With lush, rolling rice paddies and some amazing beaches, a tropical climate and a culture steeped in spirituality and festivity, it’s difficult not to fall in love with Bali if you’ve ever had the chance to holiday there.

According to the Indonesia Institute, just under a million Aussies go to Bali every year to enjoy an affordable holiday under the sun.

If you’ve ever returned from the ‘Island of the Gods’ and wondered how you could buy a villa to call your own, you wouldn’t be alone.

We wanted to demystify how you can make that a reality, so we spoke to Paula Neron, Property Consultant at Bali Realty for her top tips on investing in your little slice of paradise.


Tip 1: Do your homework: location, purpose of buying, expectations, process of buying, budget

First and foremost, potential buyers from Australia need to know that foreigners are not allowed to own land/property outright (Freehold or locally known as ‘Hak Milik’) in Indonesia.

“People get often confused as there are a number of ownership options available that are similar to a freehold title, such as Right to use (locally known as ‘Hak Pakai’) but not as strong” says Paula. “These options come with restrictions, such as being required to have a registered business in Indonesia, Indonesian residency status or to spend a minimum amount (for apartments in major cities),” she continues.

Essentially there are five key factors you should consider that will have legal implications when buying land or property in Bali (or anywhere else in Indonesia for that matter).

  1. Land titles & building permit
  2. The laws around land ownership
  3. Leaseholds
  4. Legal arrangements through spouses and marriage
  5. Recent changes to regulation

Further information can be found here

Tip 2: Be sure to select a reputable, knowledgeable and professional real estate agent who can guide you through the entire process

With all of the above to consider, it’s best to speak to someone who has experience and local knowledge, as without any language skills or understanding of another country’s property laws, it can be easy to be led astray.

No matter how good a negotiator you are, bypassing a professional who deals with property transactions won’t benefit you.

“Going direct without any experience will not save you time or money,” says Paula.

“To purchase a property, it is best is to deal with a trusted, professional and knowledgeable real estate agent, who can listen to your needs, provide advice and suggest suitable property options.  As listings are on an open, non-exclusive basis, properties are multi-listed, so selecting one agent who you are comfortable working with saves you time and effort. That agent will have access to other agencies’ listings via co-brokerage should your preferred property be not listed with him/her, and have all the necessary contacts in regards to local notaries, lawyers, property management companies etc.”

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Luxury Villa in Seminyak, Bali. 🇮🇩

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Tip 3: Consider buying a villa or house, versus buying land with the intention to build

“I would not suggest for someone with no knowledge of Bali to build here, unless you are connected with someone who possesses extensive local knowledge and a proven track record of building in Bali who you can 100% trust and can supervise the building process.” Paula advises

“The choice of contractor is also very important as building regulations are loose and contractors don’t provide any insurance on quality in case of building defaults. So choosing a contractor that has a proven track record of being professional, trustworthy and hands on is crucial.”

Paula speaks from personal experience, having built three villas in Bali so far!


Tip 4: Come with an open mind and manage your expectations knowing that laws, regulations and customs in Bali are totally different from Australia

Did you know that if you aren’t an Indonesian native, any purchase of land and property in Indonesia will mean you will need to have your finance pre-arranged and ready to go? The expectation is that you will have your finances ready for immediate transfer as foreigners can’t borrow money or have a mortgage in Indonesia.

All property transfers are done by a local public notary; but having said that some buyers hire a lawyer for a more thorough check on the property, especially for larger, more expensive residential or commercial properties.



If you are thinking about purchasing a property in Bali, World First can assist with the transfer of your funds overseas. Using your bank to move money from Australia to pay for a property will lock you into your bank’s exchange rate at the time of payment, which is unpredictable and can work against you.

World First are international money transfer specialists that can help you with better exchange rates and seamless bank-to-bank transfers so you know the exchange rate you are getting and what you’ll receive at the other end. We’re also one of the few 5-star rated Australian providers awarded  ‘Outstanding Value in International Money Transfers’ by CANSTAR, Australasia’s leading consumer finance ratings company.

With a dedicated currency specialist that can assist you through the transfer process, you can make the most of your money for the Bali villa of your dreams.

Speak with a World First currency specialist today on 1800 744 777 or visit us at worldfirst.com.au






These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed.

All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice.

We have no commercial affiliation or commercial interest regarding the businesses mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.