Step by Step to Find a New House
Housing Assessment Survey
According to Colliers International one way you will be able to determine the professionalism of the agent you use, is by whether or not they use a housing survey to determine the needs of the incoming expatriate families. These surveys help professional agents narrow down the search to the most acceptable houses.
When your agent conducts the Housing Needs Assessment, be VERY specific about exactly what you are looking for in a house or apartment. Talk about your lifestyle, particular interests, the needs of each family member, personal and company entertaining needs and other personal concerns to ensure that you get the most appropriate matches possible and that the agent isn't wasting your time showing you homes that don't fit your family's needs. Ask LOTS of questions about each house you see. You will soon determine just how familiar the agent is with the property and its owner.
Housing Costs and Terms
One of the most pertinent questions you should know before you start your housing search is the amount your company allots for your housing allowance. Housing of acceptable standards ranges from nice apartments for as little as US$600/month (in South Jakarta) to stately mansions for US$ 5,000 a month and more. Needless to say, there is a wide variety of choices in between these two extremes. Nice homes in good neighborhoods are available for US$ 1,500 to $2,500/month. For higher rents, the house should have facilities for entertaining or other substantial features to justify the additional cost.
Previously established practices of asking for 2 to 3 years rent in advance have also changed, with owners willing to rent for shorter periods of time or asking only one year's rent in advance. Some apartments are available on three-month renewable leases. Renters of apartments may ask the landlord to peg the rupiah/dollar exchange rate at something lower than the market rate. This is not as common with homeowners. Private homes were not paid for with foreign US dollar loans, like the big apartment towers probably were, so a rupiah payment should be acceptable to the owner in today's economic conditions.
Bargain vigorously to protect the financial interests of your sponsoring company and to prevent inflationary pressures in the prices of houses rented to expats. The lowering costs of house rentals is a welcome relief for foreign investors who must cover high living costs for their expatriate staff. The same house, rented to an Indonesian, would go for 1/5 the price as they don't walk in the door with a dollar housing allowance to begin with.
The Jakarta Post Classifieds has many listings for houses and apartments, either offered by brokers or direct from owners and property management firms. Be cautious when calling listings in the newspaper as it's difficult to determine the background and reliability of the persons representing the houses. Most listings are from independent brokers. Utilizing an independent broker, you have little legal recourse or professional representation in the lease negotiation process, such as you would have through professional corporate housing services or a real estate brokerage service.
If you are fortunate enough to have your company send you on a 'look-see' trip in advance of your moving to Indonesia, use a portion of this time to contact real estate brokers and see a few homes or apartments to get an idea of what types of homes/apartments are available. While you can't expect to find your new home on a familiarization trip, you could at least become more knowledgeable about what neighborhoods and homes are like and what your preferences may be.
Better yet, you will have a feel for which brokerage service you will want to use when you actually start your search. Once you've made that decision, you can keep in touch with them in the months prior to your arrival and they can short-list potentially suitable homes before you arrive.
Finding a house in Jakarta can be a long series of hassles or a pleasant, professionally organized adventure. Utilizing a professionals in the field, such as Colliers International, will go far to reduce your frustrations and speed up the process of looking for your new home in Jakarta.
Source : Expat