Friday, March 7, 2008

Housing in Jakarta - My personal experience Pt I

Our first shot at looking for housing in Jakarta was last Saturday. Our initial criteria for housing in Jakarta had been security (because you don't want Madam Expat running off with the young handsome pool boy, do you? Or being kidnapped by a bunch of riff-raff) and proximity to Dear Hubby's office so that he doesn't have to endure the traffic jams.
Rental in Jakarta can range from USD$2,000 - USD$6,000 per month, depending on location and facilities. As mentioned earlier in this post, this may or may not include maintenance fees and taxes. And don't forget all this has to be paid in full 2 years in advance.

Dear Hubby's company arranged for an agent to take us around. We were not too happy with the first lot of houses that we saw but it was a useful exercise because we got to know what was available in Jakarta, what sort of conditions we were likely to encounter and we got to know what sort of house we would like to live in. After the first round, we realised we wanted (still) a secure area, preferably a house instead of a condo, something with a pool (insert comment about young handsome pool boy here) and somewhere that was close to shops so that I wouldn't feel isolated and alone.
Take a look at some of the houses we saw!

This was one of the first houses we saw and it was in Pondok Indah. The house looked pretty modest from outside but when we entered the hall, this took our breath away. Sorry, it's not a very good picture but that's a stone garden plus koi pond at the end of the hall. A real wow inducer. I didn't take any other pictures of the rest of the house because it really didn't appeal to me.

This one nice or not! It's in a gated compound. Okay, I wasn't too impressed with the inside though. The rooms were oddly shaped and the kitchen was ghastly. All these pools make me think of young handsome pool boys.... ooh.

This was also in a gated compound. It was not too bad but I thought the design was a bit too Mak Datin for my tastes. The house was undergoing renovation when we visited and the funniest bit was when Dear Hubby went to inspect bathroom, only to come out looking rather annoyed because one of the workers was using it! LOL I like the doors, the ceiling was about 12ft high and the doors were almost floor to ceiling height, so the place was flooded with light.

Oh man! This was our favourite house!!! Until we saw the kitchen that is. The house was sleek, it was modern, it was minimalist, it looked like it came straight out of my design and architecture books. I was so in love. It consists of three levels. When you walk in, you come to all the bedrooms. Check out the master bathroom... glass walls, woohoo! Then you descend one level to the small living room which can be used as a TV room. Then one more trip down the stairs to the main living hall, kitchen and the wraparound-the-house pool. Everything was so WAH! until we saw the kitchen. Or the lack of it, more like. It was just a short row of cabinet and a hob unit. That's it??? No oven??? *sigh* Bummer betul. PLUS the view off the master bedroom wasn't too great... it looked out over the messy kampung behind. We had to scratch this off our list.

So, after all that huffing and puffing, Mr and Mrs Expat have got not much to show for it and we will be going house-hunting again. I just find that most of the houses we were shown were too ponderous, too ostentatious and too Mak Datin for my tastes. Can someone please find me a nice, secure house in Kemang that is modern with a pool (so that some young handsome pool boy can get a job) and a garden and a living hall that's big enough to accomodate Dear Hubby's hi-fi?

Am I asking too much? Hope not!


  1. hi mrs monkey....
    I read your comment about househunting and I 'm really curious which house you chose in the end, We are in the same process as you have been last month, f.i. at the moment thinking about kemang club villas - houses a bit old, neigbourhood very okay, and f.i. verandah, beautful house, neighbourhood a bit dull, maybe you can help me with your choices and your experience until now (I have been here now for one week..) so hope you write back!!

  2. anky: Just emailed you, sorry for late reply!

  3. Dear Anky,
    Read your comment about the Kemang Club Villas, have you rented the house? How is it?
    We plan to move to Jakarta this December with our family. We saw the Kemang Club Villas and thought that's a great place for a family! What is your opinion?

  4. Hi Anky,
    Been researching high and low for information on Indonesia expats and find your blog the most useful thus far. So where u end up at? We were looking at pndok indah, but may decided somewhere in Kuningan considering my office will be somewhere there.

    One more thing, what is the average expenses per month u incur such as utilities, internet, mobile & food?

  5. Hi Mrs Monkey....

    so will you be able to share some insights about houses in JKT? My husband & i are in the midst of home searching & we are worry the agent is not doing a lot to help...hehe....Also, if is not too much to ask, can i know which area did u & family lived in JKT?

    Hope to hear from you...

    Shee Ling

  6. Hi Shee Ling, we lived in Kemang, very near to where the KemChicks outlet is. It was very safe and traffic was not too bad. We also never suffered any floods and our compound superintendent was really good at keeping the generator going during blackouts and keeping things working. Everything got repaired quite quickly.
    For us, safety and accessibility was high on our list of priorities. Our area also had a Hero for easy grocery shopping. My decision was made a lot easier when I discovered my neighbour turned out to be a friend's cousin. It was very comforting to know I had a friend close by as I was pregnant then. Make sure you find out exactly what you are paying for - does it include rent and all agent fees, do you need to pay separate for security etc. Don't be afraid to ask. You don't want to be stuck having to sort out red tape in Jakarta.

  7. HI,

    I have been reading all these posts and know that some are quite old, but I would like to know whether any of you moved into Kemang Club Villas. We are moving to Jakarta next month and were there last week to look at a few houses.
    We really liked the area and facilities at Kemang Club Villas even though the houses are oldish - but I guess when one cannot get everything when renting out a place.
    Would be really helpful if someone gave me some info on the place - flooding horror stories?