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Finally Moving to Malaysia

Finally Moving to Malaysia

Old Jun 26th 2016, 5:33 am
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Default Finally Moving to Malaysia

So we're moving to Malaysia from Toronto on our MM2H within a few months. We're planning to move to Penang, which we prefer over KL (never been to Malacca or JB), but if we don't find a place we like in Penang, we'll look in KL.

We're not basing any decisions on House Hunters International (!) but in case some forum members are interested, there was a new episode on Penang first aired last month: www.youtube.com/watch?v=41mgCny5Rj0

Which condo building is choice #2? Of the 3 options, we'd probably chose #3. I think it may be a low-rise Quayside building which I've never seen but I've been in the 1-bedroom & 2-bedroom units of a first phase Quayside highrise building.

I've been wondering about mosquito fogging at a condo complexes like Quayside, Surin or around Gurney. I guess I should expect fogging once a week? Do they fog for mosquitoes all year or, if not, which months of the year? Does the fogging have an odour? I'm thinking that above the 10th floor, you won't get mosquito fog in your place, which I'd prefer, but coming from a house, I'm not used to high floors & heights, so if the fogging is not all the time, I might rather have a lower floor.

Last edited by montakute; Jun 26th 2016 at 7:20 am.
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Old Jun 26th 2016, 7:06 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by montakute

We're planning to move to Penang...We're not basing any decisions on House Hunters International (!) but... there was a new episode on Penang..: www.youtube.com/watch?v=41mgCny5Rj0

Which condo building is choice #2?

I've been wondering about mosquito fogging....
Interesting to watch the House Hunters video about Penang. Thanks for sharing the link Montakute.

For those interested in what happened next, the American couple in the video now run a medical tourism business here in Penang – see:

Breast Implant, Cosmetic, Eyelid Surgery, Boob Job, Plastic Surgery in Malaysia - Alternative to Thailand

In the video:

House #1 is at Ferringhi Villas, a gated development in Batu Ferringhi, opposite the Bayview Beach Resort Hotel

Condo #2 is probably Pearl View Condominium, on Pearl Hill in Tanjung Bungah, almost opposite the Penang Swimming Club

Condo #3 is at Quayside, the E&O development near Straits Quay Marina, Tanjung Tokong, behind the Tesco supermarket

I think mosquito fogging will be every 2 to 4 weeks, and unlikely to reach above the 4th floor. Normally there would be advance notice displayed in your building / letterbox, so you can close your windows. Also the fogging machines are noisy so you’ll here them start up anyway.

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Old Jun 26th 2016, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Interesting video, thank you for sharing.
One thing that you can observe from the video is that you really have to go and take a look for yourself. Not only to see the building and surroundings, but also to take a look at the amenities and the furniture. Each owner has his/her own style, so even within the same building you can have vastly different condo's.
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Old Jun 26th 2016, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by SushiFan
Interesting video, thank you for sharing.
One thing that you can observe from the video is that you really have to go and take a look for yourself. Not only to see the building and surroundings, but also to take a look at the amenities and the furniture. Each owner has his/her own style, so even within the same building you can have vastly different condo's.
That's very true.
A couple of things struck me when I watched the video about choosing a home in Penang
1) The American lady's huge concern about having an oven. Either ask the landlord to put one in, or buy a free-standing electric oven from Parkson department store. Easy. There are much more important things to worry about. (But perhaps the film was edited that way).
2) If sport / exercise is your thing, you can choose where to live such that fantastic gyms, or 5* beach hotel health clubs (pool, gym, tennis, Jacuzzi etc), and/or sports clubs with great facilities are only a few minutes away.

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Old Jun 26th 2016, 10:26 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by montakute
So we're moving to Malaysia from Toronto on our MM2H within a few months. We're planning to move to Penang, which we prefer over KL (never been to Malacca or JB), but if we don't find a place we like in Penang, we'll look in KL.
After living there, I cannot see really a reason to live in KL except you work there. The prices are high for renting and buying and if you want to buy there is a hefty 1 Million minimum. Make sure that you checked the place you want to rent not only at daytime. What seems to be nice and quiet at 3 pm can be unbelievable noisy at 3 am.

I came to Malaysia on MM2H like you. With the idea to stay either in KL or Penang. Finally I ended up in the middle, in Ipoh. Perak has many, many advantages, you can buy a luxury condo in Ipoh for a price the people in KL and Penang only can dream of. And if you don´t have the money for this super high end, you get cool stuff already for 350.000 which is the MM2H minimum price here. Have a look.
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Old Jun 26th 2016, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Why do MM2H,rs buy, as compared to renting?

I'm living in a lovely house where the rent would be less than the mortgage, but the climate is being hideous to the house, which wasn't built well in the first place.

Theoretically the rent pays the mortgage after about 15 years, but there won't be much of the place left by then. And it's a lot of money to invest in somewhere that if they change the laws or don't renew after 10 years, you can't easily make liquid.
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Old Jun 26th 2016, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

It is not a 100% rational decision.

We want to completely design the place in the way we want it to have. We want to have some investment also in real estate, not just stockmarket and bondmarket. We think it is a good investment, the price is fair and leaves space for value increase. We want no negotiations with the owner. We want to get 150k out from our MM2H fixed deposit. I have to provide my wife the dream kitchen i promised before our wedding.

And so more things. But of cause there are also a lot of reasons to rent.
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Old Jun 26th 2016, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by OriginalSunshine
Why do MM2H,rs buy, as compared to renting?

...it's a lot of money to invest in somewhere that if they change the laws or don't renew after 10 years, you can't easily make liquid.
That’s an interesting question, and as an MM2H buyer in Penang, it’s one that I struggle to answer. For us, it’s mostly an emotional thing. My wife and I loath renting, and like nest building.

It appears that the majority of retired MM2H’ers rent, and of those that do buy property, most are cash buyers. Some will also own more property in their home country, which helps them maintain a toe-hold were property prices in their home-country to rapidly increase.

So far I haven’t met many retired expats who intend to live in Malaysia until death. Many Brits would return to the UK if their spouse died, or if they needed to use the NHS. Medical insurance gets prohibitively expensive in your eighties and nineties. Being out of the property market in both countries is perhaps risky.

Personally I wouldn’t consider buying a condo on Penang island, only landed property. And I wouldn’t buy without renting first. With Penang being an island, land is in short supply. So in my view a house on a reasonably big plot (with room to extend - either yourself, or by the future buyer) in a desirable area (location, location), is a reasonably safe long-term bet, especially given the new roads and infrastructure being built on the island over the next few years.

The big problem in Malaysia as I see it, with both condos and houses, is poor build quality and poor maintenance. A brand new condo in 10-15 years will probably not be as desirable as it once was, especially as Malaysians prefer to buy new. At least as the house owner you have control over its maintenance.

So here are some benefits of owning:

  • With no mortgage, or once you’ve paid it off, the home is yours and you can live there rent free.
  • Owning removes some of the ongoing exchange rate risk if your income is in Sterling.
  • If you choose the location well, and find a home that has something unique about it (i.e. that is not one of dozens of similar properties), your home will probably increase in value, by considerably more than 4% a year, i.e. the natural (dividend) yield you might get from a diversified share portfolio.
  • If you spend money renovating or improving your home you can further increase its value.
  • You can renovate, decorate and furnish it to your own taste (thereby avoiding vomit yellow sofas), knock holes in the walls, and put in good quality appliances
  • You can design and plant the garden how you like – that’s important to me. I love gardening. But only for me, not for a landlord.
  • As an owner (of strata property) you get a say in how the place is managed. Potentially a very big say if you join the management committee. A tenant gets no say at all. For example, I helped change our additional by-laws (House Rules) to prohibit short-term holiday rentals – now the minimum rental period permitted is three months. No holiday lets has made a huge difference to the quality of life at our development. It’s now quite exclusive, and no longer a holiday camp!

Some of the downsides with buying property are:
  • It could take a very long time to sell it again
  • The exchange rate may go against you if you want to leave the country
  • You might not get your MM2H visa extended (unlikely in my view)
  • Currency controls may be imposed
  • The property bubble could burst just at the wrong time
  • You could fall out with the neighbours and not be able to upsticks in a hurry
  • If you’re living with someone and split up, deciding what to do with the property can be complicated and expensive. But she loves me….and I know which side my bread is buttered.

JC3

Last edited by JC3; Jun 26th 2016 at 2:17 pm.
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Old Jun 27th 2016, 5:22 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Hello Montakute,
Everyone has a different opinion on what's most important when moving to a new area/city/country.
Certainly when you are paying a Premium price for a apt/condo in Penang (???), you should be picky (Gym/Oven...LoL) about what you are getting. From what the TV program showed apt #2 seemed like the best choice.
They briefly touched upon Location ("how far to G-town"), but if you're really deciding to live here...most important to me is "where everything is located". Am I within walking or short easy drive to shopping, restaurants, food, entertainment, etc...What is located outside of the condo complex...or what I like to call the Tourist/Expat Bubble.
Look at the condo side, but also ask to see what the neighborhood is like outside the complex.
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Old Jun 27th 2016, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Interesting clip for someone like me who is interested in moving to Penang. They should had read some posts from the ex concierge & ex moderator and they might have realised that it's a renters market to negotiate a better price.
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Old Jun 27th 2016, 8:58 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by JC3
Some of the downsides with buying property are:
Great overview JC3. I think that you need to add one item, which is specific to Penang: after buying property you can't sell it within the first five years (unless you're Malaysian).

My personal choice: I rent because I don't want my money to be stuck in a pile of stones and not being able to make it liquid the first five years. And I'm not sure that investing in real estate is a good thing in Penang because there are so many new developments ongoing. This could result in a bubble, about to burst. I rather invest my money in some other category.
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Old Jun 27th 2016, 9:13 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by SushiFan
Great overview JC3. I think that you need to add one item, which is specific to Penang: after buying property you can't sell it within the first five years (unless you're Malaysian).
Hi and thanks
I think foreigners in Penang cannot dispose of or transfer their property for 3 years (not 5).
Another potential hurdle is RPGT (CGT) which is 30%, dropping to 5% after five years ownership

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Old Jun 27th 2016, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by JC3
Hi and thanks
I think foreigners in Penang cannot dispose of or transfer their property for 3 years (not 5).
Another potential hurdle is RPGT (CGT) which is 30%, dropping to 5% after five years ownership

JC3
Ah, thank you for clarifying this. I might have mixed up these two things. The combination of both make it prohibitive to me to buy real estate here in Penang.
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Old Jul 19th 2016, 6:10 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

Originally Posted by eCdD
After living there, I cannot see really a reason to live in KL except you work there. The prices are high for renting and buying and if you want to buy there is a hefty 1 Million minimum. Make sure that you checked the place you want to rent not only at daytime. What seems to be nice and quiet at 3 pm can be unbelievable noisy at 3 am.

I came to Malaysia on MM2H like you. With the idea to stay either in KL or Penang. Finally I ended up in the middle, in Ipoh. Perak has many, many advantages, you can buy a luxury condo in Ipoh for a price the people in KL and Penang only can dream of. And if you don´t have the money for this super high end, you get cool stuff already for 350.000 which is the MM2H minimum price here. Have a look.
If you are planning to buy a condominium, here is a check-list and interesting read on buying a condominium
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Old Jul 21st 2016, 3:25 am
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Default Re: Finally Moving to Malaysia

KL usually is choice for beginner to try adapt the environment because public facilities are more complete compare to others city.
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