Wannabe homeowners in Japan are about to get the deal of a lifetime.
The Japanese government is launching a program to reduce the number of abandoned homes across the country by offering them for sale for nearly nothing, or actually nothing, according to Insider. According to a 2013 report, there are about eight million houses that have been left abandoned all over Japan.
Natural disasters and an aging population tend to be the main reasons why many of these homes have been left empty for so many years. But, according to Insider, a consistent superstition about old homes or homes where people died violent or unnatural deaths being considered bad luck can also make real estate difficult to sell.
In addition to some of the free homes listed, the government may also be offering funds to renovate the properties, especially in instances where they were abandoned and left in disrepair.
According to the Japan Times, 70 percent of people in Tokyo live in apartments. While these abandoned homes may be primarily a rural problem, many of them have been popping up in suburbs and close to cities as well, making them potentially viable options for people who are sick of cramped urban living.
In addition, the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) predicts that the number of abandoned homes could rise to 21.7 million by 2033, nearly one third of all homes in the country, according to the Japan Times.
“If this continues, at some point it may be necessary to consider limiting new construction. But that would have a substantial impact on the economy,” said Wataru Sakakibara, a senior consultant at NRI, to the Japan Times.
If you are considering owning a home in the near future, there’s never been a better time to consider a little retreat in Japan.
And if you’re not convinced, Travel + Leisure also named the country our Destination of the Year for 2018, so owning a home there might be a good way to see the country and save on hotel costs.
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