Close

Building In a (not-so-developed) Balinese family compound

Hello all! I apologize for any questions that have probably been asked a million times, however I get a lot of contradicting information online and would like to lay out my specific question and get some insight from you lovely people!

Im American/Japanese and in my early twenties. I have been working abroad for about a year but I have recently left my job in Japan and arrived in Bali 3 months ago and fell in love. Like every other expat here, I have decided I would like to live the rest of my fantasy life in Bali and would like to invest some (most) of my immediate savings in "leasing" land from a Balinese and building a wooden villa to live in/rent out for the next few years.

Okay, will jump into a few immediate details.
1.I am aware that it is impossible for any foreigner to "own" land in Bali, and it is equally confusing to even legally "lease" land. When I read about the legality to leasing land here as a foreigner, some people claim that you CAN get your lease agreement to be legally upheld in court if it came to that, however you cannot get any old notary to do the job, you need a "legit" notary with the right documents.
My first QUESTION. Is getting a notary actually helpful in legalities, or is it just a waste of money to get a document that wont help in court?

I am realizing that corruption is rampant and TRUST is super important when putting your money anywhere in Bali. I am getting the sense that hiring an attorney or notary can still be risky, because they may be directly involved in fraud by taking your money only to not be able to provide their promised services or even worse, take your money from you and steal everything.

This is long but stay with me (please!!) I have a unique situation with my connections to the Balinese. My very good friend from America is married to a Balinese man and they are having a child very soon. They are building a wooden house in the husbands family compound shortly and have asked me to join them in their compound by leasing 4 hectares of their land to me and going half in the project costs (sharing a pool, building of a wall, gardening etc.) and having the husband be in charge of getting the best "local" prices for everything in order for my friend and I to not get high prices for being foreign. My friend and her husband are taking out a significant loan in order to build their home and a huge benefit they get out of me leasing their land is monthly payments from me for leasing their land. My monthly payments will cover their debt payments to the bank, and it is in their best interest for them to have a good business relationship with me in order for them to continue paying off their debts. I met my friend originally 3 years ago working for the same company and she was my manager. I have a decent background to her and her trustworthiness and have only gotten to know her "morale" better the past few weeks. Her and her husband are huge believers in karma and have no interest in doing shady business or quick cash schemes, as they believe this will be very damaging and hindering to them in the future. The same friend and I are also planning on using her husbands business papers to start a business project here and I offer a significant amount of immediate capital for all of these projects to take off. I am listing off all of these details, because these are the ONLY reasons I feel even remotely comfortable spending thousands of dollars of my (only) savings in order to pursue a good opportunity to lease land in Bali and make money here.
Even though the land I am interested in leasing is by no  means top notch or has any beautiful views, I also am led to believe that companies in Bali listing land for lease or even for "freehold sale" seem incredibly misleading. I prefer to put my money in a more trustworthy situation with very nice Balinese people (nice as far as I know) rather through a real estate agent that wants a quick portion of my money. I know that the balinese husband of my friend is really keen on getting the best quality home for his new baby and wife and I truly believe that he has no time for ripping me off or shenanigans.

Okay, so that was long. But if anybody could chime in with their two cents and maybe validate/give me any insights/personal experiences please let me know. Even though I would be spending an immediate $20,000 of my own money to make this happen, I also believe that this money is replaceable and I am not going to cry in a corner if this doesnt work out after a couple years. I prefer to have tried to make my dream come true rather than never persued this at all. With all of that given, I want to hear what you all think.

much looove, thank you

You say 4 hectare of land?  I don't think so.  Don't you mean 4 are of land? 

I mean, in and around Ubud, anywhere, 4 hectare of land is around 6 to 7 million US dollars. 

Your $20,000...how many years will you contractually be able to live in this Balinese compound?

Odd alert.

If the OP's payments are enough to pay off the "significant" bank loan on a large property, she's very possibly paying way too much.

It strikes me she could lease a smaller piece of land and build a wooden structure on there, but spend a lot less money.
The pool thing is nice, but how much will you actually use it?

Next up - Get the visa sorted out before you do a thing.

Also, before you commit sacks of cash to a long term stay, spend a year on the island to find out if the dream is going to last. You can rent a place for a year with ease and you won't spend very much cash finding out if long term in Indonesia suits you.
A holiday is one thing, living is another.

“If the OP's payments are enough to pay off the "significant" bank loan on a large property, she's very possibly paying way too much.”

If you mean the $20,000…then I’m sorry to say, that’s a pea in a pot here Fred.

In the Ubud area of Bali…and this is what appears to be what the OP talking about…250 million IDR, gets you nowhere on any sort of long term basis.     

My sister in law (Balinese of course) just turned down an offer (from another Balinese) of 1.25 billion IDR to purchase a 2.5 area plot almost adjacent to our own compound. 

In my neck of the woods, $20,000 would just about cover two years of renting something livable.

“You can rent a place for a year with ease and you won't spend very much cash finding out if long term in Indonesia suits you.”

While I totally agree with that concept, the hard facts are, finding a place to live in the Ubud area for a year while one gets familiar with Bali, is neither easy, or cheap.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Indonesia

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Indonesia

Moving to Indonesia

Find tips from professionals about moving to Indonesia

Travel insurance in Indonesia

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Indonesia

Flights to Indonesia

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Indonesia