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New old house! 家を買ってしまった!

2021-01-21 by David







▲ I found this old house/craft workshop online, at a website called At Home ( You'll need some basic language skills, but it's easy enough to limit your search to land for sale, containing an old building. Those search criteria gave the absolute cheapest plots of land available, and most Japanese buyers would not consider renovating the buildings - so they're included in the sale of the land as pretty much worthless.


The listing was priced at 4 million yen (approximately $40,000), but since it had stood vacant for the 3 years since the 2016 earthquake I felt confident asking for a lower price. The damages to the building were significant, hence the low price for the building and land. After some back and forth with the (quite frankly, useless) estate agent, I agreed to purchase the house for 3.5 million yen (approximately $35,000).


The house has 66m² of floorspace on each level, plus a little extra for a mezzanine loftspace, and 767m² of land attached. Mostly this is cedar pine woodland, one third in front of the house and two thirds behind it.


▲ ペンション村の中にありますが、過去にペンションではなかったそうです。2階のほうでは別荘と1階のほうでは染め教室やアトリエでした。


It's located near the entrance to what's known as a "Pension Village", which is a sort of resort village full of holiday homes. Think of log cabins and small, cosy B&Bs, etc and you get the picture? The previous owners had used the 2nd level as living space during the summer (cooler temperatures here in Aso), and the ground floor level as a painting studio and dyeing workshop space.

▲ この写真は2階です。梯子を上ったらロフトスペースもあります。インテリアはログキャビンみたいな雰囲気。


This is the 2nd floor, with the ladder up to the mezzanine loft space, as I found it when coming to see the property for the first time. The owners had left when the 2016 earthquakes shook the area, and never returned to stay!

▲ 1階の染め教室とアトリエ。初めて見たときにこんな感じでした。暗くてちょっと寂しい感じでしたが、どうなるかなぁ。。。


The ground floor's studio space was a mess of stuff when I viewed it, and a little dark and gloomy. However, it is quite a large space (by Japanese standards), and as soon as I saw it my mind started turning with possibilities.

▲ 写真見たら別に問題ないでしょう?。。。いや、ちょっと違います。地震のダメージが結構ありました。次回から見せましょうか!


So far these photos look pretty much okay, right? Well, there were quite a few problems to deal with to make it liveable, but it's going to make a great project house, I think...



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