Thursday, September 23, 2010

Buying a house in Japan Part 8 - The LOAN!

(Go here to read up on the story so far)

Having found the perfect place for the Salaryman family and sitting down in the office of the real estate agent to start getting the purchase in motion, there was the slight issue of the loan we needed to take...

Basically we sat down and needed to fill out about hundreds of pages of forms to declare our intent to buy the house. Also, we needed to, within a few days, make a cash down payment of about a million Japanese yen (roughly $10,000 USD) which would not be returned in case we changed our minds our wanted to cancel the purchase. "Fair enough" we thought since our intent would withdraw the house from the market and make sure that it wouldn't be snatched up form under our noses.

Now, the only issue we faced was to secure the finances we needed to actually buy the house (generally, you need to cough up between $300,000-500,000 USD for a decent new house in the Tokyo area). Since we, the Salaryman family lacked the means to buy the house with cash, taking a loan was the only feasible option, and this is where all the hilarity started...

I had done some basic research on loans and stuff before we ventured out on this whole house buying adventure and was aware that most Japanese banks require the person to have "permanent residence" visa status and that a few banks might grant a loan even if that's not the case. I also knew that a number of other more exotic options existed that had no Japanese visa demands, like taking a loan from a non-Japanese bank etc. It should also be added that I didn't have permanent residence status at this stage, but was not particularly concerned about getting that with ~10 years in Japan, stable job, Japanese mother and Japanese wife.

Sitting down with the sales representative, we explained our situation and asked about his advice for getting a loan secured, something which he was more than happy to do since the money would end up in his company (likely with a nice commission for him as well for making the sale). After a few calls and a few solid "no, not unless he has permanent residence status" and some "we would need to look into this more in detail" that might take more time than we had to get the purchase done by the time we wanted, one of the largests banks here in Japan; the Mizuho bank stated that "we can grant the loan assuming that this person has filed an application for permanent residence".

With Mrs. Sunshine coming from a family with quite a few of the male members working in the banking sector and considering the stability of Mizuho, we decided that that would be the best option for us to go. The only problem was that we needed to get the visa submission in within a few days (yep, hadn't done anything really to prepare...)...

Coming up next: Visa applications, shady lawyers and massage parlors

6 comments:

aimlesswanderer said...

Hey, my best friend just started working for their Sydney IB team!

Martin said...

You should have got one of those money belts.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Aimless - Good luck to your friend, pretty heavy Japanese culture working for them I would think, but that's not necessarily bad and the bank is very stable!

Martin - Well, the bank guy had one of those and said the exact same things as Superman when he got our cash...

aimlesswanderer said...

Well, he is working long hours - though this is pretty standard in all Ibs. Stability is good, though it's no good if they are fossilised. Hopefully all will be good.

Martin said...

Gosh. Your moneybelt comment was almost as funnie as the superman picture.

I´d love to read the rest of that superman episode...

nevil said...

In my case the the house construction company helped by pushing the bank to give me a loan although I only have a 3 year spouse visa.

The biggest problem for me was having to write my name three times everywhere. And there are many places to write your name when you apply for a loan!
The lessoned learned is to make sure your name is written exactly in the same order on all papers you have. In my case in my passport it says Family-name First-name-1 First-name-2. Alien registration card has alphabet version and katakana version in same order. Inkan certificate had First-name-1 First-name-2 Family-name in katakana. Of course that meant I had to write all 3 versions... (I refuse to call First-name-2 my middle name since in Sweden I have several first names)

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