As reported in ‘Moving Out 2015‘ the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre has indeed found a new home and it’s back to Itabashi-ku that we go just over 2.5 years after I moved out of Kami Itabashi to move in with my other half .
No sooner had we come back from Cambodia and my wife had found this place online and after seeing it, the wheels were put in motion for us to purchase our first house. Naturally this was no simple process and this being Japan it was made (perhaps) even more complicated by all the administration and red tape that needs to be got round for such a transaction to take place. Of course this is one hell of a purchase and can’t just be done so easily but it always seems like such things take much longer in Japan.
This is my story of becoming a home owner in Japan. First of all we (obviously) saw the place, really liked it and agreed to buy it and so we filled in and signed some kind of form to start the process and apply for it. There was plenty of other stuff to be getting on with before our next meeting with the agency guy.
As ever things are done differently in Japan and signing such important business documents need a hanko which is a special Japanese signature stamp seal unique to each person or company. Luckily, I was given one by a student for my birthday a few years ago but had never used it……and couldn’t use it until it had been officially registered at Shinjuku City Hall where I had to then collect a certificate of inkan as well as a certificate of residence.
We then visited the real estate agency in Narimasu with a ridiculous amount of cash on us. Japan may be forward thinking regarding robots, technical toilets and so on but it is still very much a cash society (many places don’t even accept credit cards!) and we had to meet a representative of the house being sold to us and pay some money to him as well as paying a thank you fee to the agency.
Next, I had to go to my schools head office to get a signed letter saying that I worked for them and I had to contact my insurance provider requesting a certificate along with proof of payment. We then returned to Shinjuku City Hall to provide them with all of these papers and documents as well as the last three months of payment slips.
Then, we had a meeting at the Shinjuku branch of our bank for our loan application and officially filled in some forms and they offered various insurance and disaster policies to accompany the loan. There, we were informed that we were almost certain to be granted the loan. Working for the same company for ten years has been looked down and derided by many but that duration and commitment actually seemed to count for something in the eyes of the bank manager!
After that, we had to venture up into Saitama to the Shinki branch of our bank where we registered our bank account for the loan and confirmed some other loan details. Present at this meeting were seller, buyer, agency worker and the judicial scrivener (shihō shoshi) who is authorized to represent clients for such real estate registrations and other such filings of legal affairs. For a very short amount of time (we’re talking minutes!!) my account was lavished with a super-high amount of money as the bank paid the loan into my account which was pretty much instantly transferred to the seller.
We finally acquired the keys to the house at this meeting and were free to move in although that didn’t happen for a few days with the major transfer of furniture and goods coming a couple of days after that. During that time of having two places we returned to Shinjuku City Hall to fill in a form saying that we were moving out and then did likewise at our new City Hall to state that we we had moved in to the area.
Last but not least, we moved in and are currently exploring the area and gradually setting up the place how we want it….or rather how my wife wants it!