Japan Foreclosed Property 2015-2016 - Buy this 5th edition report!

Over the years, this ebook has been enhanced with additional research to offer a comprehensive appraisal of the Japanese foreclosed property market, as well as offering economic and industry analysis. The author travels to Japan regularly to keep abreast of the local market conditions, and has purchased several foreclosed properties, as well as bidding on others. Japan is one of the few markets offering high-yielding property investment opportunities. Contrary to the 'rural depopulation' scepticism, the urban centres are growing, and they have always been a magnet for expatriates in Asia. Japan is a place where expats, investors (big or small) can make highly profitable real estate investments. Japan is a large market, with a plethora of cheap properties up for tender by the courts. Few other Western nations offer such cheap property so close to major infrastructure. Japan is unique in this respect, and it offers such a different life experience, which also makes it special. There is a plethora of property is depopulating rural areas, however there are fortnightly tenders offering plenty of property in Japan's cities as well. I bought a dormitory 1hr from Tokyo for just $US30,000.
You can view foreclosed properties listed for as little as $US10,000 in Japan thanks to depopulation and a culture that is geared towards working for the state. I bought foreclosed properties in Japan and now I reveal all in our expanded 350+page report. The information you need to know, strategies to apply, where to get help, and the tools to use. We even help you avoid the tsunami and nuclear risks since I was a geologist/mining finance analyst in a past life. Check out the "feedback" in our blog for stories of success by customers of our previous reports.

Download Table of Contents here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Philippines character

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The Philippines would have to have one of the defeatist cultures in the world. The fundamental cause of this I suggest is:
1. Maternalism: A ubiquitous sense of entitlement
2. Lack of purpose: A fundamental self-indulgence
3. Lack of responsibility: A desire to perceive themselves as victims
4. Lack of organisation: A lack of institutional support
5. A strong pride: A pride that extends to the point of self-righteous delusion

Rarely do we see this combination of character traits spread throughout a culture such that they become a cultural paradigm. Their unshakable presence I suggest comes from a succession of imperialists that have sought to control the spirit of the Filipino, starting with:
1. Spanish colonisation: Rarely has a cultural occupation been as long as the Spanish occupation of the Philippines
2. American protectorate: The United States promises independence after expelling the Spanish, but reneged, delaying independence for years.
3. Japanese occupation: The Japanese occupation during WWII was even more brutal than the Spanish, but far shorter. Though its impact might have been regarded as something worse as a result of being one of a succession.
4. Chinese imperialism: The Chinese I believe mark another stage of cultural imperialism in the sense that even under 'independence' the country was still dominated by certain fascist leaders in business, the military and the Church. Previously it was Spanish families, but increasingly it would be Chinese business interests.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Living conditions in Philippine Condos

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Living in condos tends to be alot more pleasant than elsewhere for a number of reasons:
1. Insulation: Condos are better insulated, and windows are sometimes not even designed to open.
2. Quieter: People are generally quieter in condos and strata rules are more strictly enforced.
3. Politics: Condos are located in the city, so there are no favourites. You are more likely to get equal treatment since rules are enforced impersonally.
4. Civilised: People are more civil and considerate in the city.
5. Buffer: Condo living offers 2 styles of living - high rise in which case you are often way above the noise and pollution or low-rise, in which case there is usually landscaped gardens and concrete wall giving you a buffer from the hectic, chaotic world outside.
6. Lifestyle: People in the cities tend to be more productive and active. They are not spending their time at home, but are rather out working to pay off their new condo.

Condos however can pose risks to your environment as well.
1. Edge of peace: You want to make sure you dont rent near the edge of the development because you might be next to a noisy slum area. You dont want to be next to a basketball court or swimming pool or you might be disturbed by a lot of noise.
2. Construction: You want to avoid buying or renting near a new construction site because you will find these workers are paid to work all through the night sometimes. So avoid new project sites, as the project might take a year to complete.
3. Busy roads: Avoid being close to busy roads.
4. Mixed land use: Avoid being next to slums or piggeries that might taint the air you breath.
5. Rules: You want to make sure you dont get disturbed by inconsiderate people. Find out what rules are present to protect you. I was surprised that most Filipinos care so little about their surroundings.
6. Other owners: Its worth knowing the makeup of the other owners. If the owners are OFWs they are likely buying the condo for the benefit of hundreds of relatives in the provinces. Expect them to descend on your condo pool every so often for a family party. That would be fine if there was just a few occasions. But if everyone does it, you dont want to be living next to the pool.

Conditions of living in the Philippines - houses

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Living in the Philippines is actually not an easy thing. There are alot of challenges. I have lived in a condominium as well as 2 houses in different subdivisions. The problems I faced were:
1. Noise: The noise was shocking. All over the Philippines there are cocks (roosters) that 'crow' from the earliest hours of the morning. I was in a townhouse with 5 of them outside my window. Moved there because the owners brother could no longer keep them on military grounds. The owner did not want them on his property.
2. Dogs: Yep, you guessed it, more noise. Each Filipino I dare say has 3 dogs each, and they often have mad dog fights at all hours, and if not fighting, they will bark at traffic or pedestrians.
3. Planes: I was below an airforce training facility so I was experiencing flight manouvres in the morning through to night.
4. Music: My neighbour, who was a relative of the owner, was playing music at all times of day. It wasnt just because it was loud, it was often bad, and even if it was good, the same song could be repeated 10 times.
5. Kids: There are alot of young kids in the Philippines, and there is little discipline, so the run around your house, screaming, even banging on your windows for attention. At Xmas, kids from poorer areas come around singing for money, of course you are really paying them off to get rid of them. Except there are hundreds of them and they keep coming back for more.
6. Factories: My living circumstances were pretty peaceful, but with the cocks, they also established a factory in the house next to mine. This was a residential house being used to produce pig feed. So I was hearing the scrubbing of aluminium trays through the day into the early evening.
7. Motor cycles: The guy next door had a motor bike and he liked to rev it as well.
8. Horns: Filipinos are as lazy and inconsiderate. They will arrive at 2AM in the morning to pick up someone, and they will be beeping their horn. Not once but 10-15 times. Totally oblivious to what they are doing. Is that lack of critical thinking, or just lacking everything.
9. Tricycles: These are a big polluter and can be very noisy if you are around the main road. Miraculously this was not a problem. Jeepneys and trucks are other big polluters and noisy as well.

Its fair to say that my circumstances were bad, and I might mention they were good before they got bad. But these problems occur because:
1. Tenants have no rights - the contract given to me, which I didnt even sign, offered no protections
2. Landowners have few rights - they can take grievances to a homeowners association in each village. In my case I was surrounded by relatives. On balance that was probably a good thing, as I was friendly with some. Your best chance is to complain, but you have few rights. There are no laws preventing people from doing as they please. Its kind of understandable that poeple work from home, I do. Its just its a pain for me because my job requires thinking.
3. Lot sizes are very small (120-300m2) - so noise is worse
4. Houses are often packed with many family members, a number of whom are likely to be hanging around bored
5. Filipinos are accustomed to noise - which is why they dont hear well, and probably why they tend not to be great thinkers. I dare say they never had a choice.

Employing maids in the Philippines

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There is a great deal of appeal to the idea of living in the Philippines. Its true that you can get a live-in maid for P2500-3000/mth, thats $US50-60/mth, but consider the following:
1. You have to feed her - hopefully not what you are eating otherwise it could get expensive
2. You will have to train her - they really have no idea, so it will be a hands-on job. How to clean, how to cook food in the western style, how to pee straight, because they sanitary standards might not meet yours.
3. You will have to replace her - they tend to take off when they want, whether they go back to the provinces or off to see friends
4. You will have to trust her - they have a nasty habit of stealing things, taking off when you are not in the home. You dare not give them a set of your keys, but they will take off leaving your house unlocked.
5. You should avoid any personal relationships because you might end up facing extortion.

It might be better to just employ a contractor - but hide everything.

What are the bad aspects of living in the Philippines

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I have already addressed this issue on my Expats blog.
There is not much to add except maybe the slow pace or low productivity here.

The attractions of living in the Philippines

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Living in the Philippines is not such an attractive proposition for most people. When I look at the demographics its apparent to me that most of the foreigners whom come to the Philippines do so for the following reasons:
1. Business: Most westerners are stationed here with a foreign company
2. Diplomat: Another group of foreigners are here as diplomats, or as a bureaucrat paid by their government under the administration of the Asian Development Bank, or other aid programs.
3. Retirees: There are alot of old men here that want to enjoy the companionship of young girls. Can't say I blame them, they are gorgeous, and they aren't all poor, uneducated factory girls.

So basically when you look at the demographics its only the seniors that come here. Young people tend to come here for a week or two and thats it. So what is the attraction for the older guys. Well if you focus on where they are living, its readily apparent.
1. Girls: Most retirees live around the girl and beach districts like Angeles City, Subic, Boracay as well as Metro Manila apartments near Makati and Ermita I guess. Whether you are into prostitutes, or just girls to offer you a nursing hand to an 'old soldier', they have the girls to keep you fighting.
2. Cheap cost of living: Yes the Philippines is cheap, but not extraordinarily so when you consider the costs. Much depends on where you live, and how modestly. Its easy enough to buy a $US60,000 apartment in Manila or a house outside the city limits, but utilities are not cheap. If you want a western diet it does not even make sense to eat outside because the shopping malls are owned by just 2 billionaires. Plus add the $US40/mth cost of a visa renewal and you realise that you dont have much left over for those $1 beers. It does not help that everything costs more because you are a foreigner. Of course it helps if you have support from local family.
3. Entertainment: I think the Philippines has among the best live music performers in the world and at little cost. I am not talking about Britney Spears, though she was here, but the local pirated act.
4. Treatment: There is a great deal of respect for foreigners in the Philippines. Well at some level you are a sucker whom might as well feed their families, but I do think there is a genuine respect for 'American values'. I dont know if thats a repudiation of Chinese values, or reflects their appreciation for the US military effort in WWII, but certainly the attitude is strongest among military personnel.

OK, this must have been a bad day because I found some other positives for living in the Philippines. See http://life4expats.blogspot.com/2007/12/living-in-philippines.html.