(Tokorozawa station, Seibu line)
* Foreigners can buy a property in Japan without having special qualification.
Do you want to join the small handful of people who are doing the house flipping here ?
Maybe we have got a better solution to abandoned houses problem in Japan.
Apparently home flipping investment is a lucrative and fulfilling way to make thousands of dollars within a short period of time in US. But it can also be a difficult and frustrating endeavor when things go wrong.
And things will often go wrong. I have read about the stories that investors talk about the various obstacles in their way. Flipping homes requires hard work, persistence, and a great deal of patience,
because you’ll inevitably encounter problems in the process.
What about the flipping houses Japan ?
Since there are so many abandoned houses here in Japan, can we do something similar ?
The answer is yes and no.
Let me start with the background by quoting an article in The Japan Times.
The Japan Times on December 26, 2017 says “Over 8 million properties across Japan are unoccupied, according to a 2013 government report. Nearly a fourth have been deserted indefinitely, neither for sale nor rent.
In Tokyo — where 70 percent of the people live in apartments — more than 1 in 10 homes are empty, a ratio higher than in cities like London, New York and Paris.
And that figure is expected to soar in the coming decades as deaths outpace births in a super-aging society where more than 1 in 4 people are 65 or older.
Nomura Research Institute, prominent research firm, projects the number of abandoned dwellings to grow to 21.7 million by 2033, or roughly one-third of all homes in Japan.
Meanwhile the population, which peaked nearly a decade ago, is forecast to fall 30 percent by 2065, creating an ever-increasing pool of uninhabited houses.”
(House) (Living room with ocean view)
I recently visited a beautiful Japanese kominka (traditional Japanese house,古民家) in Atami with
a business parter who actually renovated into the perfect condition.
The house was build only in 2017 but it used the old timbers from a century-old house in Nagano prefecture.
The current owner dismantled an old house in Nagano and transferred to Atami(熱海）and restored it completely.
Here is the traditional Japanese style house and how it is restored.
It sits in Atami in Shizuoka prefecture.
It has a great access; only 2 hours away by car from central Tokyo and about 80 km from Mt.Fuji.
It is the ocean view house where you can enjoy the sea breeze and spectacular Pacific Ocean and the Sagami Bay.
(See the map below)
Located on a high ground in good sun and good ventilation.
Land over 10,000 m2, building over 270 m2.
Front road 7.6 m and 3 parking lots (more space is available for parking lot)
The beautiful unique Japanese old folk house (called kominka ‘古民家’) sits at the foot of the Izu peninsula.
The grand waterfront house originally stayed in a family for more than 90 years in the mountain side of Iiyama city in Nagano prefecture, and it has been well preserved.
(Flipped house in Chiba city, east of Tokyo. Before and After)
* Foreigners can buy a property in Japan without having special qualification.
Who can put a price on akiya (abandoned houses,空き家) in Japan ? You can.
There are more than 8 million distressed or abandoned houses in Japan.If you want to flip these akiya (abandoned house) into a rental property, there are quite a few opportunities out there. Akiya in Japan is a big social issue as akiya can generate serious security issues like fire, weeds, pests and burglars. Investing in akiya in a sense solves social these issues.You can find the possibilities of getting a great deal very quickly at relatively small risk exposure. But you have to find a right property in a right location.
Here is how it works
In real estate business, you probably make your money when you buy a property not when you sell it. If you don’t buy the property at the right price and/or terms, then there won’t be any good profit when you sell it.The same phrase can be applied to your home.Even if your initial plan was to live in a property (your home that is) for a long time, life is full of unexpected ventures and you may have to sell it in the future.The real estate is contained in the relatively low liquidity dimensions compared with other financial assets such as stocks, bonds and the transaction costs are high.Thus you want to be very careful when you buy a property.This is true for investors to flip a property.
Usually house flipping in the US is referred as a short-term strategy i.e. buying and renovating a house and sell it at higher value in the short term. A flipper usually needs to get out in less than six months.However, in Japan, it is not a very common style.Today I am illustrating a Japanese style house flipping; flipping akiya (abandoned house, 空き家）into a rental property.You don’t have to stick to akiya for flipping but they are naturally very affordable to come by.One of our business partners is actively investing in akiya (abandoned house).Here’s a simple strategy we usually recommend for flipping akiya into a rental property.
We usually locate a property in suburban areas of Tokyo where you can find a decent one for flipping.
You should be able to find an appropriate property in Kansai (western Japan) areas but we don’t cover those areas simply because it is too far to visit the sites.Read more
While inspecting any property is important, it becomes even more uppermost to check for defects found in second-hand property especially akiya (空き家abandoned houses)
In Japan’s real estate industry, it is generally assumed that there are four types of risks of ‘defects’ （瑕疵）the industry professionals usually recognize.
They are physical defects, psychological defects, environmental defects
and legal defect (issues).
1. What is a physical defect?
Physical flaws are situations where the building leaks, termites occur, and the earthquake resistant strength is insufficient.
Some common physical issues
For example, with 8 million akiya (Abandoned house, 空き家),
old houses are usually very affordable in Japan these days. However, those old houses could also come with a lot of issues that you may not be prepared for.
What seems like a great deal at first may ultimately cost much more than you originally thought.
It is always recommended to do your research before investing in real estate, particularly when the property in question is old property.
The following checklist will give you an idea of what issues to watch out for when buying a second-hand property especially an older home.
Due diligence always pays off.
You want to avoid common physical defects, problems with the construction structure.
I have a friend who has enjoyed hosting international visitors in Tokyo in her
She has been hosting international visitors in her spare two-bedroom apartment
but will have to stop it because her building association (管理組合）has decided to
ban the minpaku business ahead of the law’s
enactment in June 2018.
She was able to meet many different people she would have not met otherwise.
A lot of foreign friends have been asking me a question about minpaku (民泊、private lodging) in Japan.
Today I am going to discuss the basic knowledge about minpaku and minpaku law
set by the government in 2016.
How does the new minpaku law work ?
What is the implication on the real estate industry ?
(Okutama lake in Okutama town, Tokyo)
You can find “abandoned houses” all over Japan, due to the country’s shrinking population.
The ministry of land, infrastructure, Transport and Tourist（MLIT) reported in 2013
that about 8.2 million (about 13.5% of total) houses and apartments were empty.
In fact, this 8 million number which often catches media attention is very misleading.
It includes the rooms and houses for letting.
Taking the fact into account, there are about 2.2 million akiya ‘real empty houses’ (abandoned houses)
in the market. Still daunting number in deed.
One report said vacant land and homes could by 2040 be as big as Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido—about 83,000 sq km (32,000 sq miles), or the size of Austria.
The area is currently about 41,000 sq km, slightly bigger than Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.
Many of Japan’s 8 million abandoned homes—or akiya(空き家）—are often left empty indefinitely.
Why do we have so may abandoned houses ?