Part 2…What does it cost to own and maintain a gorgeous vacation villa in Sumbersari, Bali? Photos, pricing and expenses!

View from the veranda of the second floor of the new villa presently for sale.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

Fisherman near the shore fishing with nets.

Today we are delighted to continue sharing the final photos and expenses for the new villa of Gede and Egon on the road to our villa in Sumbersari, Bali. If you have any additional questions, please contact Gede by email at

Lounge at the second floor.

As mentioned in yesterday’s Part 1 of this two part post, today we’re including estimated expenses for owning this villa, comparable to expenses owners may incur for similar villas in this area. These totals can change according to the individual use of public services.  

Top-level lounge in the new villa.

As reported in yesterday’s post, the asking price for this private villa is IDR 3,616,896,723, EU 249,000, US$ 279,017.

Credenza, wiring and space for TV and audio equipment in upper level living room

Estimated monthly expenses for the following:
IDR 3,000,000, US $230, EU 205:  Household staff of two, including one cook/cleaner and landscape/pool maintenance staff member.
IDR 2,000,000, US $153, EU 137:  Electricity, well water, bottled gas for stove.
IDR 6,000,000, US $460, EU 411:  Internet, satellite (TV) services.

Estimate annual expense
IDR 200,000, US $15,  EU $14:  Annual property tax (This is not a typo.  Property taxes are paid at the time of the purchase of vacant land).

Estimated income for vacation/holiday rental (per night)
IDR 2,000,000, US $153, EU 137 (a 5% governmental rental tax is payable).

Outdoor dining area in villa’s upper level.

A prospective buyer must be prepared to either pay cash for the purchase of property in Indonesia or arrange for financing outside of Indonesia. No mortgage funds are available for foreigners unless its under special circumstances.

Bean bag chairs for lounging on the second story veranda.

For those seeking an affordable vacation home in a beautiful, peaceful and safe location, this villa may be worth considering. One can only imagine the excitement and pleasure of owning such a property in this lovely area.

Master bedroom on second story with en suite bathroom.

As an aside, we’d like to thank and give kudos to our mailing service, MailLinkPlus in Nevada. Eric, our loyal and diligent representative of the company, has proven to manage all of our packages and snail mail with the utmost of confidentiality, attention to detail and professionalism. 

En suite master bath with double sinks, huge shower with tile, stone and wood finishes.

Often responsible for opening certain confidential pieces of mail to scan and email to us, plus sorting and securing all mail until we request a shipment and then, the eventual packing and shipping of items we’d like to receive in any given country, the service has been impeccable.

Alternate view from second level.  Java is located at the horizon.

With this month, the four year anniversary of our annual contract with MailLinkPlus, we want to thank Eric and his staff for handling our snail mail with the utmost of integrity. Today, he shipped a large box of supplies to us here in Bali, which we expect to arrive within a few weeks, in ample time before our departure from the villa on the 29th. 

The cost for the shipping via USPS was US $181, IDR 2,358,701. I asked about insuring the package, but Eric recommended we do not insure it to reduce the risk of theft. Had we insured it, the likelihood of being able to collect the insurance would have been a time consuming and difficult process, not worth the contents. 

Pool views from second story.

We sit back and keep our fingers crossed it will arrive safely and in time. Most likely, the contents will be checked upon arrival and we’ll be subject to pay customs fee. Gede explained this can be negotiated at the time. We shall see and report the results here at the time.

As for what’s transpiring otherwise, we’re doing very well. The Minnesota Vikings won yesterday’s football game. Tom was thrilled. They’re 4-0 since the regular season began, weeks ago and we’re optimistic for the remainder of the season. 

View toward the security/common party building located to the right of the paved narrow path to the beach.

With only two more games until we board the ship on October 31st, we’re hoping for a strong enough signal on the ship’s new Wi-Fi system, ZOOM, to be able to stream the game using the NFL’s GamePass app which Tom’s purchases annually. 

Today, sunny and hopefully a little less humid, we’ll spend most of the day outdoors. It’s rained quite a bit these past days since our return from Lovina but part of each day has been clear. 

Exterior view of the entrance to the villa.

Tonight, we will anticipate one of our favorite meals perfectly orchestrated by our two excellent cooks, Ketut and Ketut. Once again, they’ll prepare the spicy Balinese chicken in a sugar and starch free sauce along with a big bowl of locally grown sautéed spicy organic vegetables.

Tom will have coleslaw and white rice as side dishes while I stick to the main course of chicken and veggies.

May your taste buds soar over a tasty meal and may your day be bright and sunny.

Photo from one year ago today, October 5, 2015:

Seeing Vanua’s Levu Blue Lagoon in Fiji was pure pleasure. The color was breathtaking. For our story on local culture, please click here.

The real estate market for vacation homes…How does it impact our travels …A sad horse photo….

This photo was taken after the sun had fully set on Friday night, not shown in yesterday’s post. Witnessing this coloration in the sky was breathtaking.

The riad in which we’re living, Dar Aicha, is for sale. There was a showing yesterday for which we were giving several days advance notice. It was over in 15 minutes and we were only disturbed for a few minutes, none the worse for the wear.

For the link to the real estate listing for Dar Aicha, please click here.

We weren’t surprised since that was also the case for the house we’d rented in Kenya, which had two showings while we were there.

As we’re all aware, economic conditions have resulted in the devaluation of many homes worldwide, prompting many vacation rental owners to decide to liquidate before the market declines further.

Friday, late afternoon, the tourists arrived for the weekend, filling the Medina and the souk.

In some areas property values have begun to rise once again, currently motivating property owners to sell, taking advantage of what may prove to be a temporary rise in value. Who knows how long this will last or when prices will change? I spent 25 years as a broker and company owner and I don’t have a clue nor do any of the predictors out there in the marketplace and on the news.

As we move from vacation home to vacation home, we discover that some of the homes we’re renting may be on the market. In reality, it’s none of our business if they’re for sale except for two following factors:

1  We aren’t inconvenienced with showings.
2. We don’t have to move out early if the property sells and closes escrow prior to our moving out. Of course, we have signed rental agreements in each case protecting our rental period, but, we all know contracts can be broken in desperate times. (In neither of the above two cases have we thought there was any risk of being asked to leave early due to the integrity of the owners, more than the executed document).

The school bus arrives in the Big Square around 6:00 pm, dropping off the children.

For us, the distressed market has made our travels all the more affordable for these reasons:

1.  Many vacation homes were previously listed for sale that didn’t sell, inspiring the owners to rent them as a vacation home, enabling them to use it themselves from time to time between renters.
2.  Many homeowners of more expensive homes have either lost their jobs or retired and can no longer afford to live in their homes. They move to less expensive or senior housing either managing the vacation rental themselves or leaving the management of their homes in the hands of family members or agencies that typically handle vacation homes.
3.  During the better times in the market, enthusiastic investors purchased homes with the hope of a great future investment. Now, unable to rent the homes full time to cover their expenses, they rent the houses at daily or weekly rates with the hope that the house will be rented consistently which is rarely the case, except for in a few markets, such as Hawaii.

Workers and vendors begin setting up their wares to be marketed in the Big Square in the evening as the tourist crowd arrives, prepared to “shop til they drop.”

When property owners find themselves unable to rent their vacation homes for the prices they ask, at times, they are willing to negotiate for better pricing for us due to our long term commitments. You know, a bird in the hand.

Then, of course, there are the prime vacation rentals, managed by whomever the owner so chooses, that rent for premium prices that don’t budge for long term renter such as us. We can spot these in a minute when observing that the nightly rate is comparable to that which we’d be willing to pay monthly. We avoid even making an attempt to negotiate these in most cases, as mostly a waste of their time and ours.

Had we been able to travel the world in 2003, it wouldn’t have been affordable. The travel market was booming (although it’s now on the rebound) and fewer vacation homes were available.  Plus, the vacation home rental sites such as listed here as one of our advertisers, weren’t as prevalent as they are now. We use all of the major players, many of which are owned by the same company as in the case of who owns four or five websites.

I always feel bad for the horses pulling the buggies. Some flail around seeming uncomfortable with their bit or harnesses.

Over time, the public has become less suspicious of sending prepayments to property owners they don’t know all over the world. With many sites offering insurance to avoid the risk of scams, many vacation renters freely send payments through PayPal and via credit card without giving it a second thought. 

I can’t say we don’t give it a second thought since based on our being constantly on the move, the insurance would become a prohibitive expense. Paying by credit card or PayPal gives us some assurance. 

But, in the long haul, we’ve prepared ourselves and budgeted accordingly that someday we may pull up to an address and no house it there, just an empty lot, or that the photos were all fakes and the house is a dump.  Yep, this could happen.

We were shocked to see this horse’s bloodied neck obviously from wearing the usual bulky harnesses as shown in the above photo. Thank goodness the owner had put on a lighter weight harness. But it still looked as if it must continue to irritate the poor horse. This was heartbreaking to see.

The likelihood is relatively slim that this will happen, especially when we communicate with each owner or manager through dozens of emails, research the owner’s name online and through Facebook, and read every review at our disposal. 

If and when our instincts send up a red flag, we pull away before sending any money. If suspicious, we’ve called the company that hosts the owners listing asking if there have been any issues.

So far all of our experiences have been good except the first house in Belize where we had no regularly running water. We moved out in a week, losing our first month’s rent which the owner refused to refund.
Oddly, this first experience didn’t deter us and we carried on, determined, and full of hope, having had nothing but great experiences since that time.

Another ice cream truck trying to find a good spot to park for attracting the most business. After a few minutes, a policeman told him to move to another location.

With the time from May 15, 2015, yet to be booked as we research the world deciding where we’d like to travel from that point on, we feel comfortable that we won’t have any problem finding desirable homes in fabulous locations.

We continue on, looking forward to leaving this coming Thursday for a three day/two night trip to the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert. Will we ride a camel in the desert? You’ll find out right here!


Photo from one year ago today, April 6, 2013.

This little table and chairs were on our veranda in Belize. We weren’t kidding when we’ve said we were steps to the beach. Waking up to this view every morning was pure pleasure. There were two padded lounge chairs on the veranda where we lounged every afternoon after pool time. It was heavenly. In 39 days, we’ll have views of the ocean from our veranda once again although much further from the water.  For the story and remaining photos from that date, please click here.