Question Requirements for a half Okinawan with an American citizenship on building a home in Okinawa and retire there?

CKawauchi35

New member
I am 61 YO, half Okinawan who lived in OKA some 25 yrs ago. Both my husband and I have American citizenship, but we want to retire in Okinawa to join my relatives. We want to lease a land in the suburbs and build a decent-sized house for around $300,000 or so. I would like to know what the requirements are for eligibility and the process I have to start tackling in order to achieve this desire. We have the cash, and some extra for monthly payments if cash is not enough. I am even willing to change my citizenship to Japanese if it will make things easier for us.

Thank you for your response.
 
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island cyclist

Well-known member
Founding Member
I'm an American that lives in yamaguchi prefecture and I bought a house and it was no problem not being a Japanese citizen. I seriously doubt you'd run into any problems, and yes that's your age it's more likely that you'll have to pay cash for your house.
 

Mike D

New member
I am 61 YO, half Okinawan who lived in OKA some 25 yrs ago. Both my husband and I have American citizenship, but we want to retire in Okinawa to join my relatives. We want to lease a land in the suburbs and build a decent-sized house for around $300,000 or so. I would like to know what the requirements are for eligibility and the process I have to start tackling in order to achieve this desire. We have the cash, and some extra for monthly payments if cash is not enough. I am even willing to change my citizenship to Japanese if it will make things easier for us.

Thank you for your response.
Your relatives can help sponsor you and husband which will make it very easy to buy your home. If you try and change citizen ship which I recommend make it at a later date will be fine and then you can have relatives change home in you name once you have japanese citzenship,
 

Mike D

New member
I remember I sold my home in San Diego I received $300,000.00. I asked Okinawain bank if you could help me and they were happy to give me account. Once I had account I was told I could get credit and be accepted for buying any large items. My dear wife decided to have friend sponsor us so we gave her the money she bought the home for us. My wife died I have nothing now because my wife's friend own everything
 
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Mike D

New member
HOWEVER,
My dear wife decided to have friend sponsor us so we gave her the money she bought the home for us. My wife died I have nothing now because my wife's friend owns everything. I'm not allowed to have credit to even buy a car. I'm an old man and just wanted to hae a car but my wife's friend said I can't have because interest too high,
 
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island cyclist

Well-known member
Founding Member
Island Cyclist; I sure would like to hear your story I suspect others would / could learn from you.
When I make it to Okinawa this year, I'll sit down with you and hopefully David also , and tell ya some sh..te about my life style here. By the way, my daughter is 25 % Korean, I'm only mentioning that, because that too is part of the story.
 

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
@Mike D, I really hope that "friend" didn't take your home and now tell you that you can't pay for a car with your own money at 4.1% interest (as new cars are, at least with the financing the dealership gave me... to which I denied, going with a U.S. bank instead).

That all sounds horrible.

I'm so glad that I have my affairs in order as I have an 8-year-old and a 17-year-old. If my wife dies before me and they are both adults at that time, I could be kicked to the curb under my old marriage visa. When it expired in about 2016, I decided to ante up the extra 8000 yen and apply for both a marriage visa and permanent residency concurrently. I was approved for the marriage visa in about 3 weeks to remain as a legal resident and 2 months after that received the information that I could go get my permanent residency.

Financing is still difficult as a permanent resident, and we're still bank hopping for that. However, I have found one solution that will give a 10 year 5% interest loan. That, though, is a lot of money on even a $100,000 house, which obviously can't be able to find anywhere. So, I will try and get the remaining mortgage with my downpayment to that limit and go with them if all else fails. At least then, I can build the home I want, where I want, as they charge $10,000 per tsubo (3.3sqm), which includes all the architecture and design fees, so I won't have a "cookie-cutter" home.
 

Square

New member
@Mike D, I really hope that "friend" didn't take your home and now tell you that you can't pay for a car with your own money at 4.1% interest (as new cars are, at least with the financing the dealership gave me... to which I denied, going with a U.S. bank instead).

That all sounds horrible.

I'm so glad that I have my affairs in order as I have an 8-year-old and a 17-year-old. If my wife dies before me and they are both adults at that time, I could be kicked to the curb under my old marriage visa. When it expired in about 2016, I decided to ante up the extra 8000 yen and apply for both a marriage visa and permanent residency concurrently. I was approved for the marriage visa in about 3 weeks to remain as a legal resident and 2 months after that received the information that I could go get my permanent residency.

Financing is still difficult as a permanent resident, and we're still bank hopping for that. However, I have found one solution that will give a 10 year 5% interest loan. That, though, is a lot of money on even a $100,000 house, which obviously can't be able to find anywhere. So, I will try and get the remaining mortgage with my downpayment to that limit and go with them if all else fails. At least then, I can build the home I want, where I want, as they charge $10,000 per tsubo (3.3sqm), which includes all the architecture and design fees, so I won't have a "cookie-cutter" home.
I would love to hear updates on this. We are currently prepping our place to put it on the market and will be renting here for the next year or two before heading over and probably renting in Okinawa - possibly indefinitely. Your experience may help change our mind but even if not, I would read that blog for sure!
 

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
I would love to hear updates on this. We are currently prepping our place to put it on the market and will be renting here for the next year or two before heading over and probably renting in Okinawa - possibly indefinitely. Your experience may help change our mind but even if not, I would read that blog for sure!
We are still in the pre-pre application process and have 30% to put down on a 40,000,000 yen house. However, a downpayment is not enough for Japan—trust is where it's at.

It may have to come down to me finding a broker in Japan in order to trade stocks and make the required 1.2 million/year in dividends and trades for three years to be eligible for a 40,000,000 loan when I could put down 1.3 million, which a bank in the States would absolutely jump for joy over, supposing I also met the income threshold, which I do here.

We should have an absolute pretty soon.

If we are unable to get this house, we're going to start from scratch by picking the land we want and building it out with a construction company. It may be around the same cost, but the architectural fees are included in the 1,000,000/tsubo (3.3 sqm) price, which is nice because we can design a home that we want to live in as our input is counted in it. However, I don't want to have to pay the rest off with a 10 year/5% interest loan, which isn't that bad as I'd own it outright a lot quicker.
 

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
I don't want to put @hmorris48 on the spot, as he is an Oki vet like me, but it would be great to learn from him on what he or others have done to buy out here in Okinawa as I am potentially at the end of the line to either go with a 10 year/5% interest loan or find something a little smaller (but definitely not wood) and pay in cash to own it and reform it later.
 

hmorris48

New member
I got lucky in finding a house close to the wife's parent's home. One of the wife's sister classmates was selling their house about 10 minutes from the wife's family house. We purchased in cash for about 1/3 of what a new house would have cost. No problem getting it put in my name; just paid $1000 to a third party to get the paperwork completed. @David - you wouldn't like it - wood construction.;)

If you don't mind living out in the boondocks, you should check with some of the cities that have rural locations. I know that Uruma City has run campaigns in the past that attempted to get folks to move to the rural areas. They may be to provide a list of available houses. If you like a million views, I know there were some empty homes close to Salt Factory Nuchi Masu - Salt Factory Nuchi Masu – Okinawa Hai - on the hillside overlooking the ocean.
 

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
I know that Uruma City has run campaigns in the past that attempted to get folks to move to the rural areas.
We're looking at more rural areas of Uruma so that we can secure a good 70+ tsubo with lots to the sides of us that we may be able to scoop up later down the road if they're not utilized.

It's just the ungodly construction cost of 1,000,000 yen per tsubo for reinforced concrete homes that's making this more of a burden than anything. However, that does include architect and design fees so we can most definitely build the home of our dreams that nobody else has. Also, concrete doesn't seem to depreciate until after around 50 years, and very slowly at that while wood on the other hand will start to exponentially depreciate after 20 years to where the value of the house would essentially only be the land it's built on.
 
OP
C

CKawauchi35

New member
I got lucky in finding a house close to the wife's parent's home. One of the wife's sister classmates was selling their house about 10 minutes from the wife's family house. We purchased in cash for about 1/3 of what a new house would have cost. No problem getting it put in my name; just paid $1000 to a third party to get the paperwork completed. @David - you wouldn't like it - wood construction.;)

If you don't mind living out in the boondocks, you should check with some of the cities that have rural locations. I know that Uruma City has run campaigns in the past that attempted to get folks to move to the rural areas. They may be to provide a list of available houses. If you like a million views, I know there were some empty homes close to Salt Factory Nuchi Masu - Salt Factory Nuchi Masu – Okinawa Hai - on the hillside overlooking the ocean.
Thank you very much for your input and valuable info. Since OKA is a small island and we would be retirees, I don't think location would be such a huge issue. I want to have an organic garden and some animals, actually. It would be nice to be near a military base so Uruma would be one of the possibilities. I have families in Nakagusuku and Oyama but I have forgotten most of the places over there. As soon as we are able to travel freely, I will be checking out all these inputs fr responders.
 

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