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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.

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buying real estate in JP as a foreigner 2008/1/18 05:49
How difficult is it for foreigners to buy real estate in Japan, for either business or private purposes? What are the procedures?

In general, are Japanese real estate companies supportive of foreigners wanting to buy real estate, or are they apposed?


by D  

i'm no expert 2008/1/18 08:56
i'm no expert but i don't think there are any restrictions. real estate agents vary greatly in their ability and attitude. there are many big agents that are used to dealing with foreigners.
by joseph rate this post as useful

Real estate 2008/1/18 09:09

Apart from the obvious problems of language difficulties if dealing with Japanese estate agents, I don't think there are any particular restrictions on non-Japanese buying land or property. Note however that mortgages for private individuals are generally only available to residents with permanent status.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

what about non-residents? 2008/1/18 23:50
Joseph, Dave in Japan

Thanks for your replies.

Dave, so you're saying that it is NOT a requirement to actually be a resident of Japan to buy property there, correct?

In that context I would like to know the following too: Let's say that I'm not a resident of Japan, but I buy property there, would I then still be required to have the necessary visas to stay in Japan (working visa, spouse visa etc.), or would my buying property there allow me to stay in Japan for an unlimited amount of time?
by D rate this post as useful

Buying/owning property 2008/1/19 00:03

so you're saying that it is NOT a requirement to actually be a resident of Japan to buy property there, correct?

I believe that is correct. There are of course things like property tax and so on, so you would need to arrange all that through an agent in Japan.

Let's say that I'm not a resident of Japan, but I buy property there, would I then still be required to have the necessary visas to stay in Japan (working visa, spouse visa etc.), or would my buying property there allow me to stay in Japan for an unlimited amount of time?

Yes. I don't think owning property gives you any special right to stay in the country, so you would need an appropriate visa.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

thank you 2008/1/21 19:01
Thank you for your reply.
by D rate this post as useful

Owning Property 2008/1/21 22:46
Let me share my experiance and opinion about owning property in Japan.

First I am a Canadian and speak no Japanese and had no visa to stay in Japan only the 90 day tourist visa when I arrived two years ago.

I bought a parcel of land 900 m2 in Shiga-ken, I have to say it was the easiest parcel of land I bought, Foreigners have no problems acquiring land in Japan. A foreigner can buy, sell own a business in Japan with out having a visa, with that being said you only can hold a 90 day tourist visa every time you enter Japan and once you own property or a business in Japan you can come and go as you please but with only a 90 day visa of course.

Real estate agents are more then happy to help foreigners who want to purchase property as long as you have the money, remember you will not be able to borrow money in Japan unless you are a permanent resident or citizen. I hired a translater when I did all my transaction in Japan, no problems what so ever.

Just last year I built a new Chalet on the property by importing everything from Canada so I really didn't need to purchase any large items in Japan or hire anyone from Japan it was quiet easy.

That said I have a vacation home in Japan I come and stay twice a year just on my 90 day tourist visa with out any problems at all.

People in this form sometime state that things can be difficult in Japan but really if you do your home work first on what you want to achieve it is actually very simple.

If you have the money you can do anything.

PS: Shiga-Ken is one of the places with the cheapest property, 100's of them.
by Steve rate this post as useful

Yes 2008/1/22 22:23
Yes, buying is not a problem for foreigners...IF you are aiming at smaller purchases. You also do not need a translator is you use someone like foreclosedjapan. BUT, if you are looking to invest larger amounts, you may encounter numerous setbacks trying to acquire through the tangled web. Not legal obstacles, cultural ones. And ---- ***NOTE*** - buying land in Japan will not entitle you to any sort of residency visa.
by . rate this post as useful

mmm... 2008/1/22 23:31
IF you are aiming at smaller purchases, mmm... smaller or larger purchases you still need to go through the same process.

Foreclosers are a cheaper way of purchasing a home or property and prices are also small or large depending on the bid and anyone can bid on one buy just going down to the local court office and getting a list from any prefecture with out having to pay and sign some agreement with Foreclosed Japan, also it is difficult to really go and look at these properties you never know what your getting.

Visa, but anyone coming into Japan will recieve a tourist visa, people who do own vacation properties in Japan come for 1 to 3 months at a time, tourist visa no problem.
by by. rate this post as useful

aaaaaaahhhh 2008/1/24 17:58
Sorry, what I meant by larger purchases was buildings or offices, etc because he was asking about for business purposes. If it is only a house or apartment, yes, big or small doesn't matter, you will only deal with 2 or 3 people. If larger, there are more probably going to be more people to talk and things will go slower.
by by by by . rate this post as useful

Buying land in Japan 2008/1/31 16:56
I am in the process of buying land on the Miyako Jima. So far it has been extremely easy. When I was there two weeks ago the listing agent was very helpful. Luckily, my wife is Japanese so the translation part isn't an issue. I am back in Canada now, and just receive the couriered documents. Easy to follow. 20% deposit when submit documents and remaining 80% to be sent in a couple of months. They were very flexible with that too. Smooth, easy, profession process. Price was awesome for beautiful ocean view lot on a peaceful, nice island.
by t rate this post as useful

To Steve 2008/2/3 02:29
May ask how your taxes are set up being a citizen of Canada? Such as property tax on your Shiga Kogen estate? Do they send you tax statement each year from Japan or do you have someone handling that for you? Thanks.
by cc rate this post as useful

No, it is not so easy to buy in Japan 2008/2/5 18:35
I am a SOFA status resident of Japan. I do not have a VISA and am trying to get a loan and buy property, which is actually very difficult unless you are married to a Japanese national or have a residency VISA. If someone knows differently, I would appreciate the info.

by Frustrated would be buyer rate this post as useful

To the last poster... 2008/2/5 18:42
You need to have at least "permanent resident" status for Japan to qualify for a taking out a housing _loan_. And I believe that SOFA is a special status to begin with...
by ... rate this post as useful

Mortgages 2008/2/5 19:05

I suggest you shop around (extensively). I have heard - here and elsewhere - that there are a very small number of banks that will provide mortgages to non-permanent residents. If you trawl back through the forum archives, you may find a name or two.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

a question rather than answer 2008/2/6 08:26
From this discussion i can identify it is difficult for foreigners to get finance to purchase prop in jpn.

Is anyone aware of anyway possible for a foreigner to borrow from a jpn bank to buy property in their home country?
by Boris rate this post as useful

Taxes 2008/2/7 10:28
To cc

Taxes are generally payed throught the city office, in my case I just set it up where they just do a direct withdrawal out of my bank account every year in Japan.

The statement can be mailed to your office or home address anywhere.

Very simple.
by Steve rate this post as useful

Can can 2008/2/26 15:42
While (probably) most Japanese banks require a borrower to be a permanent resident Dave from Saitama was right - there are some that don't. Shinsei is one of them. Check out their web site. The restriction they put on is that if a non-permanent resident wishes to borrow to buy property then he/she must be married to a Japanese national who must act as a guarantor - though they don't appear to require the spouse to actually earn money... At 2.55% for 20 years its a steal...
by Japan non-permanent resident rate this post as useful

No Problem 2008/3/1 16:53
I'm dealing with this company to buy a property in Tokyo and they are so helpful.

I recommend to contact with them!!
by John rate this post as useful

We are also interested in Buying 2008/3/5 19:43
We are also interested in purchasing a small apartment in or near Tokyo. Basically, we want a place to call our own when we are in Japan - I was born in Tokyo but now live in California. Is it difficult to open a bank account in Japan to handle annual taxes and such? Our purchase will be cash transaction. Any pitfalls to watch out for? Thank you!
by NM rate this post as useful

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