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Is it best to Rent or Buy in Bali?

May 2024



Bali, with its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and laid-back lifestyle, is a dream destination for many. Whether you’re planning to move for retirement, remote work, or simply to enjoy an extended stay, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is whether to rent or buy property. Each option has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your personal circumstances and long-term plans. Here’s a detailed look at why you might prefer a long-term rental over buying property in Bali.


Advantages of Long-Term Rentals in Bali


1. Flexibility:

- Renting provides unparalleled flexibility. You’re not tied down to one location or property, allowing you to move around the island or even leave Bali without the hassle of selling a property.

- If you’re new to Bali, renting gives you the opportunity to explore different areas and find the one that suits you best before committing to a purchase or long-term lease.


2. Lower Initial Costs:

- The upfront costs of renting are significantly lower than buying. You’ll avoid the large down payment, property taxes, and other fees associated with purchasing real estate.

- Renting requires a security deposit and quite often the rental amount is either agreed monthly or paid for the duration of the agreed rental period in advance. (ie annually)


3. No Maintenance Responsibilities:

- As a renter, you won’t have to worry about expenses for large maintenance and repairs. These are typically the responsibility of the landlord over a certain amount.

- This can save you time, money, and stress, especially in a foreign country where finding reliable maintenance services might be challenging.


4. No Legal Complications:

- Foreign ownership of property in Indonesia comes with legal restrictions and complexities. Navigating these can be time-consuming and expensive.

- Renting eliminates the need to understand and comply with property ownership laws, making your stay simpler and more straightforward.


5. Financial Flexibility:

- Renting frees up your capital for other investments or personal expenses. Instead of tying up your money in a property, you can use it to travel, start a business, or invest elsewhere.

- If the property market declines, renters are not impacted by a decrease in property value.


Disadvantages of Long-Term Rentals


1. Lack of Ownership:

- Renting means you don’t build equity in a property. Over time, rental payments do not contribute to owning an asset.

- There’s also the potential for rental prices to increase over time, affecting your long-term budget.


2. Less Control Over the Property:

- As a tenant, you may have limitations on how you can modify or personalize the property.

- Lease terms are subject to change, and landlords may decide not to renew your lease.


Advantages of Buying Property in Bali


1. Investment Potential:

- Bali’s real estate market has shown consistent growth, making property a potentially lucrative investment.

- Owning property can provide rental income if you decide to lease it out when you’re not using it.


2. Stability and Personalization:

- Owning your own home gives you stability and the freedom to personalize your space.

- You won’t have to worry about lease renewals or changes in rental terms.


3. Long-Term Cost Benefits:

- Over time, buying can be more cost-effective than renting, especially if property values continue to rise.

- Property ownership also means that you are not subject to rental inflation.


Disadvantages of Buying Property


1. High Initial Costs:

- The initial investment for purchasing property is substantial, including the down payment, legal fees, taxes, and other costs.

- Maintenance and repair costs also fall on the homeowner.


2. Legal and Regulatory Challenges:

- Foreigners face legal restrictions on property ownership in Indonesia, often requiring complicated legal structures like leasehold agreements.

- Navigating these laws requires professional legal assistance, adding to the overall cost.


3. Market Risks:

- The property market can be unpredictable. Economic downturns or changes in local regulations can affect property values.

- Selling property can be time-consuming and may not yield immediate returns.


Conclusion: Renting vs. Buying in Bali


Choosing between renting and buying property in Bali ultimately depends on your personal circumstances, financial situation, and long-term plans.


- Renting offers flexibility, lower upfront costs, and freedom from maintenance and legal complexities, making it an attractive option for those new to Bali or those seeking a more flexible lifestyle.
- Buying provides potential investment returns, stability, and the freedom to personalize your living space, but comes with higher costs and legal hurdles.

For many, starting with a long-term rental can be a wise decision, allowing you to experience life in Bali without the immediate pressures and commitments of property ownership. Over time, as you become more familiar with the island and confident in your decision to stay, you might then consider transitioning to buying property. Whatever you choose, Bali’s enchanting beauty and vibrant culture are sure to make your time there unforgettable.


For more information on our concierge services for retirees planning to move to Bali, visit Bali Insight Living. We assist with all aspects of relocation, offering sound advice, referral to professional 3rd parties, as well as personal recommendations from years of experience living and working in Bali. Our annual subscription service grants you access to a member-only area of the website, providing a valuable resource for your reference. Our friendly team is always available to take your call and offer advice on where to find what you need.

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