Are you new to KL or simply hunting for a short-term or long-term rented accommodation and not sure what things to check for? Then, this handy checklist carefully compiled by Little Steps moms and dads in KL might be helpful. From finding cheap apartments to luxurious accommodation in all areas in KL, this is the guide to use, share, and find your stay.
Where to live with kids in Kuala Lumpur? Which is the best areas in KL for families? – these are just a few of the many questions we will help answer.
Most of the times we would want everything in the close vicinity (office, kids school, shopping). Therefore, once you finalize your kids’ school and know your office location, you can look for a house somewhere around the area. If you have younger kids going to kindergarten then we would like to suggest that there are condominiums which also house kindergarten schools and therefore you save a lot on transportation and time. Note, many kindergarten schools either don’t provide transport or it's very expensive, therefore, making more sense staying within such condos. If you have a valid international driving license and are going to drive your own car, in that case, things can be a lot more convenient and cheaper since fuel isn’t expensive in KL.
Popular Areas For Families In Kuala Lumpur:
1. Kuala Lumpur City Centre - Downtown and within walking distance to KLCC, Pavilion, and more. The condominium and housing complex can range in size and include children's playgrounds, swimming pools, etc. It's ideal for families working downtown and looking for convenience.
2. Ampang - With a lot of international schools in the area and the close proximity to the city centre, this is a nice "suburban" location where you can get the best of both world - convenience to work if downtown and life outside the city center. Options include condos, low-rise buildings, and apartments and this area also has private medical care options (another perk for families).
3. Mont Kiara - This is a popular area for expats due to its lifestyle of suburban ease, closeness to international schools, and housing options (you will find more houses and bungalow style homes here). There are also serviced residences in this area for short-term stays.
4. Bangsar/Pantai - Bangsar is more popular of the two and offers families a 10-minute commute to KLCC and a very nice area full of shopping (including family-oriented Bangsar Village and Bangsar Shopping Centre, medical facilities (Pantai Medical Centre), and lovely restaurants and bars to enjoy.
5. Seputeh - Located in Mid Valley City, this area is popular as it is surrounded by international schools. The KL Sentral Station makes this a more affordable way to commute from the area. It's popular with locals and expats alike.
6. Damansara Heights - An affluent area in KL with a 15-minute commute to KLCC and very close to neighboring areas (Bangsar, Mont Kiara, etc). There are a few international schools and restaurants. Most accommodation options are homes and bungalow style homes. As you guessed, it's a bit more on the pricey side.
7. Sri Hartamas - Near Mont Kiara, this area offers similar convenience at lower prices. There is a full range of accommodation options - homes, apartments, etc.
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It tends to be easier to gel with people from the same country, language, office, and school. So, check with office colleagues and school families as to where most of them live. This will help guide you into more opportunities to socialize as soon as you move into the place rather than waiting to make friends.
You must check for the available amenities (and if they are in functional condition) for your accommodation. Review if a swimming pool, playground, clubhouse, gym, tennis court is an important family need. Also, ensure that the place is well maintained and hygienic and is free from mosquitoes otherwise this may hamper your outdoor activities. You can also see if there are laundry and basic grocery store options.
Check that the security systems are in place to ensure that your kids are safe even when playing by themselves. Speak to the people living there and also the security guards for any reported cases in past.
This is yet another important aspect to look for while finalizing a home. Although you can't expect everything to be next door, it is better to have them in close vicinity within a few kilometers distance so that you don’t have to run to far off places when in need.
In KL, you will easily find decent 2-3 BHK houses from old to new construction within the range of RM3000 to RM10000 monthly rent. The more you spend, the more you get. Set your priorities first on the required size and layout as per your family needs. If you are going to be outdoors most of the time, then staying in a relatively smaller house would be better as its easy to maintain. On the contrary, if your family likes to spend most of their quality time at home, then better settle down in a spacious house ensuring that the owner provides you with most of the comforts that you will need during your stay.
Most of the new constructions in KL are coming up with minimal cooking concepts with less of kitchen space. However, if you are one of those who likes to cook often and needs your own kitchen space, it is better to specify that to your agent to shortlist units accordingly. Usually old to not so new constructions are likely to have a proper kitchen.
Some of the questions that you can ask your agent about the property are the following:
1. What is the occupancy level of the place? It might be new, but you might not want to be the only one living there!
2. Where are people from and do they have children? This can ensure diversity and a kid-friendly culture.
Most of the times rental prices quoted by the agent are negotiable. This would imply that you can offer RM200-300 less than the quoted price. Also, you can request the owner to add in a few more things like some furniture, electronic items, etc or do some required modifications. Usually, owners are willing to heed to the requests.
If you or your kids are fond of pets and are likely to keep one, it's better to check for rules and regulations of the home because some of them don’t allow pets. In that case, you might want to look for a landed property where you don’t have such restrictions and will have enough space for the pets to run and play around with your kids. But of course, you might have to sacrifice a few things for this and it might cost you a bit more compared to the condominium units.