Investor and author Tom Villinger knows the market since 1994 and shares his insights with Lankaland clients.
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Turn-key is rare
Rather few houses have been built to meet contemporary western standards. Practically all of these houses are either used by their foreign owners as residencies or successfully rented out to holiday makers. Thus only rarely one of these houses is on the market.
Sri Lankan owned houses
Average Sri Lankan middleclass family floor plan, décor and construction quality don’t match western expectations. Only westerners with a very limited budget (below 100,000 US$) buy such houses and use them.
Like everywhere in the world you’ll see some turn-key houses on the market where you have the impression that the owner doesn’t really want to sell the place – except if somebody pays an exaggerated price.
Hardly any turn-key developments
So far there are hardly any on-spec developments for western investors Given the demand for turn-key properties this might be a good business to start!
Get your villa(s) built!
Well over 90% of all our clients start a construction! And why not? It is well doable at a price one can only dream of in western countries. In Sri Lanka you can hire the best architects and supervisors, specialists for villa construction.
Ten years ago it was difficult to find a decent constructor and almost impossible to get a reliable and competent supervisor. This has changed dramatically. After the sophisticated reconstruction of dozens of Galle Fort villas and after having built quite a few luxury villas and pools for western investors we now have a group of experience architects, constructors and supervisors who are able to realize any design you have in mind. Regular reporting by email (with photo documentation) and Skye conferencing is the standard with these professionals. You don’t have to spend months on the site nor do you have to come for emergency visits.
We did the construction of this outstanding villa
Another example: one of our constructions sites on a steep elevation
Get your colonial villa renovated and modified
Every colonial villa (called Walauwa) will need a new roof, new wiring, additional bathrooms, a western kitchen and new floor. This can be done – this is done regularly by specialists, particularly in the Galle Fort, where the Archeological Department is scrutinizing the work to meet highest standards. Hire these experts for your colonial villa project! If you need an brand new annex in the same style it will be done. We can show you reference examples.
If you wanted a colonial villa from scratch it could be done. Mind that in Sri Lanka still doors and windows average local houses are hand made from tropical hardwood by carpenters – like 150 years ago. The craftsmen are there and the prices are moderate.
We and our partners will help you select the right people. It’s our job to show reference projects to you and provide the transparency and accountability you expect and are used to from western countries.
Constructing yourself is where the profit is made
Having your own project built is profitable. When you rent out your villa there is substantially more return of investment than after having bought a turn-key project. If you sell you villa your profit will be substantially higher in case of a self constructed house.