Finding property in Jakarta is not the same as finding it in the West. There is no market leading property portal you can use and word of mouth still tends to be the most common method of finding a reliable agent. But are all agents alike? Can you trust them all? What challenges do you face and what should you know before finding your new home in the capital?
In this article we interview Valentina, LetsMoveIndonesia’s Residential Property Specialist who gives her top tips and advice on what you should know to make your home search as simple & stress free as possible.
LMI: It is very common for foreigners to start their property search online; what websites can you use to find property in Jakarta?
VP: There are a variety of property portals you can use to begin your search in Indonesia some of the most common ones include Lamudi, UrbanIndo, Sewa-Apartemen and Rumah; however the issue with these websites is that they are not often updated, agents tend to leave the units online – even when they are rented, the level of English varies between agents and the search functions do not work very well.
Alternatively, you can also check some of the Facebook groups, we would recommend Jakarta Apartment & Housing for Expats (Official Group). It is the best Facebook property group in Jakarta and they also add useful articles regularly about property and expat matters.
LMI: In your opinion what is the best way to find a reliable agent?
VP: There are so many agents in Jakarta, most of them being individual agents. Many of these agents provide an excellent service, however, please note that these agents are not bound to any code of conduct, there is no quality control, they will not have an office for you to visit and in some circumstances, the unreliable ones can take your deposit and disappear with your money. With that being said, obviously we would recommend using a legitimate agency to ensure peace of mind and professional service.
As I mentioned earlier, most people tend to find their agent through friends of friends, however we would recommend checking Google first and seeing which Agencies come up on the first page and contact them directly. Please note that many of these agencies will not be English speakers so you may require assistance from an Indonesian speaker.
LMI: What information is important to know before looking for your new home?
VP: One of the most shocking things for most foreigners to get their head around is that most property owners request the rent 1 year upfront, plus the deposit. This is the way the market is in Indonesia and the owners are not very flexible in changing this. This is the normal procedure and finding an owner that is willing to negotiate this point is extremely difficult.
Please note that some owners are flexible on this, but high-quality units in good condition are less likely to be flexible as opposed to the lower value, lower quality units. It is not impossible to find an owner that will accept 3 or 6 month payment terms, but it will seriously restrict your options.
If your company is paying for your rent they will be aware of this situation and will be expecting 12 month payment terms.
If you are looking for monthly payment terms the 2 easiest options are – Staying in a serviced apartment or trying websites such as Air BnB.
In addition, depending on the circumstances, you may need to add 10% tax to the rental value, for example – if your company is paying. Always check with the agent before viewing a property whether it includes tax, other wise you may be in for a surprise later down the line.
LMI: What information should you tell the agent when looking for your home?
VP: You should be completely upfront and honest from the start, giving as much detail as you can. Let the agent know your preferred area, style, bedroom and size requirements, furnished or unfurnished price, length of contract and payment terms, plus any preferences; such as pet friendly, orientation, facilities, balcony, view etc.
LMI: How much are apartments in Jakarta?
VP: Apartment values vary significantly depending on varying factors, such as age, size, facilities and locations. Unlike in many countries whereby the prices are determined by area, here they tend to be priced by age and facilities.
If you know Jakarta well, you may already have an idea of approximate costs; however, if you do not know the area then seek advice from a reliable agent.
LMI: Can I negotiate the payment or length of contract terms?
VP: As with most purchases there may be some room for negotiation, but this is entirely down to the owner’s preferences. If you do want to negotiate with the price then be realistic – if an apartment is on the market for $3500, do not offer $2700. Within a 10% swing is possible, but higher than that it is unlikely.
For the payment terms these may also be negotiable based on the owner’s preferences, but once again, this information should be mentioned at the beginning of the search not during negotiations.
Some home seekers will look at homes well above their price range then try to reduce the price down significantly. Not only will this upset the owner, but you will potentially waste a lot of people’s time.
Agents in Indonesia often work together and exchange information, therefore if you are unrealistic in your requirements, change your payment terms or give no direction to your search, it will not take long for them to lose patience with you and black list you.
Unless you are using an expensive Relocation Agency that charges you per day, Agents do not get paid unless they find you your new home, so please remember to be considerate, respectful and to value their time and efforts accordingly.
LMI: In your opinion what are the hottest apartments to live in Jakarta now?
VP: For me personally, I have many favourites in different areas. In SCBD I am in awe of the fantastic new complex District 8. In Kemang, Kemang Village is by far the most popular. In Kuningan, it is hard to look past Verde or Setiabudi Skygarden and in the Surdiman I am quite fond of Shangri-La Residence.
There are many fantastic places to live in the city and with a bourgeoning middle class, new and beautiful properties pop up all the time.
LMI: If people have any questions or need assistance to find their new home, how can they contact you?
VP: If you would like a free consultation with me then please contact me via email: Val@letsmoveindonesia.com or call +62 21 300 297 27 or come into our office located in Bellagio Mall Mega Kuningan.
LetsMoveIndonesia was established in 2016 by Gary Joy an English Expatriate. After struggling to find an apartment to live in the city himself, he opened LetsMoveIndonesia and has since helped hundreds of expatriates from all over the world with their property needs.
Often referred to as Jakarta’s Most Trusted Agency, their foundations are built on ethical and transparent practices which have helped improved the expatriate market within Indonesia.
In addition to Real Estate they also offer Visa Services, Relocation Services as well as Company Establishment and Legal Services.
Like this article? Then check out The LetsMoveIndonesia’s Top 10 Apartments to Live in Jakarta Article!