Writers homes in Japan for almost nothing

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InklingBooks
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Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:24 pm Post

Yes, I'm doing it again—pointing out places where writers can acquire a home for almost nothing. In this case, the opportunity is in Japan, where a below-replacement birthrate since the 1970s means many homes outside metro-Tokyo have no one to live in them. They sit empty, waiting for buyers who never come.

The city of Yokosuka is trying to change that, by encouraging owners of abandoned houses to tidy them up and put them on the market. It has established an online “vacant home bank” to showcase houses that commercial real estate agents will not touch. Land prices in Yokosuka are down by 70 percent since their peak at the end of the 1980s.

The houses are a steal for the rare souls who will have them. But just one has been sold through the home bank so far, a 60-year-old single-story wooden home with a patch of garden that was listed for 660,000 yen, or $5,400. Places farther up the hill can be had for the equivalent of just a few hundred dollars. Four have been rented, including one to students in a nursing-care program at a nearby college who receive a discount in return for checking up on elderly people in the area.


http://www.domain.com.au/news/tokyos-ab ... 24-gj6arl/

Unlike Detroit, the Japanese crime rate is low and social services fine. On the other hand, even with virtually free housing, the cost of living may be higher than in the U.S. That said, many of these cities are within commuting distance of Tokyo, where the excitement is.

Looking to liven up you writing by living someplace different? This might be an option and, as a writer, you would not need to get a job in Japan. Another option might be to find on in good shape and in a good location and pass it along to writer after writer, each of who stays for a time. The home could be rented or sold and resold.

Something to think about anyway, particularly if you're trying to escape from a particularly deep bout of writer's block.

--Mike Perry

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Viking
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Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:24 pm Post

Interesting article - thanks for pointing it out to us. Makes me want to uproot and migrate...

One thing though - even if you do manage to buy a house for next to nothing, you still have to spend a fortune getting it fixed up and into a condition where you can actually live in it.
On the outskirts of nowhere,
On the ring-road to somewhere,
On the verge of indecision,
I'll always take the roundabout way.