How to Buy a House in Japan
Monday, February 14, 2022
If you have the capital, you can buy a house in Japan even if you don’t live in Japan
If you have financial resources, you can buy a house in Japan even if Japan is not your place of residence.
Of course, foreigners (individuals and corporations) living in Japan can also buy a house.
Below is a brief summary of how to buy a house in Japan
1: Decide on a property and submit a “Certificate of Purchase” (買付証明書（かいつけしょうめいしょ）)
Just like anywhere else in the world, you can either go to a real estate agency or search for a property on a real estate website.
Once you have decided on a property that you are interested in, you must submit a "Certificate of Purchase" to the real estate agency or the seller.
A certificate of purchase is like a statement of intent that says, "I am willing to buy this house," but submitting this does not mean that you must buy the house.
2: Make the Purchase
This is often the stage where non-Japanese homeowners find difficulty.
・Do you purchase the property in a lump sum payment?
・Apply for a real estate loan
Those who want to pay the full price in one lump sum will have no problem, but those who want to take out a loan will find a few obstacles. If you are able to clear one of the following two points it will make the process of applying for a home loan a bit easier.
・Have a Permanent Residence
・Are able to make a down payment for the property
Ensure that the above conditions are met before proceeding with the contract to purchase the house.
3: Pay the key money and register the transfer of ownership.
When making a contract to purchase a property, key money also has to be paid.
Key money is not an amount set by law but is but is money exchanged only between the buyer and seller, and
is usually 5-10% of the purchase price.
After this, the buyer, seller, real estate company, and lawyer or judicial scrivener (司法書士（しほうしょし）) will gather to register the transfer of ownership. This is to make it clear who owns the property in the registry.
When the registration procedure is completed, a Notice of Information for Registration Identification (登記識別情報通知書（とうきしきべつつうちしょ）)will be sent to you.