Common Struggle Foreign Property Investors have in Bali (and how to mitigate them)

Let’s be honest: buying property in a foreign country can be scary, especially in a place like Bali, which has its unique culture and traditions. 

It’s like walking on a tightrope, understanding all the laws and customs, and ensuring your investment is safe. 

This tangled web of complexities can make foreign investors feel like they’re walking on eggshells, unsure of what problems might arise.

But here’s the big question: How can you, as a foreign investor, confidently navigate the Bali real estate market and tackle the biggest worries that might be holding you back from achieving your investment dreams?

This article will investigate the biggest fears and concerns foreign investors have when buying property in Bali. 

We’ll explore ways to reduce risks, get help from local experts, and make smart decisions that match your investment goals. 

By the end, you’ll clearly understand the challenges and the tools to overcome them, allowing you to start your Bali real estate journey confidently.

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8 Worries Foreign Investors Have in Bali (and how to mitigate them)

Investing in property far from home can be a bit scary. Let’s look at the top eight concerns of foreign investors about buying real estate in Bali and discuss some smart ways to handle them.

1. Legal Complexities 


Foreign investors face new rules and laws when buying property in Bali. 

This can be confusing and scary for those who are used to how things work in their home countries. The biggest worry is understanding the different types of property ownership rights that apply to foreigners in Indonesia.

In Bali, you need to be aware of special terms like “Hak Sewa” (Leasehold) and “Hak Milik” (Freehold). 

“Hak Sewa” means leasehold, which is when you rent the property for a long time but don’t own it. 

“Hak Milik” means freehold when you fully own the property. As a foreigner, you can’t get “Hak Milik” ownership in Bali unless you build a foreign-owned company in Indonesia, known as PT PMA.

It is important to understand these legal terms and what they mean for you as a foreign investor. 

If you don’t, you might buy a property without realizing the restrictions or limitations that come with it. This can lead to big problems, like being unable to sell or pass on the property the way you want.

2. Property Scams 

When you’re looking to buy property in a new place like Bali, one of the biggest fears you might have is falling for a scam. 

The internet is full of scary stories about people who thought they were getting a great deal but lost all their money because the deal was too good to be true.

Scammers are sneaky and know how to trick people who don’t know much about the local real estate market. 

They might offer a property at a really low price or promise amazing features that sound too good to be true. But they disappear with your money once you pay them, leaving you with nothing.

It’s easy to fall for these scams if you’re unfamiliar with Bali’s normal prices and practices. You might think you’re getting a great bargain, but the deal is just a lie to steal your money.

To avoid getting scammed, working with a reputable and trustworthy real estate agency that knows the local market inside and out is important. 

They can help you spot any red flags and make sure you’re not falling for a scam. They’ll also guide you through the process to ensure everything is legal and above board.

3. Market Volatility 

One of the biggest worries for people buying property in Bali is that the real estate market might change quickly and unexpectedly. 

Like any other place, the property prices in Bali can go up and down, sometimes very suddenly.

Property values can rise when the market is doing well, and investors can make money. But when the market is not doing so great, property values can drop, and investors might lose money on their investments.

This kind of market volatility, or constant change, can be scary for foreign investors. 

They might worry that they’ll buy a property when the prices are high, but then the market will suddenly drop, and their investment will no longer be worth as much.

Market volatility can occur for many reasons, such as economic changes, political situations, or natural disasters. 

It’s also hard to predict when these changes might happen, which makes it even more worrying for investors.

While working with real estate experts who understand the Bali market is important, having a long-term investment plan and not just focusing on short-term gains or losses is also a good idea. 

Real estate is usually a long-term investment, and the market will have ups and downs. With the right guidance and patience, investors can ride out the volatility and still potentially make a profit in the long run.

4. Cultural and Language Barriers 

One of the biggest fears when buying property in Bali is not understanding the local culture and language. 

Bali has a really interesting and vibrant culture, but it can be very different from what you’re used to, especially if you’re from another country.

The Balinese way of life, traditions, and customs can seem confusing or even strange to foreigners. You might not understand why certain things are done a certain way or what different gestures or symbols mean.

This can make it hard to communicate and do business effectively.

Here at Bali Villa Realty, our property experts are ready to help you buy your first investment. We can connect you to the property owner and remove any barrier or risk that can come with it… without actually being in Bali. 

5. Management and Maintenance Concerns 

If you plan to buy a property in Bali but don’t live there full-time, one of the biggest worries is taking care of the property when you’re not around. 

Managing and maintaining a house or villa from far away can be challenging and stressful.

These concerns can be scary for foreign investors who don’t live in Bali permanently. You might worry about things like:

  • Finding reliable workers to clean and maintain the property
  • Getting the right people to handle repairs or renovations
  • Keeping an eye on the property to prevent break-ins or damage
  • Dealing with any issues that come up while you’re away

That’s where a trustworthy property management company or agency specializing in handling properties for foreign investors can help ease these management and maintenance fears. 

They can handle your day-to-day tasks, repairs, and maintenance, so you don’t have to worry.

With the right team in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your property in Bali is being well taken care of, even when you’re not there. That way, you can truly enjoy your investment without constantly stressing about managing it from afar.

6. Political and Economic Stability 

Another biggest worry when investing in a foreign country is whether the political situation and economy will stay stable. 

You don’t want to put your money into a place where there’s a lot of unrest, or the economy might suddenly turn for the worse.

Over the past ten years, Bali, in particular, has played a big role in this growth, thanks to its booming tourism and real estate industries.

However, even with this positive trend, foreign investors might still worry about potential changes in the political landscape or economic conditions that could affect their investment. 

That’s why monitoring the political and economic stability of the place you’re investing in is important. You want to ensure that things are unlikely to change drastically, which could hurt your investment.

7. Infrastructure and Accessibility 

Next is the quality of the infrastructure and how easy it is to get around the island. 

While Bali is beautiful with its beaches and tropical scenery, the roads, utilities, and other essential services might not be as good as what investors are used to in their home countries.

Depending on the location, transportation, electricity, water, and internet access might not be as reliable or up-to-date as investors would like.

That’s why it’s so important to carefully consider the infrastructure and accessibility of the specific area you’re looking to invest in. 

Some parts of Bali might have better infrastructure than others. For example, a place like Nusa Dua, Canggu, or Sanur might have better healthcare than a secluded area like Ubud.  

So it’s worth researching and maybe even visiting in person to better understand what to expect.

8. Due diligence challenges 

A full check on a property before buying it can be hard in Bali. There are a few reasons why:

Struggle 1: Understanding Local Processes

Buying property in Bali might differ greatly from what you’re used to back home. The rules, paperwork, and steps can all seem confusing if you’re unfamiliar with how everything works there.

Struggle 2: Getting Reliable Information

It can also be tough to find accurate, up-to-date information about properties when looking to invest far away. Details like property history, boundaries, zoning rules, and more may not be easy for an outsider to access.

Mitigation: Partner with Trusted Experts

Working closely with people who know the Bali market inside and out is the best way to overcome these challenges.

A good local real estate agent with years of experience, like Bali Villa Realty, can guide you through the whole process and customs. 

They have a very good knowledge of the market in Bali and have been there for a very long time, which fully reassures you that you are in good hands from the beginning to the end of the process.

We’ll also get you an independent inspector to thoroughly check out any property before purchase… 

And an experienced legal notary to review all the paperwork.

With some experienced local guides by your side, you can overcome the hurdles and conduct proper due diligence on properties in Bali. 

Taking this crucial step can save you a lot of headaches down the road.


Alright, we’ve examined the biggest fears and concerns foreign investors face when buying property in Bali. 

Understanding the local culture meets navigating complex legal systems; the ultimate goal is to make a smart, safe, and secure investment.

Are you ready to tackle these challenges and take your Bali real estate dreams to the next level? 

With the right knowledge and guidance, you can invest confidently, balancing your goals with the unique aspects of the Balinese market.

And if you have any questions or other worries, our team is here to help you navigate the Bali property market so you can make a safe and profitable investment. 

How will you use these insights to overcome your fears and make your Bali property investment successful?

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