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Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

Real Estate in Indonesia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: An expat should search for a home to buy in Indonesia by researching the local real estate market and consulting with a real estate agent who is familiar with the area. It is important to consider the location, size, and price of the property. Foreigners are allowed to own property in Indonesia, but there are restrictions on the type of property that can be purchased. Generally, foreigners are only allowed to purchase freehold properties, such as apartments, villas, and houses. Houses in Indonesia typically include amenities such as air conditioning, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Some houses may also include a swimming pool, a garden, and a garage.

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How do I find a place to live in Indonesia?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"If you are looking for a place to live in Indonesia, rental property can be a great option. You can find rental properties through real estate agents, listings in classifieds, or through online rental sites such as Rumah.com or Lamudi. You can also find a place to stay short-term at many hotels, hostels, and homestay accommodation such as Airbnb throughout Indonesia. Be sure to research each place thoroughly to ensure you find the right place for your needs," explained one person living in Indonesia.

"I looked around and used local housing agents for my first house, which I overpaid on significantly. The next house was a much better deal, though still had to pay 1 year in advance," said another expat in Batam.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Indonesia?

"A typical expat home or apartment in Indonesia usually consists of quality modern amenities and fittings, with spaces providing plenty of natural light and ventilation. Expat homes and apartments are often located in convenient and secure neighborhoods. Floor plans typically comprise of two or three bedrooms or more, as well as an open kitchen, living and dining area. Furnishings can range from basic to opulent, and internet, cable television and air-conditioning are often provided as standard," said another expat in Indonesia.

"3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, driveway, not much of a yard. This is pretty typical for the area, and a lot of expats live in this area," remarked another member in Batam.

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What is the average cost of housing in Indonesia?

If you are thinking about moving to Indonesia, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Indonesia varies depending on the location and type of housing but generally it is considered to be more affordable than other countries in Southeast Asia. Generally, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in an urban area ranges from $300 to $800 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost between $500 and $1,500 per month. Housing in rural areas is usually much cheaper," said another person in Indonesia.

"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," added another expat who made the move to Jakarta.

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Should I buy or rent a home in Indonesia?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Indonesia, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Buying or renting a home in Indonesia largely depends on a variety of factors such as your budget, your needs, and how long you’ll be living there. Renting a home can provide flexibility and allow you to experience different parts of the country before deciding where to buy, but if you plan to stay in Indonesia for the long-term, buying a home may be more cost-effective in the long run. Consider what your needs are and how long you plan to be in Indonesia before making a decision," said another person in Indonesia.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

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