How to buy a house in Japan

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you decide to purchase a house? Purchasing a house is a major life decision for many people yet they may not be familiar with the purchase process. We will provide a detailed explanation of the entire process from mortgage application to house purchase.

Step 0: Get qualified

First, answer the questions after you click the button down below to find out whether you are eligible to apply for a mortgage. You can receive an email if you get pre-qualified. A Flat 35 mortgage application form for pre-approval and a list of necessary documents to submit is going to be sent to your address if you get pre-qualified. 

Step 1: Get a mortgage pre-approval

Once you get pre-qualified, you are going to receive an application form and apply for a mortgage pre-screening. Basically, Hanabusa asks those who wish to purchase a house to apply for a mortgage pre-screening of Flat35, a mortgage provided by Japan Housing Finance Agency (JHF). If you cannot pass the Flat35 pre-screening, it means that you cannot pass a bank mortgage pre-screening either. Once you are pre-approved by Flat35, we will help you apply for pre-screening for a bank mortgage and you will choose the best mortgage option for yourself, given your needs and preferences. Generally, there are two stages in mortgage screening; the first one is pre-screening called “Jizenshinsa” in Japanese and the other one is screening called “Honshinsa” in Japanese. It takes about 3 to7 days to get the result of the pre-screening. The mortgage size will be rougly clear from the result of the pre-screening. As a general rule, the mortgage size tends to be 6-7 times the value of annual income.

Step 2: Find a home

Hanabusa will help you find a property from REINS (Real Estate Information Network System), the computer network system operated by the Real Estate Distribution Organization designated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The property search process may be guided by certain budgetary conditions such as the mortgage size reflected in the pre-screening stage, self-financing that can be prepared, ease of access to workplace or school, and surrounding areas such as nearby commercial facilities, public facilities, and parks. There may also be architectural elements to consider such as the environment, the amount of sunlight, and the size of floor space. However, it is not easy to find a property that meets all of your wishes. In order to narrow down the choices, it is recommended to set clear priorities regarding your home. Clearly choosing search options that reflect your reality and priorities make it easier to narrow down the properties you can afford.

Step 3: Make an offer

When you find a property you like, you will apply for the purchase process. Please keep in mind that the purchase application is not a formal sales contract. It is meant to express an intention to "buy this property". In order to discourage window-shopping applications, an "application margin" of between few ten thousand and 100,000 yen may be required. If the contract is not materialized, the application margin will be refunded to the applicant.

Step 4: Seal the deal

Before the sales contract, Hanabusa will explain the important matters to you, either at the seller’s place or at Hanabusa office. This explanation process includes confirmation of property details and transaction conditions for the sales contract. There are many professional terms so feel free to ask questions if something is not clear to you. If you are satisfied, you may sign and seal the important matter manual. After the explanation of important matters, you will sign a formal sales contract. At the same time, a down payment must be made. The down payment is about 5 to 10% of the property price, which is a large amount so start preparing early. If you cannot arrange for the down payment, Hanabusa will consult with you. In addition, a stamp fee of about 10,000 yen is required separately for the sales contract.

Step 5: Get a mortgage approval

You will apply for a Flat35 or bank mortgage screening to get approved. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks for the result of the screening to come out. At this time, it should be noted that the pre-screening is just a prospect and there are rare cases where the screening fails. In preparation for such a situation, the sales contract generally has a special provision that "if you cannot get a mortgage, the sales contract can be taken back to the drawing board". If you do not have this special provision, the down payment may not be returned so please carefully check the contract details.

Step 6: Explanation of pieces of equipment・Check for scratches and dirt

The seller will explain the equipment of the house. At the same time, you will check for scratches and dirt on the walls with the seller. Any scratches or stains found will be repaired before the seller hands over the keys to the buyer.

Step 7: Mortgage agreement

A mortgage agreement is a contract in which a borrower borrows money from a lender, uses the money, and repays the full amount of borrowed money plus interest to the lender. When obtaining a home mortgage from a financial institution, it is common for the purchaser to establish hypothec on the home and offer it as collateral to the financial institution. In the case of Flat35, the agreement will be done at the office of Hanabusa. In the case of a bank mortgage, the branch office where you applied for a mortgage will conclude the agreement.

Step 8: Mortgage provides・Balance settlement

The balance settlement is to pay various expenses such as brokerage fees in addition to the purchase price of the property. Generally, it will be held about 1 to 2 weeks after the result of screening comes out. The down payment you have already paid will be deducted. The balance settlement is often done at a financial institution that provides the mortgage.

Step 9: Handing over of the key・Move-in

At the same time as the balance settlement is done, the Shihoshoshi lawyer will register the property in your name and transfer the ownership to you. After that, you will receive the keys and complete the transaction. If you want to move in immediately after receiving the keys, let us know your move-in day in advance.


How much is the brokerage fee for Hanabusa?

Our brokerage fee is “property price * 3% + 60,000 yen (excluding tax)”. Since Hanabusa basically handles only properties of 4 million yen or more, the brokerage fee is calculated by the above formula. The brokerage fee is basically paid by a mortgage if you get approved.

I don't have any savings.

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