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Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur

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The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur has a range of accommodation available. In this developed city, condominiums tend to be the most popular choice for expatriates, as they provide a level of luxury as well as security. Most of the newly constructed buildings are modern and spacious, with open-plan living areas and floor-to-ceiling windows. However, newer accomodation does tend to also be quite pricey.

There are other options from shared apartments to luxury villas depending on your budget and requirements. With such a wide range, you'll be sure to find something that suits your needs once you decide what your priorities are be that location, luxury, type of accommodation, facilities or size.

If you're moving with your family to Kuala Lumpur, international schools and local amenities may be a priority for you. Alternatively, if you're relocating as a single, young professional, you may be more interested in settling in a central locale with a pulsing nightlife.

Kuala Lumpur's neighbourhoods

Kuala Lumpur has many neighbourhoods that are popular with expatriates due to their location, infrastructure or local amenities. The western region of Kuala Lumpur is a particularly popular area to rent or invest in if you cannot afford to live in the city centre, as there are a few sought-after residential districts that offer a good balance of amenities, international schools and luxury properties.

Here are 10 areas in Kuala Lumpur that are worth reviewing before you make any decisions:

1. Mont Kiara

There are three international schools in Mont Kiara, which make it potentially the most popular place for expatriates with children to live. It's relatively upmarket, so accommodation here tends to comprise of deluxe bungalows, semi-detached houses and high-rise condominiums some of which are rather luxurious and have excellent facilities. However, some of the big condominiums can be quite affordable, as Mont Kiara is in the west of Kuala Lumpur and isn't very close to the city centre. As a result of its location, it's advisable to have a car if you live in this area, as some of the condos can be quite remote.

2. Bangsar

Bangsar has changed a lot over the years, from an unobtrusive residential area, to a clubbing haven, to an arts and culture quarter. Now it is somewhat considered as a café district, and is high on the list of places where expatriates choose to settle, thanks to its wide range of shopping facilities, restaurants, bars and cafes that are within walking distance of the residential areas. It's quite an atmospheric neighbourhood, with lots of things to do, and its evening entertainment is part of its appeal for younger professionals.

3. Damansara Heights, also known as Bukit Damansara

This area in the west of Kuala Lumpur used to be nicknamed the Beverly Hills of Kuala Lumpur. Located only about 5km from the city centre, it is still a sought-after residential area where you can mainly find accommodation in the form of luxury condominiums and large detached houses.

4. Suria KLCC

Those working in the city centre, who are looking for the height of convenience and a short daily commute, often opt to live in Suria KLCC. The condominiums and apartments in this bustling downtown district provide close proximity to shopping, nightlife and entertainment, as well as the office.

5. Desa Park City

This is an award-winning development in the west of Kuala Lumpur that is one of the most sought-after gated communities, with its own park and commercial area.

6. Bukit Tunku, formerly known as Kenny Hills

This is an elite and relatively green residential area, where you can find lots of luxury condominiums and private villas. Politicians and other prominent people live in this area, and it is also popular amongst expatriates on a big salary.

7. Desi Sri Hartamas

This is an excellent location that is popular with expats, as it's only 15 minutes from the centre in the west of the city, but still feels quite isolated and green.

8. Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI)

This is an upper-middle class residential area with some commercial development in the west of the city, that is easily accessible to the centre and Petaling Jaya.

9. Jalan Ampang

Located fairly close to KLCC, many of the foreign embassies are around Jalan Ampang and it is, therefore, popular amongst diplomats. There are also some main international schools nearby, which makes it attractive for expatriates with children.

10. Damansara Perdana

This area is a mixture of commercial and residential properties, and is considered to be one of the most exclusive suburbs in the Klang Valley.

Price of renting or buying a property

Prices of property in Kuala Lumpur, whether you choose to buy or rent, are substantially higher than in other parts of the country. Depending on the package offered, not every expatriate can afford to live in centrally located prime areas, where rent tends to be upwards of RM4,500 per month for a three-bedroom property. Luxury condominiums in the neighbourhood of the Twin Towers can even cost over RM15,000 per month. However, don't let the prices in the city centre deter you, as rent in KL varies from one neighborhood to another and according to the type of accommodation. For example, you can find a similar three-bedroom property outside of the city centre from around RM2,000 a month.

Rent prices and terms can be negotiated with owners, whether personally or through a real estate agency.

Finding accommodation

If you are looking to rent or buy a property in Kuala Lumpur, it's worth contacting a big international real estate firm, such as REMAX. Kuala Lumpur is a big city, with a lot to offer, and it can easily become an overwhelming venture to decide where you should live. It is, therefore, worth contacting a real estate agent that is specialised in working with and helping expatriates. They will know the popular areas for expatriates and, if they are a foreigner themselves, they will be able to relate to your situation and help you to find the right property, as well as even give advice as to relocation, schools and transport.

 Useful links:

Iproperty
Mudah
PropWall
Ibilik
Kuala Lumpur Property

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Ipoh is located in a scenic setting in Malaysia, and offers expats affordable housing with the benefits of numerous amenities and outdoor activities.
The Malaysian city of Johor Baharu offers expats a short commute if they are working in Singapore. Rental prices in the city are competitive.
Klang is Malaysia's former capital and retains a regal glory and cultural richness that attracts expats from around the world.
Malaysia offers expats good quality accommodation at affordable prices, whether you are looking to rent or buy a house or apartment.
Seremban offers expats the chance to be close to Kuala Lumpur without the hustle and bustle and more affordable accommodation.

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