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Buying property in Japan

TJOZ

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I thought I was a member here but possibly a lurker for a couple of years so if I haven`t joined here before, sorry for perving. I am currently in Japan looking at properties here and just wondering on other peoples experiences. Some of the prices we have been quoted include such things as Registration tax, Real estate acquisition tax and brokerage fee`s. The prices we have been quoted seem to be quite large and I was wondering of other peoples experiences.
Cheers TJOZ
 

Yokan

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Where in Japan though?

Tokyo is very VERY deer, wouldn't advise any property there.
 

laplage

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question for TJOZ

TJOZ said:
I thought I was a member here but possibly a lurker for a couple of years so if I haven`t joined here before, sorry for perving. I am currently in Japan looking at properties here and just wondering on other peoples experiences. Some of the prices we have been quoted include such things as Registration tax, Real estate acquisition tax and brokerage fee`s. The prices we have been quoted seem to be quite large and I was wondering of other peoples experiences.
Cheers TJOZ

how exactly did you start that process. i'm actually looking to buy a piece of land in rural japan (started my research last week) and i'm looking for a guide on how to do this. hopefully you know of a book that i could buy?

thanks
 

laplage

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Yokan said:
Where in Japan though?
Tokyo is very VERY deer, wouldn't advise any property there.


Yokan, 'expensive' is very relative.

See this as your economical lesson for the day.

Let's say you pay $1million for a building in Tokyo and you pay $200,000 for a building in Nigeria.

The building in Tokyo is rented out to someone who pays you $200,000 per year in rent. This means that within 5 years (5 X $200,000 = $1million) you have paid off your building.

The building in Nigeria is rented out to someone who pays you $20,000 per year in rent. This means that within 10 years (10 X $20,000 = $200,000).

Now, if you can get your original cost paid back in 5 years or 10 years, which one would you choose? Obviously the answer is 5 years. This shows that the $ price of something does not reveal to you if it is 'expensive' or 'cheap'.

These numbers were made up for illustraion. In reality, you would only receive about $40,000 a year for rent in Tokyo (this can also be denominated in a percentage form, in this case 4%, which is $40,000/$1million, which is known as the 'yield' of an investment).

If this sounds condescending, please excuse me as it was not meant to be.

By the way, this illustration can also be used to talk about stocks, a stock that trades at $100 may or may not be more expensive than a stock that trades at $10. It all depends on what you get when you buy that stock.
 

Windy

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i'm actually looking to buy a piece of land in rural japan (started my research last week) and i'm looking for a guide on how to do this. hopefully you know of a book that i could buy?
thanks
There is very little information in English on buying a house in Japan.
http://www.foreclosedjapan.com probably has the best prices because they help you buy auctioned land, houses, and apartments in Japan in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka. If you want countryside, you can ask them.
www.realestatetokyo has good info on the process and taxation.
There are a few other articles and sites on the web.
There are no books in English that I know of that deal with purchasing real estate in Japan.
 

Mike Cash

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Could those of you outside Japan please elaborate on why you plan to purchase property here?
 

Shouganai

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Japanese rural property is VERY cheap

A person suggested that Japanese property is expensive. That is a nonsense. It is VERY cheap in the countryside. In fact if you want a paradox, it is the cheapest place to buy property in the world, quality for quality basis. Of course you can get a straw hut in the Phillippines on cheap land for $400. But if you want a quality, modern house in the Philippines you will have to pay P2 mil ($40,000) on quality parity to what is available in rural Japan. Why you ask?
Because:
1. Travel cost in Japan is expensive
2. Lack of holiday time in Japan
3. Lack of holiday culture in Japan
4. Lack of jobs in rural areas
5. Excess housing stock in rural areas because of rural depopulation.
6. Higher levels of insolvency in rural areas
There is even more housing than is available on the market. There are houses literary just sitting out there not being used. Some are older than others. You can buy a place for as little as $10,000. Search for the Bit Sikkou website because it give you access to foreclosed property, and SheldonThinks site for info on how to bid, strategy to apply. I bought 2 places and bid on several others. Don't get me wrong buying in the Philippines makes sense as well, just for different reasons.
I actually looked around the world and concluded that Japan was the cheapest place to buy property. You can tell people you have a house in Japan, but it could be worth only $10,000 in some rural location. OK not near Tokyo, but it need not be a terrible location. Wakayama or Hokkaido perhaps.
I bought one for $28,000 in Western Tokyo, one for $38,000 in middle Saitama, each 1-1.2 hours to Ikebukuro(Tokyo). It does not have to be in the remote areas, but you will pay more.
 

gaijinalways

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I bought one for $28,000 in Western Tokyo, one for $38,000 in middle Saitama, each 1-1.2 hours to Ikebukuro(Tokyo). It does not have to be in the remote areas, but you will pay more.


How long ago did you buy these? How far away are their from their perspective stations? Sounds a little too cheap for houses in those areas named.
 

Shouganai

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Buying in Japan or Aust

How long ago did you buy these? How far away are their from their perspective stations? Sounds a little too cheap for houses in those areas named.
Sorry overlooked this question, posted some time ago, but it was years ago since I bought, but things have not changed. Property prices went up in central Tokyo because that is where people want to live because they want to be close to services and office. Property prices there are a capital growth story, not a great one, whilst property in the outer areas is a yield proposition. Like I say at the SheldonThinks website, if you are earning money in Japan, its a good place to keep your money if you by high yielding properties (house & land) outside of Tokyo city, where its still cheap. Times of panic are the best time because only a few westerners will be bidding. :) I discuss the importance of having a strategy. I would only buy an investment property to renovate and flip within the next 3-4 years after capital gains obligation tax falls. Details on SheldonThinks .
It does not make sense to buy property in Japan if you are raising money overseas, particularly if coming from Aust or NZ, in fact I just bought a property in NZ for $NZ78K near a beach, or $US45K, a neat 2br home on 750m2 in a large town of 40,000 for NZ, 2 hours from a major city. I will make as much on the exchange rate in the next 5 years as the property. No capital gains tax, no stamp duty, no GST. Great currency play for investors from USA, Japan, EU. Not special for Aussies, but getting better recently.
Would have to be physically the most beautiful country. I only plan to live there for a few years to fix up a few places then sell after the currency recovers on the back of rising food prices, which is what they make so well. Its a commodities play - food commodities. Not the metal stuff (Aust).
Of course if its a lifestyle decision, well you might go differently. You still want to buy cheap though.
 

hogdriver

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Ya'll got it all wrong! How about trading property for awhile? With an option to back out at anytime? Ponder that why don't cha?

If you back out or want to come home, I can always find another Japanese family wanting a change in scenery, culture, and environment.

Same goes the other way too.

For example,

Could I trade my 120 acre farm deep in the heartland of Kentucky, or my house in the city of Louisville (1900 sq foot) 3 bedroom, full basement for a nice crib in Japan for awhile? I need a change.

The Deer hunting and privacy is like owning your own nation.

I need some new scenery and friends though.
 
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Koenji

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how exactly did you start that process. i'm actually looking to buy a piece of land in rural japan (started my research last week) and i'm looking for a guide on how to do this. hopefully you know of a book that i could buy?
There is a new book explaining how to buy residential property in Japan. It's called "Landed: The guide to buying property in Japan," (ISBN: 978-9881714732) and is available from Amazon in the U.S. and from the author's website, landedbook.com
 

Shouganai

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foreclosed property

For information on foreclosed property I suggest www.foreclosured.blogspot.com.
Most particularly for rural property you should be buying through the foreclosed route because rural property is not in demand. i.e. Depopulation. Its possible you will find a house with no other bidders, and at huge discounts to market prices. Real estates don't even bid because they fear they cannot flip them or rent them. Land is even cheaper, though make sure you know the zoning law in your area of interest.
 

anpan

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Hello, Speaking of real estate property in Japan, it is better to know costs to buy and rent an apartment in Japan.
Surely, there are lot of matters you should know.
But, real estate is expensive. You should not hesitate to spend your time.
Here, I want to tell you by using an apartment as an example.
I am not a realtor. So, I do not advertise this property.
kamatahigashipic.jpg
(In this page, 1 USD = 100 JPY)

Apartment in Kamata, Ota ward, Tokyo

Name of building : Kuressento Kamata Higashi
(Hereinafter called “room 101″)

Price : USD 338,000
Room area : 70.2 square meters
In Japan, this room area is enough to live for 4 persons.

Built year : 1996

Nearest station : Koujiya station (糀谷) 11 minutes walk
You can go to Shinagawa station by 14 minutes by train.
Train fee is 2 USD.

Now, I will explain the cost of purchasing this apartment room 101.
You have to pay USD338,000.—————————①

You will hire a realtor to purchase this apartment.
Then you have to pay the realtor’s fee.
Maximum rate of their fee is stipulated in law.
Most of the realtors demand this maximum rate.
So, in this apartment, their fee would be like this.
{ (USD338,000 x 3%)+ USD600 } x 1.08(consumption tax) = USD 11,599 —————————②
 

Shouganai

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Better to buy foreclosed property in Japan

But, real estate is expensive. You should not hesitate to spend your time.
Here, I want to tell you by using an apartment as an example.

I think you shouldn't create the misperception that property is expensive. Like any country it is a trade off. For instance, a month ago I saw a 4br house & land in Hanno, Saitama selling as a foreclosed property, 2km from the station for Y6 million. Buying foreclosed means you get cheap, avoid realty fees, though you carry a manageable risk for unsighted property. That risk comes from looking at photos and documentation from courts....the upside is that you get the property cheap in a 'risk-averse' country.
Now, people might not want to live 1hr from Ikebukuro, but these places are 'cities in themselves' with their own communities, so it will appeal to some. Foreigners on a tourist visa can even buy land/house/apartments in Japan, as foreigners can do in Westerner countries. You can of course learn how to buy foreclosed property by researching here or online.
I avoided buying an apartment because of the rip-off property management fees. I bought a place in 2006 and 2007. The first property in Hanno costs me just Y30,000 in rates a year; so safe I don't even insure it. I bought it for less than land value. The market has moved ahead, and people are moving from the prefectures to these fringe areas of Tokyo, because they know they seldom need to go to the city centre....there are plenty of services in the fringe areas. It costs only Y420 to get from Hanno to Ikebukuro. These are the economics you need to consider, as well as rail connections if you need to work.
You can still buy properties in inner city as foreclosures. I'd look at case studies purchasing land leases for inner city property.
 

Mike Cash

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Also check the 空き家バンク for whatever area you're interested in. Japan currently has about 8.2 million empty houses, the highest number ever. Older homes away from urban areas can be had for a song.
 

Shouganai

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Precisely, I paid Y2.8mil for a dormitory (5br) on 300m2 land; missed out on another with 500m2 of land by $1000. That was Hanno, but I've seen houses on leased land for just $9000. You hear about people giving away houses. The trick is to find decent houses in reasonable proximity to a city. The $4000 house I am talking about was on the Shizuoka peninsula. Most people don't want to live in such a place, and most of us don't want to lease land, but given that your outlay was only $4000, you might think not. You do have to do your research though. This is a land of opportunity for compelling structural reasons...and they will eventually change. This culture will be forced to open its doors to foreigners. You can't force people to have children.....and I'm pretty sure a conservative govt is going to resort to 'economic' rather than 'social policy' to change values. That means more migrants and stimulus.
I personally saw Hanno as a nice compromise. Since I purchased in 2006, the region's population is growing, with many new stores, including a Cainz Home, McDonalds, new foodmart, restaurants. That's what you want. Over the range, there is old-fashion, dead, Ome. Lovely setting, but no modernisation...but I've not been there for a few years.
 
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