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Can foreigners buy property in Japan?

buying property in Japan

Can foreigners buy property in Japan?

Buying property in Japan as a foreigner

Can foreigners buy property in Japan?  Yes, they can.

Savvy investors are always on the lookout for new and profitable investment opportunities. Purchasing properties in foreign countries is an exciting opportunity to diversify your portfolio. While many countries allow foreigners to buy properties, only a few come close to Japan in terms of lax restrictions.

Japan is one of the world’s best countries for buying properties as a foreigner. Why? Foreigners are subject to almost the same rights as Japanese citizens when purchasing land or property. Hence, your permanent resident status or type of visa has little bearing on your ability to buy properties in Japan.

Why is property purchase in Japan seamless for foreigners?

Several factors are driving this trend. First, Japan’s aging population has resulted in property abundance. Coupled with increased urbanization and preference, there’s been a proliferation of akiyas (abandoned houses), particularly in rural areas. Making property purchases easy is a strategy that allows the Japanese government to prevent the decline of its real estate industry.

With about 3 million expats in Japan (which is expected to grow), foreign property ownership is increasing – thanks to the government’s new housing incentive schemes. That’s why there is no better time to buy a property in Japan than now!

How to purchase a property in Japan as a foreigner

Step 1: Search for a property online.

Unlike other developed countries, Japan doesn’t have a centralized real estate database. This means you have to do your research through different real estate sites. Several real estate search engine sites make looking for property easy.

Many sites have filtering options to help you find your ideal property. Some of these filters include:

  • Type of house
  • House layout
  • Budget Range
  • Location
  • Structure material
  • Building age and more.

Step 2: Get in touch with the agent and visit the property

It’s unlikely you ever meet the property owner directly. Real estate agents/companies manage most property purchases. After finding your property of interest, you must contact the real estate agent in charge of the property. That way, you can further inquiry about the state of the property and learn about payment terms.

Schedule a visit before finalizing any purchase. That way, you can identify structural damages, defects, roof leaks, termite damages, and more. This ensures you avoid disappointment or getting ripped off.

Step 3: Negotiate and make an offer

Real estate success relies on your negotiation skills. Ensure that you strike a great deal. Then you can submit your application form through the real estate agent.

Step 4: Get the necessary documents ready. Make payments and sign the contract

If you are a resident of Japan, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Proof of identity
  • Certificate of residence
  • Residence card
  • Personal seal/Hanko
  • Certificate of seal impression

If you’re not a resident of Japan, you’ll need only two documents. They are:

  • Proof of identity
  • Affidavit confirming the proof of ID is legitimate.

After making the required payments, completing all documentation, and signing the contract, the property is officially transferred to you.

Step 5: Get the keys and final documents. Pay miscellaneous expenses and taxes.

This is the final step in the property purchasing process. After total payments, you’ll be issued a full receipt. You’ll also receive the keys to your new property. Congratulations, you’re now a new property owner in Japan!

Moving forward, you’ll be responsible for paying all extra fees and taxes, including city planning tax, fixed asset tax, management fees, and real estate acquisition tax.

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