These Houses in Japan Are Going for as Little as $500
It seems that more and more places around the world are starting to present wildly affordable housing options in hopes of tempting people to live in them again. The latest being Wakayama, Tokushima, Kagoshima and Kochi, Japan where empty houses are going up for sale for as little as $500! Intrigued? Check out more deets below!
Located in Japan's southwestern side, small villages including Wakayama, Tokushima, Kagoshima and Kochi are currently undergoing an issue of large numbers of houses being left abandoned (over 18% home vacancy rates in these areas). This ongoing problem - predominantly due to the ageing population - is the inspiration behind the government's incentive to start offering these unoccupied homes (known as akiya) to people for as little as $500. Local authorities are even giving some properties away for free, offering grants for renovations, and supporting childcare to new families who move into the area.
"The program not only helps the old owners, who were struggling to utilize the properties and pay taxes, but also for the town by reducing the number of abandoned buildings that could collapse or otherwise pose risks in the future," reported a spokesperson for the Okutama government office in charge.
If moving to a small village in Japan isn't quite the adventure you had in mind, don't worry! There are also plenty of empty houses available just outside major cities like Tokyo and Osaka too. To see a list of the available, abandoned homes, you can check out the “akiya banks", which are websites that contain many listings (think Zillow for cheap housing!) You can check out a examples of these websites here and here.
In full transparency — any offer to buy a home this cheap that seems too good to be true, probably is. While you might manage to get your hands on a property, there will likely be several legal hoops to jump through in regards to renovations. Despite the few minor set-backs however, many individuals have already jumped onto the opportunity and have used their spaces to create offices, small-business start ups, and eateries.
Let us know in the comments what you would do with a $500 home in Japan!