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Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Old Mar 14th 2018, 3:01 am
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Default Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

First of all i want to apologise for the amount of questions i think i am about to blab out. the move has suddenly become real after handing my notice in! ( and that i wrote is July instead of in July)

Myself and my wife currently live and work in Hong Kong, where we were fortunate enough to buy our own house and sell it at a useful profit . ( its insane here)

I am a teacher by trade and am wanting at first to take a year off to refresh / get back into shape. After that i can make a decision if my financial planning is optimistic or factual. We are both 44 years old an i am concerned it may be to early to exit the rat race.

We have been visiting Malaysia for two years for holidays and a year ago starting looking at property and lifestyle, we applied and got the MM2H visa and now have the nice red sticker in our passports.

We decided at 44 it would be at better time to try to live elsewhere than if we did it at 55 or so if we wanted to return to the workforce. I do have side/pet projects that earn a certain amount as well as investments.

that's me, and now the questions i hope someone can offer some more experienced advice on.

We have looked all over Penang at properties andaman, bayu ferringhi, paragon, harmony, one tanjong, infinity, queensbay, alila 1 and 2, setia v, light collection etc etc. All are lovely and coming from Hong Kong we have to fight the urge to get something so big we get lost in it.
We are fairly social people and wonder rather than look for the appt, we should be looking for the area. Which areas are even complex is there a more 'social scene' or do people travel for meet ups. We do not drive.

for the first year we thought maybe paragon. just because it is on top of everything for two city dwellers.
I liked bayu ferringhi for the view but worry about the isolation from everything but the beach and tourist spots - is this a valid concern?
And we both like one tanjong, but its too big and are unsure if anything is going on in the area.

I am under 50 and as far as my MM2H agent states i am unable to work at all. Is this people experience ( I am a fully qualified teacher) it is not so much for money as for work and the opportunity to meet people, so i thought maybe part time or supply. ( even voluntary)

My wife is a Hong konger and christian so would be looking to find a church group to meet, are there any people can recommend. It is her first time living properly outside of her home county so some HK groups would be great to help with this as well.

I feel it would be remiss if i didn't ask about cost of living, but we are butting a budget of 350000hkd or about 175000 ringgit a year for the first year and if we stay considerably less 150 / 160k ( first year is to spoil ourselves, rest is to live normally) we are not expensive but do eat out a lot though perfectly happy with street food and stalls for the most part.
I have looked at the swimming club etc and am wondering if people use this as a social activity and if it is worth it to meet people or if there are other ways.

Do people have experience of 6 month rental agreements, or is it minimum of a year. How much wiggle room is there from the asking rental price of the apartments in people experience?

Are there any areas that may cause concern that i have mentioned ( with us not driving etc) I love the light collection but it seems difficult without a car for example.

Sorry for the huge number, i didnt want to spam the group with multiple posts. Thanks for all advice with this!

Last edited by Marchk; Mar 14th 2018 at 3:20 am.
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Old Mar 14th 2018, 8:22 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Too many questions. I can't answer them all.

About working and MM2H: the MM2H does NOT come with a working permit. You are not allowed to work, unless you get specific approval from the Malaysian government. This is independent of your age. The procedure for this is that if a company wants to give you a job they have to go to the government to get approval for you to take the job. That company has to provide evidence to the government that they have tried but were unable to find a Malaysian to fill the vacancy. On top of that, if the approval is granted will it be for a maximum of 20 hours a week. This applies to finding a job in Malaysia. The Malaysian government does not care if you have a job (= earn an income) outside Malaysia.

My opinion is that Batu Feringhhi is a bit isolated and only connected to Georgetown via one, winding, road. This is why I didn't want to live there. My wife and I selected a place closer to Georgetown.

You mention that your wife is Christian. There are some churches in Pulau Tikus, which is the area "behind" Paragon. Maybe she can find there what she is looking for.

About Paragon: I assume that you did see the ongoing land reclamation in front of it. Soon you will no longer have a sea view from there. I assume that you took this into consideration when you thought about renting a condo there.

About duration of condo lease agreements: everything is negotiable. It depends on how eager/desperate the owner is of getting rental income on his/her condo.
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Old Mar 15th 2018, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Budget is fine if you don’t have kids. Not fine if you do, as international schooling is expensive. At UK levels of cost in some cases.

We are a few years older than you guys and went through the same thought processes. But.... the expat community is a minimum 10-15 years older which means whilst still friendly and interesting, they have different discussion topics (health!) and also different generational attitudes. Not good vs bad, just different. Not working was also a deal breaker, as friends of ours found and returned back to the UK after 4 years.

We found that the budget you are talking about goes much further in the UK than I expected, schools are free, health care is free, we can work, set up a business, not work, whatever.

I’ll be interested in your updates 😊
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Old Mar 16th 2018, 3:04 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Hiyah

Thanks both, yeah this year is a tester really and even by that standard it wont be entirely a fair test as we plan on traveling a fair bit. We are basically settle on something in Gurney, TB ot TT at the moment just for convenience. Maybe Batu can come later. We are Kid free, the reason we can afford to try this in truth. I have looked at the UK and Europe and both are still there and will be after a year i guess. I looked at Europe as a serious option but until the dust settles with Brexit i cant make any long term decisions about that. My parents are in the south of Spain and our budget would be plenty for that area.
with work, I thought i can part time it after 50 if i am still relevant in the industry, but if age is not relevant then I guess education is usually pretty much in demand if i wanted to work in schools? At the moment the main aim is to get out of the classroom , even if for a year, to recharge. I actually make apps and though at the moment they are pretty far from successful they are growing and i figure with a few months polishing them and working on them they might prove to be a useful passive income, with that and investments and the surprisingly profitable cypto mining computer budget wise i am hoping the need to go back to work becomes a choice.

We saw the reclamation work on gurney and its a case of it will be nice when its finished... same view seems to be from the Andaman apartments as well, though from further way. (the ones we saw at least). For the first year i think we will just be astounded by the size of the apartments after our shoebox in Hong Kong so hope that will carry us through until we decide on a location a little longer term.

I still have the fear of giving up the job here in Hong kong as it is fairly lucrative and thats why we said a year ( should be ok to come back into the workforce here in that time) in case we need to come back

Last edited by Marchk; Mar 16th 2018 at 3:06 am.
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Old Mar 16th 2018, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

RM175000 is fine for a year here unless you insist on eating out at high end places or doing a lot of travelling. I live opposite end of Gurney from Paragon, it's pretty convenient but can be a little noisy from the traffic, seems worse at night at the small bikes race down there's some sort of unwritten competition to have the loudest exhaust possible

I got the feeling from our agent that 1 year rental is pretty normal, she suggested we go for one year with a two month notice. Only thing a little odd by UK standards is that all the utilities remain in the landlords name but we pay them, internet is in my wife's name (foreigner needs a deposit local does not). utilities are comparatively cheap especially if you're not an AC hog.

Is it that you don't drive or don't wish to? local cars are reasonably priced, new Myvi as an example is ~RM50K, a little moto very cheap if you don't mind 2 wheels. Local driving standards are pretty poor and many don't seem to have a clue what they're doing. Grab is okay for getting around, not had any luck with Uber abroad so given up on it here.
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Old Mar 19th 2018, 8:13 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Hi,

Regarding Penang Swimming Club, this would be more of a long term option.
It takes two to three months to join and you need to purchase a transferable membership currently costing RM 23-25k approx from an existing member (of which RM 7k approx is the transfer fee which you are unlikely to recover when you eventually resell) you then pay a small ongoing monthly subscription.
Upon request the Club gives you a list of Members looking to sell who you have to contact to negotiate a price. When you have found a seller and agreed a price, you complete an Application Form and pay the Transfer Fee to the Club. They post your Photos at the Club for a period of four weeks, after which, you shall be invited to interview with your Proposer at the next Monthly Meeting (if you have spent a minimum of RM500 at the Club by this point). At the time you submit the application form and pay the transfer fee you become a 'Temporary Member' and can use the Club facilities, but you cannot join the Group Activities until you become full members.
The Club does have a lovely setting, the food is good at the Restaurants and all reasonably priced for Members. They also have live music on four nights a week. People are generally friendly and welcoming. Many Members do appear to use it mainly as a social club. There are numerous Group Activities including Swimming, Sailing, Angling, Yoga, Darts. Karaoke etc ! The best way to meet people and get involved is to be an active member of at least one of these Groups. And of course it has the large swimming pool, and a gym on two levels equipped with cardio machines and weights.

I hope this has been of some help, wish you well on your move, and maybe we shall see you at the Club in due course !
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Old Mar 20th 2018, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Yes you are about 6 years away to obtain a PT job that doesn't jeopardize your MM2H status.
You can do approved PT teaching or approved other professional work once you are 50. You could do it on-line. Or other on-line or out-of-Malaysia work. I'd make sure that no clients are Malaysian or that fees are paid through your foreign account.

Apply For Part Time Job - MM2H Official Portal
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Old Mar 20th 2018, 7:49 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Originally Posted by Marchk View Post
I have looked at the swimming club etc and am wondering if people use this as a social activity and if it is worth it to meet people or if there are other ways.
The swimming club - in Penang and elsewhere - probably has no use for you. As you will rent a condo with swimming pool, squash, tennis, gym ...

Of cause it is a good place to meet rich people that not live in condos but bungalows, but that is more or less the only thing you will get for your money. Things are different, if you want to rent a house with no facilities.

The good news, I guess you will be totally excited about what you get for your money when renting a nice condo with good facilities in Malaysia. I have not seen something comparable in any other place in the world.
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Old Apr 17th 2018, 11:24 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

I'm not really interested to drive in Penang. I find the bus service perfectly adequate, along with Grab, Uber and MyCar. A weekly bus pass is RM30 and individual rides are 2-3 depending on distance traveled, and even cheaper for concessions (over 60).

I rented my place out for a year with a 2 month cancellation for either party.
Lots of scope for negotiation, especially with new developments coming online.
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Old Apr 23rd 2018, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Might also want to check out Straits Quay for renting, bearing in mind you won't have a car and you seem to want plenty of socialising.

Also check out some of the Facebook groups. There are many now and you can connect with others in Penang. MM2H Penang and Partners in Penang are very lively groups and there are meetups regularly.
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Old May 29th 2018, 2:35 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

well i have done it, quit the job ( scared!) and coming over for a year, to start.

So i apologise in advance for questions that will now be popping up!

The first one is does anyone know of Hong Kong groups ( i know im in the British group, but my wife is from Hong Kong. I will be searching as well, but just wondered if anyone is in the same situation, it will be her first time living properly in another country so want her to enjoy it as much as me!!

Also, is there a Tech / PC area or anything in Penang. In Hong Kong we have Sham Sui Po which is computer central, just wondering if similar, although smaller i guess, area in Penang.

We are looking at Bayu Ferringhi appts, or The quayside ones. Quayside is winning, have looked on line and am in touch with a couple of agents, but jsut wondered they ask about 4-5k for a two bed furnished in Quayside. Is this ok, does anyone have a ballpark figure for negotiation?

Thanks all, hope to see some of you when we get there!
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Old May 29th 2018, 5:14 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

I see a lot of folks renting at quayside. You would do well to post on fb group Partners in Penang. You will find many residents of quayside on there. In case you don' get reply here.
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Old May 29th 2018, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Originally Posted by Marchk View Post
Also, is there a Tech / PC area or anything in Penang. In Hong Kong we have Sham Sui Po which is computer central, just wondering if similar, although smaller i guess, area in Penang.
I fear that you won't find anything as large as that over here in Penang. There are a few computer/tech shops bundled together in KOMTAR.
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Old May 29th 2018, 7:33 am
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Default Re: Looking for some Penang Advice - should be there is July!

Originally Posted by Marchk View Post
We are looking at Bayu Ferringhi appts, or The quayside ones. Quayside is winning, have looked on line and am in touch with a couple of agents, but jsut wondered they ask about 4-5k for a two bed furnished in Quayside. Is this ok, does anyone have a ballpark figure for negotiation?
One piece of advice: you must go and look for yourself. Don't decide on anything just based on photos. Even if there are two identical condo's you'll find that the furniture is very different. Whereas you may like the furniture in one condo, you'll find the furniture in the other condo horrible. The rental price varies a lot and depends on many parameters, such as floor space, number of bed/bathrooms, number of car park spaces, common facilities, location, etc. If high speed internet is important to you make sure that you select a building where they have TIME fibre broadband. This might, especially in Batu Ferringhi, be a limiting factor.
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