Bali Build Diary 1 - a new adventure begins

Build diary 1 – A new adventure begins!

There’s so much to love about living in Bali. It’s a great place to raise kids and have an incredible tropical life. After many years of visiting regularly, and a few years of living here, we have decided to get some land and build a home.


Perhaps our decision is due to watching land prices rise so dramatically, or because building a dream house is actually possible here (in terms of access to materials, labour and talent with little design regulation). If we were to do it in our old home town (Sydney), we’d have to harvest organs and sell our souls to afford it! We very much enjoy our relaxed Bali life and a Sydney-sized mortgage would radically change our lifestyle in a way that we have zero desire to do.


So, we decided that it’s time to take the plunge and build in Bali. Now, what’s next?


First of all, we had to find out what is and isn’t possible. Navigating the masses of (mis)information floating around concerning the ability of foreigners to purchase land and build in Bali was challenging. And time consuming. The laws and regulations here are remarkably opaque. After speaking with many expats/builders/lawyers etc, we came to the conclusion that the safest way is to rent the land for a long period of time (20-30 years), and build our home on it. While some people choose to buy land outright, it’s both more expensive initially, and fraught with danger as foreigners can’t legally buy property in their own name and future changes to the law may not provide protection for land owners.


Sadly, that means that when the lease expires, the land (plus our house) returns to the land owner. We hope we will be able to extend the lease, however after running the numbers for the lease and build it is within our budget and we can’t wait to get started. Not only is it affordable, we get to design and build our dream home. I am fortunate to visit amazing villas every week, so I have so many ideas about what I want to do with my own home to best suit my husband and I, my kids and also create an inspiring space to work and relax with friends.


Now it’s time to find some land!



Comments (10)

  • Andy Jones

    Wow! What an adventure Sheila! Can’t wait to see your journey unfold !! My hubby & I have also thought about building a house in Bali – so I’m very interested to hear & see how you go! 😀

  • Deb

    Good luck Sheila! This is a Dream for our family also look forward to following you on your way… 🙏🏼

  • Steph

    I am so excited to watch this space! The thought of building in Bali sets my soul on fire- your adventure is very inspiring to me!

  • Zoe Lanyon Barnes

    So exciting!!!

  • Ange

    I’m so nervocited for you!! How cool! I can’t wait to continue reading, thanks for sharing!


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