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, labor 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 it 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 ex-pats/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 landowners.


Sadly, that means that when the lease expires, the land (plus our house) returns to the landowner. 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, but we also 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 me, my kids and also create an inspiring space to work and relax with friends.


Now it’s time to find some land!




  1. Andy Jones August 23, 2019

    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! ?

    1. baliinteriors September 8, 2019

      Hi Andy, I hope our experience will give you lots of tips!

  2. Deb August 23, 2019

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

    1. baliinteriors September 3, 2019

      Thank you Deb!

  3. Steph August 23, 2019

    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!

    1. baliinteriors September 3, 2019

      Thanks Steph, we are learning as we go but we have good people guiding us!

  4. Zoe Lanyon Barnes August 24, 2019

    So exciting!!!

    1. baliinteriors September 3, 2019

      Fingers (and everything else) crossed in anticipation!

  5. Ange August 25, 2019

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

    1. baliinteriors September 3, 2019

      Thank you! I’m nervocited too (love that word!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Interiors & Architecture Retreat

A week full of inspiration in Bali is waiting for you, come join us in 2022

Never skip a bit

Follow us on our social media channels to be always in the know

Join the Bali Interiors community

to access our interiors inspiration every 2 weeks, straight to your inbox

let's connect

We are creators of interiors and lifestyle images. Through our media channels we help businesses reach millions of people worldwide.

You'll get notified about new articles!

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing!