What Are Serviced Apartments and Corporate Housing Apartments?

The term ‘Serviced Apartments’ refers to fully furnished apartments that are available on rent either as short term or long term accommodation. The earliest serviced apartments started out in the USA and the concept became an instant hit amongst business travelers. Those who had to stay in new cities away from home for lengthy periods of time found that they could save a lot of money by renting a serviced apartment instead of staying at a hotel. The popularity of serviced apartments grew exponentially over the years and today this concept is an established and well recognized vertical of the hospitality industry the world over.

Serviced Apartments offer you the kind of flexibility, economy and extended stays that hotels can’t provide by any length of imagination. Though the hotel industry has a unique customer base and its own advantages, the serviced apartment industry has carved a niche segment of its own. Hotels are still the ideal choice for short stay travelers. With restaurant, pools, bars and various other facilities, hotels have an edge in wooing the short stay crowd. The apartments however are in a league of their own when it comes to offering convenience and value for money.

There are a few exclusive serviced apartment chains that would put even the most expensive hotels to shame. But mostly, the apartments are no frills living spaces that provide practicality and comfortable stays at considerably lesser costs. These days most of such accommodation have started looking like hotels with receptions, room service, etc. However, the basic concept of flexibility still remains. The highlight of such apartments is that they are available for long term stays. By definition hotels can turn out to be extremely expensive for long stays, but the apartments can rent you a fully furnished room or an entire apartment for long stays at very reasonable prices.

Serviced apartments like to position themselves as a ‘home away from home’. Indeed, their most appealing proposition is the prospect of living in a fully furnished apartment with all the facilities you would have at home. Your get your own kitchen, your own clothes iron and various other simple things which make you feel quite at home. There are many kinds of such apartments, but the most common types are the apart-hotels and corporate housing. Apart hotels are regular serviced apartments that function just like regular hotels except that they don’t offer facilities like restaurants or bars.

Corporate housing apartments are large residential blocks that are rented on the whole and converted into serviced apartments that offer all basic facilities like laundry, internet access etc. The only complexity involved with staying at such an apartment is the booking process. The process is not as straightforward as is the case with hotels. Generally, an agent can get you the best rates with diligent negotiation. Even then you may have to pay a large security deposit for longer stays. In spite of these minor drawbacks, such apartments are a very popular choice worldwide amongst travelers who like to feel at home wherever they ar Find all the info that you need about " concourse skyline rent concourseskyline " at concourseskyline

Japanese Housing Conditions

In Japan, land price is expensive and housing conditions regarding its rent and size are not good compared to other countries. Accommodation is a very serious problem even for the Japanese particularly in urban areas, which lack spacious and low cost housing.

1. Japanese rental housing

In Japan there is both public housing and private housing. Apartments make up the majority of rental housing.

a) Public housing

Public housing is provided by official organizations such as prefectural, city, and town governments, and housing supply corporations. Any non-Japanese who has an alien registration can apply for this kind of housing regardless of nationality. There are two types of housing: Koei Jutaku (public housing) is for people who have a low income; and Tokutei Yuryo Chintai Jutaku (delux family housing) and Kosha/Kodan Jutaku (Public Corporation housing) for those with a middle-class income.

These apartments provide a certain level of facilities at relatively low rent. It is necessary to pay two to three months’ rent as a deposit (guarantee money) at your tenanc y, but key money which is necessary for private housing is not required.

However, qualifications such as income are precisely determined, and only those who satisfy these qualifications can apply. As there are many applicants, the tenants are determined by lottery. After moving in, the tenants must comply with the regulations for use (i.e. nobody is allowed to live together with the tenants without permission). This type of housing is mainly apartments, which generally include kitchen, bath, and oshiire (closet), with one to four rooms.

b) Private rental housing

Private rental housing is owned by individuals and private companies. The type varies in rent and size.

1. Aparto (Apartment)

These are mainly two-story buildings constructed from light-weight steel, wood, or mortar, and house 4 to 8 households. Some of them share a toilet and/or have no bath.

2. Mansion (Apartment)

In Japan, housing which is bigger than an Aparto and built with reinforced concrete is called a Mansion. The insulation is better than an Aparto, and privacy is better. Some have a custodian living on the first floor or others have an underground parking lot.

3. Detached house

Detached houses have recently been designed using a mixture of Japanese and Western styles. Some of them have a garden. There are several rental houses designed especially for non-Japanese’ but not many.

2. Typical housing size and floor plan

The area is indicated in square meters (m2) as well as original Japanese units, “jo” and “tsubo.” One jo means one tatami mat, and is roughly 180 cm x 90 cm. (“Tatami” is a unique Japanese floor covering). One tsubo is 182 cm x 182 cm or about 3.3m2 and equals approximately two jo. There are Japanese-style and Western-style rooms. A Japanese-style room has tatami mats and a Western-style room has flooring or a carpeted floor. Below is a typical Japanese housing floor plan.

• K, DK, LDK – K means kitchen, D means dining room and L means living room. K means only a kitchen and DK means a dining room plus kitchen, and LDK means a room which has the function of a living room as well as dining room and kitchen. Therefore, 2DK means a house which has two rooms in addition to a room having the function of kitchen and dining room.

• UB – UB means unit bath (unified formation bathroom), which includes bathtub, toilet and washbowl.

• Oshiire (closet) – This means a storage space in a Japanese-style room.

• PS – This means a pipe space containing drainpipes and wiring conduits.

• MB – This means the meter box for water and gas.

Floor plan for One-room Mansions (one-room apartments)

(Example) Facilities are compact and there is one room which can be used as a living room. The kitchenette is very small, so that elaborate cooking is not possible. Some of them don’t have any space for a washing machine inside the room.

Floor plan for detached houses


• Most detached houses in modern Japan have both Japanese and Western-style rooms.

• Some of them have a garden and a parking space.

3. Customs regarding Japanese housing

a) Shoes – In Japanese housing, there is an area for removing shoes before stepping up into the main entrance. Japanese people sit on the floor and sleep on a futon on the tatami, the Japanese traditional floor mats, so stepping on them with shoes on is not allowed. If you enter a room wearing shoes and dirt the mats, you might have to pay repair costs.

b) Bathroom – In Japan bathing is not only washing the body but also a chance to relax while soaking in the bathtub. Recently bathrooms consisting of a Western-style bath with toilet have become popular, but the Japanese traditional bathroom is separate from the toilet and has a space to wash the body outside the bathtub. Bathtubs are mainly made of plastic or stainless steel. If you live with a Japanese family, you must keep the water in the bathtub as clean as possible because the rest of the family will take turns to use the water after you. Do not use soap in a Japanese-style bathtub. The water is heated mainly by gas.

c) Tatami mats – Tatami mats are a traditional floor covering of straw sewn to make a mat about 5.5 cm thick and bound by woven rush. One tatami mat (jo) is also the unit used to indicate the size of a room. New tatami is green and the tatami mats are changed every few years or whenever moving house.

d) Futon (thick bedquilt), bed and oshiire (closet) – In a Japanese house, generally the futon is rolled out every night and folded away in the oshiire every morning. During the daytime, the futon is kept inside the oshiire. In this way, a single room can be used for various purposes. If a bed is placed on the tatami mats, they are dented and damaged, so it is recommended to put boards under the legs of the bed.

e) City gas and propane gas – Electricity or gas is provided for the stove and bath. There are two types of gas: city gas (coal gas), led to each household from gas company tanks, and propane gas, provided by dealers in the form of cylinders. City gas is managed by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and propane gas is managed by individual dealers. Gas cookers etc. should be supplied by tenants.

f) Water supply and drainage – Almost all areas of Kanagawa Prefecture have water supply facilities. You candrink the tap water. In most cases there is a drainage or a water purification tank. The drainage system is not suitable for a disposer.

g) Toilet – The Japanese-style toilet has a cover (dome) at the front. When the toilet is shared with other tenants, separate toilet slippers should be used.

I) Air conditioning / heating – Some housing has air conditioning/heating but in most cases, tenants have to buy their own. Fuel for heating includes electricity, gas, and kerosene. Sometimes the use of kerosene is prohibited.

h) Fusuma and shoji – These are unique Japanese sliding doors to separate rooms. Fusuma is a wooden frame with fusuma paper pasted on both sides. Shoji is a latticed wooden frame with shoji paper windows. It is possible to make a room bigger by removing fusuma to connect the rooms. Fusuma pasting should be done by a specialist but when shoji paper is torn, you can buy shoji paper and repair it yourself.

4. Common problems and how to troubleshoot

a) Remove footwear – Do not enter a house with shoes on. Be sure to remove shoes at the entrance.

b) Deposit – Most of the problems related to renting involve the deposit. In Japan when you rent a house, you have to pay a deposit to the house owner. This deposit is given to the house owner and returned without any interest when the lease is cancelled. However, repair costs are deducted, so the deposit is usually not returned in full. As the specific agreement of the rent is contained in the rental housing contract, please check the contract thoroughly and don’t break it. As for the other expenses when making a contract, please refer to page 39.

c) Number of residents – The number of residents is confirmed when the contract is made. Additional residents are not allowed.

d) Noise – Do not make loud noises late at night. In apartments, the sound echoes more than you think. As the sound of running a large amount of water also bothers neighbors, try not to run a bath or do washing late at night.

e) Pets – There are almost no apartments allowing pets other than small birds and goldfish. If you do find one where you can keep pets, please follow the rules.

f) Kitchen – If you cook with a large amount of oil, clean the area soon after by wiping the sink and cooking area. The ventilation fan should also be cleaned regularly.

g) Putting out the garbage – Garbage is collected by the municipal government. The collection point, date, and method are determined in each area. There are areas where flammable garbage and nonflammable garbage should be separated. As for large garbage items, there are areas where the collection date is already determined, or you can sometimes arrange to have them picked up. Please consult your neighbors or the municipal government.

h) Long-term absence – When you are not at home for a long time, you should notify the house owner. Rent must be paid even when you are away.

I) Remodeling of the room – If you want to remodel a room, such as by putting a nail into a pole or attaching a hook to the wall for holding clothes, you should first consult owner. It is assumed that you will leave the room in the condition it was in when you rented it. If you remodel the room and it cannot be returned to its original state, your deposit will not be returned, or additional payments may be required.

Advantages Of Living In Apartment – Freedom From Mortgage And Property Tax Payment

Living in bayarea apartment – Living in apartment is freedom from mortgage payment, property tax payment etc. The living in apartment gives you freedom to plan your dynamic living, helps if your job is transferable or temporarily living in city.

Advantages of living in Apartment

If you prefer small living area with less hassles to manage house, apartment is the right choice for you. Living in apartment gives you freedom and instant mobility to move to new city or new apartment within same city. With many apartments providing monthly lease, makes apartment owners less binding to lease processing. With in 30 days you can move to new and better apartment.

Another good point is that you don’t have to manage landscaping, plumbing or electrical issues with apartment. All these services are taken care by rental management office. The mobility allows you to move at short notice if you have to change job, or changing apartment for school.

No Mortgage payment
No Property payment
No Landscaping
No Plumbing charges
No Electrical charges
Freedom to move
Freedom to change apartment
Option of joining roommate
Transfer your lease in case of job change

Tips for Living in apartment

Application Fees – Your application fees shouldn’t be more than $25. This fees is used by owner to do back ground check etc.
Signing the Lease – Don’t sign the lease paper if you have not decide to move in to the apartment. This should be the last step of of your getting into the apartment.
Check terms and conditions of lease document, what is the notice period both for you and the rental company. What are lease breaking charges. Check how much is security deposit, normally this shouldn’t be more than 2 months rent.
Check with rental company if any damage is already in unit which is being rented out.
Once you move take pictures of rental unit to keep proof of damages.
When you go for inspection of your rental unit, choose day time. Once inside remove blinds or curtains so that enough sun light is inside to see small damages, specially carpet stains, mould, glass crack and wet ceilings etc. (Once I moved to bay area apartment and I went to collect keys in evening, during inspection everything looked ok. Once I moved and I could clearly see the carpet was shampooed not replaced and many stains ware still visible. That too when I was moving for one year lease.)
Cross check inventory list for your rental unit, anything missing report immediately. Pay your rent on time, mark your calendar to remind you for the due date.
Whenever repairs are needed, it is advisable to write to them. Often phone calls result in delayed response from rental companies.
If you are moving, give adequate time in your notice to rental company.
If you are having party or large get-together, inform your neighbors in advance to avoid noise complaints against you.
Adhere to neighborhood parking regulations

Buying an Apartment Building – Step By Step

Have you ever thought about apartment investing – or how to buy an apartment building? You can get started investing in apartments – even if this is your first real estate investment.

The first thing I want to cover is this: it is a complete lie that you have to invest in houses first, and then “graduate” to apartment buildings. This is absolutely false. You can get started investing in apartment properties from the beginning – with no “prerequisites.”

Top 4 Reasons to Buy an Apartment Building:

1) Cash Flow
You will receive cash flow in the form of rents while you own the building, as well as your biggest cash flow of all – when you sell.

2) Appreciation
An apartment building can appreciate both organically (over time) as well as through sound property management.

3) Principal Reduction
Your tenants pay down your mortgage balance every single month, building your wealth a little at a time.

4) Tax Benefits
Buying an apartment building can provide tax benefits through depreciation deductions, as well as being able to defer your capital gains when you sell. Try selling a stock and not paying capital gains tax!

3 Steps to Buy an Apartment Building:

1) Education
Invest in yourself first and start with your education. Purchase some books and educational materials specifically geared to help you get started investing in apartment buildings. Take the time to get through some of these materials before you get started.

2) Passive or Active Investor
The next step is to decide whether you want to be an active investor, or a passive investor. Here is what I mean:

An Active Investor is “hands on” and involved with the day-to-day management of their properties.

A Passive Investor outsources the day-to-day maintenance and management activities.

There is no right or wrong answer here. I have seen investors become successful using both methods – just be true to yourself and the time commitment you have available.

3) Identify Your Investment Goals
Dream big, but be realistic. What do you realistically want your finances to look like in the next 12, 24, 36, and 60 months? How much cash flow? How much net worth?

Every investor has different life circumstances and goals. Make your goals personal to you.

4) Get Started
Take action, and start small. Once you have invested a little into your education and established some of your goals, it is time to take action. Don’t make the mistake of getting stuck on an endless cycle of education because your education never ends. Get started with some smaller deals first, and then move your way up. It can happen a lot faster than you think, but it all starts with your first property.

5) Keep Going
Once you get started, keep going. It is very difficult to become financially free from your first property. Maybe impossible. Do not look for the “one property” that is a home run. Great wealth can be built over time with a variety of properties working together to build your income and net worth.

Reason #2. Predictability

I have often hear, and repeated the statement that, “People will always need a roof over their heads.” This is more true today than ever.

When the economy is bad, more people look to rent, rather than buy their own homes. In fact, as I write this, we are experiencing a large shift from an ownership society to a rental society. This is happening for several reasons:

- Economic uncertainty
- Flexibility to move
- Lack of available credit to purchase a home
- Lack of affordable housing

Apartment investors provide a valuable service to our residents because they need a safe, clean, affordable place to live.

Reason #3. Control

There are several forms of control that I like about apartment buildings:

1) Invest how you want.
You can invest on your own, through a partnership, or in a group investment. You are able to decide the type of properties you invest in, and their locations.

2) Invest when you want.
You are not bound by any terms and conditions of a regular stock or mutual fund trading account. You can choose when to buy, and what to buy.

3) Outsource the day-to-day management.
An apartment building is one investment where you can have everything managed for you from the beginning – without having to reinvent the wheel. This activity is easily outsourced.

4) Ability to increase your property value.
This is probably the #1 reason to buy apartment buildings. This is because with an apartment property, you actually control the property value. You do this by increasing the Net Operating Income of the property. A building that produces more cash flow is simply worth more money because of the returns to the investor.