I promised I wouldn't do this...
Our circumstances are now moving in that direction.
We've been renting a 'mansion' (condo) on the outskirts of Sendai and it's very comfortable and fairly convenient. The landlord is a friend of my wife's, and would be happy to sell it to us. It seems like we'll be able to get a good price, and maybe even some government support in the form of recovery funds.
All in all it seems like a good move. We're very much at the start of the process though, so I expect to learn a lot about mortgages, estate agents, taxes, and other fun things. I'll write about our experiences here.
Right now I am thinking about how much to borrow. We could probably just get a ten-year loan and pay it off quite quickly, but after running the numbers I am not sure that would be such a good idea.
The sweet spot seems to be a fixed-rate 25-year mortgage. This would be very affordable month-to-month, give us access to the mortgage tax credit for the first ten years (1% of the outstanding loan), and leave us the option of paying it off quickly if we wanted to later.
I can get a mortgage through work, or just through a bank normally (I'm looking at Shinsei at the moment).
I am fairly confident we'd be able to rent the place out if we moved, as it's next to a train station and in a fairly convenient area for shopping, etc.
The main reason we are buying is so that we can renovate it to our liking, but financially it seems like a fairly good deal.
Any comments? Advice? Things I should be aware of before starting on this journey?