Bali Property Blog

Building Your Own Home in Bali

Building Your Own Home in Bali

On any given day, if you visit the Departure Lounge at Denpasar Airport you will find it filled with people who are
considering moving to Bali. If you have ever visited this magical island with it’s amazing natural beauty and laid back lifestyle, its not hard to understand why many people dream of exchanging their hectic lifestyle for one peace and serenity. Add into that the people who look around and feel that real estate is vastly undervalued in Bali, and you end up with many actively interested owning a property on the island.

Unfortunately, as a foreigner, moving to or investing in Bali is not as simple as making up your mind. Like many other countries, there are laws regarding this kind of thing. Although the legal situation changes a bit each year, Indonesian laws prohibit foreigners from owning land. This, however hasn’t stopped thousands of foreigners from investing in or relocating to Bali. So if this is your dream, then take heart, because it can be done. Just not quite as simply as you might wish.

Since you must be a Balinese/Indonesian citizen to own land, the most common technique that foreigners use revolves around partnering with a local. Their name will be on all official paperwork, but the power of attorney gives you almost complete control over the property. And with the current Bali laws allowing you to lease the property for up to 70 years, you can start to see how realizing your dream is possible. Just contact us at Bali land Property to get all the details.

Because the dwellings that most of the local Balinese inhabit are not what most foreigners dream of, there are 3 basic choices in sorting out your housing situation.

Construction worker laying red bricks1) Lease a piece of land and work directly with a local contractor to build your dream home.
2) Lease a piece of land and work with a developer who will oversee the project and take care of all the details like hiring contractors etc.
3) Buy a home that is already completed.

Because of the price differences between a completed house and undeveloped land, many people feel it would be better to build a house to their specifications. And since working with a developer involves an additional fee for their services, some look to save a little money by working directly with a local contractor.

Most who take this route, soon find out that it is more trouble than it is worth. Even if you can commit to being on site everyday to oversee the project, working with local contractors can be a surprisingly frustrating experience. You won’t have to look far to find a contractor who will assure you that everything will be smooth and done inexpensively even when they know that in reality it will be the opposite.

Don’t think that hiring a developer is going to take all the hassle away either. As with everything else, there are people who are very good at their jobs and others who are not as good. The thing to remember is that no matter if you choose to work with a real estate agent to buy a house, work with a local contractor or work with a development company, you have to take a little time to find a person that you can work with. Don’t just rush in and hire the first company you talk to, take the time to make sure that the person really understands what you are looking for, and is committed to delivering your ideal, not just a finished project.

There are over 10,000 foreigners who live in Bali and would do it all over again if they had to start at the beginning. But there are also many stories of people who either fell victim to outright fraud or had to suffer through an incredibly complex sequence of events to make their dreams happen.

So if investing in or moving to Bali is your dream, do yourself a big favor and take some time now to do a little research. The hours you spend now on checking things out, will likely save you weeks or months of frustration down the road.


  1. Jimmy Rep  July 27, 2012

    Thanks for this write-up. We just started with building our first home in Bali Canggu. Indeed it is advised to be on-site often in order to overview the construction progress and correct where necessary.


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