It also looks like we have decided on a builder for the house. They're making an estimate now...so we're a bit anxious about $$$.
Our most used Japanese-english buzzwords are:
"cost-performance" and "cost down".
The mortgage company is still undecided, but we have the funds together to begin the foundation work starting at the end of May.
We have done a lot of behind the scenes decision making as well.
It took a while to decide on the wood flooring for the house as well as the tiles
for the lavatory/bath/shower.
We were very specific on what we wanted so we ordered a lot of samples to find the best options....
I looked at companies all over Japan, the U.S. and China. Our top choice was a Chinese flooring company they sent some really nice samples of oak flooring as well as Ipe decking.
We wanted a grey oak for the downstairs and a white oak for upstairs. As much as we both like natural materials we wanted a wood that has a more modern look.
The tile for the bathroom was also a long decision making process. Yoko loved the look of limestone, but we learned that limestone shouldn't get wet as it stains very easily. But we stuck it out with using limestone though we were limited to using it on the wall of the lavatory only and finding two more tiles to match for the flooring in the lavatory as well as the shower/bath and a third tile for the wall in the shower/bath. It took several weeks of ordering sample tiles from various companies to find a set of three in the right colors, we also had to consider the surface material and the available sizes to find the right match.