Published at Monday, February 11th, 2019 - 09:02:29 AM. House. By Hamas Charlie.
Japanese Housing Conditions : In Japan, land price is expensive and housing conditions regarding its rent and size are not good compared to other countries. Accommodation is a very serious problem even for the Japanese particularly in urban areas, which lack spacious and low cost housing. 1. Japanese rental housing In Japan there is both public housing and private housing. Apartments make up the majority of rental housing. a) Public housing Public housing is provided by official organizations such as prefectural, city, and town governments, and housing supply corporations. Any non-Japanese who has an alien registration can apply for this kind of housing regardless of nationality. There are two types of housing: Koei Jutaku (public housing) is for people who have a low income; and Tokutei Yuryo Chintai Jutaku (delux family housing) and Kosha/Kodan Jutaku (Public Corporation housing) for those with a middle-class income. These apartments provide a certain level of facilities at relatively low rent. It is necessary to pay two to three months rent as a deposit (guarantee money) at your tenancy, but key money which is necessary for private housing is not required. However, qualifications such as income are precisely determined, and only those who satisfy these qualifications can apply. As there are many applicants, the tenants are determined by lottery. After moving in, the tenants must comply with the regulations for use (i.e. nobody is allowed to live together with the tenants without permission). This type of housing is mainly apartments, which generally include kitchen, bath, and oshiire (closet), with one to four rooms. b) Private rental housing Private rental housing is owned by individuals and private companies. The type varies in rent and size. 1. Aparto (Apartment) These are mainly two-story buildings constructed from light-weight steel, wood, or mortar, and house 4 to 8 households. Some of them share a toilet and/or have no bath. 2. Mansion (Apartment) In Japan, housing which is bigger than an Aparto and built with reinforced concrete is called a Mansion. The insulation is better than an Aparto, and privacy is better. Some have a custodian living on the first floor or others have an underground parking lot. 3. Detached house Detached houses have recently been designed using a mixture of Japanese and Western styles. Some of them have a garden. There are several rental houses designed especially for non-Japanese but not many. 2. Typical housing size and floor plan The area is indicated in square meters (m2) as well as original Japanese units, jo and tsubo. One jo means one tatami mat, and is roughly 180 cm x 90 cm. (Tatami is a unique Japanese floor covering). One tsubo is 182 cm x 182 cm or about 3.3m2 and equals approximately two jo. There are Japanese-style and Western-style rooms. A Japanese-style room has tatami mats and a Western-style room has flooring or a carpeted floor. Below is a typical Japanese housing floor plan. • K, DK, LDK - K means kitchen, D means dining room and L means living room. K means only a kitchen and DK means a dining room plus kitchen, and LDK means a room which has the function of a living room as well as dining room and kitchen. Therefore, 2DK means a house which has two rooms in addition to a room having the function of kitchen and dining room. • UB - UB means unit bath (unified formation bathroom), which includes bathtub, toilet and washbowl. • Oshiire (closet) - This means a storage space in a Japanese-style room. • PS - This means a pipe space containing drainpipes and wiring conduits. • MB - This means the meter box for water and gas. Floor plan for One-room Mansions (one-room apartments) (Example) Facilities are compact and there is one room which can be used as a living room. The kitchenette is very small, so that elaborate cooking is not possible. Some of them dont have any space for a washing machine inside the room. Floor plan for detached houses (Example) • Most detached houses in modern Japan have both Japanese and Western-style rooms. • Some of them have a garden and a parking space. 3. Customs regarding Japanese housing a) Shoes - In Japanese housing, there is an area for removing shoes before stepping up into the main entrance. Japanese people sit on the floor and sleep on a futon on the tatami, the Japanese traditional floor mats, so stepping on them with shoes on is not allowed. If you enter a room wearing shoes and dirt the mats, you might have to pay repair costs. b) Bathroom - In Japan bathing is not only washing the body but also a chance to relax while soaking in the bathtub. Recently bathrooms consisting of a Western-style bath with toilet have become popular, but the Japanese traditional bathroom is separate from the toilet and has a space to wash the body outside the bathtub. Bathtubs are mainly made of plastic or stainless steel. If you live with a Japanese family, you must keep the water in the bathtub as clean as possible because the rest of the family will take turns to use the water after you. Do not use soap in a Japanese-style bathtub. The water is heated mainly by gas. c) Tatami mats - Tatami mats are a traditional floor covering of straw sewn to make a mat about 5.5 cm thick and bound by woven rush. One tatami mat (jo) is also the unit used to indicate the size of a room. New tatami is green and the tatami mats are changed every few years or whenever moving house. d) Futon (thick bedquilt), bed and oshiire (closet) - In a Japanese house, generally the futon is rolled out every night and folded away in the oshiire every morning. During the daytime, the futon is kept inside the oshiire. In this way, a single room can be used for various purposes. If a bed is placed on the tatami mats, they are dented and damaged, so it is recommended to put boards under the legs of the bed. e) City gas and propane gas - Electricity or gas is provided for the stove and bath. There are two types of gas: city gas (coal gas), led to each household from gas company tanks, and propane gas, provided by dealers in the form of cylinders. City gas is managed by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and propane gas is managed by individual dealers. Gas cookers etc. should be supplied by tenants. f) Water supply and drainage - Almost all areas of Kanagawa Prefecture have water supply facilities. You can drink the tap water. In most cases there is a drainage or a water purification tank. The drainage system is not suitable for a disposer. g) Toilet - The Japanese-style toilet has a cover (dome) at the front. When the toilet is shared with other tenants, separate toilet slippers should be used. h) Air conditioning / heating - Some housing has air conditioning/heating but in most cases, tenants have to buy their own. Fuel for heating includes electricity, gas, and kerosene. Sometimes the use of kerosene is prohibited. I) Fusuma and shoji - These are unique Japanese sliding doors to separate rooms. Fusuma is a wooden frame with fusuma paper pasted on both sides. Shoji is a latticed wooden frame with shoji paper windows. It is possible to make a room bigger by removing fusuma to connect the rooms. Fusuma pasting should be done by a specialist but when shoji paper is torn, you can buy shoji paper and repair it yourself. 4. Common problems and how to troubleshoot a) Remove footwear - Do not enter a house with shoes on. Be sure to remove shoes at the entrance. b) Deposit -Most of the problems related to renting involve the deposit. In Japan when you rent a house, you have to pay a deposit to the house owner. This deposit is given to the house owner and returned without any interest when the lease is cancelled. However, repair costs are deducted, so the deposit is usually not returned in full. As the specific agreement of the rent is contained in the rental housing contract, please check the contract thoroughly and dont break it. As for the other expenses when making a contract, please refer to page 39. c) Number of residents - The number of residents is confirmed when the contract is made. Additional residents are not allowed. d) Noise - Do not make loud noises late at night. In apartments, the sound echoes more than you think. As the sound of running a large amount of water also bothers neighbors, try not to run a bath or do washing late at night. e) Pets - There are almost no apartments allowing pets other than small birds and goldfish. If you do find one where you can keep pets, please follow the rules. f) Kitchen - If you cook with a large amount of oil, clean the area soon after by wiping the sink and cooking area. The ventilation fan should also be cleaned regularly. g) Putting out the garbage - Garbage is collected by the municipal government. The collection point, date, and method are determined in each area. There are areas where flammable garbage and nonflammable garbage should be separated. As for large garbage items, there are areas where the collection date is already determined, or you can sometimes arrange to have them picked up. Please consult your neighbors or the municipal government. h) Long-term absence - When you are not at home for a long time, you should notify the house owner. Rent must be paid even when you are away. i) Remodeling of the room - If you want to remodel a room, such as by putting a nail into a pole or attaching a hook to the wall for holding clothes, you should first consult owner. It is assumed that you will leave the room in the condition it was in when you rented it. If you remodel the room and it cannot be returned to its original state, your deposit will not be returned, or additional payments may be required.
How to Sell Your House Privately : To sell your house privately can be an exciting challenge for most people but can also be a daunting task especially if youve never done it before. While selling your house privately is never as easy as you think, its certainly a feasible way to avoid paying thousands of dollars in commission to a real estate agent. If youre confident you can do it or just want to give it a go, youll need to know the ways in which you can market your house so that you receive a quick hassle-free sale as well as achieving the best sale price possible. Here are several ways that you can market and sell your house privately... Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 1: Internet The Internet is probably the most utilised form of contact for buyers looking for a house so you should have your house listed on the Internet, but on probably no more than two websites (any more than two is unnecessary). Unfortunately the major sites realestate.com.au and domain.com.au dont allow private sellers to list their houses for sale. However there is a loophole...several private listing real estate websites actually subscribe as members to the above websites. So if you list your house with these private listing sites theyll automatically list your house on whichever of the major two sites that theyre subscribed to (for a price). Otherwise you can simply list your house for sale on a private sale website such as PrivateSales.com.au. Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 2: Flyers/Leaflets According to statistics, something like 80% of homebuyers buy a house within 5km of where they currently live. This being the case, its a great idea to create your own flyers using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher and have them printed professionally by a printer. Flyers are usually dirt cheap so shop around for the best deal. Youll probably need around 5000 to make a splash in the area (in metropolitan areas) and something like 15,000 flyers would create a good coverage of your local area. You can deliver them yourself (if you have the time), or you could use a mailbox distribution company such as Salmat or PMP Distribution (These are Australias two largest distribution companies). Your cost of delivery will probably be a minimum of 5 cents per flyer under a certain delivery amount (say 30,000). This is quite cheap when you consider that youd either have to deliver them yourself (you could probably only deliver a few hundred per day) or have to pay a commission to a real estate agent. For ideas on how to design your flyers, simply copy the best ones that you receive in the mail from the larger franchised agencies such as Ray White, LJ Hooker etc. Remember to use a catchy headline at the top of your flyers eg. HUGE family house on a BIG 1200sqm block. Expect a 1% response rate on your flyers eg. Deliver 5,000 flyers and you likely receive around 5 calls. Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 3: Newspaper Newspapers are the most traditional way of advertising a house for sale. There are two ways you can advertise in the newspaper. You can have a display ad which is simply a picture ad along with a certain amount of text allowed (these are the most expensive ads but you can specify the unit size of the display ad from a small one unit up to an entire page depending on your budget). The other type of newspaper ad is a classified ad. A classified ad is a text-only ad that allows headings, bolding, underlining, bordering and even some coloured text to make the ad stand out. All of these features come at an additional cost but classified ads are the cheapest types of newspaper ads available. Prestigious and/or expensive houses usually work best as display ads since this is where your target buyer is looking for these types of houses. Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 4: Magazines Advertising your house for sale in magazines is a more niche way of advertising your house simply because magazines usually have a specific niche that theyre targeting their publication to eg. Country Property Magazine. This is not necessarily a negative; in fact it can be very positive because you have more qualified homebuyers looking in these publications for a house. Most magazines will have display ads as well as classified advertising available; again it depends on your budget as to what ad youll use. Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 5: Word of mouth Word of mouth is often overlooked as a possible way to market a house. You can spread the word through family, friends, workmates, business colleagues, schools, membership clubs that youre involved with, sporting teams. You could create some flyers and hand them out, send out a broadcast email for friends to forward or even organise a private open house for friends and friends of friends. Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 6: Signage Signage is a great way to attract local interest in your house. Itll create a stir in the neighbourhood and may even help you achieve a sale if one of your neighbours friends wants to move to the area. You can have a sign made by most printers; the material or product to ask for is a corflute sign to advertise a house for sale. Most printers are probably involved with a local real estate agency and create them often. It may set you back a few hundred dollars but shop around and see what you can do. Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 7: Open House Your end goal with all of your marketing is to get potential buyers to inspect your house and one of the most common ways for buyers to inspect houses for sale is through open houses. They offer buyers a somewhat anonymous way of inspecting a house without any sales pressure. Its a great way to screen buyers to see which ones are ready-to-buy so that you can spend the most time with those buyers. Create your own Inspection Register and get the names and contact numbers of everyone who inspects your house. This is not only good for the sales process but also for general security of your house. Have a set presentation for when you first meet potential buyers to let them know about some of the features of your house. Its a good idea to have brochures or flyers on hand to give to buyers. Questions to ask potential buyers are: Have you been looking for a while or are you just getting started? (if theyve just started looking they will need to be educated about prices in the area. They can potentially be time wasters as they dont have any reference points to compare your house with others. In addition to this, the type of house they think theyre looking for could be completely different from the one they actually buy after theyve completed some research. Are there any features that you particularly like about the house? How does this compare to other houses youve seen? Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 8: Investor Groups There are always investor groups or buying clubs that have a database of members that are constantly on the lookout for investment opportunities and could be suitable for you to approach to sell your house. A few downsides to these groups is that theyll want to buy the house for the lowest possible price and generally wont be emotionally driven to buy the house which can affect your end selling price or even negotiating power. If you have a particular urgency in selling your house then this option could be for you. A lot of these types of clubs promote the fact that they buy houses for cash with a quick settlement period. Several of these groups include WeBuyHouses.com.au and The Investors Club Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 9: Postcards Postcard marketing is a more unique and modern way of promoting your house for sale. They work the same as flyers except that your ad is printed on postcards that are then distributed to letterboxes. Its best to have them distributed by companies such as Salmat and PMP Distribution. Sell Your House Privately - Tip # 10: Publicity Publicity is probably THE most underutilised way to sell a house privately (or through an agent). Publicity is great for a number of reasons; first of all, its free, and secondly and most importantly, publicity promotes your house from a third party perspective. Instead of you saying my house is so great... you have a third party saying this house is great, you should go and see it!.
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