Ah, the fabled Isle of the Gods. From the black-sand beaches of the western regencies to the smoking volcano cones of the north, the surf-bashed bays of Bukit to the hipster diners of Canggu, this island is filled with fun, surprises, and downright jaw-dropping beauty. It’s easy to see why you’d want to live here, but how much does it cost to build a villa in Bali?
That’s where this guide comes in. Based on extensive research and just a little bit of first-hand knowledge, it’s a 101 on the rough outgoings that folks looking to construct their own pad on this gorgeous speck in the midst of the Indian Ocean might face.
We go through the whole shebang, from the cost of scoring the land in the first place to the price of engaging builders to finish off your pad. We’ve also got information on the monies you’ll need to set aside to deal with the legalities of undertaking building work in Indonesia, a process that can sometimes seem more demanding on the patience valves than on the bank account. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
How much does it cost to build a villa in Bali? Here’s the short answer
A quick estimation of what you’ll need to bag a villa in Bali is something in the region of $330,000. That’s unfurnished and based on leasing three are (300 square meters) of land for a total of $1,400 per year for 25 years initially, costing $105,000 across the term. The actual cost of raising the physical building can vary considerably but we’ve estimated something around $850 per square meter, which equals $170,000 (since the building won’t cover the whole plot of land), plus another $10k-20k on legal costs, and something around $40,000 for professional fees.
Of course, things could come in WAY cheaper than that if you don’t mind lowering the square meterage of your home (300 is quite high!) and heading somewhere away from the coast where the lease costs are generally less. On the flip side, you could spend ten times more if you want a mansion overlooking Seminyak Beach, but that’s for another article!
Buying the land
Not so fast. One does not simply buy land in Bali. Nope, there’s an official decree that states that the whole island is actually a gift from God to the “Indonesian people”. You can’t just go slicing that up and building whatever villa you fancy. But all is not lost. This is Bali, remember: There are loopholes.
There are really two main ways to go about getting hold of the land on which to build your dream home in the Isle of the Gods. For foreigners, neither – sadly – are permanent. They are both based on leases that can be undertaken for anything from 20 to 80 years. Here’s a quick look at both:
- Hak Guna Bangunan (Right to build) – Only available to foreign-owned and funded business entities, this is a less common way of gaining command of land in Bali. It is possible but you’ll have to set up an enterprise before pushing ahead.
- Hak Pakai (Right to use) – The most common way to go about it, the Hak Pakaican be granted to everyone, including foreign individuals who have residency in Indonesia, and gives the right to do everything from harvest to build on the land.
Following the most common Hak Pakai route, you’re looking at purchasing a lease for the right to use the land for your building purposes. These are typically initially sold for periods of 25 years but there’s the chance to extend that to 80 years if needed.
The prices of a Hak Pakai are one of the most serious arithmetic you’ll have to do during your house building. The cost of the lease is usually calculated per are (100 square meters) of property, per year. In that sense it ends up more of a rental than a lump sum. Typical costs range from about $450 for somewhere far from the beaches to over $4,000 per year for the most desirable locations right by the surf breaks – per are, remember.
The upshot? A cost of about $50,000-120,000 should be set aside for your land in Bali, along with a whole load of patience since leaseholds like the Hak Pakai aren’t issued swiftly. Remember, too, that this isn’t you buying land for life, but rather the right to use said land for a set period of between 25-80 years.
The IMB building permit in Bali
Don’t even think about ushering in the concrete pourers or the bricklayers without getting an IMB first. The Izin Mendirikan Bangunan, if you must have the long name, is the official stamped document that says, yep, you’re allowed to build here. It’s usually done in conjunction with either the building contractor or architect (more on those below) that you’ve hired but it’s always worth checking that. An IMB is simple to get but slow. They usually cost anything between $300-400.
Architects and project managers
With all the necessary land documentation ready to roll, the next step is to engage an architect. The going rate for a local Indonesian architect or firm is something around the 15% mark. That is to say that it should end up costing about 15% of the total construction value, which is something around $30,000 on a house that comes in at about $240,000.
That sounds high, yes. But remember that the architect is the brains behind the project and the person who will deal with all the technical ins and outs of the work and the planning. They’re also a good point of contact between you and the builders who actually do the work, though we would recommend adding in another professional for that express purpose: The project manager.
These are the people that run the day-to-day operation on your new site. You hire them to be loyal to you and ensure that everything runs smoothly, and – perhaps most importantly – within budget. Specifically, they can be a great help when it comes to communicating the architect plans to the workforce, but also in ensuring that architects don’t end up inflating the price of the build in order to increase the amount they make (a common problem in Bali). Expect to add about $15,000-20,000 to the cost of the build for a dedicated project manager.
The actual construction phase
Time to break ground. Woohoo! Well, not quite. First you gotta’ find that workforce. The good news is that this is Bali, one of the most sought-after locations for luxury villas on the globe. That, in turn, means there are plenty of firms out there raring to go on your dream home and the costs that they quote are actually pretty straightforward…
You’re usually looking at something in the region of $600-1,000 per square meter of construction, including materials. That makes it easy to get a ballpark figure for what your 200- or 300-square-meter pad is going to set you back. And don’t forget, that’s based on the area in which you actually build; where the walls go, the floors, the roofs. It doesn’t have to match the full space of your land lease.
How much does it cost to build a villa in Bali with a pool?
For many expats looking to raise their dream home on the Isle of the Gods, a pool is a veritable must. The truth is that most new-build homes here have some sort of place to splash around, no matter if it’s a small plunge pool in the courtyard or a larger lane pool with space for the whole family. The cost of this luxury will vary depending on the type you’re after – an infinity pool gazing over Bingin Beach is pricier than a simple splash plunge inland. However, a common figure to spend is between $10,000 and $18,000.
Additional costs to pay when building your home in Bali
There are a couple of extra things you’ll need to tack on to the total cost of your villa in Bali. First, you have to engage an MEP engineer to do all the designs on the electrical work and plumbing. That’s very important because the whole lot needs to be signed off by a qualified pro. That usually comes in at around $1,700-1,900 in all. There’s also a structural analysis fee that ensures all work done is sound and habitable – add on about $3,000 for that, and more if you have a lot of land.
How much does it cost to build a villa in Bali? Our conclusion
How much does it cost to build a villa in Bali? Our ballpark calculation puts the price at around the $330,000 mark. That’s based on just over 100k for the 25-year lease for the land, around $40,000 for legal and professional fees, another 10 thousand for extra legal additions and permits, and then $170,000 in all for the construction of the building on its own.
It’s certainly worth saying that you can bring things in for much, much less than that, especially if you don’t mind compromising on the location of your next pad – land plots by the sea, the surf breaks, or near the popular beaches can be astronomically more expensive than ones in less-sought-after areas. You can also spend WAY more if you’re after a dream home perched on the cliffs of the Bukit, walking access to the wave-washed southern bays, or something special like a private infinity pool.