Own Your Japan

Unforgettable Essentials! Master the 5 Steps to Buying Property in Japan

Japanese real estate has emerged as a magnet for international investors, captivating attention on a global scale. While there are no regulatory barriers for foreign buyers in Japan, navigating the nuances of its distinctive business practices is paramount. Here, we distill essential insights for those contemplating ventures into Japan's real estate realm.

Yoshihiro Jinzaki2024/04/01

Unforgettable Essentials!  Master the 5 Steps to Buying Property in Japan
  • Priority Precision: Define property needs pronto, from cost to convenience, to streamline choices.
  • Agent Advantage: Harness agents for secret listings and financial finesse, smoothing the journey.
  • Money Matters: Navigate overseas finance hurdles with agent expertise on eligible banks and remittance.

Purchasing property in Japan as an overseas foreigner may seem like a challenging task at first, but with the right guidance and understanding of the process, it can also be a smooth and stressless experience. In this article, we’d like to go through the procedures and considerations so you can prepare well in advance.

Step 1: Know what you really want

Properties in Japan can be as cheap as a million yen for 3 bedrooms, but also as expensive as a billion yen for the same size. Property prices can vary widely depending on area, distance to the closest train station, train line, age of construction, structure, view, etc. Start off from clarifying your priorities (what you can compromise and what you can’t), so you can narrow down your options when looking into properties.

Step 2: Talk to a real estate agent

There are multiple listing sites where agents list their properties. However, those listing sites are ran by different companies with different services. Many agents only use a few of them, and listings found on a certain site are often not found on the other. In addition, there are only limited listings published in English, and also off-marketf market listings which agents only share personally. Surfing through the internet can only get you to limited properties, and it is easier and more efficient to reach out to an agent to receive the right recommendations.

※Major consideration: Finance options
Unfortunately, it is very challenging for overseas foreigners to acquire finance in Japan. Most banks (especially those who offer the best terms) require the contractor to speak Japanese, reside in Japan, have a permanent residence, etc. However, there are a few banks which finance individuals who reside in specific countries or speak specific languages, and local corporates owned by overseas foreigners. Eligibility will depend on the background of each individual, therefore it is easier to talk to an agent who can guide you to the right bank.

Step 3: Look at properties and understand the market

As you look through properties, you will realize how construction age, facility, structure, location, land shape, road attachment, etc. can affect the property price. Also, how atmosphere can vary on different sides of the same train station, etc. I’m sure you will feel more comfortable and confident in choosing your property by going through this process and getting a feeling of the market.

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Written by.

Yoshihiro Jinzaki

Yoshihiro Jinzaki

Licensed realtor and “Minpaku” manager.
Yoshihiro was brought up in an international school and speaks Japanese, English, German and Brazilian Portuguese. After selling over 200 investment properties in the domestic market, he then served foreign buyers with housing and investment purposes. He established JIN’S・HOMES in 2023 to support foreigners to invest, set-up(renovate, furnish and license), and manage properties for short term rental (Airbnb).

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