2023 06/24

CUSTOM-BUILT HOUSE: Things You Should Know Before Your Decision

Japan may be your dream place to live. Would you be happy only to be in Japan? I don’t think so because many factors make your life better and more joyful, for example, houses are very important for your comfort.

What do you know about a custom-built house in Japan? How much do you know about that?

Today, here is a guide for you to buy a house in Japan.

What Is A Custom-built House?

I don’t know if a custom-built house is also common in your country.

However, it is so common in Japan.

A lot of people wish to buy it and spend precious time with their loved people.

A custom-built house is called ‘’注文住宅’’ Chuumon Juutaku in Japanese. It is a custom home in English that is one of a kind of house that is designed for a specific client and a particular location.

Two types of custom-built houses are ‘’full order’’ and ‘’semi-full order’’.

Let me explain:

The full order is that you are the person who decides the layout, lot size, accessibility, and so on.

On the other hand, the semi-full order is that you don’t have a preference for everything in a house so the home builder provides you with some suggestions to pick for your house.

The full order usually costs you more than the semi-full order.

What is good about Custom-built houses?

You already may be able to understand what a custom-built house is like.

What’s good about it by the way?

① ✔No other similar house from yours

You can build a house as you want. The size, layout, interior, exterior, and everything is up to your choice.

The home builder provides you with the best suggestion to make your the only house in this world.

That is special, isn’t it?

② ✔Flexibility on choice

As long as your suggestions are followed by law, you can custom a house.

There are some laws in Japan when it comes to building a house such as the number of stories, size, and so on.

Other than that, there are wide flexibilities on choice.

Therefore, you will be able to have your dream house.

③ ✔Check on the process

You are allowed to check on the process of a house. Every time you go and see the house, you will see the progress that makes you happy.

As well, you will be able to ask the third person to check if the process is working all right when you are concerned about the house.

Your checks give the home builders attention that they need to work hard too.

④ ✔Cost

In general, a custom-built house costs you a lot for sure because you are allowed to custom everything as you want.

On the other hand, you also can cut the cost of what you don’t need so cost can be saved in some way.

For instance, a designed house gives you a designed house that everything is already made. However, you will be able to cut the big size of the toilet if you don’t need it.

What Is Bad About Custom-built Houses?

There are many good factors about a custom-built house. At the same time, you should know about the bad factors about it when you consider buying one.

① ✘Cost

Again, cost? Yes, the cost can be saved but usually high.

The reason is that you make a plan from 0 to 10 so it takes time and also cost. How much does it cost?

It depends on the person. If you have a lot of requests, it could be a lot. If not, it could be less.

In addition, the construction doesn’t have to finish as planned.

② ✘No other examples

Your custom-built house is yours. There is no other house like yours in this world.

Which can mean there is no other example of your house so you will never know what your house is like until it is finished.

It is fun to see the progress however some people may feel concerned about it.

③ ✘Difficulty on loan

A custom-built house usually costs a lot.

I don’t think many people can buy it in cash so all you have to do is to do a loan.

A loan requires you to have a stable income and it may not be very easy for some non-Japanese residents in Japan.

④ ✘Long wait on moving

How long does it take to build a house?

The answer is long. It won’t be finished in a month or 2 months. Usually, 6 months to a year is needed so you have to wait on that patiently.

That might bother your plant to move to Japan or move from a different city in Japan.

Your well-plan and preparation must be the key.

What Costs Will You Need to Pay?

There are few things to pay for when you buy a custom-built house in Japan.

The first one will be the lot that usually costs many. However, if you already have the lot this cost will be none.

Also, if there are some technical issues on your lot, extra cost will be required to pay such as the weak ground.

You need to ask an expert to check that:

The second one will be the construction cost. This cost varies among the home builder companies and the well-known companies tend to ask for higher prices.

This construction cost is included in basic construction, interior, exterior, etc.

The third one will be expenses. The registration of house and lot are one of them.

The Average Cost of Custom-built Houses in Japan

I know everybody is curious about how much Japanese people averagely pay for a custom-built house.

It is not so easy to generate because it depends on the area, and size when you buy but here is for you.

According to one of the biggest real estate portal websites, SUUMO in 2021, the average cost of a custom-built house in Japan was 29,880,000 yen which is 208,495 US dollars.

What do you think about it? You may think it is too expensive or low compared to your home country.

Once again, this is average so you can save it if you design better.

Things You Should Know About Custom-built Houses

Although you do a lot of research on a custom-built house, sometimes failure cases will happen.

Here are some things that you should know before buying a custom-built house.

① ◉Finishing material

What is the finishing material? It is a material that is used for the ceiling, the floor, the walls, and so on.

After your house is built, it will be too late to check that everything is okay because if the walls or the floor are required to change, it should cost a lot and take a lot of time.

You need to make sure that your request on that will be confirmed by checking the samples.

That would be in trouble if you only have a consultation with the architect or home builder because the pictures of that you and they are not necessary to be the same.

Especially someone from overseas might have a different view or option on the preference of the finishing material.

You should avoid the situation where you are sad to see the result of the finished house.

② ◉Storage

Yes, storage is very important for a Japanese house.

The reason is that Japanese houses tend to be smaller than the houses in the United States or Europe so storage will be the key for your comfort.

I sometimes see foreign customers who want houses prefer to have space to have storage so in the end, there will be a lack of space to store.

Your cloth, vacuum cleaner, sports equipment, there are tons of things to have to store.

③ ◉Outlet

Whatever you do at home needs electricity.

What does electricity need? Yes, it is the outlet.

I am sure that there are many outlets prepared in your house but are they enough?

Although you have enough numbers of outlets, what about their positions? Every time you use some household appliance, will it be easy to use?

If it is not located in the right place to attach, it is going to be so annoying to use.

If the outlet is too far to connect, then you are going to have to use the extended cord that may make your house look not as beautiful as it should be.

④ ◉Air-conditioning facility

I would like to talk about air-conditioning facility.

Japan is a country that has separated into 4 seasons. Summer is very hot at nearly 40 degrees and winter is not so cold compared to North America or the Northern part of Europe.

However, houses in Japan are usually not built well enough for winter which means the windows or the doors are not well cold resistant as in Europe.

Therefore, your house might be too cold sometimes.

If your house is not good for an air-conditioning facility, you will need to use the air conditioning more often than others so it means a lot of money to be spent.

I know what your house looks like is important but also think about air-conditioning facility well.

⑤ ◉Floor plan

In terms of the floor plan, it is not only how many rooms to have but also the access to each room.

For instance, the bathroom, the toilet, and the kitchen that you probably want to have good access to.

Are you sure to have the kitchen on the second story? Not so difficult to carry and go up every day?

The change of floor plan later on should be in pain so I recommend you to think it over once again before buying.

⑥ ◉The earthquake resistance

As you probably know that Japan is the country that has the earthquake.

I know it is scary for someone who comes from where there’s no earthquake so I want you to make sure that your house meets the requirements.

There are 3 aseismic capacity levels.

Level 1 protects a house from a big earthquake that happened once in 100 years. Level 2 is 1,25 times better than the level 1, level 3 is 1,5 times better than the level 1.

The Kumamoto earthquake that happened in 2016 tells you which to pick. The level 3 buildings were almost all not severely damaged although there were two big earthquakes hit in a short period then.


Today, we talked about a lot of things about a custom-built house in Japan.

I know it may be so different from where you are from. To have a better house, please keep the information in mind.

I hope this blog helps you a lot!