Interesting Properties in Japan

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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by Shizuman » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:06 pm

LeeB wrote: Regarding PR: - It doesn't matter what the 'rules' are.......................
Yea? need to ingratiate myself then!
Im finding that with the whole farmers licence business here in my city, they are really bending over backward to get people to use the land. As long as we say we are assisting the land owner manage the field its fair game right now. Works out for everyone i think.

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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by LeeB » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:04 pm

A beautiful, sunny day here in Melbourne with perfect temps around 28C and light winds. A perfect summer day!!!!

So in consideration of it being winter in Japan, let’s head north to Hokkaido for a few properties.

Hokkaido is beautiful in summer and fall and I really like the place. Sapporo, though, is a little ‘small’ and maybe a little boring if you are from one of the bigger cities such as Tokyo or Yokohama and stay there for any extended period of time!!

First up is a really interesting property located across from Maruyama Park/Hokkaido Shrine and short walk from the Maruyama Park Subway station. This area is very nice and 4 stops from the center of Sapporo. The price is 1,650万円. ... ist_simple

The building is a low rise type of only three floors and has a huge 130 square meters of area. There is a balcony, but unfortunately it is so small as to be basically non-existent and I didn’t see any outside garden or terrace for the unit despite being on the ground floor.

The ‘mansion’ does come with its own sauna though for those nice cold Sapporo temps.!! Don’t know if you could afford to turn it on though……..

It also has a 風除室 to keep out the cold, but the kitchen is basically worthless. It doesn’t match the rest of the unit.

And now for the shocker, which is as I have stated, one of the biggest reasons not to buy one of these types of properties in Japan…………

If you bought one of the units in this complex, be prepared to go to the poor house as the fees will kill you. The 管理費等 comes in at a whopping 37,730円 per month to which you have to add another 32,500円 a month for the 修繕積立金, but you are not out of the woods yet. A parking space will set you back 20,000円 a month.

So just under 70,000 yen for the basic fees per month; 90,000 if you want to park your car there.

Ouch. Double Ouch!!

There was a unit in this building for sale way back in 2011, but I’m not sure if this is the same one.

(The web site doesn’t let me download photos so you’ll have to check them out there.)

So great location in a nice area and a big living space, at a reasonable price, but all those good points totally wiped out because of the huge carrying costs.

The next property is in/near the nice little city of Otaru. ... ist_simple

For the price of 798万円 or less than half of the previous property you can buy yourself 106.48m² of space.
Unfortunately, the property is smack dab in the middle between two train stations, so it is quite inconvenient from that point.

Fees are more ‘reasonable’ at 15,000円 for the 管理費等 and 修繕積立金 at 4,900円. (Way too low!!) Other fees are 共用電気代(およそ)2,600円、町内会費(年間)4,800円. So you’ll get hit with those as well. Parking is 8,000円/月.

The kitchen is a little small, but much better than the above property and has an unusual feature of having a balcony access. From the photos it appears that there might be an oven in the unit.

The unit has a nice ‘ocean view’, but is located next to the Ororon Line and then further down towards the ocean is the main train line so there might be some noise. It appears that the building the unit is in is elevated so there may or may not be a tsunami rick depending on the numbers.

Lot's of space for a reasonable price - a nice little holiday apartment in Hokkaido?

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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by LeeB » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:41 am

Looking at the various RE internet web sites in Japan is interesting and often a lot of fun. Once in a while you can find property that you’ve seen or walked by at one time or another and wonder “how much does that cost” or “what’s it like inside” or “what kind of views does it have”?

Unfortunately, it seems that most of these types of properties are Japanese ‘mansions’ or what others call ‘units’ or ‘condos’.

I don’t like the financial aspects of this type of property as the holding costs (maintenance fees and sinking fund/repair funds) are high and not under your control combined with the usual problem of a decreasing value over time for most of them.

You also have the ‘problem’ of what happens if and when an earthquake hits – not from a danger point of view, but from access to such things as electricity, water, NG, and even access to your property if on a high floor.

Also there is no way to have solar panels or grow your own vegetables or fruit.

With a house you can mitigate many of these problems.

Yes, certain types of ‘mansions’ do increase in value, but most of these are out of the price range for most people. And here we are talking about properties that sell for well over 100 million yen or more in the big cities and usually multiples of that. And of course once you get to that level of value the holding costs increase as well.

So, first up is a ‘mansion’ in Sapporo. If you’ve been to Sapporo you’ll probably have seen the building as it sticks out in the skyline. ... ist_simple

or ... _91008217/

The name of the building is プレミスト琴似スカイクロスタワー and the unit is on the 40階 it is a 4LDK with a whopping floor area of 163.64m². I think this could be called a typical ‘penthouse’ type unit. The balcony is 46.83m². (More on that later.) It appears that the fees are ‘reasonable’ for a unit this price and size at 33, 540 for monthly condo fees and 11,430 yen for the sinking fund fee. Parking is stated to cost 12,600 yen per month. (Probably a bargain for near downtown Sapporo.)

No doubt as the building ages and equipment needs to be repaired and replaced those costs are going to soar.

Anyway, the views are outstanding and the building is fairly new.

The price only 8,800万.

So what do you think?

Reasonable price for a unit like this?

I do always wonder though about balconies on Japanese buildings. Is there some design, cost, liability, legal, or cultural reason for most of the buildings having a stinking small ones that are in many cases basically useless? About the only thing one can do on them is hang the laundry or futon (If allowed!!!).

The ones we had at our apartment when we lived in Japan were big enough to hang the laundry and place the inverter for the AC/heating unit and that was about it. You couldn't actually sit outside at a table or on a chair as they wouldn't fit.

And then if there is one that you can actually use, in most cases you get charged an extra fee to use it!!!
My next post will show a property with a huge ‘sky terrace’.

Which brings us to the next property - in the next post.
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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:23 am

That is some pretty spectacular views there.

I wonder about the balcony size, might it be because the kind of folk that favour apartments wouldn't actually use a larger balcony if one were available ? Or would they be inclined to fill it up with all sorts of junk they didn't want to keep indoors but also didn't want to throw out ?

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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by LeeB » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:00 am

A couple of beautiful days in Melbourne recently. Nice summer like temps during the day and cool fall like temps at night and early morning. Yesterday we had 9.6 - 29.9 C.

No rain to speak of which we need while Sydney is getting plastered with it.

For those of you that haven't been to Australia or lived here, one of the interesting aspects of life is that the sun is very strong and the UV index is usually quite high. You can get burned quite easily.

Unfortunately, that means lots of skin cancer as people used to (and still do) spend lots of time out in the sun and don't take the necessary precautions.

Never had that problem with the sun when I lived in Japan, but then maybe I was a lot younger.

So if you do like to spend time outdoors and live in a Japanese 'mansion' how do you do it? Well going to the parks is one way or if you had a nice big balcony, terrace, or roof top 'space' you could do it at home.

In another post I showed that nifty building in Atami built into the side of the hill with nice terraces/balconies.

Here is one in Sapporo.

I've tried to find a site that will let me save photos, but no such luck. So if you want to see the property you'll have to go to the web site before it disappears: ... ist_simple

The name of the building is D’グランセ宮の森. it is a 4LDK with a floor space of 150 square meters and a price tag of 5,750万円. So kind of expensive. Only one toilet in the unit though which is kind of disappointing for the size and price. The fees are:

管理費等: 18,750円

So about 5,000 less for the fees than the previous property which is much more expensive, but parking here is more expensive. Probably the developer,builder, or management company kept ownership of them.

The area is pretty nice around the mansion and there are only 14 units in the building. The total land area that the units sit on is shown as 4,225.73m² or about an acre or so. That is huge. Depending on the actual terms and conditions associated with the land ownership structure and details, these properties might actually be a good value even at the price.......................

The interesting point of this unit is that it has a huge 100 square meter 'sky terrace' which is accessed internally from the unit via a spiral staircase. No photos of the terrace are shown though.

Of course, for this extra area and benefit you have to fork out an extra 3,000 yen a month!!!

The web site has views from the unit both at night and during the day. Outstanding!!

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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by LeeB » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:36 am

Well let me take a break from working in the yard and put up a a property.

We've had very little rain here in Melbourne which has resulted in our apples being a little smaller than average for the Fuji, but they are so sweet is is unreal. All of those have been picked and the remainders have been eaten by the lorikeets.

Pink Lady apples are much bigger and still waiting to be picked. So more than an apple a day here for next month or so.

So this time a house from the Yokohama area. If you've been to Yokohama, you've probably been to Motomachi and The Bluff area. Not much for sale in that area, but a little 'down the road' there are a few places.

A nice bus ride is to take the bus from Sakuragi-cho station to Maita at night and you'll have some outstanding views of Yokohama.

Uchikoshibashi is one that will be very good.

The first house is near there and has some very nice views. ... f=list_map


(kencorp has better photos)

The price is only 29,800万円 and is a three story building and a basement on a lot of 443.13m². Part of it looks to be flat. Total area is 554.59m² which appears to include private roads.

The house is a 5LDK+2Bath+3Toilet with a whopping 356.19m² of space and has what appears to be some very nice, usable terraces/balconies. Very modern and fancy.

So, my question is: where do I get 29,800万円

Unfortunately, the house is not located near a station, but the bus stop is located nearby.
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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:45 pm

A house in Japan with a basement, well that's not something you see everyday :eek:

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Re: Finding Land - Links

Post by LeeB » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:07 pm

Moved to Japan before the bubble and missed out on the ability to buy a property as I couldn't get a loan at the time.

Lots of people in Japan at that time bought property in foreign countries and Hawai'i was a beneficiary of that. IIRC it was often cheaper to buy a place there than pay the fees and taxes on a property in Japan. Couldn't buy one in Japan so I bought one in Hawai'i!

The place that we were looking at in Japan tripled in price in a few years. Hawai'i had the same price movements too - both up and down.

As Zaimondos is from Australia (??) you know we have had our own little property boom here too. Most of the country has seen prices move up and especially in the areas near the CBD and near CBD suburbs.

Some suburbs were dumps 20 years ago and they are still dumps today, but that hasn't made any difference in the prices. We could have bought a dump near the place my daughter went to school for around $150,000 back then and today it would easily sell for over $1 million. That same price could have bought a place where we live now, but the price only would have doubled or so.

Where I live it is pretty easy to value a property. Just take the land area and multiply it by a number which corresponds to how far away from the village you are. In other words, the land has value, the house doesn't unless it is brand new and/or has high class appliances/features. So its just like Japan now.

For an old house on a square, flat block of land in or near the village - about $1100 - 1200 per square meter times the area. There was a house on a half acre just listed for A$2.2 million plus. It already has subdivision plans listed with it. Pretty soon there aren't going to be any 'big' blocks of land left here. Another 2 acre block of land that was long and narrow went for about $700 - $750 a square meter. Up the hill from us the 1 acre lots were going for about $1 million - the earthworks cost a fortune there and some places are so steep if you fell off the veranda you'd end up at the bottom next to another house.

Flat 1 acre blocks of land without subdivision potential away from the village go for about $1.5 million, but there only a few of those around here now.

Townhouses are different and harder to value - they are more in demand than houses so the pricing is higher per square meter. Don't know why and would never want to live in one with the small land area though.

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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by Ibaraki llama » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:54 pm

I'm from Melbourne too.

In the street where I grew up in South-East Melbourne most of the houses were weatherboards. Now most of the houses on the street have been torn down, the land subdivided, and townhouses put in. My parents and and one next door neighbour are some of the only old weatherboards left.

I think if I returned I I'd like the idea of living in the countryside outside of Melbourne, but you'd need to pick your spot carefully.

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Re: Interesting Properties in Japan

Post by LeeB » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:14 am

"I think if I returned I I'd like the idea of living in the countryside outside of Melbourne, but you'd need to pick your spot carefully."

As I have posted before, the 'countryside' in Australia and the 'countryside' or what Japanese think of as 'countryside' is completely different!!

I wonder if there will be any 'countryside' left around SE Melbourne in a few years. Don't know where you are from In Melbourne, but 20 years ago there were lots of 'truck farms' between Narre Warren and Warragul and from Narre Warren and Clyde.

Basically from Narre Warren to Pakenham along the old highway it is all houses now and pretty soon all the way to Clyde as well. Thousands of houses on stinky little 300 - 400 square meter or smaller lots. One area south of the highway in Berwick has plans for something like 3000 houses on old farmland.

Narre Warren North and East are still pretty much acreage blocks and those two areas had some of the highest appreciation rates during the bubble here over the past ten years even beating places like Toorak.
The road used to be a single lane road from Berwick to Clyde and now they have three lanes each way for most of the route.

Haven't driven out to Warragul for a long time. We used to go to visit the various berry/fruit farms, cheese, and meat places before our trees started producing. The berry farm closed a long time ago and the restaurant at the meat packing place closed as well. (They had a superb meat/cheese platter for lunch that was really cheap and the best bacon I've ever had in Australia!!!). Don't know about the cheese place.

They've even started to subdivide land out in Maryknoll and that will cost you a bundle just for the land: ... -202309142 (A$340,000 - $350,000 an acre)

Or a house for a little more: ... -130134594

Contrast that with this place in Japan out in the country: ... l/buy/6315


About half an acre with a couple of ‘houses’ – one fairly new. 21 minutes from Mobara station by car. And you have a choice of numerous other stations around the house within the same general time frame: Takataki, Kazuasa-Kubo, Yatsumi.


Many services are reasonably close except for a supermarket.

The price is about half of the above two properties and IMO you could probably get it for a lot less. And don’t forget the huge amount of stamp duty you have to pay when buying a place here in Oz. On A$800,000 it would be about $45,000 for that and the transfer fee. (3.5 million yen)

(Unreal that the A$ has fallen so far against other currencies and it looks like it will probably go a lot lower. It used to buy over 100 yen and now only 80.)