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I'd like to buy a house in Okinawa...

KirinMan

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I'm a contractor with L-3 Communications. We do get a housing allowance. So you recommend renting. I see they have houses and apartments. Is there a big difference in size/price comparison between the two?
Yes and no, nearly every person that I have heard of goes through a housing agency to get their apartments or houses. The agency will probably ask you what your housing allowance is and then "show" you houses or apartments that would fit that allowance.

I know that doesnt answer your question yet but please bear with me a moment. Now a Japanese person could walk into the same agency ask to see the same apartment or house and ask what the rent was and most likely would be given a totally different amount. Not fair to say the least.

The housing agencies that cater to the base personell have usually much larger and better apartments and houses than the average Japanese one. I will give you an example of a friend of mine. He is married with one teenage son, and two dogs. They have a two story house with 4 bedrooms a smallish kitchen, living room and dining room and a decent sized yard. His housing allowance is roughly 400,000 yen per month and pays around 300,000 per month in rent, the balance he uses to pay for utlities, particularly electric for the a/c.

It gets a bit warm here, ok I lied, it gets down right nasty here from about rainy season in May through October. You WILL need the a/c to make life bearable, unless of course you are used to hot, humid, steamy weather.

Ok back to your question, how much room do you need? Sure there are size and price differences, houses usually cost more than apartments but there are some apartments that I have seen here that look exactly like they belong in some 5star resort hotel. Then there are ones I wouldn't let my pet cockroach sleep in if I had one that is.

There are many really nice sized apartments available, it's up to you about privacy with a house vs apartment, parking, closeness to the base, things like that.
 

Ewok85

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Its also worth pointing out that rent is not a fixed figure, and it will be a fairly optimistic number ;)

When I was last searching I told the agents a price above what I was willing to pay, and was able to find a nice place and haggle the rent/deposits back down to something I would pay.
 

KirinMan

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Its also worth pointing out that rent is not a fixed figure, and it will be a fairly optimistic number ;)
When I was last searching I told the agents a price above what I was willing to pay, and was able to find a nice place and haggle the rent/deposits back down to something I would pay.
The request for information was for here in Okinawa btw, so you were able to do this here?
What agency were you dealing with that allowed you to haggle with them?

I wouldnt put too much into thinking that it would be an "optimistic" number.
 
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DoctorP

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What Obeika posted is pretty much spot on. You will have no problem finding a place since you will be receiving allowances. Hope your trip here is a nice one.
 

wtrhzrd

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Thank you everyone for the great information. My wife hopes to get a job when we get there. She will have just retired from the Air Force when we arrive. She does have a security clearance if that means anything. Will it be difficult for her to find a job?
 

DoctorP

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She won't have too many problems, unless she is picky. The smart thing to do is take a job first...then later change to what you want to do!
 

KirinMan

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Thank you everyone for the great information. My wife hopes to get a job when we get there. She will have just retired from the Air Force when we arrive. She does have a security clearance if that means anything. Will it be difficult for her to find a job?
I agree with Doc P too here. Have your wife considered applying for a GS position here and applying now before getting here? There are not too many GS positions here that I know of that are local hire with SOFA status as well.

There may have been at one time, but not so much now.
 

wtrhzrd

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We'll get her resume out there. Is it allowed for two people to get a housing allowance and the like? I really don't know too much about that.
 

shoguntomo

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Hi there, back to the topic of buying land in Okinawa ... I am a Canadian and my wife is Japanese (from Gunma) ... we are looking to buy either a house or just land in Okinawa or even on an island further south (Miyako).

Normally, how many tsubo is a typical lot of land for sale? 50? 100? 200tsubo?

Would Miyako be cheaper of more expensive in comparison to Okinawa?

We are looking for something considered more rural and ideally with some ocean view ... best part of the islands to look?

Also, we are going back to Japan, specifically Naha in December for a month. Which office (realtor) should I go to to look at some places?

Finally, is there any court ordered sales in Okinawa, and how does one access this info?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

DoctorP

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Hi there, back to the topic of buying land in Okinawa ... I am a Canadian and my wife is Japanese (from Gunma) ... we are looking to buy either a house or just land in Okinawa or even on an island further south (Miyako).
Normally, how many tsubo is a typical lot of land for sale? 50? 100? 200tsubo?

Typical? Around 50 to 70. You can find lots much bigger though, going up to about 120 tsubo. I've seen lots as big as 150 tsubo, but not sure why you would need one that big.

Would Miyako be cheaper of more expensive in comparison to Okinawa?
We are looking for something considered more rural and ideally with some ocean view ... best part of the islands to look?

This is only a guess, but I think Miyako would be cheaper, but harder to purchase. Rural areas? Look at Uruma, Kin, Higashi, Nago.

Also, we are going back to Japan, specifically Naha in December for a month. Which office (realtor) should I go to to look at some places?
Finally, is there any court ordered sales in Okinawa, and how does one access this info?
Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I would have to ask around for you on this one. Yes there are bankruptcy sales here. I have had two chances to buy homes that way, but the wife really disliked the house so we didn't follow up on them. I'll try to get you some more info soon.
 

KirinMan

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This is only a guess, but I think Miyako would be cheaper, but harder to purchase. Rural areas? Look at Uruma, Kin, Higashi, Nago.
There is currently an abundance of land available for purchase in many locations throughout the island. However they are in landfill areas, but there are choice locations and in some cases the city will subsidize or give a gift of money if a person builds in the city.

The land fill areas that have literally thousands of tsubo's of land for sale are in Nishzaki, Itoman City, Agarie Hama, Yonabaru Cho, Toyosaki, Tomishiro City and there is open land as well in Nishihara, Awase, and more.

There is plenty of land.
 

DoctorP

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I just looked at a patch of land today. 103 tsubos for Y70,000/tsubo. Not a bad location. Surrounded by older homes, view of the mountainside, and a slight view of the Pacific Ocean, and walking distance to my dojo, kids juku, shopping, and kids piano sensei. Will be looking over the fine details this week and deciding what to do from there.
 

DoctorP

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Signed a contract today, going to the bank on Thursday to sign the loan. Buying 103 tsubos in the same town I'm in now...working on the plans for the house. By this time next year, I should be living in my brand new home!
 

shoguntomo

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Thank you Obeika and Doctor P for your information.

My wife has been able to find some good Japanese websites with land for sale in Miyako. The land sites look pretty good with views of the ocean. Prices don't seem too bad. 100 tsubo of land for $35,000 US and options to buy model homes.

The comment about the landfills was interesting, will need to do more research on that one.

Doctor P ... congratulations on the purchase if all went well.
 
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I just looked at a patch of land today. 103 tsubos for Y70,000/tsubo. Not a bad location. Surrounded by older homes, view of the mountainside, and a slight view of the Pacific Ocean, and walking distance to my dojo, kids juku, shopping, and kids piano sensei. Will be looking over the fine details this week and deciding what to do from there.
Wow, that cheap. 👍 We paid ツ??00,000/tsubo for our land.
 

DoctorP

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Thank you Obeika and Doctor P for your information.
My wife has been able to find some good Japanese websites with land for sale in Miyako. The land sites look pretty good with views of the ocean. Prices don't seem too bad. 100 tsubo of land for $35,000 US and options to buy model homes.
The comment about the landfills was interesting, will need to do more research on that one.
Doctor P ... congratulations on the purchase if all went well.


Had to postphone the bank until tomorrow...then everything will be final!
 

Mars Man

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Wow !! A house with land in the making !! I am so happy for you DoctorP san !! Great!! Keep us posted. MM
 

DoctorP

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Finally finished the negotiations, and I now own 100 tsubos! Well...the bank owns it and I will soon have a home on it!
 

sumo4life

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Okinawa Land

Doctor P.,

I noticed you purchased 100+ tsubos of land for what seems to be a great price. Do you mind just throwing a ballpark area where my wife and I may be able to find a similar bargain? We looked at a 54 tsubo lot in the Awase / Hiyagon area today and the owner wanted Y200,000 / tsubo. We plan on building up so 54 tsubo will probably work for us, but the price was a little too steep for our budget. Any further assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

DoctorP

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Doctor P.,
I noticed you purchased 100+ tsubos of land for what seems to be a great price. Do you mind just throwing a ballpark area where my wife and I may be able to find a similar bargain? We looked at a 54 tsubo lot in the Awase / Hiyagon area today and the owner wanted Y200,000 / tsubo. We plan on building up so 54 tsubo will probably work for us, but the price was a little too steep for our budget. Any further assistance would be greatly appreciated.


Awase??? Not gonna happen. What is your price range? I saw 148 tsubos for sale in Ishikawa this morning, but not sure of the asking price. Reclaimed land is cheap. Land near the Kurashiki Dam is cheap too, but you will be near a landfill...not good! Get a little outside of town...look for farmland near town...most of the farmers on island are getting old, and the kids don't farm the land, that is where we lucked out. The old woman knew the kids wouldn't work the land, so I got a great deal on it.

Are you trying to stay South?
 
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