Looking for apartments can be a stressful and problematic time. You are constantly trying to find the things that you want versus the things that you can actually afford. It can take long stretches of time before you will find the right place for you. There are a few things that should be kept in mind when looking for apartments and basic living spaces.
Be Ready to Pay
Japan may be an appealing place to live but there are some small problems when hunting for places to live. Namely the hidden fees that come with finding a place. There are things like paying key money, fire insurance, and maintenance fees that may come as a surprise when looking through the contract. There can be some extra things from the city as well, and each city will have its own amount that it will charge for taxes. Look carefully at any contract and check the city fees that will come with living there. If you don’t do any extra checking, you may end up paying for it later.
There may be a ton of pictures posted about the new place, and some agencies have started to use YouTube videos as walkthroughs for the actual apartment. Even though you may be able to see it this way, it will always be more beneficial to you to see it for yourself. There can be some small things that can be hidden through video and pictures that would be impossible to miss in person. Make sure to ask for a personal walkthrough, and if you are denied, you may want to look elsewhere for housing. They can use some things that are already messed up against you in the end, so make sure to protect yourself as much as possible.
Most people who are renting their properties in Japan will not be able to speak anything other than Japanese. Unless you have a friend, girlfriend or boyfriend, or enough Japanese mastered for yourself you will need some help. Using an agency can help lift a lot of stress off of your shoulders when having to deal with landlords and other renters. There are a lot of companies that have begun to hire English speaking workers to help get a piece of the foreign market. There will usually be at least one person who will follow you through the process and help get the right place for you. They do however end up taking a fee for helping you find a new apartment, and it is typically the same as the first month of rent. They can also help by being your guarantor as you need one who is a Japanese resident or company. They will also take a guarantor fee on top of everything, so even though it is very helpful, it will end up costing you more.
Check the Floorplan
Every apartment building will follow some basic design for all of its apartments. Each one will be different and can be large changes or small adjustments. You will need to check the floorplan as thoroughly as possible so you will know what it is you are trying to rent. If you have certain needs for a place this is crucial. You may need to have a bathtub, and some places only have shower boxes, or you may want a washing machine and the building won’t have the proper hook ups. This may seem like an easy thing to take care of, but many people overlook specific things when trying to find the right place.
Look at the Area
The general area around the apartment building will have a big impact on aspects of renting. The distance to the station is the biggest one, and is always one of the main pricing points of a property. It is a good thing to know as well as it will affect your morning commute and overall travel. The amount of conveniences will also impact the price and change what will be available. The konbinis, supermarkets, and other things like that will change the price that most landlords want to charge renters. Try and keep an eye out for things that might change your ease of life.
There are many areas that will be open to you to view and in each area, there will be a large amount of choices. Even though you may want to find only places near your work or in a highly sought-after area of the city. Make sure to be open to finding other spots that may end up being a little further away. It can be a small inconvenience having to add distance to your overall commute, but it can lead to some of the best pricing you will find. Trying to stick strictly to one area can be to your detriment and end up leaving you with a much higher rental fee that others. Being only a city away from your main area of work can help get you cheaper taxes, or even get you closer to other areas of the city.
If you take your time and try to be a little more flexible in your decision making. It is best to try and broaden your search so that you can be certain to find a good apartment. Try and look for a good medium between what is practical, and what you personally want out of your living area. You will find the best place for you in no time at all.