What to expect when buying a house and lot in Japan

Are you a foreigner residing in Japan? Have you ever thought about buying a house (and lot) of your own and wondered how it’s going to be possible? This one’s for you, I hope.

A few years ago, getting a mortgage as a foreigner was nearly beyond the bounds of possibility. The specific reason for that is something I don’t wish to know since it’s all in the past now. Thanks to some Japanese banks that have gradually opened the gates to foreign nationals who wish to apply for a housing loan. Do they require you to have a permanent residency status? The answer is both yes and no.

It goes without saying that the loan applicant should have the financial capability to pay the loan back and must meet certain conditions to be approved. One of which of course is having a legitimate residence card.

Say you’re qualified for it, there are things in the cards that you might want to know.

  • When checking out properties through a real estate agency, expect to be or NOT to be asked for fees for their assistance. If you’re lucky enough not to be asked to pay for their service, most likely they’re the ones giving you gifts (e.g. home appliances, gift cards, etc.).
  • You’ll be accompanied by a representative of your chosen agency during the house visits and will be treated with utmost respect. In our experience, we felt like VIPs. I definitely give them a 100 point for the customer service.
  •  Once decided, paper works come in. Prepare yourself to be filling out forms that seem to be endless. They’re substantial forms from the agency, bank, property building company, and so on.
  • Real estate prices are undeniably costly especially in the busy cities. On the other hand, prices are lesser in the country side and old towns.
  • Not only will the bank present to you the interest rates, but also the different payment tables with the inclusion of different insurance plans.
  • The property building company will offer you some add-on works (e.g. aircon and curtain rods installment, flooring enhancement, gardening, etc.) for your chosen house and lot that call for additional fees.
  • Door knockers are expected to show up at your newly bought house. They’re from various companies with tempting products and services that you might want to invest in.
  • Don’t forget to update your residence card and the likes of it pertaining to your new address.
  • You”ll be obliged to pay for the residence registration with the amount depending on the location and the size of your land.
  • There’ll be one or two municipal representatives visiting your new abode to check the size of your property, ground plan, and so on for tax purposes.

There might be missing points as of this writing, I’ll try to update the list from time to time or feel free to fill me in.