Sunday, May 16, 2010

Buying a House in Japan Part 2 - It's all about location

To slowly continue this series, as you might remember, we left off where the Salaryman family had decided to set their sights on purchasing a house and not a apartment (here).

Then the next set of choice came up; where to start looking for said house. Considering that I work in central Tokyo, we obviously needed somewhere reasonably accessible through commute. The options were to search in central Tokyo or in the surrounding prefectures (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa prefectures primarily) which can provide reasonable access although a significant commute to and from work.

After some initial scouting we came to the following conclusion; Buying a house in metropolitan Tokyo would have the benefit of a short commute and also being a pretty safe investment since the land prices in central Tokyo very likely will not take a huge dive. However, that said, they also are extremely expensive and with land being as valuable as it is, houses are focused on being built narrow and high instead of broad and wide... So basically a house with two bathrooms, three rooms +living/dining room end up being three stories high and very narrow. Also, if you're lucky you could get a parking space and garden suitable for one bicycle and one potted plant. But if you get that you should be grateful, considering that the land is basically gold.

In contrast, looking outside Tokyo, for half the price of that in central Tokyo we could get a house roughly twice the area, with a garden and parking space for two larger size trucks, with the downside of an increased commuting time of about an hour single way...

As readers of my blogs have noticed, after the move I started up the "Commuter terrorists" series of posts, so I think it is pretty obvious which path we decided to pursue...


Taarne said...

This made me laugh :D

Not least because of the fact that you chose to enjoy two hours of quality crotch pressing a day for how many years to come :D

I'm sorry!

Martin said...

It´s unpolite to take a wizz whilst crotch pressing. Long commutes can present a problem for the weak bladdered.

ThePenguin said...

Does the cartoon imply your office is in Shinjuku's 2-chome?

The land prices in Tokyo, though maybe not so off-the-scale as they once were, are still cerebellum-boggling when you consider what you get. A pair of 70-odd m2 plots round the back of Penguin Heights have just gone for about 55 million yen each (say half-a-million Euros or US$), for which you get planning permission to construct a 2.5 storey house with space to park a small car and commanding views over some Showa-era two-storey apartment buildings. And the structures which have gone up on both plots (it used to be a single plot, the previous building is still visible on aerial photos) are basically glorified garden sheds.

jlpt2kyu said...

Land prices in Tokyo may dive under some circumstances:
1) Major earthquake
2) Japan government continues to ignore aging/dwindling population.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Taarne - Well, I will elaborate on the benefits on commuting in a later post especially for you!

Martin - It is impolite, but people will understand that sometimes you just gotta go

Penguin - I wish!

jlpt2 - You forgot to mention that it might take a brief dive when North Korea nukes Tokyo

aimlesswanderer said...

What about if Godzilla turns up again? Can you get insurance for destruction caused by giant monsters?

The falling population might mean that the fewer people can live in units larger than 6 tatami mats. But it should depress prices, unless them strange furriners are let in in large numbers. That is a worst case scenario though.

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