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3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
Always enjoy reading the Asia forum and reading the stories of Msia and Sing antics, reminds me of my times back there

Since there are a few here, thought I would ask for a bit of advice buying property in Msia, specifically KL. My wife is from Msia and still has her passport and we are looking to move back over there before our son starts school. I have found my job is directly transferable (Same laws/regime.. thanks British colonisation!)

The issue is regarding buying a property. She hasn't lived there for over 15 years now and doesn't know how the system works. I will be the main (If not sole) money earner when there, is it easy for a foreigner to get a mortgage?

My wife is Chinese rather than Malay, which I know affects a few of the "rules". We are back out there in Jan/Feb for CNY, so will be seeking advice when there but thought I would get an early start by asking the PHers

Cheers

Berw

1,584 posts

85 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
Easy your wife can buy anything, you can buy anything over about 300,000 Rm, you can get a morgage of up to 80% as a forigner. When I looked there were 8Million family units in Malaysia but 18M properties registered since then the number rof properties buit has gone up. so supply exceeds deamnd, but prices go up beacuase tha Chinese buy to let, that bubble will burst, there are load of new builts unsold. You need to look at Location, Location adn Location, do not buy top end, you can not sell the market is not big enought, you need a good lawyer, contract is in English, I'd advise against buying of the plan.
A few things law, you do not get a visa as aresult of your wife being Malaysian,sd s mster of right, your sone if he has aBritish passport can not go to a Malysian school. You need to budget for a private school, from 5 to 20 K pounds a year, Standard C do a good expeat loan on property.
Buy near your work commuting is a nightmare.
Avoid the big new build like Charas, Puchong.

3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
Thanks Berw, very helpful.

I didn't realise the private schools went up as high as £20k/year. My wifes aunt lives at Mount Kiara and recommended the international schools there, any ideas how good they are?

Also, is the mortgage situation the same for commercial property? I was offered an office near the Tesco at Old Kent Road last time we were there and thought better of it so didn't explore the money situation.

Everyone says it, but I have yet to be caught in a KL traffic jam i the 4 times we have been over. I once got stuck outside Low Yat for about 10mins but that was because there was a huge downpour and half the bikes were skidding to the ground.

In terms of other stuff, I have been told the income tax is lower and I can bring two cars imported tax free. This was by the marriage certificate admin staff, so I am not wholly believing it (Especially as she said the penalty for not registering marriage in Malaysia was "big" and turned out to be 50RM)

3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
Duff mobile site, sorry double post.

3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
Duff mobile site, sorry double post.
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3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
Duff mobile site, sorry double post.

XJSJohn

13,782 posts

99 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
The buying limit for foreigners has been lifted to rm500k and there is talk that it may be going up to rm750k in the next year or so, although TBH in KL that won't be an issue.

For foreigners to buy there are 5 procedure steps that have to be completed and approvals granted by government bodies (just a process and payment thing) but they can only do the one after the other, so a property purchase for a foreigner can take up to a year!

Will get SWMBO to post something tomorrow as she went through this with our flat in KL last year, my house in JB was off plan so the developers did all the leg work for me!

Where you thinking of buying in KL?

Edit, everything else Berw says is spot on - older condo's are better buys and better build quality


Edited by XJSJohn on Tuesday 21st August 15:11

3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st August 2012 quote quote all
Yeah if you could ask her that would be great John.

The in laws live near Kuchai Lama so somewhere near there would be ideal

XJSJohn

13,782 posts

99 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
Ahh, at the top of the SMART tunnel, but sure you want to be too close to the outlaws? wink

Will get her indoors onto it.

Nick M

3,333 posts

103 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
3sixty said:
I didn't realise the private schools went up as high as £20k/year. My wifes aunt lives at Mount Kiara and recommended the international schools there, any ideas how good they are?
My daughter (12 so will be going into Year 8 next month) attends Garden Int'l School which follows the British curriculum.

Fees are around RM17k per term, with a deposit of around RM20k. Potentially add on a school bus which is around RM600-1000 per term. Then bank on a few extra activities which can range from RM100 to RM5,000 depending on what they do and where they go.

School is pretty good - they have a mix of expat teachers and locals, and the standards of teaching seem pretty good. Few questionable teachers but generally they listen and address any issues we've flagged.

Just treat it like a company that provides educational services, rather than a school... wink


The other alternative in Mont Kiara is Mont Kiara Int'l School, which follows the US education system. Don't know as much about this one I'm afraid.


3sixty said:
Everyone says it, but I have yet to be caught in a KL traffic jam i the 4 times we have been over. I once got stuck outside Low Yat for about 10mins but that was because there was a huge downpour and half the bikes were skidding to the ground.
Well, give it time, you will... wink

The main trick for living in KL is to minimise your commuting time - time spent in traffic is wasted time and getting out from around KLCC and the main downtown area can be a nightmare. Particularly so when the police decide they can do a better job than the traffic lights... rolleyes

KL isn't a big city, so the distances aren't huge from A to B - it's just unpredictable in terms of how long any given journey might take... My journey is short, at around 15-20 minutes, and I don't have to venture anywhere near the city centre, but even then it can be really slow some mornings or evenings for no particular reason.


Would definitely echo what Berw has said about location, location, location. Choose for *your* needs, not those of your in-laws wink . Public transport is generally a bit pants, but if you happen to be near to somewhere that means you can take the train, etc., into the city then that can save a lot of time and hassle compared to driving.


Finally (and I say this as being no particular fan of Malaysia, and as someone who is only here short-term, so a pinch of salt may be required wink ), make sure it's the right decision for all of you, particularly once the novelty has worn off. It's not a bad place to be, but it's not the best either - it's obviously very different to the UK and there are some compromises (some bigger than others) to be made. It's also not a cheap place to live - work on the basis it's on a par with the UK and you'll not be too far wide of the mark. Some things are cheaper, some things are definitely not, and the convenience and price competition from on-line shopping hasn't really taken off here yet.

3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
Thanks Nick

Good to hear personal experience about the school. Our son hasn't started here yet, (and its been a while since I was last there), but how many terms are there? 4?

Not moving there particularly to be close to inlaws, although I get on with them great. We had a quick look round last time we were over and the condos in the area are a decent size and price for 5yr old build. A few of the landed properties weren't too bad either, but the inlaws advised against it due to thefts etc

The office would be based in Petaling Jaya, I did a run last time at "working time" and it took me 30mins, which considering my commute now in UK is currently 2hrs each way would be wonderful.

The public transport is shocking though. We got a bus once from KL Sentral back to the inlaws and it was ok once it actually turned up. I did enjoy the attention for the full 30min or so journey, 6ft 4 tall guai chai on a bus meant I earnt the stares of the whole bus for the whole journey! The Metro was quite good though I found, if limited in destinations.

Agree on your point regarding if its "right". I love being over there on holiday, but may not feel same when working. The company have said that I could do a 3/6 month term and see how I go, so not as committed if it doesn't work out.

Edited by 3sixty on Wednesday 22 August 06:58

XJSJohn

13,782 posts

99 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
Allow me to give you an example of the "quirks" of KL traffic, last weekend i drove up to KL on Friday (supposedly a bad time to travel given the eve of a public holiday) in 3 hrs 15mins. i drove back at Lunchtime on the Monday (supposedly a good time as everyone should already be at friends and family feeding their faces after fasting) at it took 6 hours back, all teh extra 3 hours getting from the first tole (by your outlaws) to the Port Dixon turn off.


Nick M

3,333 posts

103 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
3sixty said:
Good to hear personal experience about the school. Our son hasn't started here yet, (and its been a while since I was last there), but how many terms are there? 4?

The office would be based in Petaling Jaya, I did a run last time at "working time" and it took me 30mins, which considering my commute now in UK is currently 2hrs each way would be wonderful.

Agree on your point regarding if its "right". I love being over there on holiday, but may not feel same when working. The company have said that I could do a 3/6 month term and see how I go, so not as committed if it doesn't work out.
3 school terms, same as the UK. So works out around RM50k per annum.

We rent a condo in Mont Kiara (for convenience - close to my office and my clients, schools nearby, etc. - and because I'm not having to pay for it...) so can't really talk about buying, but friends' parents live in PJ (SS2) and there are some quite nice areas with houses around there, so maybe worth a look. No idea on prices though.

If you have the option to try living in KL before committing then that might be worth exploring - if nothing else you'll have a chance to look around at different areas, properties, etc., and get a better sense of what you get for your money.

Nick M

3,333 posts

103 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
XJSJohn said:
Allow me to give you an example of the "quirks" of KL traffic... I drove back at Lunchtime on the Monday (supposedly a good time) and it took 6 hours back, all the extra 3 hours getting from the first toll to the Port Dixon turn off.
Blimey ! I was toying with the idea of heading down to Melaka on Monday, so glad I didn't bother and had a lie in instead !! biggrin

I went up to Taman Negara on Saturday - left at 6.00am fully expecting to hit traffic, and it didn't disappoint... Took me 5 hours to get up there, but 2 1/2 hours to get home later that same day. I may have been driving at 'some' mph on the way back... wink

XJSJohn

13,782 posts

99 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
Nick M said:
I went up to Taman Negara on Saturday - left at 6.00am fully expecting to hit traffic, and it didn't disappoint... Took me 5 hours to get up there, but 2 1/2 hours to get home later that same day. I may have been driving at 'some' mph on the way back... wink
it is better that i do not mention my speeds from the East side of Singapore to KLCC, suffice to say it is 400km so thats an all in average of 120kph paperbag

Nick M

3,333 posts

103 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all

hehe That's quite rapid !!

One Le Mans trip a couple of us had commitments which meant we could only drive down on the Friday evening.

We had a bit of a joke before hand about how quickly we could get down there so we could tuck into the beers, so we had a sweepstake among the group who were going down. It's 275 miles, so about 440Km, and after various suggestions of around 4 hours, I pitched in with 3 hours and 14 minutes. The slightly stunned silence was quickly followed by howls of laughter at my stupidity... hehe

Anyway, come the day of departure we loaded my mate's Honda S2000 and cruised down to Folkestone to get the Eurotunnel, and set the stopwatch going when we drove off the train. I drove the first section to Rouen, and averaged around 80mph, and during the 'pit stop' for fuel and, errr, 'comfort' we changed drivers. The second section was driven slightly more rapidly, on the basis that Pierre le Plod had hopefully given up looking for Les Speeding Rossbifs on a Friday night and was in the local bar drinking Ricard... wink

Anyway, we knew we were going pretty quickly and having stopped to put the roof up (the crowd by the sides of the roads around the campsites get a bit lairy on the Friday night, and we didn't fancy getting soaked in water / beer / piss) we finally pulled up at the entrance to the campsite after having done the journey in 3 hours and 18 minutes !! Which is an average of just over 83mph (133Kph). Peak speed we saw was 186Kph, but there were plenty of sections where we were sat at 160kph for long periods of time.

It really was an epic journey !! biggrin

Berw

1,584 posts

85 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
I didn't know the lower limit for forigner had gone up, As John said there are a lot of steps but they are all Ok in KL outside KL it can be diffrent and there are objections raised, and remember Ampang and PJ are not in KL. But as your wife is Malaysian you will be OK but it will take a year for the sale to go through, you can do a rent deal with the landlord to cover this period so you don't lose a property you want.
As Nick said around 10 K for Garden I pay near 20 with the add ons for KL International School (American) and Alice Smith is around the same. Fairview is cheaper, and acceptable, Saifull is cheaper still but I wouldn't send my kid there.
As Nick said decide it it is right, some people love it, lke me, but I know loads of people who leave gone back after 6 months.
Forget the bringing cars in it only applies to Malaysia my second home, and you can not work on that permit (well no full time) and there are all sort of funny restrictions.
Nick and I disagree on the price I think KL is cheaper than the UK, but then I don't have to buy business wear, and if I do I get it made, Places like M and S are expensive.
Commuting is bad, I live less than 5min walk from Low Yat, and work at KLCC it is a 20 min walk, in the rain it can take 2 hours to drive home, one answer is a bike, I use my big bikes all the time when I am on my own, and only use aca if with the family. Ridding in KL is OK as peple are looking for bike, and assume you are uninsured and avoid you, the accidents in the traffic are caused by the idiot bike ridders.
Cars are expensive, but you can get pick ups, I've just bought a 3 L Hilux, fully built n Japan not the local one and it cost 21K pounds new, I've also bought the wife a Myvi exterme, which is th sporty top of the range, 1.5, full leather etc for 12k pounds.
Forget bringing in expensive new German cars you can not get the maintained, there are so few that that they do not invest in the tools. traiing and softward, older cars are easy and cheap to maintain.
The guys are right forget where the inlaws live get property to get to work, travel to school is easy as there are school buses from all the private schools.

Berw

1,584 posts

85 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
Did't realise you were a QS, my line, do you have oil and gas experince? if yes there is loads of work. Salaries are Ok do not accept less than 800US a day after tax, as a minimum.

3sixty

Original Poster:

2,754 posts

79 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd August 2012 quote quote all
I guess I'm never going to know the traffic situation until we move. I will take a look at PJ properties when we are back over in Feb.

I have to admit, that day to day spending I find KL cheaper. For big ticket items like TVs, cars, sofas etc it does seem expensive. But for things like eating out, fuel, clothing etc I find it a lot cheaper.

Thanks for the advice re the cars bringing over and buying there. The downstairs parking at the inlaws condo makes for some interesting viewing. I actually found myself looking over the old Nissans rather than the Ferraris and Porsches parked at the back. Some awesome old jap cars around and seem to be fairly cheap. My eyes did water when I saw the price of a new Chevy Cruze Sporting.

I am a QS by background, but went into construction tax after I got my APC as work began to slow. $800US a day as a minimum? fking hell, where can I sign up? I'd be happy with half that! I am obviously in the wrong game, no O&G experience, mine was all resi/hotel/office with a bit of public (Hosp, schools etc) and a few civil projects.

XJSJohn

13,782 posts

99 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd August 2012 quote quote all
3sixty said:
I am a QS by background, but went into construction tax after I got my APC as work began to slow. $800US a day as a minimum? fking hell, where can I sign up? I'd be happy with half that! I am obviously in the wrong game, no O&G experience, mine was all resi/hotel/office with a bit of public (Hosp, schools etc) and a few civil projects.
Plenty of work for you in JB too then, have a look at the Iskandar project, quite a few mates are involved in the building of the hospitals, schools universities and pharmaceutical labs there.

Also, don't undersell your rate, it is very hard to climb up if you start off too low.
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