- Research the fudosan websites and decide on 2 main sites to check daily and subscribe to automated email notification when new land are advertised based on my criteria.
- Decide on www.homes.co.jp and www.athome.co.jp
- Reach out to many friends who own or have built a home recently in Kichijoji.
- Get an introduction to a builder which a friend used to renovate her home.
- First Meeting with Real Estate Agent and Builder (both from S company). Also present is an Architect from I company. We discuss generally about the area, the market, supply and demand, overall process, my expectations and general time frame.
- Visit the Real Estate agent and get more information about a proposed lot (Lot A). Who is selling it? How long has it been in the market? Why is the owner selling? Any recent price reductions? Is the owner willing to negotiate? Why is cheaper than the other plots?
- It turns out Lot A has a Toshi Keikaku Doro. There was been a plan for the past 30 years to build an overhead highway directly next to the lot. The land is not exactly on the planned highway thus it is unsure if there would be compensation if it is ever built.
- After some careful research, the highway plans have changed from overhead to underground. The air vents and exit and junction points are 8km north and south. Some uncertainty surrounding the land but overall I'm ok with it for a good price.
- According to real estate agent and preliminary discussions, the owner is willing to accept 5% discount on the land.
- After a week's work of paperwork, MUFJ pre-approves loan at 90% the amount we requested. No clear answer as to what we could do to bump this up.
- Land owner after consulting a lawyer restates her intention to sell. The new position is the will only sell at the asking price. Is this a negotiating tactic?
- Call the owner's bluff and submit formal 5% discounted offer.
- Mizuho pre-approves loan at 95% of requested funds. The one condition is that I pay my car loan in full first.
3/29/2010: Second offer @99% of asking price = rejected. Real estate agent comes back with an offer to subsidize the 1% difference. Third offer at full asking price = rejected...????
4/3/2010: After all this effort, I met the real estate agent to find out where things went wrong. Did we push too hard? Do we wait for things to cool down and see what happens? Are they at all serious about selling? His answer was basically that he never had an experience where the asking price was not accepted and he frankly questioned the fact whether the owner was in a good disposition to be conducting business. As there are many details that would need to be discussed and agreed, he suggested we don't pursue this lot anymore to save ourselves the anguish. The owner is just not reliable enough.