Living StyleBy Shawn Clankie
Living the Lifestyle
Whether it’s the resort lifestyle, the simple life, or you simply want a little place to put your hands in the soil, there are many reasons and motivations for wanting to buy resort property in Japan. At a time when many villages are disappearing as people move to the cities for work, others are joining the reverse migration to the countryside in search of simple living for their families.
These contrarians are often met with great real estate deals, and with a little effort can have the best of both worlds; proximity to a city for work but with the lifestyle of the country. So what is motivating people to buy resort properties and what tips do they have for people looking to purchase a resort property?
“Before, we saw people buying resort property primarily as an investment play, but now we’re seeing more and more buyers, particularly from Asia, who are buying for the lifestyle,” said Simon Jackson, President of NorthPoint Network.
This is a point driven home by Tony Collins, Business Manager at IFG Asia Mortgages. “The potential for capital growth depends on what you’re buying. But purchasing a resort property should be above all a lifestyle choice,” he said.]
Whatever your lifestyle, whether it be a chalet with a fireplace along the ski slopes, or a beach house on Japan’s long coastline, match your desires with the location and with the practical concerns (such as where is the supermarket). Here are some other tips from those in the business and those who have done it.
"Watch for, and plan in, extra costs during construction and after. Obvious things you might overlook include snow removal, repair costs and management fees if you intend to rent out the property. The latter can run as high as 20-30% in some resort areas," said Collins. “Visit the construction sight on a weekly basis with the blueprints. Sometimes the foreman does not catch the goofs the carpenters are making. Insist the blueprints be followed,” suggests Tom Goetz, homeowner, Sapporo.
As a buyer looking for a second home, I say do a little research. If you see the perfect piece of land but it’s not for sale, find out who owns it and make them an offer. You might just get lucky.
Finally, Graeme Glen, Sales Manager at West Canada Properties, sums it up best. “If you’re buying for yourself or your family, buy what you want. If you’re buying for the rental market, buy what is sought after by the market.”