City, Suburbs or Beach; Where to Live?

So you’ve finally made the decision to retire in Malaysia, but where to live? A high-rise apartment in the city, a landed property in a suburb on the outskirts of the city, or a house near the beach; figuring out where you want to live according to your lifestyle, will make a big difference in your life. This is important with how you cope, living in a different country. The two most popular places in Malaysia expats choose to retire too are Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Both are cosmopolitan cities with attractive properties.


City living in Malaysia

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Renting, or buying a condo in the city (there is no requirement if you want to buy a property in Malaysia, if you are under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme) might be convenient if you are looking for something with minimal maintenance. Security is also better when living in a condo, and there will be a few basic facilities such as a gym, a swimming pool, a playground, a tennis/badminton court, a convenience store and a cafeteria. Most condos are located within walking distance of a train station and there will be a taxi and bus stand outside if you don’t own a car. There will usually be more shops, restaurants or shopping malls around the area as well. Usually, you will be able to find a few neighbourhood pubs, or recreational centres for your dose of entertainment. In Kuala Lumpur, many expats love renting and buying condos in Bangsar, Mutiara Damansara/Damansara Perdana and Mont Kiara.


Suburbs/ Residential/ Landed Property in Malaysia

House picture

If you are bringing your family over (wife, kids, in-laws, pets) then a landed property in an idyllic residential area might be more suited for you. Privacy is assured, and you will have a nice big garden and garage. Renovating your house is also easier, especially if you want to create an extra wing, or build a swimming pool. Living in a landed property also means that you will be more acquainted with your neighbours (neighbours in residential areas tend to look out for one another, compared to apartment living where your hardly ever bump into the person living next door). Some of the popular residential areas in KL for expats are Damansara Heights, Bukit Tunku and Putrajaya.


Malaysian Beachside

Beach picture

Living on an island is very popular among expats, and Penang is a top choice. Penang has a cluster of attractive properties for expats, from resort-style condos, bungalows on the hills, and beachfront properties. Places such as Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Gurney Drive are popular places for expats who wish to live close to the beach. Living by the beach has its pros and cons of course. On the good side, living close to the beach means that you can indulge in your favourite beach activities anytime you wish. The downside is that the beach is a popular hotspot for tourist, so don’t expect any privacy, especially on weekends and holidays.In the end, choosing where to live permanently depends on your lifestyle, how centralised or isolated you wish to be and how big, or small your family is. The safest bet would be to rent, before you buy. The important thing is to take your time and test the waters before making a final decision. Happy choosing!

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