2. Budget - Can I afford to move-in?
If you want to live in a nice apartment in Tokyo, it may be inevitable to pay KEY MONEY. There are no-key-money apartments out there, but you will notice their rents tend to be set a bit higher than average. The rule of thumb is that most apartments in good condition will require key money. If you are only looking for apartments without key money, you are limiting your options in finding an attractive apartment.
In addition to key money, there is usually a refundable deposit, guarantor fee (normally it’s 50% of the rent), and the agent fee -- these are the fees you will have to pay prior to moving in.
So, how much does it really cost when you move into your new apartment? -- It’s roughly 5 times the rent! We also need to let you know that most real estate management companies don't accept credit card payment for those fees.