Before-and-after photos of revamped vacant houses combine traditional beauty with modern style.

As Japan’s population continues to decline and young residents move away from country hometowns to live and work in big cities, more and more abandoned homes — known as “akiya” (literally “vacant homes”) — are popping up around the country.

One person’s abandoned home is another person’s goldmine, however, as these houses can often be bought for dirt cheap prices. And if you’ve got renovating skills under your belt, like Twitter user Rai (@RAI73surfer), these old buildings can be totally transformed and given a whole new lease on life.

One renovation by Rai that blew everyone away recently involved an abandoned home purchased for just 5 million yen (US$47,312). Photos of the renovation show an ageing traditional interior in the before shot…

▼ And a stunning new interior in the after shot.

Rai says both photos were taken from the same spot, but as you can see, the small, cramped rooms of yesteryear have been traded in for a much bigger, modern, open-plan space in the renovation.

▼ The facelift makes it look like a totally different house.

The total cost for the transformation was 6 million yen, which, when combined with the cost of the house, brought the total spend on the project to 11 million yen (US$104,055). Though Rai doesn’t reveal the exact location of the home, he says it’s located in the country, where new homes with modern interiors usually appear on the market within the 20 million-yen range.

Rai’s expertise in home renovations has seen him survey hundreds of vacant buildings, and his modern revamps often help owners and real estate agents sell old homes that would be otherwise hard to offload on the market. Some of his other projects show impressive kitchen makeovers…

▼ And bathroom transformations.

People around the country have fallen in love with the akiya makeovers, saying:

“Wow — the before-and-after photos are taken from the same angles but the atmosphere in each photo is entirely different!”
“Omg these transformations are amazing!”
“You’d never think it was an akiya after seeing these modern, stylish interiors.”
“I’d live here in an instant!”
“Being able to renovate old homes like this is a dream of mine — wish I had the skills to do it!”

A lot of people say they’re now inspired to look into akiya listings as a way to create an affordable dream house of their own. And with incredibly cheap buildings and free housing schemes popping up in rural areas in Japan, it’s a dream that, for many, is thankfully not out of reach.

Source: Twitter/@RAI73surfer via Jin
Images: Twitter/@RAI73surfer
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