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Moving to KL (Kuala Lumpur)

Hi KL folks,

I'm looking forward to moving to the city shortly, and am beginning to look at housing options. I have a few questions perhaps you can help with.

First of all, I've been looking on housing websites, and so am not clueless as to prices, but it's mostly hard to judge quality from the pics/info provided. I'm pretty flexible with regard to specifics, but for the sake of argument, let's say I'm looking for a furnished apartment:

- probably in Bukit Bintang,
- close to public transportation (rail),
Protected content 3) bedrooms,
Protected content ,
- perhaps Protected content meters,
- swimming pool, gym and security in the building,
- very preferably with washer/dryer, dishwasher, A/C,
- (preferably Western-ish) grocery in easy walking distance,
- ideally with a balcony/view, but not absolutely critical.

Can anyone provide thoughts on the price range I should be considering? Not looking for luxury, but am looking for comfort, safety, convenience, a positive atmosphere -- a happy living arrangement, in short.

I'll be working near the UKM Hospital -- any thoughts on neighborhoods other than Bukit Bintang that would be good to look at? Pros/cons of various areas? I don't expect to have a car.

Is there any way (website, listing, etc.) to evaluate real estate agents? Should I expect to pay a fee to agents for showing flats? Should I expect to pay a fee if I end up renting through an agent?

My understanding is that security deposit is typically 2.5 months rent (+ first month, of course). Can this be drawn on a foreign bank account? Any recommendations for local banks? For that matter, any recommendations for local phone systems/contracts (I know this is getting far afield from housing, thanks for bearing with me!).

Look forward to meeting some of you in the near future, and my appreciation in advance for any thoughts you might have.


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