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Renting an apartment or a house can still be relatively cheap, although the prices have practically doubled in the last few years.
Buying a Land is pretty expensive. With this stressed relation between renting and buying it does not - financially - make much sense to buy anything.
One way to find a good, cheap place is to speak with as many people as possible:
Shop owners, Restaurant owners - especially Chinese. Many will have 'a friend who has something to show you'. Get the facts before you go with them to see the place - or you will lose a lot of time.
Besides this, I would of course recommend you to put a free Ad on this website. The Site is updated daily and people can response swiftly to your Ad.
Besides, there is 'Langkawi Link' - a printed Promotion-Magazine where you can put in a Classified Ad. But the Langkawi Link is published once a month only (on the first of each month - distributed for free on Langkawi).
With a bit of luck you can still find a house with 2 or 3 bedrooms at rental rates ranging from RM 600 to RM 800.
Prices for Foreigners are higher. So, it could be a good idea to let a local make the preliminary deal.
If it is mportant to you, make sure if it is ok to consume alcohol in the house or flat (no problem with a Chinese Owner, but might be a problem with a Bumiputra) before renting it. If you have a dog, look only for a Chinese owner.
There are different kinds of 'land' in Langkawi.
There is 'Bumiputra Land', There is 'Free Hold Land' and there is 'Government Land'. The 'Bumiputra Land' cannot be sold to a Non-Bumiputra. So you need to have a Bumiputra in between. These deals are done by lawyers and property brokers. In regard to 'how safe and secure they are', especially in the event of an unforeseen upcoming legal case, the opinions differ greatly.
Free Hold Land is very expensive, and it seems that there are restrictions too.
Sometimes you are told that "it is Freehold" but it is not.
Do not buy land without direct access to a public road - or the owner of the land who has a 'Right of Way' on it, might harrass you for the rest of your life - EVEN if you have made a written agreement and have paid for the right to use his land to accessing yours.
Do not rush into anything!
Malaysia Housing & Relocation in Malaysia: Share advices about the Expat lodging areas...
Note: The Alloexpat Forum is not 'Langkawi-Based', but many of the people who are active there are based in Penang, the next Island south.