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In many countries in Europe, it is common for people to rent the house or apartment they live in, but In the UK, everyone dreams of owning their own home. Traditionally, houses in the UK have gone up in value over time, so even young people are not afraid to take out big loans because it is a kind of investment. The basic pattern has always been that you would buy a small house, live in it for a few years, and then sell it at a profit and buy somewhere bigger. That also meant that you didn’t have to worry about changing jobs or moving to a new area, because you could always just sell your house and buy another one. To give you an example, I think my family’s first house in Wales cost something like 12,000 pounds when I was seven years old. The same house would now cost around 200,000 pounds. Things are a bit different now, of course, and young people are finding it more and more difficult to borrow the money to buy their first home. (This is called “getting on the property ladder.”) The result is that they either have to borrow money from their parents, just keep living at home, or rent a place with friends.

There are several reasons why house prices go up in the UK. The first is that unlike Japan, the UK does not have earthquakes, so houses can be built from brick and stone. That means that they last for hundreds of years. Another factor is that there are very tight controls on where you can build new houses, so demand stays high even though supply is limited.

Of course, the situation is very different in Japan. If you buy a house here, you have to be sure that you are not going to move, because the value of the house if you try to sell it will be lower than the cost of building it. It has always been my dream to build a house in Japan, but I was never sure enough about my job. Also, foreigners in Japan can only get a loan if we have an 永住権. I only got mine three years ago, so I never really had a chance to buy a house before that.

I have lived in four rented houses here – one in Sapporo, one in Nagoya, one in Seto, and the one I live in now in Gifu. The house I lived in Sapporo was amazing. It was an imported Canadian house with really good insulation and central heating, and it had a built-in garage with a remote controlled door. All the other houses have been Japanese, though, and they were boiling hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.

I am hoping that in a couple of years, I will be able to build a north-American style house here in Gifu. I want a house that is properly insulated, with double glazing and a built-in garage. Two disadvantages of building will be that it will cost me more money than renting and also that I will not be able to move once I build it. Another disadvantage is that at the moment, I get 住宅手当 from my job, but I won’t get that any more if I buy my own place. The advantage, of course, will be that I will be able to design my house from scratch to suit my lifestyle.

I’m sure that many of you must have had to make the decision about whether to buy or rent in the past, and I was wondering what you see as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Of course, there are still lots of decisions to make even if you decide to build, so I would like to hear what you think about options like 建て売り or 自由設計, 木造 or 鉄骨, and so on.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

PS I saw that you were still discussing the issue of Amo’s answers to my question. I’m afraid I can’t really see what the problem is, but Amo’s answer looked fine to me. I think you were focussing far too much on the grammar of the sentences and not enough on interpreting them in context. I asked “Do you wear a watch?” and Amo said, “Yes, I do.” That is fine. I then asked “Would your answer have been different 10 years ago?” and she said “Yes.” That means, “Yes, my answer would have been different.” That doesn’t necessarily mean that she didn’t wear a watch 10 years ago, it just means that the way she wears a watch today is different in some way from back then. Hope that helps.

30 Comments

  1. Tomo on Monday July 23rd, 2012 at 01:14 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your help!

    >That doesn’t necessarily mean that she didn’t wear a watch 10 years ago, it just means that the way she wears a watch today is different in some way from back then.

    I see. I was wrong about this.

    Hi amo,

    I’m sorry, my understanding was wrong. My comments just confuse you, so please ignore them all. I said that I had felt a bit strange about your second “Yes”, but it seems that my sense was strange. I’m very sorry!!

    I’m going out with my sister today, so I’ll write about the topic later.

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  2. YU on Monday July 23rd, 2012 at 03:13 PM

    Hi amo and Tomo,

    騒動の張本人が途中から問題から降りてしまってすみません。
    コメントに書いたように『これ以上今回の問題にこだわってもあまり意味は無い』と思ってその後のTomoのコメントは読んでいたけど敢えて何も書きませんでした。
    Davidのアドバイスどおりその時々の意味に沿って答える、というので私は納得したつもりだったので正直最後の方は何が問題なのか私にもわからなくなりました。
    何はともあれ最初にヘンな疑問を投げかけて二人に不快な思いをさせてしまったのは私なのですみませんでした。
    特にamoの答えには何の問題もなかったのにいろいろといじくりまわしてごめんなさいね。許してください。



  3. YU on Monday July 23rd, 2012 at 05:55 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    > It has always been my dream to build a house in Japan, but I was never sure enough about my job. Also, foreigners in Japan can only get a loan if we have an 永住権. I only got mine three years ago, so I never really had a chance to buy a house before that.

    I know exactly what you mean.
    My husband got his 永住権 three years ago too, and we bought our own house two years ago.(Apparently, in Japan Japanese citizen’s spouses get 永住権 first after three years passed from the marriage date, and besides they have to live together all the three years…)

    Anyway, I already quit my former job(a full-time job) 4 years ago, so we had no choice but getting a housing loan under my husband’s name.

    > I will be able to build a north-American style house here in Gifu. I want a house that is properly insulated, with double glazing and a built-in garage.

    That’s sounds really nice, and it must fit your life style…

    > Two disadvantages of building will be that it will cost me more money than renting and also that I will not be able to move once I build it.

    In Japan, people who bought their own houses often say that how many years you pay the house rent, you won’t be able to own the room or the house, that’s a waste of money, but once you bought a house, both the house and the land belong to you, and someday in the future you’ll pay off the housing loan.

    > I’m sure that many of you must have had to make the decision about whether to buy or rent in the past, and I was wondering what you see as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    In my family’s case, my husband’s 永住権 led us to make the decision the most. Apart from that, we wanted to decide where to live the rest of our life before my son starts going to kindergarten or elementary school.
    In addition, I thought we might not be richer any more than the time we bought the house 2 years ago, because we have to pay a lot for my son’s education in the future.
    As you said, in Japan the value of the houses gets lower year by year, but my husband and I wanted to leave at least the land to my son after we die. Actually, the house maker’s staff told me that most of the parents(his customers) bought a “house”(not a “マンション” room”) for the same reason as us.

    >I would like to hear what you think about options like 建て売り or 自由設計, 木造 or 鉄骨, and so on.

    Actually, I was not really interested in 設計住宅. And they are much more expensive than 建売住宅. If you want to build a 設計住宅 in the same structure with a 建売住宅, you’ll end up paying much more. I’m stingy, and my family isn’t rich at all, so we bought a 建売住宅.
    However, some of my friends bought a 設計住宅. Of course, they’re satisfied with the house, but most of them complained that finally it costed them much more than they expected. The biggest reason is that carpenters dragged out their work by design. As a result, my friends ended up paying more personnel expenses for them and living longer at an apartment(their former rented house).

    At last, I have some advice to you.
    If you really want to borrow money to build a house in Japan, it’s better to do at earier age. Some of the husbands of my mama tomo were a bit old(45-50), and when they tried to borrow money, they had no choice but choosing a “親子リレー住宅ローン”. Banks check the customer’s paying ability, but if he/she was too old, they add disadvantageous terms this and that…
    Of course, if you had enough 頭金 and could pay off your housing loan within 10-15 years, you would not need to worry about that, though…..



  4. David Barker on Monday July 23rd, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Hi YU,

    It sounds as though you know a lot about this topic! I have a few friends who bought 建て売り houses, and they are really nice. The problem for me is that I want a very specific kind of layout, so I think I will have to go for the more expensive option. Anyway, congratulations on buying your home 🙂



  5. Fumie on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 06:24 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Japanese housing standard is low compared to other developed countries. Even if they buy houses, they make do with small houses or have to do a long commute. Having their own houses is one of big dreams for most Japanese people.
    People choose between apartment houses and houses(一戸建て). I like 一戸建てbecause when we lived in a company house which was a aprtment house, people who lived next to and under our house complained to me that our children were too noisy. I apologized to them and told my children not to make big noise but it’s difficult for young children to keep quiet.

    It’s a total surprise for me that house price go up over time in the UK. The situation is exactly opposite in Japan. Although I see the reasons of the value of houses rise in the UK but I can’t fully understand why price will go up though property get dirty and deteriorate. dirty,deteriorateという言葉は適切でないかもしれませんが、色があせたりして汚くなり、内装も外装も劣化するのにどうして価値が上がるの?remodelをして手を加えたら、日本では必ずしも価値は上がるとは限らない。 Anyway, differnt cultures have different standards of beauty.

    Let me tell you about our case. After we got married, we started off living at a dirty, old, small company house and moved to a little better one. And 12 years ago we decided to buy our own house near my parents’ place. There were several reasons for that. We want to live in a bigger house considering children are getting older and they are going to need their own rooms. During that time I wanted my parents to help me with taking care of my children and these several years I can take my parents to the hospital when they are sick. So living near my parents’ house is a win-win situation for both of us.(I’m not sure if I can use “win-win situation” in this context). Our house is semi注文住宅、we can choose color and pattern, materials of both interior and exterior and if we asked something extra that will add to the cost. But we can’t choose the size of the house and each rooms. Having our own home is my biggest dream and I read many magazines and had a lots of research. I had specific tastes in everything, wallpapers, ceiling patterns, style of doors etc. I told an architect my favorite of those things of each room and each place. I chose most of them. My husband didn’t have any ideas or he didn’t bother to do that. I’m happy that each room: bathroom, living room, children’s room are designed to my taste.ほとんどの所の1つ1つ自分で選んだから、自分の好み。洗面所1つとっても、好きな壁紙なのは、使う時、幸せな気分です。かなり思い入れがあり、だいぶ凝ってあれこれ注文つけました。でもどの(壁紙)にしても特に値段に変わりはなかった。
    Anyway, it was a wise choice to buy our house considering about our life in 10 years or 20 years later. But it was the biggest purchase so we have to keep repaying debt until 20 years later. Oh no, we have to work hard for mortgage payment and college tuitions for children.

    Fumie



  6. YU on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 07:56 AM

    Hi David,

    I don’t know much about this topic, I’m afraid! Just I had to do most of the procedures to buy a house myself, because my husband is a foreigner, and his Japanese isn’t as good as yours.
    In your case, you’d better build a 注文住宅, because you seem to have a lot of “こだわり” for your own house!

    Hi Fumie,

    > Although I see the reasons of the value of houses rise in the UK but I can’t fully understand why price will go up though property get dirty and deteriorate.

    I thought so too, but please read his description once again…

    “Another factor is that there are very tight controls on where you can build new houses, so demand stays high even though supply is limited.”

    I understood like this…
    In the UK where you can build houses is very limited and strictly controlled by the government. That’s why the value of both houses and land doesn’t fall or even goes up.
    イギリスでは家を建てられる場所が厳しく管理されていてそもそも絶対数がそんなに多くないのかな?だから需要と供給の関係で家や土地の価値が日本みたいに値崩れしないし、むしろ値上がりしたりするのでしょうか?
    それに日本の木造住宅と違ってレンガや石の家は丈夫だし、建替えやメンテナンスも格段に少なくて済むので内装だけリフォームすればほぼ新品同様なんじゃないかしら?
    私がドイツで住んだアパートもセントラルヒーティングのレンガ造りのアパートでした。

    > Our house is semi注文住宅、we can choose color and pattern, materials of both interior and exterior and if we asked something extra that will add to the cost.

    Though we bought a 建売住宅, we could choose both the interior and exterior, and the price stayed the same.
    I guess it was because we bought the house before it was built. However, we didn’t change almost anything from the house maker’s original plans, as we didn’t have confidence in our sense of taste. Finally, we changed the bathroom’s interior only.

    > My husband didn’t have any ideas or he didn’t bother to do that. I’m happy that each room: bathroom, living room, children’s room are designed to my taste.ほとんどの所の1つ1つ自分で選んだから、自分の好み。洗面所1つとっても、好きな壁紙なのは、使う時、幸せな気分です。かなり思い入れがあり、だいぶ凝ってあれこれ注文つけました。

    That’s nice! In general, I don’t think that men are interested in those matters compared to women. As you know, women stay at home much longer than men, so it’s better to design your house women’s taste accordingly!!



  7. YU on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 03:34 PM

    Hi David,

    すみません、日本語で失礼します。
    画像認証に画像の文字を入力した後に”CAPTCHA Code*”の下にブルーのSUBMITという文字をクリックしてコメントを送信しますよね。
    それが今朝からその枠内のSUBMITの文字が消えて枠内の左上方に赤い小さなバツマークが出たままになっているのですが。。。
    これって異常なのでしょうか?PCど素人ですみません。
    ちなみに私のコメント(6番目)のコメントはこういう状態でクリックしたんですがきちんとコメント欄に載っているようです。
    この前一回コメントが消えたことがあったので何かこちらに問題があるのかと思って質問しています。



  8. Tomo on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 03:41 PM

    Hi YU,

    Please don’t apologize to me. I was lucky that I learned things I was not sure about 😉

    Hi David and everyone,

    I was also very surprised that houses in the UK goes up in value over time. That’s the exact opposite to ones in Japan! No wonder people in the UK don’t hesitate to sell or buy a house. As you know, it’s more difficult to buy a house in Japan because it’s something like a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Of course, some people sell their house and buy a new one, but they usually have to sell the old one at a loss.

    When my husband and I were younger, we were not interested in owning our own home because we didn’t want to take out a big loan. We wanted to be free, enjoy ourselves, and save some money for our children’s education first. Anyway, when my husband was 38 and I was 30, we decided to build a house. An acquaintance of my husband’s told us that his company was going to develop land for housing in my hometown, and that they would give us a discount if we bought a lot(parcel of the land). The land is between an elementary school and a junior high school(which I used to go to), and we thought that it would be a nice environment for raising our children. We didn’t want to change our life-style or the standard of living we had, but we found that the monthly cost would be almost the same as the rent, and we would be able to pay back the loan in 15 years, so we decided to build our house there. Actually it was good timing because we found out soon after that I was pregnant with our third child.

    It was very tiring to decide everything even the places of the power points, but actually, my sister’s husband is an architect, so he helped us a lot. We asked him to make a design for our house. We told him what kind of house we wanted(like layout, loft-style kids’ rooms, stairs in the living room, and double glazing), and he did a great job for us. My husband was interested in the design for the house, but not in the details. After the main design was done, he said to me, “The rest is up to you”, so I decided most of them. It was fun at first, but I soon got sick of looking through thick catalogs. My brother-in-law told us that it would cost a lot if we asked someone to put up all the curtain rails in the house, so we(my husband, my brother-in-law, and I) did it ourselves. I like making things including DYI, so I made a shelf on the window in the kitchen, chairs for the counter table, and my husband helped me. At that time, I was around 8 months pregnant! Anyway, as I said above, it was really tiring to decide everything, and there are some parts I think like, “I should have done this…”, but いろいろ悩んだ分だけ余計に I love my house.(Once you live in a place, it grows on you, though!)

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  9. rinko on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 03:41 PM

    Hi David and everyone.

    It’s amazing that gitting first house is kind of investment in the UK. As other menbers said there is no case like this in Japan.

    I live in the apartment with my family and we are always thinking of getting a house because my son is 2 years old and getting noisy day by day. It’s a quite big problem as Fumie mentioned. The main reason we can’t decide to buy a house yet is that we have no idea when and where my husband would be transferred for his job.If we were transferred to another place even owning our own house,we would have to let our house out to someone because it’s a heavy burden for us to pay for a rent in new place (we can get 住宅手当 in new place, though) still repaying a loan of our own house.

    In the case of my husband’s friend at his work, just when he got a new house he had to move for his transfer and decided to let it out. The problem was that there was no one who wanted to rent a house on a short-term lease, so he finally agreed to let it out to a family for 4 years with a contract. But he returned only 2 years after and now lives in the apartment with his family despite that there is his own house in the same area until the expiration of contract!
    This story made me hesitate to get a new house, I want to own it someday though…

    >I am hoping that in a couple of years, I will be able to build a north-American style house here in Gifu.

    Sounds very nice.It’s just a dream for us to build a house of “自由設計”!!

    Hi YU

    About the article you showed us last week (about having a baby ), I’ve been thinking it’s quite serious matter in Japan, too. I watched the program of NHK taking up the same topic the other day, and I knew ,in Japan, the parcentage of the women who know that they might have to give up having a baby at late age is much lower than in other countries. Anyway sorry I’m very late to write about this,I couldn’t check the comments of this blog last week!

    Have a nice day everyone!

    rinko



  10. David Barker on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 03:49 PM

    Hi YU,

    I’m afraid I don’t know anything about computers either, but the comments seem to be coming through, so I’ll just wait and see if there are any more problems.

    Hi Tomo,

    I started looking through kitchen catalogues the other day. I got bored after about five minutes! I’m not planning to build a house for a while, though, so I still have plenty of time.

    Hi rinko,

    The situation you described is exactly how I was able to rent the nice house in Sapporo. The man who built it worked for a company that did not move its workers around, so he thought it would be safe to build a house. A couple of years later, his company was bought out by another company, and he got moved down to Honshu, so he had no choice but to rent the house out. I guess that is one of the best things about working at a university – we don’t have to worry about 転勤.



  11. YU on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 04:31 PM

    Hi David,

    Okay, I’ll wait and see too.
    At least my comments are still alive, so it doesn’t seem that 赤いバツ is a big problem!

    Hi rinko,

    I watched the (NHK)program too!
    It was really thought-provoking…,but above all, I was very surprised to know that most of the French young people know the fact, and the government subsidizes only young people for their sterility treatments, but not men or women over 34 (or 35!?)… It sounds cold, but on the other hand, I think it is a very rational way of thinking. I mean, the government actively educates young people to have children at earlier age and supports them. As a result, women would have less birth complications and more numbers of children in their lives. And it makes possible to prevent “an aging society”….How smart they are!

    Hi David and rinko,

    Yes, “転勤” is one of the biggest problems!
    However, if you only focus on “転勤”, you might not be able to have your own house until your husband retires…That’s a very difficult problem.
    David, have you ever thought of running your own 英会話スクール!? I think it is an another way of avoiding “転勤”. However, working at a university is much nicer, isn’t it?



  12. Anne on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 05:18 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Whether you buy or rent a house, it depends on each family’s lifestyle.
    I have lived one condo, two rented apartment and a house so far.
    When I got married, I lived in the condo, and several years later my husband and I moved to an apartment nearby parents-in-law’s house.
    They wanted to move closer to their house just in case for living together in the near future.
    Actually we moved to another apartment later.
    In the meanwhile, they built a house; completely 自由設計,木造 and traditional Japanese house.
    We paid the money for it, but there was no room(option?) for us to say something concerning building the house。
    Those days, we paid both the apartment rent and the money for the house, and it was quite tough!
    Anyway several years later, we moved into their house mainly to take care of them.
    And then, after them having passed away, we remodeled kitchen and bathroom one years go.
    I’m not sure what is like buying the house, but when we had our kitchen and bath room remodeled, there were lots of things to do.
    We visited lots of showrooms many times, and checked each implement. It took much time to decide which implements(utensils) we should use and once we decided the basic one, and then ordered various options. Actually, as YU mentioned, when you have a choice, you are tempted to have better and more convenient ones,right? It ends up paying much more money than you have imagined. It’s a human nature,isn’t it?
    It’s a small thing but it’s important to care about what you want; colors, materials, adding small shelf,size of the kitchen…a lot! In my case, convenience was my first priority and I took the idea of age-friendly into consideration.
    As everyone knows, there are various kinds of process you need to take, and one of them is which builder you will ask.
    I compared three companies and think that chemistry with the staff is also important because you have to rely on him/her or consult everything.

    Hi David,
    > I will be able to build a north-American style house here in Gifu—That sounds nice!
    In your case, I guess there is no other option other than “自由設計.”

    Actually, I can’t post my comment from the morning with the same reason as YU said. I really hope this comment reach the blog! (涙。。。)

    Anne



  13. Anne on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 05:20 PM

    it’s me again,
    Phew… I’m relieved…

    Bye for now

    Anne



  14. Anne on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 05:29 PM

    Hi again!
    Did you hear the news?
    Ichiro Suzuki from Seattle Mariners was traded to NY Yankees today. I almost shed tears when I heard his interview on TV. I expect him doing a good job in the new place and win the World Series.

    Anne

    PS 午前中はずっとXのところを押してもエラーが出ていましたが、どうしたんでしょう。



  15. YU on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 06:36 PM

    Hi Anne,

    > Phew… I’m relieved…

    I’m happy for you !! 🙂
    それにしてもどうしてAnneは送れなかったんでしょう?
    私のは送れたんですよね。
    ま~私のようなパソコン音痴にはいくら考えたって分からないので
    送れればそれで良いです!! ;-)

    Yes, I heard about Ichiro’s trade very early this morning and was very very surprised.
    He already played for his new team(NY Yankees) and got a hit today….wonder wonder…
    Concerning of his recent performances, I think it was wise of him to have suggested the team(Mariners) his trade from himself.
    イチローのここ2年の成績を考えると自分から移籍話をもちかけたのは賢明だったと思います。正直イチローがチームから放出されて移籍先を探す、マイナーから頑張る、というのはあまり見たくないし、彼はそもそもそういう泥臭いタイプの選手じゃないと思います。
    限界を感じたら自らスパッと辞めそう。
    先週までネット上で松井(秀喜)とイチローが同時に今年で日本プロ野球に帰ってくるかも、どちらが巨人に入るか、みたいな話で盛り上がっていたんですよね~。イチローは今年がマリナーズと5年契約の最後の年だったし。そりゃあ~イチローが我が巨人軍(!?)に入ってくれたらうれしい限りですけど、やっぱりヤンキースでもう一旗あげて帰ってきて欲しい。頑張れ、イチロー!!
    えすみません、つい野球のことだったのでしゃべりすぎてしまいました。。。。

    BTW, I didn’t know that “condo(minium)” means 分譲マンション. Thank you! I always thought that “condominium” was a luxurious accomodation in resort places like Hawaii…



  16. YU on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 07:31 PM

    Hi David and Tomo,

    I didn’t know what “double glazing” was, and I checked it up in the dictionary. Is it 二重窓 or somthing else!?
    By chance almost all the windows(except toilets’ windows) in my house are double glazed. When my husband and I heard about it from our house maker’s staff, we just thought, “Oh, lucky! Sounds nice!” They called it “ペアガラス”(pair glass!?). Is it an English word as well?



  17. YU on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 07:50 PM

    It’s me again.
    すみません、二重窓というか、一見すると一枚の窓だけど”複層ガラス窓”ってやつ? 断熱効果や騒音防止を狙った?
    うちのはソレです。
    もしそれだったら確かにすごい良いです。結露もないし。
    最近後付けで中から二重にするガラスよくCMとかでやってますが1枚だとスッキリ見えるのでいいですね。
    ちなみにうちの窓全部3つロック付いてます。
    最初ロックするの面倒だったけどやっぱり防犯は大切ですよね。



  18. Tomo on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    【correction】

    he said to me, “The rest is up to you”,  →  he said to me, “I’ll leave the rest up to you”,

    Hi YU,

    I didn’t know how to call “ペアガラス” in English, either! I just copied David’s expression.

    ずっと「ペアガラス」と呼ぶのだと思っていたら、どうやらそれは旭硝子の登録商標みたいですね。 そうそう、その複層ガラスです。 前に住んでいたアパートは結露がひどくて、今よりも冬は気温が下がる所だったので、朝はサッシにたまった水が凍って窓が開かないこともあったんです!! それで「もう結露はいや~」っていうのが私の第一希望でしたね(笑)

    前に義兄が言っていたのですが、確か私たちが家を建てる頃には建築法がどうとかこうとかで、もう今の家は高気密・高断熱が主流(義務??)になっているとか(??)…難しい話は「ふ~ん」でスルーだったのであやしいですが、複層ガラスはいいですよね。 引っ越してきた最初の冬はその効果に感動でした!

    ロックは私はよく忘れちゃうんです。。(汗) 昨日も窓を網戸のまま出かけてしまって怒られました…。 ロック以前の問題ですよね、気をつけないと!

    ところで、SUBMIT button ですが、私も赤いバツ印のままですね。 Anne はエラーが出てしまったようだし、明日になったら直ってるといいですね。(パソコンは寝てもダメかな?!)

    Good night,

    Tomo



  19. Anne on Tuesday July 24th, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    訂正;
    >When I got married, I lived in the condo
    ーーーWhen I got married, my husband and I lived in the condo
    Hi YU,
    >それにしてもどうしてAnneは送れなかったんでしょう?
    —I’m not sure, but maybe it’s my problem.
    >そりゃあ~イチローが我が巨人軍(!?)に入ってくれたらうれしい限りですけど、—No way!!!
    >やっぱりヤンキースでもう一旗あげて帰ってきて欲しい
    –I 100% agree with you.
    >I didn’t know that “condo(minium)” means 分譲マンション–I was not sure,either. I just wanted to use the different word from”apartment” because I used it.



  20. YU on Wednesday July 25th, 2012 at 09:50 AM

    Hi Tomo,

    > 前に義兄が言っていたのですが、確か私たちが家を建てる頃には建築法がどうとかこうとかで、もう今の家は高気密・高断熱が主流(義務??)になっているとか(??)…

    You’re right.
    We often hear “省エネ住宅” or “エコ住宅” these days.
    When we bought our house, there was a subsidy from the government, called “住宅エコポイント”.
    Besides that, nowadays people tend to place great importance on “earthquake-resistance” when they build a house.
    In my case, we bought a house with the highest earthquake-resistance grade and the energy efficiency standard achivement, so that we were offered a bit better interest when we got a housing loan.

    Hi Anne,

    > As everyone knows, there are various kinds of process you need to take, and one of them is which builder you will ask.

    I agree with you, though I bought a 建売住宅.
    So, Tomo is very lucky, because her brother in law is an architect!
    As I mentioned, some of my friends complained to me about the builder and the staff. However, they finally didn’t complain to the staff anything directly, as anyway, it wasn’t possible to change the builder or the staff. Also, they were worried that the staff might get angry and skimp on their work if they complained this and that….

    > It’s a small thing but it’s important to care about what you want; colors, materials, adding small shelf,size of the kitchen…a lot! In my case, convenience was my first priority and I took the idea of age-friendly into consideration.

    I agree with you.
    Some of my friends built a kitchen and a living room on the second floor, because they could only afford to buy a small land, and so both the kitchen and the living room could get “little” sunshine if they made them on the first floor. In fact, their kitchen and living room on the second floor get a lot of sunshine now, but I wonder how they would climb up the steps when they get older in the future….

    I’m wondering if the kitchen sink in my house is designed for tall women… By chance I’m quite tall, so there’s no problem for me, though…Anyway, for women “kitchen” is a very important place in the house!



  21. Anne on Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 08:16 AM

    Hi rinko and everyone,

    >The main reason we can’t decide to buy a house yet is that we have no idea when and where my husband would be transferred for his job
    —Yes, “転勤” is one of the difficult aspects that discourage people from buying a house. My elder sister and brother- in-law’s case had the same problem. Just after they bought the house, he(brother-in-law)was transferred to London. Actually, they haven’t lived that house because they have been living in Saitama after returning to Japan.

    Hi everyone,
    You have already known the result…Yay!!
    Nadesdhilko Japan, the Japanese women soccer team, won the game 2-1 to Canada. The London Olympics 2012 began 2 days before the Olympic Ceremony. I didn’t watch the game live, but anyway the result is really a good start for Japan,isn’t it?
    Now I can’t miss the men’s game with Spain.

    *訂正;

    “I can’t post” should be “I couldn’t post.”

    Anne



  22. kattie on Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 09:38 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I started writing a comment and I’m not sure whether I sent it accidentally before I had finished it! Anyway, I’ll try again!

    I was very interested to read your comments about this topic because the Japanese housing market is obviously so different from the UK housing market.

    In the UK people often actually prefer old houses to modern houses and they do not think they are dirty or falling to pieces, in fact old houses are generally quite a lot more expensive than modern houses. In the UK a lot of houses were built in the Victorian era (i.e 1837-1901) and these are often considered very desirable. Older houses generally have very attractive features for example a Victorian house will often have beautiful fireplaces, ornate staircases, pretty stonework and detailed plasterwork and Georgian houses (1720-1837) are particularly known for their sense of symmetry, as well as having beautiful fireplaces and other pretty features. These houses have stood the test of time and with good maintenance, they will probably last longer than many of the newer houses built in the last 50 years by the big housebuilding companies.

    This is not to say that modern houses are always poorly built, in fact there are many beautifully built modern houses but these tend to be individual, architect designed houses and not larger building developments. To build such a house would be a dream for many people but it is extremely difficult.As David mentioned, there are lots of planning restrictions regarding building a new house, the house must blend in with the environment and conform to lots of other regulations – it is an expensive and risky process buying a plot of land without planning permission and it’s hard work dealing with architects, builders and public officials so, if people do want to build and design their own house, they have to be quite dedicated. Another problem is that potential building land is very hard to find and when you do find it, it is often in a poor location so it would not be worth doing.

    I love living in an old house (our house was built in the 1880’s), I like to think about all the different people who have lived in our house over the years and I hope we are looking after it for future generations. I think the British are a bit obsessed with things from the past and houses are just part of this obsession. My sister actually thinks my house is too modern and she only likes medieval houses – the oldest part of her house was built in medieval times!



  23. amo on Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    >I only got mine three years ago, so I never really had a chance to buy a house before that.
    It has already been three years since you got 永住権!! Time flies. It seems like just yesterday that you mentioned it on the blog.

    As for the topic, We(two of my sisters and I) bought a condo about fifteen years ago, we had lived an apartment before that. When we decided to buy it, we didn’t think too much. We just thought that either of us eventually would get married and she might want to keep the condo. When I was in Okinawa, I had lived in three places, two apartments and a condo. So I have never lived a house. After I left Okinawa, my parents sold the condo and bought a house though. I don’t think that they were able to sell it at a profit but my mother always wanted a house so that’s ok for them. Several years ago, they suggested to us that we should buy a house near their house, because it was a reasonable price and even if we wouldn’t live the house, we could rent it. Of course they wanted us to come back and live the house, though. At the moment we rent the house. Oh, sorry I think that I am getting off the track…

    >I was wondering what you see as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    One of the biggest disadvantages of buying a house is you can’t move easily as you said. And the advantages? Mmm, I can’t think of anything else other than you and others mentioned.

    >Traditionally, houses in the UK have gone up in value over time,

    I used to watch TV programmes related to UK, and I have watched a programme introducing the housing situation in UK once and it said that the houses last for hundreds of years so if a house built less than a hundred years ago, it’s not that old at all, and older houses were much expensive. By the way, I like British style houses, I guess it’s because I like antiques. I wish I could live in that kind of house. I don’t think those houses fit in Japan so I have to move to UK(lol)

    Hi Kattie,

    Thanks for letting us know more about the housing market in UK. I like old houses too. When I visited UK, I just enjoyed walking around and watching houses.

    PS. Thanks for your help, David:)
    To tell the truth, I eventually gave up on trying to explain my thought, so I really appreciate your help.

    YU and Tomo,

    That’s ok, but I never thought that one of my answers could trigger an issue, though.

    Good night and sleep tight:)
    amo



  24. amo on Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    correction

    That’s ok, but I never thought that one of my answers could trigger an issue, though.

    >That’s ok, but I never thought that one of my answers could trigger an issue.

    amo



  25. Anne on Friday July 27th, 2012 at 01:12 AM

    Hi Kettie,
    Thank you for letting us know about the housing market in the UK and your thought. It’s always nice to see your comment here.
    > (our house was built in the 1880′s),
    That sounds nice. I like the convenience of the housing, but like the old house too. When I was a kid, a house I lived was 100 years old. I liked the arrangement of the room.
    >In the UK a lot of houses were built in the Victorian era (i.e 1837-1901) and these are often considered very desirable.

    As David mentioned, we have earthquake in Japan, so the housing situation is a bit different from that of the UK.
    In Japan, there are also these kinds of ideas and some people have their houses built like the style of”old folk house” by using old pillar or furniture. It costs huge amount of money to build these type of houses,though. Having said that, “old” means here around ‘100 years.’

    Here’s the link of the photos of “old folk house.”

    http://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%E5%8F%A4%E6%B0%91%E5%AE%B6&hl=ja&rls=com.microsoft:ja:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7SUNA_jaJP311&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=b2MRUIadDqytiQe8wIHIAQ&ved=0CIEBELAE&biw=1024&bih=553

    Aside from these houses, there are special districts where houses are required to preserve old style; these houses have stood the test of time and one of them is Shirakawagou in Gifu. People help each other to maintain their houses.

    Hi everyone,
    Man’s soccer team beat Spain 1-0. To be honest, I didn’t expect Japan will (would?) win.

    By the way, Great Britain’s women soccer team beat New Zealand 1-0 yesterday!

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  26. Fumie on Friday July 27th, 2012 at 07:26 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I couldn’t undrstand well why the prices of houses in the UK go up over time even after hearing explanations of some members. But thanks to Kattie’s detailed explanation, I came to understand the reason. Thank you Kattie!
    I had a completely wrong idea. My idea of old houses were totally different of the one that Kattie explained about older houses in the UK.
    >Beautiful fireplaces, ornate staircases…
    I saw houses of those style in UK films and I love them. They are really beautiful and I wish we could have such kind of a house.
    As Anne said, Japan has similar idea of maintaining older folk houses and they are not cheap although they are old.

    Hi Kattie,

    I have a question.
    So what about the cases of houses which were built about a couple of decades ago? If they were just plain house without those beautiful features like Victorian houses have. Do the price of plain old houses will also go up in the UK?

    Your house is about 130 years old. I imagine beautiful interiors of your house and it must be a good feeling to live in such kind of a house thinking about former residents.

    > I think the British are a bit obsessed with things from the past and houses are just part of this obsession.
    I think cherishing older things(antiques) is a good idea. Antiques have beauties which there are not in new items.

    Fumie



  27. Anne on Friday July 27th, 2012 at 09:10 AM

    Hi Kettie, Fumie and everyone,

    Both of your stories remind me of the days I stayed in Cambridge for two weeks. A house I home stayed was a modern house and there were lots of similar houses there, however, on the way to a bus stop, I saw many old houses including old church. They looked very nice but I had no idea how old they were. I remember I thought to myself, “I’m in the UK now!” and felt happy because the image of those houses were just the same as I had had toward the UK. Sadly, I didn’t have a chance to visit those houses…

    >correction
    “Man’s soccer team” should be “Men’s soccer team”

    >I’m wondering about the tense of the following sentence:
    *I didn’t expect Japan will (would?) win.
    Should it be ” I hadn’t expected Japan would win.”?

    See you soon,

    Anne



  28. David Barker on Friday July 27th, 2012 at 09:49 AM

    Hi Anne

    That would be “I didn’t expect Japan to win” or “I didn’t think Japan would win.”

    I’m at Suzuka! Tonari San just finished his practice session. Qualifying will be later this morning. I’ll be here all day, do I’ll do the feedback entry when I get home tonight.



  29. Fumie on Friday July 27th, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Hi David and Tonari San,

    Tonari San’s race is today. It must be too hot there. Please be careful with heatstroke! And good luck with the race

    Fumie



  30. Anne on Friday July 27th, 2012 at 01:17 PM

    Hi David,
    Thank you for your help.
    >“I didn’t expect Japan to win.—I see.

    Hi Tonari-sa, David and the team,
    Oh! You are at Suzuka such a hot day!
    It’s scorching hot and the atmosphere there must be hot. Please be careful with heatstroke! Fingers crossed and looking forward to hearing the story.

    Anne



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