A person has asked me a question about foreclosed property. From the outset can I say, I love to help people. The problem is that I have the power to help a great many people through books and the internet, and would like to do so in the interests of the greatest number. I also have a personal interest:
1. Your best interests. I put a lot of thought into the book. Asking me questions on the fly is going to waste my time, and offer you a less than satisfying answer. If this person purchased the book, that is fine, but I believe I dealt with this question in the book. In any respect, the purpose of this website is to apply the principles of critical thinking to investment - that is 'your critical thinking'...not mine. Its ok to make a mistake, so long as you self-reflect, learn and improve. I cannot provide self-assurance through every real estate transaction, I can only offer a minimal service. Real estate agents charge huge fees for a customised service. Partly I want to offer a reply to this because he might have received bad advice...depending on his circumstances...only he should decide.
2. Sustaining myself. This is not a non-profit exercise. The less money I make from books, the more time I have to invest and trade stocks. The two do not go together very well, because there is a huge compulsion for me to watch the equity markets, which means researching stocks. This can involve researching entire industries. For this reason, in the long term writing has to be profitable.
I do answer questions when asked on most occasions, however I would hope you would just buy the book because that is why I wrote it, and I really want to finish other books....and of course I need to watch my gold stocks. :)
Now - problems with houses overlapping property boundaries
The writer asks....[I summarise for the sake of privacy]....
I have saved up about US$10,000, so I am aiming for a cheap rural property to start off with. I am looking at a place in a rural area with a minimum bid of about $8,000, the agent I am dealing with has told me to let it go and wait for another property because as it seems, part of the house (literally not even a foot of the corner) is technically on the neighbours property. The house is huge, with enough room for a garden in the back and is in a good location for what I need, so I really don't want to pass up a house in my price range just because the neighbours might try to muscle some cash from me.I just thought maybe you could give me an opinion on what I should do because you actually know what you are talking about.I was thinking I should bid anyway, and hopefully get it for $9,000-10,000. Then try meeting the neighbours, explaining my situation, befriending them and hopefully they won't mind that a foot of my house goes into their massive block of land. If they were hostile, I could always just renovate the house, as the actual part that is on their property isn't part of the main house and I could either knock it down or hire someone in to renovate the corner off and keep the house within my limits. Or a third option, I thought I could offer the neighbours some cash for the 1-2m strip of land that borders our two properties. Those are just some thoughts I had to get around this obstacle, as I have definitely fallen for this property and really don't want to lose this chance.My response is that if the property is perfect than you should buy it...but is it perfect. Identifying such 'hot opportunities' is what investment is all about. Japanese people don't like to deal with conflict. If you are a Westerner dealing with a foreigner, they might have contempt for you. Some are very friendly and accommodating though, so it can do either way. There is good news...they cannot demand that you destroy your home, and they cannot destroy it under some vexing threat. They could take you to court, but Japanese tend not to do that. In most cases a person will negotiate to swap some land, i.e. I had a house like that, and the counterpart gave me extra land, and I gave him extra carspace. Some might not want more land in this economy, and might want more money....and they might want excessive money, and treat you with disrespect, so this is the risk, and this is partly why the property is cheap...but its also cheap because its rural. For this reason, I think you could have a gem. Congrats on finding it! But don't jump yet...Why take risks you don't need to. Why not talk to the neighbour and get an agreement before you buy. There is of course the risk he might bid as well. Hmmm...Difficult issue...but not a lot of money to waste. The issue is I think awareness of costs. It might cost you Y50,000 for a surveyor to resurvey the land, and then you need to have the title transferred. I can't recall what I paid for that....maybe another Y50,000. Hopefully you will not have to pay for land, if you can swap. If he is extortive in buying off the 'offending land', it is his concern because you are using it rent free. He can only take you to court....but the issue is...he can make you pay 'psychologically', so you might need to have a stronger 'stoic' personality...and thus like stress. If its a rural person, they can get the community against you. I personally think its far easier if you have a Japanese wife to help negotiate a settlement. Foreigners smell like roses if there is a Japanese person involved. I would suggest that you try get an easement for the land, as well as the mere property boundaries...and I would suggest you ought to give him the better land in any swap, and pay for any surveying. So I think its a good deal for you..as its incremental expenditure....and it could go really well.I also think a 'corner' of a property is easy for the neighbour to excise, but it will depend on the specifics...but its probably true he does not benefit from any of your land. This is a common problem in Japan. If you have a problem, maybe you can get a public notary, a local govt legal advisor or a person they respect to adjudicate. Or any children they have if they speak your language. Most Japanese children hate their parents, so you might have a real ally. :) joke lan.I think you should not wait....and I'd just take the risk because if its so cheap, you are merely scaring the neighbour into buying it themselves, as they might not want to live near a foreigner....particularly as its so cheap. Even if they have no money, they may badger their kids in the city to buy it for them. I think its a prize - grab it if its a decent place to live...there are plenty of such houses in depopulating Japan.Anyway, here is my answer! Bargain, but as a lifestyle block...hard to sell because of depopulation, and it might be hard to rent to Japanese, so try foreigners, as it sounds like you will be close to international airport. Personally, you might find the agent is your competition. Don't deal with agents...or maybe he is just not a critical thinker. I find asking uncritical thinkers can only cloud your good judgement. Be strong! Japanese are overtly 'too safe' so they don't work through problems readily if they can pay more to go around them.Thank you for confirming 'independently' that there are real bargains in Japan....and so close to an international airport....for foreign buyers. Well done! Glad you asked the question. :) Frankly, you had me at hello! lol