Tag Archive: closing date

Jun 02

The Rose Rides Again

At the closing yesterday, Friendly informed us that the rose bush had been returned.



However, it is not in the condition depicted in the photo above.  As I wrote before, the neighbour across the street had taken it, and in the process had cut off all the branches, leaving only two thorny stems sticking out of the pot.


I felt a little guilty about it: I guess I showed too much reaction when I discovered it on the neighbour’s property (not much at all: I thought I’d pretended to be cool very well) and so Friendly and the other owners negotiated its return.  I had actually come to terms with losing it, and I really hope that its return doesn’t sour relations with said neighbours.  And of course, I’m not in a position to give it back, because after the trouble everyone’s gone through, that would be rude.


All of which puts me under immense pressure to nurse the bush back to its former glory with my less-than-adequate gardening skills.  The eyes of the neighbourhood and the former owners (did I mention that one of the brothers (Sleepy) lives just a few minutes away?)  Halp!

Jun 01

I Own A House Now

This morning my wife took the day off and we headed down to the bank for the settlement.  (I didn’t have to take a day off—one of the great advantages of working irregular hours out of the house.)


We stopped in at a Starbucks an hour before we were due and met with a fellow from the post office to sign our life insurance papers.  My wife chatted with him until about five to eleven, at which point we hurried across the street to the building that the bank is in.


As always, the owner was there early.  It was Friendly by himself.  Luckily for the bank, the other three (plus the woman, who we discovered was the wife of the youngest son, the one I called Sleepy, despite the fact that she sat across from him instead of beside him that day) weren’t there, so we were all able to cram into the tiny meeting room.


All told there were eight of us:


My wife



A Japanese bank rep

The Lawyer/Scrivener (I think her name was Risa)


The seller’s agent and her cookie box



I stamped a few documents with my jitsuin, filled out three transfer forms (one for each seller), and then we waited for the transfers to go through.  At one point, about ten minutes after Hank had supposedly started the transfers, the door cracked open and a bank employee stuck her head in.


“Should we send the money now?” she asked.


Only Hank, the lawyer, and myself caught what she said, and we had a good laugh after he confirmed that it was indeed for the purpose of sending the money that he had given her the money transfer forms.


Other humour: the seller’s agent once again dressed in designer clothes, brandished her Louis Vutton meishi holder… and had her blue cookie tin with all her items.


In the interest of curbing the length of these posts, I’ll bring this to a close.  Once the transfers went through, we paid the remaining fees:

  • Hirasawa-san’s remaining fee (we’d paid half at the contract signing)
  • The fee to the scrivener for her services registering the mortgage and building (actually, due to a .42 square meter increase in the size of the property when measured by the surveyors, the fee went up by 3000 Yen, but she discounted it back down for us)
  • The reimbursement for the registration of the second floor to Hirasawa-san/Mitsui Re-house, who had pre-paid the registration fee for the second floor in order to hurry it along

And then we all bowed and went our separate ways.

May 17

Renovations and Treasure Hunting – Pt. 1


This weekend we were at the Kamiooka Tea House not once, but twice.


We decided to get quotations from multiple renovation companies for the work we want done on the house, so on Saturday we visited the house with another renovation rep and a guy who seemed to be her head carpenter or contractor or something (evidenced by the fact that he wore coveralls instead of a suit and seemed to know what he was talking about, structurally speaking).  This was a change from the last time, when it was only the designer/advisor or whoever it was, though we will let them make another bid as well.


We have made some tweaks to the original ideas we had for renovations:


  • We’ve asked them to price out how much it will cost to move the patio-door-style windows in the living up the wall in order to allow more light in and make them not doors anymore.
  • We’ve asked them to extend the balcony off the Tea Room in order to make it big enough for a small table with chairs (I envision breakfast there in the autumn and spring.
  • I noted that the power to the house is only 40 Amps!  (Our current house is 60 Amps, and we still manage to trip the breaker now and then, especially in the kitchen). We definitely need to fix that.
  • We’ve asked them to price out the cost of double-glazing all the windows (we can get some of the money back from the government for that).  Even though the wall insulation is sure to be terrible, double-glazed windows will really make a difference to heating the rooms.
  • Adding a plaster-type coating over the sand-based traditional Japanese walls on the first floor.  Will reduce dust and can be painted in case we want to change colours later.  (The contractor this weekend was, like me, really adamant that we should keep the Japanese woodwork on the walls as much as possible.)
  • We’ll move the TV to the 6-mat Tatami room on the second floor
  • My mother-in-law, who was there with us convinced me to ask them to install bars in front of one of the windows in the 6-mat Tatami room on the second floor because it was low and dropped straight off and was therefore dangerous for kids.
  • My mother-in-law also tried to convince me that the window on the south side of the house was similarly dangerous, but that one opens onto a roof, and my feeling is that a kid wouldn’t fall out of that one by accident.  Yes, it’s conceivable that someone could get hurt by crawling out onto the roof and falling off, but then I might as well put foam rubber on every sharp corner in the house.  So we’re not blocking off that beautiful window from the inside as she had suggested.

Well, I think that was it.  Part two coming soon: the treasure hunt!

May 13

Not Rocket Science: Let This Be A Lesson To Future Home-Buyers

2010-05-13 17-26-15.132 <- This is me, pulling out my hair. 


More fur is flying around our house purchase.


So, the second floor registration is happening.  The marker check (what I originally thought was a survey) is not required for the house to change hands.


BUT… the owners thought that they had until the end of July to clear out.


Why?  Because our latest possible closing date is in the contract as July 27.


When Hirasawa-san asked us when we wanted to set the closing date, I said early June.  He, however, suggested we negotiate for the end of July, in case there was any problem.


I said that I really wanted to make sure we closed as soon as possible so that my wife and I could potentially move in July, the only month of the summer that I’m spending in Japan this year, but sure, safety sounded good.


Bzzzt!  Wrong!  No one told the sellers that the date in the contract was a fallback position.  Of course not, because getting it that far out was a negotiating point.  So the sellers thought that they had two extra months to clean all the junk that we didn’t want out of the house.  And now, they’re apparently panicking because they’ve discovered that we do want to close early and they’re worried that they can’t clear the stuff in time.


So, essentially, a bunch of Japanese people (the owners, the agents, and the Japanese person from the bank, and probably my wife), are all clucking away about this.  When, of course, the solution is dead simple:


  1. The owners do not want the house contents (anything I don’t want will go in the trash).
  2. The owners do not currently live in the house.
  3. We will not be instantly moving in, as we have renovations to do.

THEREFORE: We can allow them extra time after we take possession for them to move their stuff out


Not rocket science here, people…