Voice from Customer

Tokyo real estate agent providing splendid services

I would just like to speak about my experience with Yamate Homes over these past two years.

I moved to Tokyo in 2007 for work and decided to look for an apartment to share with a friend.
Our situation was complicated in that since I was coming to Tokyo before him, the apartment was to be leased under my name until he came to Tokyo one month later.
On top of that, we were searching for an apartment while we were both in the states and it was hard to look for places over the internet without actually being present in the country. Although we are both proficient in Japanese, we are far from fluent, and seeing the process of securing an apartment will involve contracts with Japanese terminology that we might night be sure of, we thus wanted someone who would be able to represent us and explain every step of the process.

We looked for real estate agents online who provided English services and found a few, one of them being Morita-san from Yamate homes.
My friend, who was passing through Japan at that time, decided to meet up with representatives from the real estate agents and look at apartments. Whereas the services that everyone else offered were reasonable, he was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism that Morita-san displayed. Morita-san answered all questions that we had about the real estate market in Japan, what problems we might run into (contract-wise, tenant-wise, and as foreign tenants), in fluent English. He showed us what options we had in the apartment process.
We also felt like he really represented our needs in a country where we did not understand the complicated custom involved in renting a home (i.e. reikin, shikikin, deposits, etc.) and explained them in a way that was easy for us to understand, including every detail written in the contract so that we knew what legal binding situation we were getting into. On top of that, he went out of his way to help me apply for other services such as internet, gas, water, and electricity with ease.

Morita-san was very dedicated in making sure that we felt comfortable with our situation, and helping us get off on the right foot with the owners of our apartment.
Two years later, he is still the person that we turned to when looking for a new apartment (I to move in with my boyfriend, and my roommate to move to a location more convenient for transportation to work).

I have whole-heartedly recommended Morita-san and Yamate Homes' services to many of my friends, both Japanese and non-Japanese, for professionalism and reliance. Thank you to the Yamate Homes team for such splendid services!

--Van I.

Success in Renting an Apartment in Tokyo

Prior to contacting your company, my son had spent more than a week online from his computer here in California, searching through Japanese websites listing properties for rent in Tokyo. The problem he kept running into was the difficulty in locating an apartment in a desirable area that would rent to a foreigner, and in particular, a student. This is understandable. Being an apartment owner myself here in the U.S., I have learned first hand why students have a reputation for playing loud music and disturbing other tenants.

By the end of the second week, we were worried nothing was going to be available in the area, and we started looking at properties that were located much further from certain strategic train stations than we had originally sought. The initial contact with Yamate Homes immediately opened that door for us, and we feel so fortunate to have come across this company. As it turned out, he has just moved into an apartment in Shibuya, an area which we had thought was impossible to find anything. Needless to say, we are very pleased with the result, and we appreciate the professionalism in which the transaction was handled. We worked with Kimura from day one, and she was a delight to work with. She constantly kept us up to date on the progress that was being made, right up to the end.

You have made a school year abroad student very happy.

Thank you,
Bob Emrich

Tokyo real estate with professional assistance in English

Thank you so much for all your help with the purchase of my home - I couldnt have done it without you! Your team was friendly and professional the entire time (and it was a long time that you stuck with me!!).

The fact that you offered assistance in English was a tremendous added benefit. But most important to me was the fact that it was clear I could trust you -your entire team conducted yourselves with the utmost integrity throughout the process.

Thank you and I look forward to working with you again if the opportunity ever arises.

James Plaisted

Apartment Buying in Japan Made Easy

When my wife and I (a Taiwanese and an American) were thinking of buying property in Tokyo, we viewed the prospect with no small amount of skepticism. I had known that buying property anywhere could be a complex prospect and with neither of us familiar with Japan’s property laws and procedures, and also not fluent in Japanese, we figured it would at the very least be a somewhat stressful prospect.

Also discouraging was the well-known fact that Japanese banks would never lend to any foreigner who had not completed the nearly impossible procedure of gaining long-term residence status in Japan. This meant that even though Japanese interest rates were (and still are) at record-low levels, we would not be able to take advantage of them.

Yamate Homes came to the rescue.

From the beginning, we found Takeda-san and his bi-lingual team thoughtful, professional and unfailingly dedicated to the highest levels of service. No request was too big or too small and they without hesitation turned into much more than a real estate broker, they ably represented us at every step of the process.

We had started our search considering lower-cost vacation properties in Chiba since the prices were astonishingly inexpensive in relation to what one would expect to spend in Japan and were within our cash budget.

Even though we were living overseas, Takeda-san and his group identified properties for us and for a small fee covering expenses, did scouting trips on the best prospects. They came back with full records and details of the properties plus still photos and videos showing the properties and the surrounding areas to give us a better feel of each house.

We later decided to make the move back to Tokyo and decided that a primary home in the city would make more sense for our needs. We then came up against the mortgage issue. I had done massive amounts of research on the Internet to look for a potential lender, but had come up empty handed.

Again, Yamate cracked the problem for us. Even though banks were still viewed as unlikely prospects, Takeda-san was able to find bank affiliates who were willing to take on riskier loans, even for foreigners who had only just moved back to Japan.

We looked for a few weeks and found exactly what we wanted, a good size apartment in a top-quality building in central Tokyo in the well-known Kagurazaka area.

Takeda-san and the team handled everything, including the negotiations with the owner and explaining to the condominium board that we were proposing to be the first foreign owners in the building.

When we met with the lender (we had been in Japan all of three weeks and did not even have our permanent foreigner card) I knew there would be no problem. Takeda-san had in his efficient manner already fully explained our somewhat unusual circumstances to the lending officer and won his agreement in principle.

With a loan commitment made five days later, we were able to close the deal with virtually no last minute hitches (the first time this has happened to me in any property deal anywhere). Everything was handled for us and I was only needed for two meetings, minimizing my time away from a new job.

We were also surprised to find fees surrounding a home purchase to be lower than elsewhere. Because of Japan’s land registration procedure there is no need for title insurance, and one attorney covered all the legal formalities for both parties.

Yamate’s brokerage fee was more than covered by the further reductions they were able to negotiate. This meant that we were able to receive their many months of services at basically no cost.

We are both happy to recommend Takeda-san and his team from Yamate for anyone looking to invest in Japanese real estate or for any foreigner who wants to avoid the waste of paying expat rents for many years with nothing to show for it.

William Sposato
Beryl Tung