It was all started in 2013. We were having breakfast at Bali Starling, with the owner Mike, who also cook the breakfast for us. We had a chat about his life in Dutch at broadcasting company, and how he decided to move to Bali, start Bali Starling, and kind of worked his way in Bali 5 years before. The chat, and subsequent trip left an impression on me and Grace. We did plan to move to Bali sometime in the future, but the chat with Mike sealed our will and put a definite time on the future. It means soon, and we need to start working out way out.
Mike the owner of Bali Starling Homestay, was preparing our breakfast
We had a rough idea on what we want to do. I would like to open a Bed & Breakfast, just like what Mike did. And also a coffee shop, which has been my lifelong dream. We don’t know what else we want to do, but hey, lets figure that out later. What we need to do is to find and invest in a piece of land in Bali before it become too expensive to afford.
Initially we wanted a waterfront property. But we realize that it is too expensive, so we can settle to a piece of land that is 2-3 km from the beach. However, during our search in 2014, we also realized that those land also unreasonably expensive. We are not talking about Kuta-Seminyak-Legian here, but further to the north, around Canggu. After that, we kind of let it open and explored different part of Bali.
First land that we checked in 2014 at North Kuta. It overlooks rice fields
The search got serious in 2015, after I moved to another job. I made several solo trip to Bali in the first half of 2015. It wasn’t a trip where you spend few days at the beach, drinking all the booze. Well, the booze did stay, but the beach was replaced by driving a motorcycle with a backpack from one real estate to another, as much as possible over a weekend. It kind of feel like, and actually was business trips, something that I dreaded of.
On my first trip, I went as far as Buleleng to the north, before settling back to Ubud. Then in the morning, I scoured Ubud. Lodtunduh and Nyuh Kuning for land for sale, before heading back to the Airport. Two months later, i was back on the airplane for another 36 hours trip to Bali. This time the search is more focused on Canggu and checking back few lot at Ubud that I haven’t checked yet. On this trip the search got more serious, as I was into negotiation in a beautiful plot of land in Canggu. Too bad, the negotiation didn’t go through. To this date, I don’t really regret it, so I think it doesn’t really meant to be.
North Bali, with beautiful mountain view. It is affordable, promising, but more to commercial area instead of travel industry.
After concluding the negotiation in my second trip, I started negotiation on another piece of land in Ubud. We reached an agreement, but few minutes before I paid the down payment, the owner cancelled the transaction. i was elated, ecstatic, and disappointed.
My third trip for real estate hunting was together with Grace and Ethan as family holiday. We don’t really do property hunting, except for one in Canggu, and I took Grace to see some piece of land in Ubud that I was negotiating. We really like the one in Canggu, and it was reasonably priced. I was about to negotiate, when a day before the negotiation, the agent called and informed me that someone else has paid the down payment. Another disappointment.
A piece of land at Canggu Dewata, overlooking valley and rice paddy. Maybe some view has a value in it.
However, it wasn’t for long. Soon after we returned from out holiday I got a phone call from the owner in Ubud that I was negotiating with. She was ready to resume the transaction. Soon enough we agreed to meet up, negotiating on payment terms and other details, and I transferred the down payment.
The hunting has moved to another stage. We got the prey, and now making sure that it didn’t escape.
I was a man on mission. I contacted my bank to secure the funding and looked for public notary to check the land deed. With funding secured, and deed checked, I booked my final trip to Bali for the transaction. I thought it will be easy trip with few drinks to celebrate the transaction, but nature disagree with me.
Plot of land at Lodtunduh, 15 minutes from Ubud Central, and also at the center of private villa. The land that we call ours.
Mount Raung erupt the day I was supposed to fly out. The eruption left me stranded at Jakarta Airport for 12 hours, and wreak havoc to the airlines schedule that I was held inside the bus in the tarmac for 30 minutes before we finally boarded the plane. By the time I landed, it was well over mid night in Bali. Let me tell you that riding a motorcycle from Bali Airport to Ubud after midnight is not really fun, although exciting in a way. And make sure you drink a lot of alcohol to keep you warm.
So, the next day, it was done. I signed the paper, the owner signed the paper. I paid the money to the seller, and we celebrate, the seller for having extra cash in hand, and I for crossing one of my bucket list item and one step closer to settle in Bali.