5 Blind Spots Every Real Estate Investor Should Know

  • Bali Villa Realty by Bali Villa Realty
  • 2 weeks ago
  • Blog
  • 0

You might remember people saying you could buy any property and see profits. 

That might have been true before, but today, understanding the specific challenges and opportunities in Bali is key. These days, I’d say knowing the local real estate market is essential, especially if you’re new to investing here.

There’s a lot to learn about investing in Bali, so you might be asking yourself, how do I start? 

I’ve done the groundwork for you, exploring various aspects of the Bali real estate market to identify five major pitfalls to avoid.

Ready to learn more? Great, let’s dive in.

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Why Do Foreign Investors Fall Into These Blind Spots in Bali?

As a foreign investor looking to buy property in Bali, there are a few key reasons why you might fall into the blind spots we’ll discuss below. 

Understanding these underlying causes can help you be more aware and avoid costly mistakes.

1. Lack of Local Market Knowledge

One big reason is that, as a foreigner, you may not understand the Bali real estate market deeply. 

Things like:

  • What local buyers and renters are looking for
  • Unfamiliar area – The unique dynamics and the best neighborhoods to invest in can be hard to grasp 

This lack of on-the-ground knowledge can lead you to decide based on your preferences rather than true market demand.

2. Cultural Differences and Unfamiliarity

Bali has a deep culture that affects how business is done, which might differ greatly from what you know. It’s important to make good relationships, communicate well, and respect local ways, but sometimes foreign investors don’t pay enough attention or get them wrong.

3. Language and Communication Challenges

Not knowing the local language can be a big problem. It’s harder to understand legal papers, contracts, and negotiations, leading to more mistakes and confusion.

4. Overconfidence in Transferring Home Expertise

Thinking your real estate skills from back home will work the same in Bali is a mistake. The rules, market, and best ways to do things can differ, so what you usually do might not work here.

5. Prioritizing Speed Over Caution

Sometimes, foreign buyers get so excited about investing that they rush into deals too quickly without researching. This can make them miss important details and lead to mistakes.

5 blind spots (and how to avoid it)

Blind Spot #1: Buying Based on Personal Preferences, Not Market Demand

One of the biggest mistakes real estate investors can make is buying or fixing up properties based on their personal preferences rather than what the local market wants. 

This is especially important to watch out for as a foreign investor in Bali.

It’s easy to get excited about a property you find appealing, but that doesn’t mean it will be a good investment. 

Just because you love the style or location of a certain house or apartment, it doesn’t mean that local renters or buyers will feel the same way.

As a foreign investor, you must research the Bali real estate market before purchasing. 

You need to understand what types of properties are in high demand from local renters and buyers, what features and amenities they are looking for, and what price points work best in different neighborhoods.

If you don’t do this market research and instead buy based on your personal tastes, you could end up putting a lot of money into a property that just doesn’t appeal to the people you’re trying to rent or sell it to. 

This can lead to long vacancies, low rents, and, ultimately, a poor return on your investment.

To avoid this blind spot, study the local Bali real estate market. Look at comparable sales and rental listings, talk to local real estate agents, and get a clear picture of what renters and buyers in the area want. 

Go for a real estate website like Yahoo Finance or local real estate listings. 

That way, you can make investment decisions aligned with market demand rather than just your personal preferences.

Blind Spot #2: Overlooking “Regular” Neighborhoods

Real estate investors, especially foreigners, often favor fancy properties in Bali, but these may not be the wisest investments.

A smart approach is to “buy the worst house on the best block,” which means looking at simpler, more affordable neighborhoods rather than glamorous ones.

Less flashy areas can offer better long-term profits and reliable rental income. While luxurious properties are appealing, they are costly and not always affordable for renters or buyers.

Ordinary neighborhoods with basic homes can provide steady income over time. If chosen wisely, these investments might not be stylish but practical.

As a foreign investor, don’t just focus on luxury. Consider the potential of more modest areas for better long-term returns. Focus on properties that offer consistent gains, not just impressive ones.

Blind Spot #3: Chasing Deals Without Crunching the Numbers

A common mistake new real estate investors, especially those in Bali, make is jumping into deals without properly checking the numbers. Finding a potential property is exciting, but just because it looks good doesn’t mean it’s a smart buy.

As a foreign investor, it’s important to carefully review each deal to ensure it’s profitable, including things like:

  • Current market prices and rental rates for similar properties
  • Renovation and operating costs
  • Your target returns on investment

If you don’t thoroughly evaluate these aspects, you might end up with a property that costs more than it earns, even if you learn from the experience.

Don’t rush into deals that seem too good to be true. Take time, do the math, and ensure the investment adds up. Real estate is a business, and thorough planning is key to success. This careful approach will help you build a successful investment portfolio in Bali.

Blind Spot #4: Neglecting Property Management

As a real estate investor in Bali, it’s important not to overlook good property management. Managing a rental property takes a lot of work, and you must understand the local market.

Key tasks include:

  • Knowing and following Bali’s tenant laws
  • Fixing and maintaining the property
  • Finding and checking tenants
  • Collecting rent and managing late payments or evictions
  • Taking care of the money side, like taxes and accounting

If you don’t focus on these things, your investments could suffer. Problems like ignored repairs or unhappy tenants can cost you money.

As a foreign investor, you can either learn to manage properties yourself, which means understanding all the local rules and how to handle tenants, or you can hire a local property management company to do it for you. 

This could be a better option if you’re busy or unfamiliar with these tasks.

Remember, good property management is key to a successful real estate investment in Bali. Properly managing this part of your business can help your investments succeed.

Blind Spot #5: Overlooking Regulations

When investing in real estate in Bali, it’s very important to know the rules and laws you must follow. Bali has many zoning laws, building requirements, and other rules that can be confusing.

As a foreign investor, it’s easy to miss or misunderstand these rules, but not following them can cause big problems later.

Here are some important things to know:

  • Zoning Laws: Different parts of Bali have rules about what types of buildings can be built there. Make sure your plans comply with these rules.
  • Building Permits: You need the right permits to build or change a property, and getting these permits can be complicated.
  • Ownership Restrictions: There are special laws about what foreigners can own in Bali.
  • Tax Obligations: You need to understand the taxes involved, like property taxes and taxes on profits from selling properties.

Working with local experts like Bali Villa Realty is a good idea for dealing with these rules. They can help you understand everything and ensure you follow the laws.

Make sure you take the time to learn the rules and get help from professionals in Bali. This can save you from a lot of trouble and extra costs.


Investing in real estate in Bali changes constantly. The strategies and locations that were winners a few years ago might not bring you the same success today.

These blind spots are common mistakes and pitfalls that can cost you time and money. But knowing about them now means you’re better prepared than most.

Now that you’ve got all the information about what to avoid and what to do about it, it’s time to act.

Properties in Bali are selling faster than ever, and waiting too long could mean missing out on the perfect investment.

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