Join me and my young, South African family as we accompany my husband to Kuala Lumpur for a 3 year contract.

Friday, 29 May 2015

House hunting

One of the most important things for us to cross off our list, besides the schooling, was to find a house. We had scheduled 3 days of house hunting but I had done some research beforehand to make it easier.

Firstly, I looked on google maps to see where Hubcap's office will be in KL. Then I bookmarked that as well as the school. I then scoured the web looking for rentals in the areas between the two.
Sounds easy?

We had a few requirements of our own, like number of bedrooms, swimming pool and location within a gated estate/community. Not to forget pet friendly, as we want to bring our dog with too.

We sent the agent some examples that we found on local websites beforehand, and we gave her a list of our needs.

Once we were on the road with Joyce our search began and she had lined up about 8 properties for us to see.

To make a long story short, we wanted a small house, although they're called bungalows or villas in Malaysia. As it turns out, there is no such thing as a small, 4 bedroom house with a pool in a gated community. The houses are very big and very opulent, so we settled on a 6 bedroom mansion (in South African standards). At least now we have space for visitors to stay in comfort. The private pool was the crunch of our property requirements. Our girls are both swimmers and it just makes life a bit easier when you have a pool at your home, instead of packing up and heading out to the public or communal pool. And considering the weather is what it is, we'll be using it every day of the year.

These websites helped me in getting a better idea of what is out there:

What I also did, was print out a map (Google) which had the office and school bookmarked. Then every property we saw, I asked Joyce to indicate it on my map for me. This gave me a better idea of where we were in relation to school and work and my internal navigation felt better.

To get an idea of the suburbs/areas in Kuala Lumpur you can have a look at this page:

I must mention that most of the houses we saw had a maid's room and bathroom. Usually situated next to the kitchen. Although these rooms are tiny and without a window. I won't have a live-in helper so I'm going to use that room for storage.

The properties for rental usually come with a microwave, washing machine, dryer and dishwasher and fridge, so it makes it a little easier when thinking of schlepping your appliances over.

Also, you'll need to check if garden service and/or pool service is included in rental. This can be an expensive excercise around MYR300 per month each. And they only cut the grass once a month as it's slow growing. Quite funny for me to hear this as we usually cut ours in South Africa twice weekly.

And last but not least Traffic will be a problem. At the time of our visit there was lots of construction going on in many parts of the areas we saw. And the traffic is horrible. So do yourself a favour and look for housing close to school and work. Or otherwise learn the art of patience.

Think that's all for now

Until next time

Claire X

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