While prices in Bali have skyrocketed over the last five years, real estate on the island remains a relatively low-cost option for the tropical lifestyle it provides. Most furnished condo rent in the range of $1000-$1500 a month, and there are plenty of low cost entertainment and other services available. In addition, Bali offers a helpful and caring local population, and truly is one of the best deals for living in tropical Asia. See the following article from International Living for more on this.
Bali continues to attract new full- and part-time residents from around the world.
We are surrounded by surf and beaches, some calm and peaceful, others intense enough for good surfing. The three sleeping volcanoes offer a cooler climate where coffee, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices are grown. Tropical flowers and fruits are abundant throughout the island.
I came to Bali in 1991 and bought a small house in a rural village in 2001. Prices have skyrocketed over the last five years. Bali is no longer the low-cost paradise it once was. It is still a paradise however. And one worth considering if you are looking for a low-cost tropical lifestyle.
There are two major areas where expats live: Ubud and the South. Ubud is the rapidly urbanizing arts capital of Bali, with Indonesian and expat artists making their homes here. The beaches and active night-life are found in the south—Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu.
Claim up to $26,000 per W2 Employee
- Billions of dollars in funding available
- Funds are available to U.S. Businesses NOW
- This is not a loan. These tax credits do not need to be repaid
Most international schools are in the South and thus families tend to settle there as well as businesses.
It is still possible to live in Bali for $500 a month although this involves living in a village with Balinese. The more common cost is $1,000 per month. The main determining factor is what kind of housing you choose.
Rentals are available from $175 a month. At the low end you would stay in a local guesthouse in a rural village. With attached Western-style bathroom and hot water, this is an option for only the truly adventurous. For slightly more, you can stay in a guesthouse in one of the tourist areas. At $350 a month you are likely to find a furnished small house with a two-burner gas ring, hot water, possibly a TV and DVD, and garden.
You might want to spend another $1,000 to modernize; for example, upgrade the kitchen from a two-ring gas burner to a stove with oven.
In Bali it is common to pay for rentals by the year, contracting a house for two years or more. This makes any renovation more affordable in the long run. Many expat live here for six months a year but maintain their houses for the whole year. A 73-year-old Dutch woman contracted a partially built house, two miles north of Ubud, for five years for $6,000 and then finished it for another $4,000. She has recently extended the contract for another five years at a slightly higher rate. Her extensive family remains in Holland and she divides her time in both places.
Condotels are springing up in the south. These are furnished condos and range in price from a one-bedroom at approximately $1,000 per month to a three-bedroom at $1,500. Monthly rates are available only in low-season and include electricity and room service. The ready-to-move-in luxury houses and villas start at $1,500 a month. You can find many rentals listed in the Bali Advertiser: www.baliadvertiser.biz.
The Balinese value harmony above all else and will work with you on an agreement that you are both happy with, whether a rental, renovating a house, or hiring someone to work for you. Help is inexpensive with daily workers being paid $6 while maids or gardeners are most often paid a monthly wage of approximately $60 a month for six half-days a week.
Eating out ranges from a local meal of fried noodles with chicken for $1 at a local food stall to more commonly $5 a meal without alcohol. Beer costs from $1.50 a bottle and the local wine is $12 a bottle in the restaurants. At the grocery store, it’s cheaper of course! Most food is now available in the supermarkets at a fraction of the cost in the U.S. Local produce can be found at the organic markets as well as the supermarkets. Imported produce is also available. Some milk products are produced in Indonesia although many cheeses and butter come from Australia and New Zealand. Meat and fish are also now available in the supermarket as well as the local markets.
“The Balinese are the most caring, helpful people I’ve ever met in all my travels” says Catherine, an American living in Bali. It is the people of Bali and the culture of acceptance that make Bali unique. The best idea is to come to Bali and check it out! It is once you are here that you can find the best deals. Most of us have a preference for one part of the world: Asia, Central America, or Europe; if you are drawn to Asia, Bali might be the place for you.
This article has been republished from International Living.