Making Glass | House Hunters International
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House Hunters International

16 May House Hunters International

Our Tokyo home search. No we are not doing the show House hunters international We can’t Erika’s company frowns on that sort of thing, in fact  they’re probably not to happy about this blog either. What can I say,  I’m an artist and I’ve got to do something besides drive the Mama-chariot  (an electric bicycle ridden by Japanese house wives and salary man usually equipped with a basket and a child seat). On with the house hunt … We’ve been constantly reassured on how safe Japan is by our handler from the relocation firm. He has lived here 15 years and like most non Japanese (Gaijin) we’ve met he came for a year or two  and stayed.  My only issue with safety in Tokyo is an element here of Gaijin here that have to think about exploiting everyone they can at every moment. The Japanese are so accommodating I think it’s easy to mistake that for naive.   Miko from the furniture rental, a self proclaimed Music geek,  told us that the Nigerians that  work  the door at every bar and strip club on Roppongie street,

“tell lies to  girls that they are DJs from New York to get them to go out with them” .

It’s a wonder to me that crime as we know it  is almost nonexistent in a city like Tokyo with so many people from so many places. I will admit I feel much safer being the only Gijin in a big crowd. When there are too many westerners around I start to feel like I need to know where my wallet is.

Photo: Many of you have been asking about our Tokyo home search so here is the short version of the Daniel N Marder and Erika version of House hunters international.   No we are not doing the show but this is a picture of a bandana Danny ordered for a photo contest they are having.  Yesterday we saw a number of great properties in a very nice area close to Sofi's school, parks, subway stations, stores,etc.  in true house hunters form we have narrowed it to three properties.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
1.  Lots of amenities, in the same building as Sofi's school, next to a great kids park, 6 minute walk to subway.  Smaller square footage but still good sized.  Surrounded by very high end shopping and hotels.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
2.  New kitchen, across from beautiful park, tons of storage.  Hardwood floors in living/dining room.  Lots of balcony space. Close to more appropriately priced shopping district. 7 minute walk to subway, 15 minute walk to Sofi's school.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
3.  Gigantic but slightly dated.  Carpet throughout except for bathrooms and kitchen.  Tons of storage.  Mother in law room with its own bathroom. 6 minute walk to subway.  20 minute walk to Sofi's school.  </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>So today we are going to see them again and make a decision.  What's it going to be?  "Viewers" what do you think?

This is the HGTV Photo contest bandanna  We were limited because of some special needs. We have kids so we need to be local to their schools. You can drive in Tokyo but it’s not easy. I’m going to try not to drive, I’m certainly going to try not to park there is no parking but there are places to shop that parking is included and getting out of town to explore in a car is something I really look forward to.  If I get stuck driving one rainy day the schools have drop off lanes too. the other issue is  we have a  50Lb dog. when moving 6000 miles from home you take your dog. By Japanese standards a dog is a pet like a cat or ginnuie pig  that you can pick up and put in a bag. I saw a number of signs that said

“pets aloud, please carry your pet in carrier here”

That means Zsa Zsa Gabor with a poofey dog in a hand bag.  Nowatal our Xoloitzcuintli (/ʃoʊloʊ.iːtsˈkwiːntli/ SHOH-loh-eets-KWEENT-lee) Mexican hairless standard, was not what they were thinking of. In fact though he is considered a medium sized breed to the the AKC, in Japan he’s a large dog. This we were told severely effects our choices within our housing allowance.

From looking at the 14 listings they sent ahead we knew what we wanted before we started by the time we got there there were 4 to see including the 3 described below see if you can guess what we got from the descriptions.

#1  High end and easy. Located  in the same building as Sofi’s school in Roppongie by far the most decadent area for expats with High end shopping  right across the street English signs and speakers everywhere.  Hardwood in front Carpet in Three bedrooms.  2.5  Japanese style bath tub and shower in same room, separate bidet toilet sink room. Two washer/dryer combined units. Gas equipped galley style kitchen.  Pantry and laundry storage closets in each room with built-ins but no additional storage. Corner unit surrounded by connecting terrace. Indoor parking, car wash, pet wash, in garage. Separate elevator for pets 24 hr English speaking concierge 5 days a week. Other Amenities included access to high end health club and pool located in near by Roppongie Towers as well as a half dozen other associated resort  property locations. Erika’s walk to the train would be about 5 minuets by escalator through the mall and  a short walk up a steep hill to our apartment. About a 20 minuet walk to Lennon’s School for me.

#2. New kitchen Park Paradise, Across the street from a beautiful city park. Brand new eat in Island, hard surface,  dream kitchen with induction/ gas cook-top and electric oven Tons of cabinets & drawers.  Huge storage, trunk closet, hall coat closet walk in closets,  built ins in every room.  Gannet floors in foyer  Hardwood floors in living/dining room.  White pile Carpet in bedrooms. Large balcony space and rooms connected by terrace.  2.5 Dated western style baths. Close to more appropriately priced Azu-Juban shopping district. 7 minute walk to  Hiro-o Subway 3 long flights of stairs but direct train to Erika’s office.  15 minute walk to Sofi’s school 5 minuet walk to Lennon’s school.

#3  Homat Compound Gigantic (larger than our house by about 2x) Slightly dated. Off White  Berber Carpet throughout except for foyer bathrooms and kitchen. Tons of storage trunk closet, 3  hall closets my grandmother had in her house to store everything. The master walk-in closet with built-ins was as big as one of the kids rooms. 3 kids bedrooms with built-ins  in every closet shearing a massive 2 sink Japanese style bath with tons of storage. Maids quarters (Mother in law room) with private bathroom & large closet Gas range, microwave, full size side by side fridge with water and ice in door, video phone door security,  Multi- Zone Security & fire/Co2 system, Earth Quake Proof  glass Doors & cabinets,  full maintenance building,Fiber optic internet, Communications  Satellite, broadcast Satellite  Sky TV, & Cable TV  . 15 minute walk to Hiro-o subway. 25 minute walk to Sofi’s school.

No huge surprise We wanted the properties in the order I listed them. Guess what? Property #1 was rented when the agent showed it to us 🙁  Since Property #2  had no movement for 6 months the agent didn’t think we needed to put an application in on it that day- Like the people who saw it after us did. So when we heard the other applicant were asking for 1 million yen in restorations.  We Offered more than they were asking for rent taking money from our furniture rental allowance the agent assured us it should be enough especially because landlords chose the better company and Erika works for what is considered one of the oldest and best companies in Japan Slam Dunk Right? Wrong. The other applicant upped their offer and didn’t have a dog so the landlord didn’t accept our application. So we went back to the furniture rental found different furniture for a new much larger place that is going to be minimally furnished. I’m looking for a used  electric bike and some good rain gear for rainy season… July and August should be fun!
Danny Marder

Daniel N. Marder is a Visual Artist, Teacher, Writer, Cook, Consumer, Critic, Primary Care provider of two growing & inquisitive children, and Husband on an enthusiastic pursuit of the brilliant experience of life. Sometimes funny sometimes strange always seems like it should be in someone 's screen play and then they started blogging.

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