Modern villa developments in Bali: Buyer beware!!!


With so many land development projects going on in Bali its hard to keep track of which ones are finished and which are sold out. Riding around Seminyak one can see some nice examples of places ideally located for a great Bali holiday, including C151 on Jl. Petitenget and Le Jardin on Jl. Sarinande.

While these may be excellent properties, there are others that may warrant a buyer to beware. I know of one expat who has likely lost a lot of money buying a private villa quite recently. The list Baliblog published yesterday (if you want your property to be included in Baliblog’s property list the price is $199 per month), listed many properties as being ‘freehold’. That of course is freehold for Indonesians, the western version of freehold often touted by developers being a legal ‘can of worms’. If you are thinking about buying real estate in Bali, tread carefully.

Checking out a completed villa complex a few months ago, I asked the sales rep what she thought about some of the other large scale developments going on. She said “You know when you are building in Bali, how important it is to be there on site, making sure they use the proper amounts of cement and so forth?…..” I got the message and have myself observed cement blocks in new development with cracks in, before the thing is even completed. In my house in Seminyak, the cement blocks that run horizontal (1 ft diameter) are flaking apart. I’d really want to make sure my $500,000 villa was made of something solid.

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In many ways a lease agreement is the best option for a foreigner as it is completely legal and does not have to involve a third party.