, and restaurant area. The main street, alan Burma links city center Georgetown to Pulau Tikus. There is a wide selection of homes that range from older renovated stylish detached and semi-detached houses to terrace houses and low-rise condominiums. There are four private hospitals in the Pulau Tikus area and one major shopping center, Plaza Gurney. Bayan Lepas, Penang Bridge and Penang International Airport is approximately a 20- to 30-minute drive away.
Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong: Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong are very popular residential areas that have all the basic amenities within a five to ten minute driving radius. It has two shopping complexes: Island Plaza and Prima Tanjung. Tanjung Tokong has expanded tremendously in the last few years with the development of Tanjung Sri Pinang on reclaimed land. There is an American international school in Tanjung Bungah. Distance to Bayan Lepas, Penang bridge and Penang International Airport is approximately a 30- to 40-minute drive.
Batu Ferringhi: Batu Ferringhi is north of Penang Island and is the tourist belt of Penang with many tourist attractions and beautiful beaches. The reason why Batu Ferringhi has become more popular among expatriates is because an international school (British curriculum, elementary and high school) moved to Batu Ferringhi. The distance to Bayan Lepas, Penang Bridge and Penang International Airport is between 40 to 50 minutes by car.
Bayan Lepas, Bayan Baru, Batu Uban: With Queens Bay Mall, E-Gate with its up-market eateries, Tesco, and the second link bridge connecting Penang Island and mainland, this area has become expatriate location, especially for singles and couples without children. An international school opened in Bukit Jambul and another one in Balik Pulau, which is 30 minutes away. You will find service apartments in these areas catering to short-term foreign assignees. There are two private hospitals available in this area.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expatriates usually rent rather than buy. If you do wish to buy a house as a foreigner, the property will have to have a value of more than RM250,000. You will need approval from the Foreign Investment Committee. Banks provide foreigners housing loans up to 60% of the property value.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
When renting, it is normally expected to pay a two-month deposit in advance. This does not include the first month's rent.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Typically, utilities are not included in the rent (unless you are residing in a serviced apartment). Water, electricity and gas are all extra. Deposits of about 40 to 50 per cent of the month’s rental price are also required for the utilities.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
Living in Penang is generally safe. However, you may want to take the same precautions you would take back home. For example, if you are living in a house, it may be advisable to install a security system. Robberies, although not too common, do occur.
It is recommended that you check local police reports before deciding on an area to live. These reports provide factual information on types of crimes and how often they occur. This will most likely be a determining factor on whether you choose to live in a certain neighborhood or not.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hertz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current in Penang is 220 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50.
The socket types are generally the UK-style three-prong with occasional two-round-pin socket styles. Any appliances from countries with 110V and 120Hz will require transformers.
The TVs operate on PAL, so if you are coming from a country that runs on a different system (i.e., NTSC), your TV and kitchen appliances sets should be multi-system.
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
Please contact Crown Penang for help with your home search.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.