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An Expat Talks about Moving to Jakarta, Indonesia

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Jakarta

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

Wish we had brought an artificial Christmas tree, a swing set and more inexpensive, remnant, area rugs.

Wish we'd left at home books we'd already read, a 110-volt TV and collectibles.

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Moving to Indonesia Soon?

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

My advice is to get on the internet and learn all you can about neighborhoods and available housing. Try to communicate with people already living here to survey their housing situation. Select your neighborhood based on convenient drive to work and school. Use a reputable agent, or better yet, use many agents. Be firm about your requirements so you aren't dragged to the listings they are pushing, but the properties that meet your needs. Visit your prefered property at noon or 3 p.m. to hear how loud is the local mosque's call to prayer (because you don't want to discover this on your first night in the house when the 4 a.m. call is made!). Highly recommend having a housing audit (electric, plumbimg, mechanical) before signing a contract, and get a maintenance contract from a vendor of your chosing, not the owner. In this city, it is more the rule than the exception, that having maintenance done after the owner had been paid is an exercise in frustration.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

Single family detached house which is typical for most expats in our area. High-rise apartments are also popular for those not wishing to employ a lot of staff for gardens or security, and those who don't want to worry about their homes when traveling.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

We moved into staff housing already selected and under contract before we'd arrived.

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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Much higher and not justifiable in my opinion! Average cost of housing is US$3,000/month, payed 24 months in advance, lump sum, and in US dollars. Most houses are built with inferior material and shoddy methods. They look good when newly built or renovated, but they are not meant to last more than 15 years (when they are gutted and renovated). Many owners paid more for the lot than they did to construct the house.

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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