Today, after just over a year of research, discussions, planning, paperwork, and visitations, the family and I took possession of our very own home. At two stories and three bedrooms, it's quite the upgrade from the 1-bedroom apartment Reiko, Nozomi, and I have lived in for 7 years, and the boy for just over one. Its proximity to schools, parks, and other families are great. The lack of industrial factories in the neighbourhood is welcome. And the relative quiet from the lack of planes and helicopters flying overhead will be a welcome change after almost a decade of living along the flight path of a military airport … in three different cities.
There's a lot to like about this place that will soon become our home. In addition to the extra interior space and neighbourhood pleasantries, the home was custom designed to suit a number of very specific needs for both Reiko and I. As we're both quite tall by Japanese standards, the kitchen counter is 10cm higher than in most homes. This will save us from bending slightly while working in the kitchen or washing dishes. Of course, we've also gone and had a dishwasher installed — our first — which will really come in handy on those days when we just can't be bothered to try and save water or electricity. As one would expect from a modern building, the home is very ecologically friendly in terms of water, power, and gas consumption.
Other niceties of the home are the working spaces. There's one downstairs next to the kitchen as well as one upstairs in the master bedroom. Both workspaces have a network port in the wall for computing devices, and the one upstairs has some extra considerations to make it better suited to podcasting.
What's particularly nice about this house is the size of the bedrooms. The stereotype for Japanese homes is that everything is small. This isn't always the case, but it certainly is for bedrooms. Fortunately, the boy has a room 50% larger than the average child's room, and there's an extra one open in the event he has a brother or sister in the near future. This spare room can also act as a guest room for when people come from out of town.
There's still quite a bit left to be done, such as building the rear fence and getting the landscaping constructed, but everything is scheduled to be complete before the summer heat hits.
Buying a home has required a decade of savings, a great deal of patience, and a pair of contracts that obligate me to paying an amount of money I've never thought possible to mortgage. The reality of the situation has still not completely set in.