Saturday, June 18, 2011

Apartment Hunting

I've been checking out some spots to move to in Tokyo. Now, I live on the north side of the Yamanote, near Sugamo station. My spot is cool, in a brand new high-rise building, and only a few minutes walk from my primary job. But for reasons I won't go into (yet) I want to move. Actually, I was told that I need to move, then assured that that was not the case by my lawyer. Again, I won't go into it (yet).

Before you watch my videos, let me warn you that these are just boring videos of me looking at apartments. They are only like a minute long each, so I don't feel bad for wasting anyone's time.

Let's go the order I saw them. First up is one in Nishi-Ogikubo. Maybe 10 minutes from Shinjuku by train. It's small, and I instantly realized that it is important to be very specific when looking for a place. You don't just look them up on craigslist, you have to be shown the apartments by a real estate agent, who gets a one month cut if you decide to rent. By only specifying "good price", I got shown some real dumps. But the price was low.


Next is another in this part of town. These are pretty small, in old buildings, with little sunlight. By the way, both of these run about $500 a month.


Next up is a spot about a minute from Nakano Fujimicho station on the Maranochi subway line. It's a few minutes from Shinjuku, but you have to transfer. Bonus, it's above a pachinko parlor!


Same building, corner room. I dig the loft. These spots got for about $700. Plus moving costs, which I'll explain later.


My friend, who is a real estate agent, introduced me to some places around Higashi-Nakano. I really like this area. It's close enough to walk from Shinjuku, meaning I can drink until 2am instead of running to catch the 12:30 last train. This apartment was reformed in 2007, meaning the bathroom is pretty kick ass. You'll pay an extra $100 a month for the reform though.


As you can see, these rooms are pretty big. Around $1000 a month. Next up is the same building, but this room wasn't reformed. Bonus! My friend learns about American humor!


"It's no joke! It's serious problem!"

So there you go, some places for rent in Tokyo. Now, you may be thinking that you can afford to move into one of these. Slow down there money bags! There are a few extra charges before you get the key. You've got 2 months deposit. Then you've got 1 or 2 months key money, which is a nice way of saying extortion from the landowner. Yeah, you just give them a ton of cash for no reason, except that you have to. That's the reason. People just do it. Oh, that real estate agent who showed you the place, they get a month out of your pocket. Then there is mandatory fire insurance for about $200 for 2 years. Oh, and you have to pay the normal rent for the first month.

So a $1000 a month apartment is gonna run you around $6000 just to get in the door. Welcome to Japan.

13 comments:

mobung said...

Ouch. I've heard finding-an-apartment-in-Japan horror stories before. The "deposit" you pay isn't even a proper deposit, is it? It is my understanding that there is an almost 0% chance you'll get all of it back when you move out.

I hope you can find a decent apartment!

Brian said...

I know many people who had their deposit jacked. I also heard that it is getting better.

Mr. S. said...

This is why some people stay in Gaijin houses. It's total BS. My mother-in-law, a landlord, did not appreciate this sentiment. Did you know you have to pay 'a gift' to renew your contract? WTF? Thank god marrying her daughter got me out of all that. Almost the same cost, though...

Brian said...

Every 2 years, a 1 or 1.5 month renewal fee is needed.

I lived in a guest house for a year and a half. In the end, it's actually quite expensive, maybe even more than an apartment. But the social aspect of it is good sometimes.

Limo said...

I moved every year because I'd rather upgrade than give some bastard a $1000 to continue a lease.
With 2% interest rates...it's much better to buy in Japan.

Checkout this place for some stunner deals. http://www.foreclosedjapan.com/

The reason they're cheap is because so many Japanese don't wanna live in a place where someone died. LOL.

How To Learn Kanji said...

hehe, you didn't wasted my time at all. Those were interesting videos. The information you shared here will come in handy when I finally go and live in a Japanese apartment.

Thanks for sharing! :D

illahee said...

wow, the unit bathrooms, i do not miss.

TheOctopus said...

FWIW I got my deposit back from the last place I rented, minus about 30,000 yen "cleaning fee" despite leaving the place spotless. However I ended up leaving the place the month after forking out for the "contract renewal" fee, which kind of put a damper on my joy.

Gwen said...

I believe real estate properties in Asia are very much inexpensive compared to the states. I have recently looked into apartment for rent in Makati. Much like in Tokyo, some of them are a real keeper.

Theodore Smith said...

I remember the time when I was also looking for a place to stay in Japan, I love that place.
apartment for rent in makati

Maia Dobson said...

Apartment hunting takes a long time and could be a headache sometimes. I want an apartment that's spacious, clean and a bathroom wide enough for my bathroom fixtures.

luxury apartments manila said...

I think that you'll be need to getting used to space saving appliances over there.

kaizo clark said...

If they happen to be looking for property sales east London, they can only be sure with one website. I've been using them for quite some time now and the units really look great. I'm talking about the VivoLondon website.