For any first-time home-owner, home-renter or real estate investor, properties can be overwhelming to understand. It is not surprising any, if not all of you are bewildered when trying to decide which property you should invest in. This is especially so in Malaysia where new property categories continue to emerge. We do not have enough time to catch up!
Although the physical characteristics between some of these properties don’t differ much, but the implications of misrenting/misbuying could be paramount! It’s always important to know all the information before taking the first step to any type of investments. If you are a renter, then probably choosing which type of housing is vital. You can go to SPEEDHOME to get direct owner listing of their homes.
There are mainly two big umbrellas of properties in Malaysia which are high-rise property and also landed property. Let’s look at all the types of properties for rent in Malaysia:
Condominium units are usually owned by private individuals. This type property building is knowingly popular in high density areas such as city-centres. They are fundamentally a high-end residential title in Malaysia due to the full-facility service that they provide, including a gym room and a swimming pool. The size of this residential unit is usually 2,110-4,715 sq ft on average. Other advantages of this property building (should you decide to rent a unit here) are the security is much higher than some other residential buildings. Indoor parking space is also guaranteed with the units, but unfortunately, they would usually provide only one space per house unit.
However, beware that every advantage comes with its own disadvantage. For one, since these types of building is managed by HOA (homeowners association), their rules apply to these building units. One of the rules is that pets are not allowed. So, you have to say goodbye to your furry little friend in order to move in.
On a global scale, the term ‘apartment’ refers to a residential building owned by a single entity like a developer rather than individual landlords. But, here in Malaysia, this term is used in reference to the facilities that comes with the property. This building unit that usually has the size of 550-1,200 sq ft on average is the most common type of real estate building available in high-density areas like Klang Valley. It is also the most affordable option with basic facilities like lifts and guard house. This means that you don’t have to break your bank every month to afford this place while still maintaining a good quality of life.
But the downside is that apartments are generally equipped with less amenities than let’s say condominiums or serviced residences. One of the lacking amenities (that you might not get) is that the parking spaces are outdoors and might not be covered. Or, there are also a few unlucky apartment buildings that lack facilities like swimming pool. But if those aren’t the things that are super important to you, condominium is the best option for you.
If you say ‘flat’ in the UK or Europe, everyone will think you’re referring to ‘apartment’. However, in Malaysia, this term is specifically coined to refer lower-end high-rise residential properties with unit size of 400-1,000 sq ft on average. This building offers the most basic type of accommodation and it is probably the cheapest high-rise building option that you can opt for. If you are a student and don’t mind the small space, this residential option might be best for you. You could even decorate your room so that it looks lavish.
Few cons for this type of property building is that it is not a gated residential property. That means, there will be no guards to oversee the coming and going of strangers to your building. Hence, this residential type is much less secure than the type of buildings that we’ve talked about above. Other than that, this type of building generally doesn’t come with a lift service. Although flats usually don’t have that many storeys, it is still kind of inconvenience to climb 5-6 flights of stairs every time you want to go somewhere.
The big difference between a serviced residence and condominiums is their land status. Condominiums are considered residential property whereas serviced apartments are commercial property.
Serviced residences are basically high-end, fully-furnished properties which combine commercial and residential units. These apartments are either attached to shopping malls or shop lots and are equipped with all sorts of facilities for unit-residents. This means a shopping mall is just a lift down away. If you like a more happening location and more convenience when grocery/food shopping, then serviced residence is the one for you.
Now, the cons for this type of building is that the rental cost here is sky-high due to the strategic location. You’re living on top of a shopping mall, what did you expect? At the same time, utility bill is also more expensive here. So, you better think twice if you thought of renting a serviced apartment for a long period of time. Also, if you are someone who doesn’t like a lot of traffic, than this higher density building units might not be for you.
If you are a fresh graduate or a couple renting a place by yourselves but do not want any housemates and don’t want to spend so much for a three-bedroom apartment because why in the world would you need two spare bedrooms, then a studio apartment is the best choice for you. But, what is a studio apartment? This property unit is a relatively new concept in Malaysia but it is getting a lot of traction for its convenience. Studio apartment is defined as a self-sufficient single room property that’s complete with its own kitchen and bathroom. The only ‘room’ that is inside and separate from the whole unit is the bathroom. So, you have to designate your own sleeping area, leisure area, and kitchen according to your preference.
Studio apartment is one of, but not limited to, the homes that dual key property (which we’ll talk about later) offers. Since the size of a studio apartment is usually less than 1000 sq ft on average, that means keeping the area clean is so much easier. Moreover, the utility bill will also be much cheaper since the electric current doesn’t have to run so many things at the same time. These units are also more likely to be offered at strategic location near amenities like hypermarkets, shopping malls, and transportation hubs like LRT stations.
This is one of the new property categories that is becoming more popular in Malaysia. This property unit basically has two houses inside the same unit. A two-for-one deal? That’s really neat! A major difference between a dual key unit and a standard unit is the entrance. A dual key unit will have a foyer area that leads to the main door to both of the houses. Usually, the houses that a dual key unit offers is a studio apartment and a normal apartment. So, if you are a landlord, you can choose to rent out the studio apartment whilst you live in the main apartment. This way, it’s way easier for you to keep an eye for your rented studio and offer any help right away if there’s a problem.
Now, the cons to this housing unit is that some might not like to live near landlords. This might rise a few problems on its own, especially if the unit lacks soundproof wall. If you are a tenant, you probably might feel uncomfortable to throw parties knowing that the landlord is just a door away from you.
Duplex or a loft is a double-storey accommodation within a high-rise property building. This concept is also relatively new and is more popular in high-density areas due to the lack of double-storey landed properties. While this unit is a more spacious and luxurious alternative compared to serviced residences or condominiums, it cannot beat the extravagance of a penthouse. What’s good about this high-end properties is that they all have access to common areas such as garden and a barbecue area. Moreover, they have a very tight security. So if you have rather a big family, consider checking out duplexes.
But, I think you already know this, since it’s a higher-end high-rise property, that means the maintenance cost for this place is significantly higher than most of the other high-rise residential units. The rent is also significantly higher than say, a condominium. Other than that, this double-storey unit might not be suitable for someone who has knee problems as they would have to climb up and down the staircase.
Penthouse is easily described as bungalows in the sky because they are the topmost units in condominiums or serviced residences. Although back then penthouse generally is a single-storey unit, but now you can find double-storey penthouses and some might even have their own private swimming pool with a panoramic view. Isn’t life in a penthouse amazing? Penthouse can be considered as the most extravagant and plushest abode that you can find. Can you imagine having the topmost unit of a building for yourself, a bathtub or even a private swimming pool overlooking the city-skyscraper?
But, alike duplexes, since penthouse is the plushest property that you can opt for, the maintenance fee for this type of unit is obviously the highest. So, if you have an extra cash to burn and want to make a statement of it, then penthouse is definitely your go-to option.
A terrace house refers to any kind of landed property that is placed side by side to each other, sharing the same wall. Typically, terrace houses can be double-story or single-storey, but three-storey terrace house is not unheard of. What is great about this type of property is that for one, parking space is not a problem at all. In fact, a small greenhouse is also not impossible to achieve. What is great is that these type of houses is very suitable for pet owners or those with small kids.
Now, let’s talk about the bad side. This type of property is more expensive than some of the other options we have given you. But in honesty, the space that you have makes up for the price. Other than that, you don’t get any amenities like a swimming pool or a gym. If you are a gym-junkie, I’m sorry but you have to renew that gym membership again and again. Also, if you are someone without a transportation, it might be harder for you to commute. This is because this type of property is usually located further away from transportation hubs.
Bungalows are pretty common in Malaysia. This type of property building is referred to standalone houses that could come in any shape or form. These houses are located on top of its own land and not attached with other units.
Bungalows have been the dream of many home-owners due to its huge garden that circles around the house. Parking space also will never ever a problem even if you buy a second or a third car. Other than that, your kids or pets will have a lot of safe space to run around. This type of building is also gated on top of it’s location in a well-guarded neighborhood. All in all, this type of property building is the best option for larger families.
But now, you have to know that all these great advantages come with a great price. Literally. The cheapest partly-furnished 5,000 sq ft bungalow for rent in Bangsar costs about RM6,000 monthly. That also means that the maintenance cost is higher.
As the name suggests, semi-detached properties are referred to landed houses that share one common wall with adjoining units (where two houses make one bigger building). Usually, these two units mirror one another. If you ever see two houses that joined together side-by-side, where the garden/yard is only on side of the house, then you know what a semi-detached house is.
These are considered high-end residential units because of the relatively big space that they offer. Due to that, occupants are able to have a garden or even a small yard. This makes it a great choice for larger families or family with pets.
If you look at a townhouse in America, the property unit is basically a terrace house. But in Malaysia, townhouse means something completely different. Here, a townhouse is a landed property where two identical houses are stacked on top of the other. So basically, a two-in-one deal for landed properties? This sounds quite awesome as well! The bottom floor unit in a townhouse is usually smaller. But, it is more convenient for people to come and go because residents can enter through the ground floor. Whereas the top unit is larger but need to be entered using the side staircase. If you have a larger family, you can definitely opt for the top unit and basically let the bottom unit out.
However, townhouses don’t really come with good facilities. They usually are non-gated neighborhood so you have to pick another security option for you and your family. Also, with landed properties, not many are located near transportation hubs. It could be a problem if you use public transportation to move about.
So, after the long explanation above, I hope now you are able to recognize the difference between these 12 types of properties in Malaysia. If you are planning on renting a house or if you are a first time homeowner, it is very important for you to know all these terminology so you don’t end up buying the wrong type of property that doesn’t suit your needs.
What do you think of this article? Is there any type of residential property that we missed?