Living in Thailand and getting tired of their ridiculous rules against foreigners owning property, I’ve been recently looking closely at Malaysia. During my recent trip, I spent some time looking at different types of property around the Kuala Lumpur area, with plans to look further afield soon. Malaysia is currently running a “Malaysia My Second Home” program in an attempt to woo expats to buy property in the country, and expats are taking notice. If you’re one of the many expats thinking of buying a first, or second, home in Malaysia, here are the types of property available to you.
Apartments/Condominiums – Of course, like most countries, apartments and condominiums are readily available all over Malaysia for expats looking to buy property. With choices from small one-bedroom apartments to huge five or six bedroom condominiums, in Kuala Lumpur, smaller towns or even beach side places like Langkawi and Sarawak, there’s an apartment for every taste. Prices for apartments and condominiums in Malaysia too tend to be cheaper than in Thailand and, of course, in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Semi-Detached Houses – One of the popular types of residential property in Malaysia are semi-detached houses. These are two houses built side by side, and connected on one side of the house. Cheaper than detached houses, they still offer a large space, and often huge gardens and back yards. Semi-detached houses do sometimes have ‘noise issues’ as, sharing an adjoining wall, you can often hear your neighbors. If you get noisy ones, this can be a stressor, so make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for before buying – and check the neighborhood (and next door neighbors!) carefully.
Bungalows – Detached houses, bungalows in Malaysia are often designed like a traditional Malaysia house. They are usually built in a ‘compound’ (basically means a wall surrounds the entire property), so you get a lot more privacy and security. Unlike a typical bungalow in the west, which is only one storey, bungalows in Malaysia are technically just the name of a single-family homes and can be one, two or three-storey styles.
Terraced Houses – Terraced houses are all connected one to another in a row. If you can purchase one at the end of a row, they’re not much different than a semi-detached house but, if you do choose a terraced house, be aware you’ll have two neighbors with homes directly attached to yours. Terraced houses are a cheaper option for buying property in Malaysia though. Just make sure they’re built to correct building code and check on fire provisions as, if a fire starts in one unit, it is possible for it to spread through every house on the terrace.
Traditional Shop Houses – Shop houses are a stereotypical Asian building and are found in most Asian countries. These, again, are a row of terraced houses but with one major difference. The ground floor is usually, or has been, a space where a shop is operated. They’re actually the ‘in thing’ in many Asian cities nowadays, with people buying them for the ‘cool’ factor and then renovating them to thoroughly modern and beautiful homes. Malaysia also has many brand new shop houses, already built to the ‘cool’ standard, all over the country that expats can buy.
Whatever you decide about which type of property to buy in Malaysia, make sure you check into all aspects of the purchase carefully before you sign anything as, once signed for, it’s yours.