Z Man Property & Real Estate

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    Malaysian Property Titles (Freehold / Leasehold Land)

    There are two categories of titles in Malaysia available for foreigners. Freehold (which gives the owner full, permanent ownership of the property) and leasehold (which allows the owner to stay in possession for a limited period). Most leaseholds titles are originally for 99 years and can be extended on paying a further sum.

    Most leasehold land is owned by the state and leases are usually for 60 or 99 years. At the end of the lease it is fairly easy to renew the lease for a further 99 years upon payment of a premium which is based on the current market value of the property. It is also possible to arrange for a new lease during the period of the existing lease. This involves cancelling the existing lease and applying for new one.

    A house receives a "title" once completed and an apartment or condominium is given a "strata title". In the case of new apartment buildings, the strata title may not be issued for some time after the building is completed.

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    Property Types - Local Terminology

    Malaysians use the following terms to describe the types of residential property available:

    Terraced Houses
    These houses usually share a wall with the adjoining property on both sides. They are typically one or two stories high but occasionally they consist of three floors. Some of the end units which often have extra land with them are often reconstructed to substantially increase their built up area with a corresponding reduction in their garden space.

    Town Houses
    These are essentially the same as terraced houses except they tend to be more up market and expensive. Some may have an internal patio.

    Semi D
    This is short for semi-detached and refers to a house which is joined on one side to another property. Two homes make up one building.

    Bungalows
    This is a detached stand-alone house on its own land. Unlike some countries where the term means a single story, smaller dwelling, a bungalow can be any size in Malaysia. Some are extremely large with built up areas exceeding 10,000 square feet.

    Apartments/Flats
    There are a great variety of apartments available in nearly all major towns and cities. They vary from small and very cheap to extremely large and correspondingly expensive. Expensive apartment buildings usually have security and offer various facilities like a pool, squash and tennis courts and a gym.

    Condominiums
    Unlike some countries, where there is a legal distinction between a condominium and an apartment (flat), in Malaysia the terms can be interchangeable. Usually using the term condominium means the development has more facilities.

    Gated Community
    This generally refers to developments which have controlled access with a guard house and fencing surrounding the whole development. This usually means security will be better but it is advisable to check exactly what security is offered. Consider how easily you gain access, ask how often guards patrol the development and what system they have to let visitors enter.

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