Monday, February 20, 2012

Real Estate Investment in Malaysia

A progressive and secure country with modern infrastructure and an attractive business environment, Malaysia is a popular destination for real estate investment and has gained traction over the years among Pakistanis.
Property investment in Malaysia as a foreigner is fairly simple. You must be above the age of 21 and the property you purchase must be valued at RM 500,000 ($ 160,000) or above. However, sale of bumiputra or native properties in certain areas is restricted for foreigners.
Real estate investment can be made either by going to Malaysia, or through real estate agents specializing in overseas property. There is no restriction regarding the number of properties one can buy.
The capital city Kuala Lumpur and the scenic island of penang are popular locations for foreign investors. Freehold condominiums in both these cities have a potential return on investment of eight percent per annum; foreign investors can also purchase vacant plots there.
Foreign investors can secure a property loan from banks in Malaysia. Local banks can extend loans of up to 90% of the property price. The transaction takes between six months and a year to be processed and usually requires a two percent payment on booking followed by another eight percent when the sale agreement is signed. Properties bought by foreigners also require the land office's consent; this process usually takes about three months.
If a property is sold within two years of purchase, a 10% tax is levied on the profits gained; a five percent tax on profits gained is imposed on properties sold two to five years after their purchase. Residential property sold after five years is not taxed for profits gained. Without any doubt Malaysia is one of the best places for the real estate investment in the World.

Taj Mahal: An Example of Real Estate Investment

The Taj Mahal in Agra, also known as "The Jewel of Muslim Art in India", is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built by Shah Jehan, the Mughal Emperor, in memory of his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was no doubt a best real estate investment ever.
Construction began in 1631; masons, stone cutters, in layers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome builders and other craftsmen from the Indian Empire, Central Asia and Iran worked together under the supervision of architects Abd-ul-Karim Ma'amur Khan, Makramat Khan and Ustad Ahmed Lahquvi (the principal designer). The entire complex, which comprises the Taj Mahal and several gardens, took 22 years to build at a cost of approximately Rs 32 million at that time.
Shortly after its completion, Shah Jehan was deposed by his son Aurangzeb and was eventually buried in the Taj Mahal next to his beloved wife.
Although the Taj Mahal was built in the style of Mughal and Persian architecture, the use of the breathtaking pure white marble, embellished in certain places with nearly 28 precious and semi-precious stones (including carnelians, lapis lazuli, sapphires and turquoises), was extraordinary and a novel idea at the time.
What also made the Taj Mahal unique was the fact that prior to its construction, most Mughal and Persian buildings, such as Jahangir's tomb, were surrounded by four lawns In a way, the gardens become a procession which culminated in the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal's architectural style was then used in other Mughal structures and remains a very strong architecture, the cost and sheer size make it very difficult to do so. However, we do see gesture in our mosques, particularly those in the Middle East, where the Taj Mahal's architectural style is clearly visible.
Ultimately, the Taj Mahal is an edifice of one man's love for the woman he loved. Never again in history have we seen such a monument built for love.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Get Hotel Retail Space: Business Retail Space For Lease

Business retail space in hotel complexes are a popular choice for brands due to their location and ambiance. In addition, they enjoy the benefit of a customer base made up of high net worth hotel guests, which include foreigner dignitaries, delegates and tourists and even celebrities.
In Pakistan, until a decade ago such retail spaces for lease were coveted by the most exclusive brands, but today due to the security situation, hotel occupancy rates (and thus customers) have declined, while together security measures have discouraged local visitors. However, despite the lower turnover, these spaces remain popular and most leading hotels in Pakistan maintain an occupancy rate that exceeds 70%. Tenants also find it a hassle-free arrangement because maintenance issues are usually the hotel management's responsibility.
Here is a detailed look:
  • Hotel complexes have a limited number of shops, ranging between five and 30; they are usually not open for sale and can be rented.
  • Shop sizes vary between 75 and 250 square feet.
  • Larger hotels have dedicated shopping arcades within the complex, thus the size of these shops can be customized according to the tenant's requirements.
  • Rental contracts are usually valid for a period ranging between one and three years.
  • Average monthly rental rates range between 100 and 250 per square feet. A six-month advance and a security deposit are required in most cases.
  • Most rental contracts include maintenance and security as part of the package, at no extra cost, while electricity bills are the tenant's responsibility.
  • Apart from top-end brands, other businesses located within hotels include handicraft and souvenir stores, fine carpet and rug merchants, florists, patisseries, bookshops, Jewelery, designers, beauty saloons, pharmacies and general stores.