My Experience of Purchasing Holiday House in Tokyo
Interviewee: Tove, from Norway, is currently working as a contract freelancer in a Japanese company.
1.Why did you buy the property in Japan? /What were the reasons that made you want to buy a property in Japan?
Knowing all my favorite video games are originally made in Japan, I started to raise the interest for Japanese culture when I was in high school. Japanese idol groups and TV programs were really famous at that time, therefore, I learned Japanese when I was in the university. I even came to Japan and studied for 6 months in the university located in Chiba. After graduating from the university, my boyfriend (now husband) and I managed to travel to Japan every year.My Husband and I were planning to buy a holiday house in Japan since we travel to Japan regularly. That was the very first reason why we wanted to buy a property in Japan.
2. What was your first approach after deciding to buy a property in Japan?
My husband and I decided to look for a property in December 2015. We started doing a lot of researches online about purchasing a Japanese property. I was in Japan with my working holiday visa while my husband was back in Norway. We really made effort on collecting as much information as we could on the Internet. I was in charge of getting in touch with local agencies in person and sorted out the following steps.
3. Could you talk about your purchasing experience with us?
We found a property that we were interested in so I called a local real estate agency, and then they referred Beyond Borders to me. Yuki-san (Real Estate Agent from Beyond Borders) contacted me and that was how I got in touch with Beyond Borders. Yuki- San was the agent who was in charge of our purchasing. I was also in touch with several different local real estate agencies at the same time, however, I got a good impression from Yuki –san. He was really responsible; all the properties he found for us were really nice and they were all valid choices. I could see myself purchasing either one of them. Finally, I chose the property in Kitasenju. I really like the neighborhood because it’s quiet and filled with the traditional atmosphere. With the department store and Shotengai (shopping arcade), the area is really convenient that you can get anything you need for your daily life.
5.Were there any barriers throughout the whole purchasing process?
Firstly, there was no language barrier for me. All the documents were well translated into English and the communication was in English as well. The language barrier was never an issue for me. Secondly, I was taking a loan from a Norwegian bank, so the financial issue again was not a problem. I guess the hardest was the very first step because we didn’t know whom to contact and which agency is trustworthy, however, I don’t think it’s a problem due to my experience. I think people can know whether a real estate agency is trustworthy by viewing the properties that they found for the buyers. We can easily tell if the agency listens to your requirements or not.
6.What are the suggestions for Beyond Borders and the future foreign buyers?
Even though there weren’t any barriers throughout our purchasing experience, I do think that there are several things that could make the process smoother if I could know ahead. As I mentioned before, my husband and I did all our research on the Internet, but there were so many information and articles that are not up to date. We were worried if the information is still accurate or valid. Moreover, there were a lot of official documents that were required while purchasing the property. I really felt that we lost a lot of time waiting for the documents. If we could know ahead, I think we could save more time. I would be nice if Beyond Border is able to provide up to date real estate information for foreign buyers on the website, that will be awesome! As for the foreign buyers who are like me, just make sure that you ask all the inquiries before purchasing, so you won’t waste too much time on getting documents after.
If you have any questions or would like to arrange a viewing, please feel free to contact us!
- How to Choose the Best Property in Tokyo
- Buying Land in Japan: What are the types of ownership rights?
- Apply for a Home Loan in Japan as a Foreigner in 4 Steps
Explore about Japanese properties with our Guidebook
In this Guidebook - from Sekai Property, you will have chance to know:
- An overview about purchasing property in Japan
- Steps in purchasing property in detail with Property Flow, Costs and Taxes
- Example case
Let’s download it if you want to approach this big real estate market!