Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/7 17:50
My husband and I are looking at buying a house in Japan, and we are wondering what sort of fees/taxes are involved? I believe that this can change within different prefectures, but just after a rough estimate so that we know what we are in for.

We are looking at foreclosed properties/Akiya banks. I am aware that they have quite often been abandoned due to superstitious beliefs (if previous owner has died in/around the house), but we are fine with this. We aren't looking for anything fancy, just a place that will be ours while we are there.

We are not looking to move to Japan (yet), so will be more of a holiday home for us.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
by Lolpie  

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/8 12:05
When it comes to buying a house in Japan, there are plenty of extra expenses to consider:
- stamp tax: a fee of 10 000\ to officialize the deal
- down payment: around 20% of the purchase price

- stamp tax: a fee for the loan of around 10000\
- bank fee: fee from the bank when they give you a loan, depending on a bank
- Fixed Asset Tax: 1.4% of assessed value
- City Planning Tax: 0.3%
- Management fee, Repairing fund (for an apartment)
- Membership fee for the neighborhood association: depending on the house

- Agent commision: 3% of the sales price + 60,000 yen + consumption tax in accordance with property transaction regulations.
- Registry License Tax: 1.9% of the assessed value
- Commission for the Legal Scrivener: depends on the case
- Real Estate Acquisition Tax: Assessed Value* x 3%

If you want more information, checkout, I will post more details there

Thierry from Easy Life Japan
by Easy Life Japan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/8 13:01
Hi Thierry

Thanks for your reply - I appreciate all the information.

Are all of those expenses still that much even on a foreclosed/Akiya bank property that is selling for lets say, about 150,000yen?

We aren't looking to move/live in Japan, so we won't be opening bank accounts/getting loans to buy the property with, we will just be using money we currently have available to us and doing a transfer of funds.

Management Fee/Repairing Fee - is this usually monthly or yearly?

Also, how do you find out the assessed value of a house?

by Lolpie rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/8 17:31
you can't have a loan. you have to buy it by cash.
generally speaking, if you buy akiya (a property), that will lead you have many duties and responsibilities, but will not give you benefits. there are reasons why people don't buy them.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/8 18:05
I donft think that you can have acces to this kind of house if you are not willing to move to Japan and live there for at least 20 years (according to what I have read).
Furthermore, you have to pay a rent every month to have access to this house and participate to the economy of the region where you live.
One last point, the houses they propose might be close to the Fukushima area, so be careful before you buy this kind of houses.

I would strongly recommend to buy a normal house, even if it is more expensive. The houses they give away are not easy to access either...

I hope that helps

Thierry, from Easy Life Japan
by Easy Life Japan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/8 18:08
Sorry, the management fees are for owners that want to rent. My apologies for the confusion.

The assesed value is determined by the government.

Thierry from Easy Life Japan
by Easy Life Japan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/9 01:46
An akiya worth only 150,000 yen would typically require a lot of maintenance and cleaning up. Otherwise, the house would just be destroyed by nature. If you already have a property in mind, inquire the agent for details on taxes and maintenance fees/efforts. Typically, an akiya bank is aimed to bring back the population the town once had, so you might need to engage in social activities if you're buying one.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/9 06:35
There is more to it than just buying a old house for 150,000 yen. These are houses that have not been lived in for 15-20 years, sometimes more. And they local municipals are not just giving them away, they want an investment.

Most are old wooden structures that are quite ramshackle these days. Zero insulation and still fitted with old oil or coal burners (from the 50s/60s) for heat. Some would probably be best just to be bulldozed.

I remember researching a while ago, say three years when these programs first started gaining interest across Japan. The local municipal would request a face to face meeting with you. Seek out your intentions regards fixing the house and being active in the community. They are looking for young couples or young families that are willing to stay in the area and contribute to the community for decades to come. That is not to say that retirees cannot get a look in, but...

You need to factor in a few more things. You'll need to travel to Japan to do the face to face meeting before even getting a chance to sign any paperwork. Costs involved. You'll need to have someone translate if you do not speak the language. Costs involved. You'll need to bring the structure up to a safe living standard, 50,000USD so be safe. Add another 50,000SUD if you want normal modern features like kitchen benches, appliances, doors, toilets, bathrooms etc etc.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/9 09:40
Some of those "cheap" houses also come with taxes due. I recall seeing one with over several million yen in back taxes that were attached to the property. The list price might have been as low as US$50,000, but to cover all the other expenses and liabilities that accrue over decades.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/10 11:26
Thank you all for your feedback - it has been very informative. I appreciate the time you have all taken to answer my question.

JapanCustomTours: I am from New Zealand too! I have just found out about the owing debt on properties and how new owners will end up inheriting it. Apparently it is especially bad with apartments, and can go back up to 10years!

hakata14: My husband and I wouldn't really mind doing up a place - it would make it feel more like it is ours. However, some of the figures you said are a bit out of our price range, for now at least. But we have plenty of time to potentially work away on doing a place up (I am 27 & my husband is 29). Thank you for giving those figures in though - really puts it into perspective.

Thanks again everyone!
by Lolpie rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/11 08:45
I think hakata14 is referring to some of the "get a free house" schemes that are dotted around the country. Okutama have quite a nice scheme and they are not too far from Tokyo, but I don't qualify (too old).

There are also houses literally available for Y0 (free), but when you work out the location and the condition, you understand why. I see abandoned houses near where I live, one I know of is 1/2 burned down, but while there is a structure on the land, the property taxes say lower (I have a friend with a bare patch of dirt in Yamaguchi that complained if there was a house on it the taxes would only be 1/6th). Another house I see frequently would probably be pretty terrible to take on - the missing roof tiles let the rain in, and the rust/rot is bad enough the external staircase fell off the building (I suppose the vermin can still get in/out easily enough.)
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/12 09:14
JapanCustomTours: I think you are correct. I, too, have looked into the 0yen houses, but as we are not yet looking at moving to Japan, they are not suited to us. It does sound like a brilliant scheme to bring people in, so might be something for us to keep in mind for the future.
I have come across a couple of other 0yen houses that don't seem to be part of those schemes, on websites like, but am not 100% sure what the conditions are for getting it at 0yen/what the condition of the house is like.

New question for anyone to answer, if you can.
How can I find out if a property has tax/debt owing on it? Is there a website I can go to and find out?
by Lolpie rate this post as useful

Re: Buying a House in Japan 2018/12/12 13:07
As a posted. There are various schemes going on all over Japan. They all have many different flavours. They all have different requirements. Different hoops to jump through. Depend on where you wanna buy. I just gave one example.

If you wanna know specific details about a specific property. You need to contact the local office in that area. Eg the Japanese version of the local council.

Which is why you need to factor in a trip to Japan before you sign on the dotted line. Lots of finer details you cannot get online and need to get face to face over the counter/desk.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread