Considerations about buying land in Lombok
We are not going to talk about property law in Indonesia since the regulations in this country change frequently and not being our specialty we would not want to give erroneous information.
From our point of view a foreigner interested in investing in Lombok should first go to a good lawyer to be explained how he can make the investment and what are the pros and cons of each way.
Once you have decided how to buy or rent the land you can start looking for it.
When looking for land to build on it, you have to have some knowledge of how the characteristics of the land can affect, in combination with what is intended to build in the land, the cost of construction.
Let us give an example. One may tend to think that building on a sloping land is more expensive than on a flat lot and if it is a one or two storey villa it is usually so. But if we want to build a tall building, and we have to choose between a sloping rock terrain or a flat sandy one (something common in Lombok) it may be cheaper (though not always) to build on sloping terrain since in the sandy one you would need a special foundation that is very expensive in Lombok. When choosing between inclined or flat terrain you also have to think about whether you want or if you need retaining walls, something that can also significantly affect the price of construction.
The location of the land and its access, the availability of water or the depth it is in and the availability of electricity or the distance to it also affect the cost of construction.
Another important thing when choosing the land is to know the regulations that affects to it. In other words, what they will allow us to build on it. Use of the building, heights and distances to the edges of the plot are usually the most important issues. These regulations in many areas of Lombok are not really clear and on many occasions it is a matter of dialogue with the authorities to reach an agreement on what we will be allowed to build in a certain terrain.
Once the land is chosen and before buying it, it must be verified who is the owner since there have been many cases of double certificates in certain areas, again a good lawyer or a good notary can help and a double check would be convenient.
Javier Castiella, May 2017