How to Rent a House in Bali
Every year millions of travelers descend on the tropical island paradise of Bali in search of sun, surf and the unique and vibrant culture of the majority Hindu population. Most visitors stay for a short holiday, leaving with pleasant memories and plans to return again at some point in the future. But for some, the island's laid back vibe, natural beauty and friendly people capture their hearts, and leaving is just not an option. Luckily, finding a place to live on the island of the gods is easy with a few simple steps.
Decide where you want to live
Despite being a relatively small island, Bali has a plethora of cities, towns and villages where one can reside, many of which are vastly different. The most heavily populated areas are in the south with Kuta, Legian and Seminyak being the most visited areas by tourists due to the beautiful beaches and abundance of shops, restaurants, bars and amenities. Also in the south, Canggu and Kerobokan are popular choices for long term visitors as they are close to the action, but offer a bit more solitude. The capital city of Denpasar is a good option for those planning to work in the city, but it can also be quite congested. Ubud has long been a magnet for long term expats due to it's unique artistic vibe and close proximity to stunning rice field views and ancient temples. Although quieter than cities in the south, Ubud is getting busier by the day, and traffic can be a problem, especially in the busy tourist season. In the north, Lovina is a sleepy beach town, perfect for those that want nothing more than to sit back and relax. In the east, Padangbai, Candidasa and Amed are all coastal areas with laid back vibes.
Check out the local papers
Bali's only local newspaper, The Bali Times, is published once a week on Fridays, and lists classified ads in the back where people advertise land for sale and houses and villas for rent. Prices can be a bit steep, but for those looking to own something of their own this can be a good place to look. The Bali Advertiser is a free bi-monthly publication jam packed with ads for anything from cats to cars to luxury villas. Accommodation listings can be found close to the back, and are divided into regions for easier navigation.
A number of websites cater to those looking to make Bali home. www.balipod.com has a forum where people can request accommodation or post available rentals or houses for sale, and members can answer any questions you have about living in Bali. www.facebook.com/baliroomsforrent is a facebook group set up for those looking for or offering rooms and houses, and many posters include photos for perusal. www.jakarta.craigslist.org also contains many listings for accommodation in Bali.
If you are already in Bali, many cafes that are popular with expats provide notice boards where people can post ads for houses, villas and rooms for rent and sale. Bali Buddha in Seminyak is a good place to look for housing ads. They also have a location in Ubud where people can post ads outside. Also in Ubud, Flycafe, Juice Ja and Kafe are good spots to check out notice boards as new ads are often posted daily.
Real Estate Agents
Although foreigners cannot legally buy or own land in Indonesia, they can lease property for extended periods of time, and the best way to do this is through a real estate agent. Real estate agents know all the ins and outs of the legal system when it comes to property, and they can save you a lot of time and money. Some of the well known real estate companies in Bali are Bali Realty, Exotiq Property and UbudProperty.
There are many local Indonesians who make a living by finding long term housing for foreigners. They often have leads on places that may not be advertised, and can cater exactly to your wants and needs. The best way to find a house hunter is to ask around both to locals and expats already living in Bali.
Price run the gamut in Bali, starting at around USD $200 a month for a single room with hot water and a small kitchen. The mid range of around USD $500-$700 will get you a nice bungalow in the rice fields with all the amenities, and for the price range of USD $1000-$5000 you can get a beautiful villa with a swimming pool, security and lots of space to move around. It is possible to rent month to month, but generally landlords like to secure an entire year's payment up front. If you are looking to rent for a year and have the cash to pay for the entire year up front you can usually negotiate for better rates.