Are you considering buying a new single-family home in Japan? Your choices can broadly be categorized into three primary options: custom-built, pre-designed, and built-for-sale.
In this guide, we look into each type, which can be helpful for you to decide what kind of home to buy based on your preference and lifestyle. Let’s explore the characteristics, merits, and demerits of each option.
1. Custom-Built Homes (注文住宅)
Custom-built homes offer a personalized approach to home building.
Tailored to suit your family structure, lifestyle, and future living plans, these homes allow for a high degree of customization, including room sizes, layouts, and even the inclusion of traditional Japanese rooms (和室).
- Personalized Design: Enjoy the freedom to choose the layout, design, and facility specifications that align with your vision.
- Choice of Manufacturer: You can select any housing manufacturer to bring your dream home to life.
- Observation During Construction: Experience the joy of watching your home take shape, with the option to observe the construction process.
- Uncertain Pricing: While you have the flexibility to design, the pricing can be unclear, although some manufacturers offer clear pricing per tsubo (a Japanese unit of area).
- No Physical Preview: Before the completion, you won’t be able to see the actual building, except for model houses that might be available.
2. Pre-designed Homes (規格住宅)
Pre-designed homes are a convenient option for those who prefer a quicker decision-making process.
These homes are built based on popular and functional designs pre-established by housing manufacturers, ensuring a blend of comfort and modern amenities. They offer a hassle-free solution for homebuyers who may not want to delve into the intricacies of customizing a home from scratch.
- Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable than custom-built homes, pre-designed homes come with the benefit of clear, upfront pricing.
- Time-Saving: Save precious time with pre-selected plans that have been crafted keeping in mind the comfort and ease of living for a broad audience.
- Freedom to Choose Manufacturer: Like with custom-built homes, you have the freedom to choose from a variety of housing manufacturers, allowing you to opt for a trusted and preferred name in the industry.
- Limited Customization: While pre-designed homes offer the convenience of pre-planned layouts, they offer limited scope for customization in terms of layout, design, and facility specifications, compared to custom-built homes.
- No Physical Preview: Similar to custom-built homes, it might not be possible to view the actual building before it is completed, although model houses might be available for viewing to give you a sense of the space and design.
3. Built-for-Sale Homes (建売分譲住宅)
Built-for-sale homes offer the convenience of buying the land and building as a set.
Depending on the time of purchase, you can either buy a completed home or one that is still under construction.
This option provides clarity in pricing and the ability to inspect the actual property before buying.
- Physical Inspection: Have the advantage of inspecting the actual building before making a purchase decision.
- Clear Pricing: Enjoy transparency in pricing, making it easier to compare with your current rent or other options.
- Quick Move-In: Benefit from the possibility of moving in quickly, especially if the building is already completed.
- Limited Customization: The options for customization are limited, with predefined layouts and designs.
- Restricted Choice of Manufacturer: Unlike the other options, you cannot choose the housing manufacturer, as the land and building are sold as a set.
- No Observation During Construction: If you opt for a home that is already built, you won’t be able to observe the construction process.
Buying a new home in Japan is a significant decision.
Whether you prioritize customization, cost-effectiveness, or convenience, understanding the merits and demerits of each option can guide you to the perfect choice.
Remember to consider essential factors such as ground condition, foundation, earthquake resistance, and energy-saving performance when making your decision.