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, an area that is secure and safe. Choosing the right place to live is essential to having a pleasant and safe stay in Kuala Lumpur. Also, it’s important to select an area that suits your lifestyle.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Most expatriates moving to Kuala Lumpur choose to live in one of the following areas:
- Ampang: This area is very close to downtown and is mainly residential, including a number of low-rise apartment complexes. There are many embassies and diplomatic residences in this area, resulting in a large number of expats. Ampang is also close to the International School of Kuala Lumpur, as well as a number of grocery stores and shopping complexes.
- Desa Park City: This is the first-of-its-kind New Urbanist community in Malaysia. It is a neighbourhood conveniences where supermarket, medical centre and The International School @ Parkcity are within the community. Travel time to KL, Petaling Jaya, Mont Kiara and Bangsar is within 20 minutes to 30 minutes in non-peak hours.
- Valencia: Located in Sg Buloh and it is an exclusive residential area built on a former 9-hole golf course. It is gated community with strict security enforcement and it is a residential area favoured by expatriates and public amenities are available. Travel time to Kuala Lumpur is about 30 minutes in non-peak hours.
- City Centre: The city centre consists of high-rise modern condominiums, some with a spectacular view of the Petronas Twin Towers
- Taman TAR/ Ukay Heights: These areas are located east of Kuala Lumpur beyond Ampang. They are quiet and some parts offer superb views, especially within Ukay Heights. Both areas are very close to the International School of Kuala Lumpur.
- Bangsar/Damansara: These modern suburbs are located about seven kilometers west of the city center and are close to Mont’Kiara and Garden International Schools. Both areas are set on small hills so there can be some good views from many of the apartments. Damansara mostly offers detached single residences in a quiet area. Bangsar has high-density, high-rise options along with single-family homes. Recreational clubs are nearby and there are lots of shopping facilities, as well as many restaurants and pubs
- Mont Kiara: Very popular with expats. The Garden International School and Mont'Kiara International are located in this area. Mainly high condominiums with a couple of gated communities consisting of stand-alone houses as well as semi-detached and town houses.
- Pantai Hills: This area is adjacent to Bangsar and consists mainly of single-family homes. Proximity is excellent to all amenities in the Bangsar area. There are a couple of high-rise modern condominiums here as well.
- Bukit Tunku (Kenny Hills): This area is beautifully set into the hills just northwest of the city center. Aside from a few low-rise condominium developments, the area has large colonial-style, single-family homes with large gardens. Housing in this area can be more expensive than in other areas.
- Gita Bayu: This is a gated community consisting of stand-alone houses, semi-detached and town houses. It is the closest suburb to the Australian International School. It has a lovely park with a lake, good cycling around the community and a lovely clubhouse with pool and restaurant.
- Country Heights: This is a small community with health facilities, swimming pool and a grocery store. It is rather isolated, but is very close to both the Alice Smith International and Australian International Schools. Travel time to KL is about 35 to 45 minutes in non-peak times. There are many large, affordable homes in this area and many residents find it to be extremely quiet and peaceful.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expatriates usually rent rather than buy.
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 that the landlord will require a two-month deposit to be returned at the end of the rental period, deposit for utilities of approximately RM1,000 or half month's rent and a month of rent as a security deposit. This security deposit will eventually become your first month's rent. In total of 3.5 months' rent deposit in advance for leasing housing in Malaysia.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Utilities are not generally included in the rental (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 KL 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.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current in KL is 220 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50.
The socket types are generally the UK-style three-prong with occasional two-round-pins 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 DVD/VCR sets should be multi-system.
Type G - Rectangular blade plug
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help?
Types of accommodation available:
Bungalows: Bungalows are free-standing landed properties – they can be single or multi storied and come with their own garden and sometimes a swimming pool. Many offer great space and privacy, but security may be a concern.
Semi-Ds: Semi-detached housing consists of pairs of houses built side by side as units sharing a wall and usually in such a way that each house's layout is a mirror image of its twin. They come with a small garden/outdoor area at the side. Some developments have a club and/or a communal swimming pool. These are becoming more popular and found in many gated communities.
Link or Terraced houses: Link or terraced houses are joined to another house on either side. They usually have little or no garden, although the corner houses may have a bigger yard. There is a trend of super link houses being built in gated communities which are modern and spacious.
Condominiums: Kuala Lumpur has a wide spectrum of condos with varying standards and rental prices. Newer high-rise luxury condos command premium prices and come with features including 24-hours security, gym, swimming pool, sauna/Jacuzzi and clubhouse. Older units may have run down facilities but are priced lower. Most condos come with communal facilities such as 24-hours security guards and a swimming pool. Many will also have a gym, playground, tennis and squash courts, sauna/Jacuzzi, BBQ area and clubhouse.
Gated developments: These have become increasingly popular in recent years and provide residents with a better sense of security, similar to that of condos. Properties located in a gated development have restricted access - vehicles are registered before entering and leaving the compound. They also have 24-hours security with guards patrolling the grounds. Most gated developments have communal facilities such as a clubhouse, pool, gym and playground. Housing type can be bungalows, semi-ds or link houses.
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.