The third house we saw (on the first day that my wife and I looked together at houses), was this little place in Idogaya (click for full size in new window).
Well, at 100ish square meters, not so small.
The best part about this house was the sunroom. You could see Mt. Fuji from it, and the laundry machine was on the end of it.
However, despite a beautiful bathroom, the downstairs was a hodge-podge of unusable space. Look closely at the floorplan, and you’ll clearly see that neither of the two bedrooms have any place to put a double bed without blocked a balcony door or a closet door! This place was going to require that a wall (probably that weird closet between the two rooms) be knocked down before we could move in.
We communicated this to our agent, along with the fact that this house was at the top of our list, along with the Kamiooka Tea House (which my wife still hadn’t seen at this point). Unlike a Japanese bank, our bank would lend us the money for this house, providing the Sunroom was registered (the Sunroom was unregistered, and registering would make it about 12% overbuilt; our bank doesn’t care about the building being slightly overbuilt, it seems). However, the agent for the seller did not communicate this information to the seller, and instead convinced him that we were having financing trouble.
The seller, convinced, decided to hire a construction crew to remove the sunroom… the only part of the house that made it stand out for me, sadly.
This all came to a head in one evening, while my wife and I were visiting her grandparents nearby the Idogaya house. We ran over there at 21:00 in the evening, and knocked on the door. We spoke directly to the owner, who realized that his agent had been dishonest with him, but, in true Japanese fashion, shrugged his shoulders and said something along the lines of: “well, he’s a salesman; that’s his job.” He suggested we come back at the end of March to see the house without the sunroom. When my wife explained that the sunroom was what we liked most about the place, he admitted that he too had bought the house twenty years ago for the same reason. But he still wouldn’t change his mind about removing it.
It was partly our fault: we didn’t want to commit until we could check and see if the renovations we wanted on the first floor bedrooms was possible. Otherwise, we could have made a buy offer right there in front of his house.
That was on a Sunday, and the following Tuesday, our agent met with the seller’s agent again to try to convince him to stop the tearing down of the sunroom, but to no avail.
So our passionate first pick got away from us…