Ever been on holiday and thought – hang on a minute, why rent it when I can buy it?
For those of us day dreaming about a second holiday home, one of our villa owners shares her experience of building a villa in Bali whilst being an expat based in Hong Kong.
Sound like a holiday? Perhaps not quite, but as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
What made you want to invest in Bali?
Firstly it is a destination that I truly love, which is also an established tourist market – mature and structured. Bali offers and caters to so much as a holiday destination… from beach lovers, to sports and exercise, to exploring remote areas, and of course embracing the Balinese culture, arts, spirituality and culinary delights (so many good restaurants there!). It appeals to a wide range of people as well, be it families, party goers, or those who just want some time out… Bali has it all covered!
And also through this Covid crisis, many people realized that you can live and work in Bali. There are friends I have in Hong Kong from hedge funds and private equity who have even made the move. Now that you can have your meetings over Zoom, there is a new freedom with where one needs to be based.
Can you walk us through how you came to invest in Villa Gu?
I have been holidaying in Bali for the last 25 years and still love it. I came to invest in Bali through a good opportunity through a friend. When I came to know of the project, I was impressed as the location was ideal, being situated just between Seminyak and Canggu. Furthermore, the villa is right on the coastline with just a few minutes walk to the beach – perfect for those long morning or sunset walks. Not to mention, right around the corner are some of the best restaurants in Canggu and Seminyak.
For me there were 3 key points.
1st: Location. Which proved to be a huge asset when renting Villa Gu.
2nd: The proximity to the beach, less than 100m walk by a shortcut.
3rd: I had a vision for building the villa, how I wanted to decorate it and it’s very much what I had planned.
I also had the chance to have good friends in Bali, who knew the market and could genuinely advise me in all aspects, without “selling me” something first. Having key people to rely on is a must in Bali when investing from abroad.
What is the process like? Roughly how long does it take to complete?
Once the negotiation was settled and I agreed on the lease hold price, the process was seamless as I was dealing directly with a professional notary. The notary was well versed in the background of the land lease of Villa GU, which was an absolute advantage. The lease contract was done in less than 2 months. Then came the construction planning, which took about 1.5 years until all details where up to my standard, and my locally sourced decoration was in place.
Bali is a true gem when dealing with “arts and craft,” as there are so many good artisans. It was important for me to work with local artisans and to benefit from their craft. The result is stunning, and I feel speaks of itself. Our guests are appreciative of the finer details and level of luxury offered by Villa Gu. However, it did take a lot of dedication and time for me to be there on and off during construction. When building from scratch, I do feel you need to be there to drive a result that you are expecting.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the build period?
Yes! Many! Especially during the construction phase. Back to my former point, it’s all about working with the right people and be hands on. Also having someone you can rely on locally is a must.
As an expat living in Hong Kong, did you find it difficult to manage the villa from afar?
For me, from day 1, I knew I would not be able to manage Villa Gu remotely from Hong Kong. I run my business here in HK/China and my hands are full already! I always envisioned to have a good partner to work with and The Luxe Nomad has proven to be an excellent partner. They have managed and kept the luxury level that Villa Gu was built to. It takes consistent dedication from a well-selected and well-trained team to ensure this.
How do you feel about the effect of COVID-19 on villa rentals?
I have to say, here again, The Luxe Nomad has done a terrific job to quickly adapt their marketing strategy to connect with the right demography of customers that were looking either to escape from Jakarta and be in a safe home environment, or to cater to the growing expatriate group who were choosing to stay in Bali for long term.
Surprisingly, since joining The Luxe Nomad in 2020, Villa Gu has attained a higher rental occupancy rate—even higher than our launch year of 2019! The rates had to come down, naturally, but the villa is occupied and that’s the most important. In 2020, we reached over 80% occupancy. And in 2021, we are well on the same path! This is all thanks to The Luxe Nomad network and expertise 🙂
About Villa Gu
•5 ensuite bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
•Land size 8 ares (approx 800 sqm)
• Villa size approx 450 sqm
• Legally licensed for short-term rentals
• Swimming pool: 15 x 4 m
• 250m away from the Kayu Putih Beach
• 3 min drive to Berawa cafes and shops
• 6 min drive to Finns Beach Club
Interested to own Villa Gu? Well, the villa has recently listed on the market.
Drop us an enquiry to [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch.