After several months of scanning the Internet and going to check out houses, we finally managed to find a house that looked basically perfect. One of our biggest requirements, and also hurdle, was our wish to have a decent sized living room where we could fit in a nice big corner sofa and also have some room for the baby to play in. Most of the houses we saw were of decent size in terms of sqm, but usually had a quite small living room (~15-20sqm or so perhaps).
Before we went to see the place we had quite high hopes since we had seen the layout, knew the location, price and all of it seemed to meet our initial requirements, so the deal breaker would be if the distance to the train station would be misleading in the papers or that the designer had been drunk when choosing the color schemes etc. in the house.
As we met up with the in-laws, who joined in for support, and discussed our strategy, we decided to use English as much as possible when expressing our opinions on stuff to not give away too much to the sales rep (who we correctly assumed wouldn't be able to understand English). This was probably good in theory, but practically completely unnecessary since even a deaf sales rep would be able to read our reactions as we enthusiastically checked out the place and found it to be basically perfect and what we had been looking for since several months back and almost given up on.
After seeing the house and sat down with the rep, we quite quickly made it clear that we wanted the house (note to self; next time buying a house, trying to negotiate price before saying "it's great, we want it!" might give a stronger position for negotiations). For obvious reasons, the rep was more than happy to sell us the house, but also needed to get things put in motion for the huge loan that we needed to take, as well as a down payment of 1 million Yen (~$10K USD) in cash within a few days... The down payment we could scavenge up without too much effort.