PII-32 -- Land Banking - Could this be the Holy Grail of Investing?

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P E R S O N A L I N T E R N A T I O N A L I N V E S T O R
Personal Finance Intelligence for the Tokyo Community
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Personal International Investor
Vol. 32
October 28, 2005 Tokyo

For the full HTML version, go to:
http://japaninc.typepad.com/personal_intl_investor/2005/10/vol32_.html

CONTENTS

+ Feature
+ From the Editor
+ Yen Watch
+ Events
+ Job Watch

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FEATURER

Land Banking - Could this be the Holy Grail of Investing?
(By Stephen Huggins, TSI International Group KK | October 28, 2005)

Land Banking and the Holy Grail
In this issue, I'll briefly explain the concept of Land Banking and
why this just may be the most solid, secure and profitable investment
you can make. The Holy Grail of investing? That's a BIG claim to
live up to. Prior to joining another successful Land Banking firm
in 1995, I was with an investment bank in Hong Kong. During
that time we considered the "holy grail" to be any investment
that would produce incredible returns with little or no risk.
Unfortunately, during the investment banking years, the "holy grail"
never really did appear. However, it did appear in 1995, which
coincidentally, happens to be the same time I started my career
in Land Banking.

Click here to read more...
http://japaninc.typepad.com/pii_full_article/2005/10/vol32_.html

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FROM THE EDITOR

Looking for a House - Your Real Estate Agent (Part Two)

As I described last week, I was at Century 21's newly refurbished
home center in Shibuya. I had just done the entry interview, had
sat down with the store manager to pick out a set of likely targets,
and arranged for a viewing the following weekend.

Just as with buying property overseas, the job of the real estate
agent is to ferry you around to see these properties. This is
particularly convenient, because with Japan's arcane system of
property addresses (no road names or numbers), finding a particular
location - especially in older areas - can be both challenging and time
consuming.

There is also a hierarchical system of real estate agents - the primary
agent handling the property, who are often local and don't have much
marketing power - and the secondary agents who are the mass
marketers and cover the whole of the country. Century 21 does have
its own listings, but they are most useful in the fact that they cover
through split deals with so many other primary agents as well.

Among other things, your agent has to spend a significant amount
of time doing such mundane things as picking up of keys, or, more
often, rendezvousing with the primary listing agent, who brings the
keys and lets you in. For this reason, it can really take a lot of time
to get around to see properties, and in Tokyo at least, I think it would
be difficult to see more than 5-6 properties in a day… And that's
assuming that the agent assigned to you is working at optimal
efficiency.

Unfortunately with the Century 21 folks, unfortunately I got assigned
someone quite green, and although she was nice enough, we soon
got lost, we got stuck in traffic, and essential details about the
properties were unknown. Considering that I'd indicated an interest
in a healthy price bracket, I thought they would have looked after me
better. As a result, I spent the best part of the day looking at just
a few properties.

My wife on the other hand, decided to go on to the Internet and
found a number of major sites, the most comprehensive (but with
a lot of irritating repeat listings) being Recruit's www.isize.com, that
helped her drill down to agents whose names kept popping up and
who seemed to have a handle on the market. One of these was
Juken Housing. They in turn have an excellent web site
www.juken-net.com, and as it turns out they also have a very
knowledgeable team. Although the web site is in Japanese only,
it is easy to use, and there are lots of photos - which give a good
idea of what the property is like.

We also tried out a number of other realtors, including a couple of
majors such as Sumitomo (now called Mitsubishi UFJ Fudosan
Hanbai) www.sumai1.com and Mitsubishi. While they were
professional in their approach, you couldn't really compare them
with the performance of the Juken Housing team, who were always
on the ball and moved quickly to show us loads of properties. In fact,
I'd have to say that the level of performance was night and day.
With Juken and Sumitomo being at the top, and the others some
way behind.

Next week I'll go through the process of buying and what can and
cannot be negotiated.

Terrie Lloyd
...Investor in Training/

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EVENTS

No events this week.

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JOB WATCH

Brought to you by DaiJob, Inc - providing jobs for bilinguals.
http://www.daijob.com/dj4/tracker/counter?th=pii-toppage

- Product Specialist (Pre-Sales) - Treasury (JPY 7-12M)
- Senior Asset Management Compliance Officer (Negotiable)
- Asset & Liability Management Associate (Negotiable)
- Executive in Financial Control (Negotiable)
- Derivative Operations Middle Office (Negotiable)

Check out these and other jobs like these here!
http://www.daijob.com/dj4/tracker/counter?th=pii-merumaga

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SUBSCRIBERS: 624 as of October 28, 2005

Edited by Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)

---(C) Copyright 2005 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.---

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