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Columns

Living Style

By JPL

Resort Real Estate: Fact or Fiction

2009
ISSUE
27

There are plenty of myths floating around about purchasing property in Japan. To separate the fiction from the fact, we went to the experts to help us sort it all out.

  • As a foreigner, you can’t own land outright.

“Unlike some other Asian countries, overseas buyers can purchase the land outright,” says Jason Holt, CEO, EastEdge Partners.

  • It’s hard to get a loan without permanent residency.

Charlie Dawson, Sales Associate, Niseko Real Estate tells us, “Commonwealth Bank has a loan program available for overseas buyers that will cover up to 50% of the cost of the property.”

  • Zoning laws are extremely strict in Japan.

“In New Zealand or Australia, zoning approval can take two or three years. Here we can start with an empty piece of land in May and have the residents moving in by December. It’s incredibly straightforward,” says Simon Jackson, President, NorthPoint Network.

  • You need a Japanese spouse as a guarantor.

“A guarantor is not always required but can be very useful depending on the type of property, bank and your financial background. This is primarily a residential issue, as banks are concerned about the ability to foreclose in cases of delinquent loans,” according to Tony Collins, Business Manager, IFG Asia Mortgages.

  • Maintenance from overseas will be a pain.

“There are plenty of ex-pat property managers here in Japan who can take care of everything,” said Grant Mitchell, Sales Manager, Tracks Real Estate.

  • Property in Japan is too expensive.

“It’s just Tokyo. Look beyond the center of the city to the outskirts, and there are great deals to be found,” advises Emma Minamisawa, President, K.K. Start.