3 tips on buying property in Tokyo

By on May 30, 2009

1. Foreigners considering the purchase of a property in Tokyo would do well to first talk to a lender or mortgage broker to ascertain the budget and to get loan pre-approval. Lenders have become stricter due to the current financial situation and it does take more time for an expatriate to get a mortgage originated. Another reason why it’s best to start this process early is if a buyer gets pre-approved it provides leverage with sellers.  The best deals are the ones everyone is searching for but deals can easily be lost because it takes expats longer to get a loan originated and sellers will proceed, if they receive other offers simultaneously, with the applicant most likely to get a loan approved.


2. Once the budget is set, finding a real estate professional, who is going to search for potential properties and who should encourage you to look at your purchase through the eyes of an investor, is the next step.  Most buyers have an idea of the locations they are interested in as well as the size in terms of floor space and features. Your agent is going to assess whether your wants and needs are realistic for your budget.


3. Buyers should note that prices are always negotiable; how much depends on the financial situation and motivation of the seller; and this is a great time to buy due to the market.  The best values are in older properties as generally brand-new and newer properties depreciate fast.  Lastly, your agent should provide analyses of comparable for-sale properties on the one you decide to bid on to determine if it’s a fair price and for-lease properties on the market to determine if it is a good investment in terms of potential cash flow, and the land-ownership value.


Bobby Dozier, a 20-year veteran of Tokyo, with real estate experience in Japan and the US, is the Sales Director at Platinum Ltd and can be reached at bobby@platinum1000.com or (03) 5114.1266.

About Kevyn Johnson