Friday, September 16, 2005

Finding an apartment or house in Japan

The Blog From Another Dimension has an excellent post on how to find an apartment or house in Japan, in plain English. The advice is spot-on and even includes useful terminology and a great tip on finding a rental place without key money or agent's fee.

Where to start looking? Well, here is another useful link - AdPark provides listings for apartments and houses all across the country, both for sale and rent, in English. Their database is one of the largest in Japan, and I find it far exceeds comparable English websites in comprehensiveness. Although the English interface is a little clunky (it seems they outsourced the English website to a Chinese firm), you can't beat the selection here - more than a million properties on any given day. The site illustrates the volume, depth and breadth of real estate listings available in Japan.

And, FINALLY non-permanent-resident foreigners can obtain loans for their purchases. Terrie Lloyd writes in his newsletter, 'Terrie's Take', "the missing piece of the puzzle for many of us has been the availability of a mortgage. Usually, mortgagees need to be Japanese or at least permanent residents, and have asubstantial deposit. However, in the last 9 months, three organizations that we're aware of have started making unsecured, low-interest home loans to foreigners living here. These are Shinsei Bank, Suruga Bank, and BannerJapan. Right now, these 3 firms are the ones actively financing ... Of these, the most established is Shinsei Bank, which is offering loans of up to JPY100m at 1%interest and which will refinance existing mortgages." More information at Personal International Investor.

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