Should I buy or rent a home in Malaysia?
If you have not spent a lot of time in Malaysia, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision...
"It is ultimately a personal decision whether to buy or rent a home in Malaysia. Renting a home offers the flexibility of not taking on a large debt committment, and not having to worry about major repairs or maintenance. On the other hand, homeownership has the potential for increased financial stability and potential for appreciation over time, as well as more control over property value. When making the decision to buy or rent, potential homeowners should research the market, consider the costs associated with both options, and understand their finances. Ultimately, the answer to whether it is the best choice to buy or rent a home in Malaysia depends on individual circumstances," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Malaysia.
"If you are over 50 or have children attending a Sarawak school (including International Schools) you are not REQUIRED to purchase property. Those 40-50 without kids can purchase a property to qulify though. BUT anyone on S-MM2H CAN buy property if they wish. There are some restrictions. It must be zoned residentially and have a structure on it or being constructed. It cannot be land zoned exclusively commercially, zoned for agricultural, or reserved native land. And if Landed Property it must be valued above a floor of RM600,000 in Kuching, or RM500,000 elsewhere. That's about US$135,000-$113,000. According to the Sarawak Lands Ordinance of 2019 one can purchase strata property (apartments or condos with no ownership of the underlying land) at any price. There is no floor. And one can rent property virtually anywhere and at any price. I rent, primarily because the property market is a buyers/renters market with a lot of vacancies. If a bargain dream-home emerged I might jump. But I live in the midtown area and prices are a little higher here. Downside of condo life is that many units don't allow pets," commented one expat who made the move to Kuching, Malaysia.
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- What should I pack when moving to Malaysia?
- Where should I setup a bank account in Malaysia?
- Will I be able to find a job in Malaysia?
- What is life like in Malaysia?
- What do expats in Malaysia appreciate most about the local culture?
- What do expats find most challenging?
- Is there a lot of crime in Malaysia?
- Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Malaysia accepting of differences?
- What are the schools in Malaysia like?
- What are healthcare services like in Malaysia?
- What are medical services in Malaysia like?
- Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Malaysia?
- What are emergency services like in Malaysia?
- Will I need to travel to see a specialist?
- Are common prescription medications available in Malaysia?
- How are local medical facilities in Malaysia?
- As a foreigner living in Malaysia, will I have access to public healthcare? What is it like?
- What have your experiences during the pandemic with the local healthcare system been like?
Should I buy or rent a home in Malaysia?If you live in Malaysia, newcomers to Malaysia would love to hear your answer to this question.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.