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How to save money when buying a property abroad in Japan

Have you been dreaming of owning property in the Land of the Rising Sun? It turns out that buying real estate in Japan is surprisingly easy, even if you are a foreigner. With a variety of options on the market, and pretty much no restrictions in place to prevent you from getting what you want, this just might be the ideal place to invest in property in Asia.

To help you learn more about the process of buying property as a foreigner in Japan, we’ve put together a short guide that you can use to get started on your journey.

What properties are available for purchase in Japan?

Japan has a variety of desirable locations where foreigners can find their dream property. You can choose to live in a busy city or in a rural, quiet area where you can take in the gorgeous landscape that this country has to offer. Some of the more popular locations in Japan where you can search for property to invest in include:

  • Tokyo
  • Osaka
  • Kyoto
  • Yokohama
  • Hokkaido

Whether you want an apartment or condo, a townhouse or single-family home, you can find what you are looking for. Luxurious properties, along with simpler homes, are available to suit every budget and preference.

When shopping for real estate or land in Japan, you also have the option of purchasing leasehold property or freehold property. Whichever you choose will depend on your personal needs, expectations, and budget.

A street in Japan

Are there any restrictions for foreign property buyers in Japan?

While other countries throughout the world place restrictions on foreign buyers who are hoping to invest in real estate, Japan is different.

  • There aren’t any restrictions when it comes to owning property, whether in the form of a building or land, when you are shopping as a foreigner in Japan. This opens up a lot of opportunities for those who want to invest in property abroad.
  • When purchasing property in Japan, your visa status doesn’t matter either. You are capable of purchasing and holding property even if you don’t reside in the country, and even if you only have a tourist visa. In other words, you do not need a residence visa or citizenship to buy property in Japan.
  • Within 20 days of making your purchase, you might need to send a notification in writing to the Bank of Japan.
  • Note: After purchasing real estate in Japan, you will not be entitled to getting your residence visa.

    How to budget to buy property in Japan

    Even though there aren’t any restrictions in place regarding what types of property a foreigner can invest in throughout Japan, it is important to know that getting a loan for your home purchase might be difficult if you are not a Japanese resident with work history and income.

    Getting the financing you need for your purchase might be easier if you’re married to a Japanese citizen or if you have your permanent residence visa, as a couple of examples. So if you can’t buy the property in cash, this is also something to keep in mind.

    When coming up with your budget, think about whether you will:

    • Buy a fixer-upper or a new construction
    • Buy in a big city or in a rural area
    • Buy land to build a new house on

    Ultimately, the location where you are planning on buying real estate, as well as the type of property that you are planning on buying, and whether or not you will need to fund construction or repairs, will all factor into how much money you will need to make your aspirations a reality.

    Other costs that you may incur - and that should be considered as you sort out your budget - might include:

    • Property taxes
    • Brokerage fees
    • Stamp duty
    • Acquisition tax
    • Real estate agent’s fee
    • Legal fees
    • Registration tax

    Mt Fuji

    Use OFX to make payments on your property

    After buying your property in Japan, it is time to make arrangements to submit all of the payments that are related to that purchase. Whether you need to make mortgage payments or pay taxes, using an online global money transfer service like OFX will allow you to move your funds internationally in a manner that is secure and efficient.

    The great thing about using OFX is the fact that you can save money when you make an international transfer. That’s because, while banks may charge high margins and fees to make the same transfers, OFX’s goal is to help you keep more of your money. The lower margins, coupled with a Global By Local (GBL) system of moving money around the world, definitely add up to greater savings over time.

    Plus, when you use OFX, you can even take advantage of a variety of tools that can help you make a smart decision about your transfer. For example, you can use handy currency charts to see how far your home currency will go once it is converted into the Japanese yen. Beyond that, you can access market news and receive helpful market rate alerts via email or SMS to plan your transfers like a pro.

    Japan could be the perfect place to invest in property abroad

    With a straightforward process for investing in property abroad, Japan is a wonderful place to begin your search if you want to purchase real estate in Asia. A variety of properties await, and once you settle into your dream home, you will be able to spend as much time as you want in this vibrant country, taking in the natural beauty, the delicious cuisine, the historical sites, and everything in between.

    IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.