Buy a Fixer Upper in Japan for CHEAP!

Houses in Japan typically decrease in value over time until they are worthless — the cultural legacy of post-World War II construction and shifting building codes — with only the land retaining value. Owners feel little incentive to maintain an aging house, and buyers often seek to demolish them and start fresh. But that can be expensive.
Others aim to preserve what’s there.
“There was no way we wanted to knock it down and build something new. It was too beautiful. So we decided to renovate instead,” Thursfield said. “I’ve always been someone who likes to jump in the deep end, take a few risks and learn new things, so I was confident that we would manage somehow.”

Since buying the farmhouse in 2019, the couple has spent about $150,000 on renovations, and there’s more to do. Thursfield has documented the project on YouTube, drawing more than 200,000 subscribers.

MOre here:

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on a side note, i know 2 families who bought real estate in Japan as investment and one of them also as a backup plan in case China attacks.

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Is one able to live in Japan indefinitely as a real-estate owner?

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I want the same in Taiwan! And I want it now!


I doubt it.

@QuaSaShao might know.

Remember the fine print on the French fixer uppers: “Support local cottage industries and pay through the nose to local contractors only”. I bet there are some similar addendums on what you sign for these things. And then in the end probably no path to permanent settlement. Just demolish them all now?

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I didn’t hear of any big issues buying property in Japan. They generally knock them down after 50 years or so , so they aren’t worth much.
This is interesting though cos we were thinking of doing a ‘long-stay’ in Japan in the Summer but the cost wasn’t as cheap as we anticipated.
To fix up a house you kinda have to live in Japan for a while so there’s that.

What’s interesting is that you could buy a house with land for such cheap prices? They bought the house at auction for 28,000 USD. I would have assumed the house price included the land rights?

That’s what I hope QSQ can speak to. The article said they tend to let the houses fall into disrepair and then knock them down, but yeah, the property retained its value. Maybe they are on real small lots. Japanese houses in the countryside tend to be clumped together.

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Yes and no. I’ve been living part-time in Hokkaido since 2009. You can stay three months at a time on a tourist visa and I stay up to six months a year some years no problem. If you own property immigration doesn’t seem to care how often you enter the country just so long as you don’t stay more than three months each time.


House price includes land. I built my house to last and young Japanese people seem to appreciate all the woodwork/craftsmanship. From what my local friends tell me younger people don’t have the same attitude about housing being disposable that their elders do.

Living Room 1


Hmmm where have I seen that last picture before? Did you post it somewhere else? Have I seen it in some YT video?

@Taiwan_Luthiers made that side table circled in red for me if that tells you anything.

Living Room


How do you get any sort of permanent residence/visa to Japan?

I wouldn’t mind living in Japan because it’s cold but I heard the people can be really unfriendly…

It’s not easy to get residency in Japan. It takes up to ten years to get permanent residency if you’re not married to a local. I have a business visa but, with taxes and regulations, it’s barely worth having. People in the countryside are friendly but, in my experience, you’ll never be accepted unless you speak correct Japanese and know and follow all the etiquette rules at a minimum. My wife doesn’t like Japanese people because she says they look down on her subtly.


It’s for sale , he shared it here before. Nice place!
Looking at it it’s a beautiful summer house I reckon a bit chilly in Winter?

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Minus 20C in the winter but I like cold weather. Summers are perfect.

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I’m taking it off the market. Change of plans. When I looked into what it would take to replicate it in a place my wife is comfortable in it’s damned near impossible these days. It would take two or three million dollars.


I will offer you cold hard cash. 200k in your hand, today. :slight_smile:

They might say they like Taiwanese but in the end Taiwanese people are majority Han Chinese, not to mention ROC is the same China Japan invaded back in WWII, so I can see why there’s a subtle “looking down”. Also Taiwan was a Japanese colony, hence they would look at Taiwanese the same way France would look at Africans…

Which is the same reason America intentionally limits their military strength.

I don’t know about getting PR in Japan but maybe I could go there visa free in the summer to avoid the heat in Taiwan, if I got the money to do it… it’s a toss up as to whether it’s cheaper vacation in Japan or Europe. On one hand air fare is cheaper because Japan is close…