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In search for a new domicile: getting a house

Interior of new domicile

Renting for a place can be tedious and nerve-wrecking, as I mentioned in my previous post. However, once you are equipped with the simple ‘how-to’s, gathered the requirements, and found a reliable real-estate agent, the process runs smoother. In regard to purchasing your own place, it’s more or less the same.

The apartments I’ve stayed at were not too shabby, some were even outstandingly nice. However, I’ve always wanted to have my own house; extra rooms for some mini house-projects, a wide living room, garden and barbecue place, a garage, and such.

I recently got an old, but very well-maintained house (except for the kitchen, which needed a serious renovation). The house was built and owned by a medical doctor, together with his wife and 2 boys, around 40 years ago. The first time I visited the house, no one had lived there for more than a year. It was bit dusty, with all of the old stuff and furniture still in place, a few water stains in the ceiling and wallpaper, and parts of the flooring were squeaking a tad. The real-estate agent and the previous owners (the 2 boys, now all grown up) hadn’t had time to clean up the place. Normally, people would take time to think, or even look at other houses available. But I immediately adored it, so I requested to purchase the house as soon as possible.

As I mentioned earlier, process of renting and purchasing a place in Japan is, I think, pretty much the same except for a couple of things. Firstly, the price; obviously, it’ll be ridiculously pricey. However, if you look at the loan as a whole, and cut it down to consecutive monthly payments, it might not be that bad. It’s actually somewhat cheaper compared to my previous apartment’s monthly rent.
Secondly, I had to meet the current owners face-to-face. They will make the decision whether they would sell the place to me or someone else. Needless to say, the meeting went well.

Exterior of new domicile

Thanks to the real-estate agent, everything went smoothly, and was able to move-in within a month’s time. The renovation team were also easy to coordinate with, so we were able get the necessary fixes done within the allotted time and, more importantly, within the budget. The agent and the renovation foreman only spoke Japanese, so my wife helped me explain further whenever I couldn’t relay my inquiries clearly.

Now, for the other important questions, is it close to e-Jan’s office? Is it an easy commute? Is it a convenient area? – No, maybe not, sort of. e-Jan office is located in the middle of Tokyo city and I need to take an hour and a half train ride. Also, it takes a bit of a walk to reach my house from the closest station. However, I am currently living in a peaceful neighborhood, where I can relax without worry. I also have a good enough sized place where I could invite people over and have a enjoyable gathering and barbecue. I just have to make sure that I am not making too much noise, which might bother my neighbors. Which leads me to my next topic, ‘Japanese traditions when moving in’. Look forward to that and I hope to see you in my next post.

- J.C. (Phillipines)