Buy House In Tokyo
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PLAZA HOMES maintains an extensive number of up-to-date listings featuring a wide variety of Tokyo properties for sale. Search our listings for spacious houses, newly built condos in Central Tokyo and nearby suburbs, high-rise condominium apartments with panoramic views, used luxury apartments, expat residences, office buildings, revenue-generating and business properties, as well as undisclosed properties that are not publicly advertised.
Fixing structural, plumbing, electrical, and roofing issues can get extremely expensive in Japan. They also often remain hidden to the untrained eye, so your best bet is to hire a building inspector before making an official offer on any house.
These houses are often old, unwanted and have sometimes been left empty for an extended period of time. So straight off the bat, making your akiya livable may require an investment to bring the house up to scratch. Depending on the age and construction method of the house, repairs to the existing structure could run into the millions of yen. If your plan is to bring the house up to a modern standard with things like insulation, soundproofing and new wiring, then you can add another zero to that cost. There may be subsidies available from the local municipal government for renovating akiya, so make sure you ask at the akiya bank (see below) about this.
Recently some municipalities have started to get more creative with their approaches to dealing with akiya, even offering to help cover some of the extra costs involved, and a small number of municipalities in rural areas do offer free houses. But in both cases they come with strict conditions attached. One condition could be that you agree to live in the town for a certain number of years before you obtain the title to your house. The preference for those is young families.
Read the stories of those who have bought, renovated, and lived in traditional Japanese houses in different parts of Japan. Also, here is where you can learn about the different types of Kominka or Machiya houses, as well as the history and culture in different towns and villages throughout Japan. More stories to be updated in the future!
Although Kominka (Minka) can mean old houses in general, they are also known as the stand-alone large residential houses for merchants or farmers in the rural areas of Japan. The houses in Shirakawa-go and Gokayama village with angled thatched roofs are also categorized under Kominka houses.
Machiya are traditional townhouses that can be found in the old post towns or port towns of Japan. They are usually long and narrow compare to the Kominka houses. Kyo-machiya in Kyoto is an iconic type of Machiya in Japan.
Akiya simply means abandoned or vacant old houses in rural areas of Japan. The type and condition of these houses varies drastically depending on each property. They can come at a surprisingly low cost but usually require many times more money to repair and maintain.
The traditional Japanese houses listed on KORYOYA for sale are all built before 1950 with the traditional construction method which is the result of more than a thousand years of past carpenters passing down their efforts and wisdoms. As no new houses can be built with the traditional construction method under current law, the high craftsmanship is in danger of becoming a dying art.
A house is a great option for those looking to be in Japan for a long time as land can be a good store of value. Compared to an apartment, with a house you have full control over the property, but you also must bear all repair and maintenance costs.
Cheaply-built wooden Japanese homes tend to be built to last 30+ years before they are essentially reduced to the land value only (from a resale point of view), but recent construction methods and pricier options mean houses can be built to last much longer. Traditional Japanese wooden homes can last several hundred years. Concrete construction can last 5060 years and there are now 100-year concrete products available.
How long a house will last depends on how well you (or the previous owner) maintain it. It is also becoming increasingly popular for people to renovate homes built in the 1970s and 1980s, as it can sometimes be cheaper than building a new home. Financing for older homes, however, may not always be possible.
In Tokyo, popular residential areas with a large selection of homes include Setagaya, Ota (the Denenchofu area in particular) and along the Toyoko train line in Meguro-ku. The central areas such as Minato and Shibuya also have some very high-grade neighborhoods such as Shoto, Jingumae, Minami Aoyama, Hiroo/Azabu, Ebisu and Shirokane, but due to high land prices you will find houses are much more expensive, or much smaller. The central Tokyo neighborhoods have a very limited supply of detached homes and there may only be a very small number of homes available for sale at any one time.
There are several Embassies in this neighborhood as well as the Shoto Museum of Art. There is a small park in Shoto called Nabeshima Park which has a small number of houses overlooking the pond and gardens. Land surrounding Nabeshima Park is extremely rare and can be priced anywhere upwards 3,000,000 Yen/sqm.
When looking at the price of a house and land in central Tokyo, the house will generally make up approximately 30% of the price while the land will make up the remaining 70%. In outer suburbs and regional areas this figure may be reversed due to cheaper land prices. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but a general guide.
If the house is old and dilapidated, the property may be priced at land value only, or even slightly less than land value since it will cost money to demolish the existing structure. The expectation is that the buyer will tear down the house and build a new one.
A simple wood-framed house costs on average 200,000 Yen/sqm to build, while basic reinforced-concrete houses can cost anywhere from 450,000 Yen/sqm and up. Prices will rise depending on design and finish, with some luxury custom-builds costing up to 1,000,000 Yen/sqm+.
You can buy a brand new house direct from a developer which should come with a 10-year warranty against defects. If the developer goes bankrupt, you can still make a claim on the warranty before the 10 years is up. The developer must keep a deposit with an authorised deposit-taking facility. If the developer is bankrupt, that money is still kept for 10 years until all warranties expire.
House renovation (reform) companies specialize in updating old houses and making them feel like new. Mitsui Home Remodeling advertise a full home renovation based on a 100sqm house for 8.61 million Yen, but other companies advertise basic packages starting from 5.75 million Yen. Renovation costs can vary widely depending on what you do, and it is advisable to discuss costs with a renovation company as it can easily cost more than these estimates.
Some very old houses that are just being sold for the land underneath may be sold with no warranty against defects. This is called kashitanpo-menseki which and means the buyer has no recourse against the seller should the house have termites, water leaks and so on.
Getting a home loan on an older house, however, can sometimes be challenging and bank valuations may come in lower than expected. Some banks may not lend at all unless you are planning to build a new home.
Only a small number of houses in Tokyo are on leasehold land. In Tokyo, buying the right to lease the property ranges anywhere between 6090% of what it would cost to buy the land if it was freehold. In Minato-ku and Shibuya-ku the right to lease is approximately 7090% of market price, and in Meguro-ku and Ota-ku it is typically 60-80%.
In a 2-storey house, the living area is usually on the 2nd floor and bedrooms and bathroom on the ground floor. This is because the ground floor tends to be the darkest part of the house due to neighbouring houses being quite close, so having sleeping space on the ground floor is more practical. Since the living and kitchen is where most people spend the daylight hours, it makes sense to have these on the 2nd floor.
It is important to check whether the current house was built within the zoning regulations. Some houses may exceed these due to the previous owner making unregistered additions. This can limit financing options, and usually requires a full cash purchase.
Streets in Japan may be private or public roads. Some of the smaller back streets are private roads and may have one owner, or may be jointly owned by all of the landowners along that street. If the house and land comes with shared ownership of the private road in front, you may have to share some of the costs for any street repairs.
Now that you have been living in Tokyo for some time, aren't you thinking of becoming a homeowner Are you wondering whether foreigners can buy a house or an apartment in Japan And how to get a loan Are all visa holders eligible Read on to find out everything you need to know about buying property in Tokyo.
First of all, let's answer the most important question right away. Yes! Foreigners can buy a house, an apartment, or a plot of land in Tokyo. They can also sell their property, rent it out and pass it on as an heirloom. In fact, foreigners can conduct the same real estate transactions as Japanese citizens. They do not need to be a permanent resident. Actually, foreigners can sell, buy, or invest in property even as a non-resident.
What can be done to increase the value of unoccupied houses In the year 2022, Kyoto wants to change its strategy and target the inheritors. The city is thinking of further taxing heirs who abandon their house or apartment. The local authorities have counted 100,000 empty heir-owned houses that are not available on the market. With only 2,000 empty houses available for sale, Kyoto authorities are considering additional taxes to force heirs to sell. The tax rate would depend on the age of the buildin