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Why Japan Is Crazy About Housing

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Most houses built nowadays will not see 25 years before some serious rework is necessary.

In fact, if the government legislated that homes must be rebuilt every 25 years...or, engineered them for planned obsolescence then we'd solve the property and jobless problem in one fell swoop.

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Theres some interesting examples, but generally if I look on google streetview most japanese homes look like theyre built as utilitarian and cost effectively as possible...not that our virtually opposite system of over tight planning controls delivers anything particularly great either.

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Japanese houses are essentially disposable and built to a low standard (usually). On the plus side, they are quite cheap to build. Insulation tends to be poor.

The Japanese do not want to live in a "second hand" house. If you buy one 2nd hand it will be at the end of its life after the previous residents die or are repossessed. Japanese want a new house, not an old one.

A Japanese' life in property is usually: rent, marry,buy some land and build a house, raise children, die, land gets sold and so on.

Edited by Ah-so

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Earthquakes and heavy bits falling on top of your head may also have something to do with it .?

Exactly, and radioactive plumes may have something to do with the new 30 year life expectancy of citizens.

Edited by 1929crash

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Such habits are a terrible waste of resources. Construction waste by weight forms a large part of the waste stream.

IIRC the Japanese recycle over 99% of their construction waste. The problem is energy wastage.

Unusual looking houses aren't the norm, you need serious wedge for something radical. Most houses are self build, but I understand it is usually alterations from various templates, rather than letting your imagination run wild.

The houses with no external windows in that article are probably ones in a square courtyard style, the light will come in the top. Japanese love their privacy and value location and utility over external appearance.

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Most houses built nowadays will not see 25 years before some serious rework is necessary.

In fact, if the government legislated that homes must be rebuilt every 25 years...or, engineered them for planned obsolescence then we'd solve the property and jobless problem in one fell swoop.

If you buy a newbuild house in the UK, you'll likely get a guarantee for 10 years.

Yup, a whole ten years.

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Will the builder be trading in 10 years though?

Most warranties on new builds are provided by the NHBC (about 80% according to the NHBC itself). If the home has actually been completed and the builder goes bust, the NHBC warranty (for what it's worth) is still valid. More here if you're interested

http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublications/LiteratureLibrary/RegistrationandCustomerServices/filedownload,15868,en.pdf

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The article in the OP is fascinationg, and to me it was a surprise.

In particular, we are led to believe that Japanese culture is about conformity. The individualism of the homes in the article seems contrary to that.

It must be odd living in an environment where few buildings will be there 30 year later, or were there 30 years before. Imagine if your home town was erased every 30 years.

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Most warranties on new builds are provided by the NHBC (about 80% according to the NHBC itself). If the home has actually been completed and the builder goes bust, the NHBC warranty (for what it's worth) is still valid. More here if you're interested

http://www.nhbc.co.u...ad,15868,en.pdf

A friend of mine had one of those ten year warranties, he had a few minor issues with the building and they weren't too keen on fixing things. Think they're more for when the house is about to fall down.

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The article in the OP is fascinationg, and to me it was a surprise.

In particular, we are led to believe that Japanese culture is about conformity. The individualism of the homes in the article seems contrary to that.

It must be odd living in an environment where few buildings will be there 30 year later, or were there 30 years before. Imagine if your home town was erased every 30 years.

I can assure you that houses as individual as that are very unusual. I have seen a handful of individual houses but none on the level of that article.

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It must be odd living in an environment where few buildings will be there 30 year later, or were there 30 years before. Imagine if your home town was erased every 30 years.

With the state of UK house building for the last 50 years it would be a blessing.

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A friend of mine had one of those ten year warranties, he had a few minor issues with the building and they weren't too keen on fixing things. Think they're more for when the house is about to fall down.

Same thing happened to me on my old 'new' build development. NHBC were very reluctant to do any remedial works or offer compensation and acted primarily as a hopeless intermediary between the householders and the developers. They only really get involved if the developers go bust. Our house builder told us (via NHBC) that they would go bust if they were to rectify the drains and frames but as they weren't bust NHBC wouldn't stump up the cash. Catch 22.

In the end we (householders not NHBC) got the developers to settle on the steps of the court whereby they would dredge the drains (poorly constructed/no incline and collapsing) for 10 or twenty years can't remember which. What actually needed to happen was the demolishon of 3 houses, rebuild drains and then houses.

A temporary solution and for that reason (as a leaseholder) I sold up and moved.

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