This Foreigner Bought a Cheap Abandoned House in Japan… And Lived to Regret It

When Chani, an Australian woman, decided to move to Japan, she had dreams of owning a charming, affordable home in the countryside. She found a property advertised for under $20,000 Australian dollars and settled on it, trusting the contract that stated there were no issues with termites, leaks, or the roof.

To save on costs, Chani chose not to get a professional inspection, a decision she would soon regret.

Just two days after receiving the keys, Chani discovered leaking water pipes beneath the ground. Quotes from plumbers ranged from $3,000 to $10,000, leaving her devastated.

A handyman suggested the issue might lie in the outdated bathroom, offering an affordable solution to install a new bathroom and fix the pipes simultaneously.

However, the challenges continued with a failing septic system and the discovery of termites.

As Chani settled into her new home, she encountered cultural differences and surprises. The hot water system ran on kerosene, and she learned to flag down the delivery truck.

Inside, she found massive sinks without draining racks, stainless steel benchtops, and unusual light switches. Garbage collection required special bags and early morning drop-offs, with Chani even purchasing a yellow bag to protect her garbage from crows.

One appreciated feature was the garage, a rare find in the area. Chani hired the same handyman to install a garage door, providing a secure parking spot. She also had to adapt to the lack of hanging space in her wardrobes, purchasing a hanging rack and utilizing a traditional futon storage cupboard.

As an Australian who loved to entertain, Chani found the lack of outdoor space challenging. She began creating an inviting area for barbecues and gatherings, experimenting with delicious wagyu beef.

She also tackled the dark plywood walls by painting them white, starting with the front entrance.

Despite the numerous challenges and unexpected expenses, Chani remained determined to turn her Japanese dream into a reality. She learned valuable lessons about the importance of thorough inspections and the resilience needed to navigate cultural differences.

In total, Chani spent around $39,000 Australian dollars on the purchase, taxes, and renovations. Although the experience was stressful and costly, she has no regrets and loves her new home.

Through sharing her story, Chani hopes to inspire others facing similar challenges, reminding them that with perseverance and a positive outlook, even the most daunting obstacles can be overcome.

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