It’s time to turn some trash into cash.

Last year, we bought a house in the Japanese countryside, and we dropped a cool million on it. Of course, that’s a million yen we’re talking about which at the exchange rates at the time worked out to only about US$9,100.

As you might expect from that amazingly low price, the SoraHouse is a fixer-upper…and also a tearer-downer. In addition to the house itself, our property has a storage shed and other structures that were in enough disrepair that we decided to tear them down.

The debris are well beyond what we can set out by the side of the road on trash pickup day, and so we enlisted the help of local construction company Hobien, who dispatched Imazu, the contractor who we’ve been coordinating with on the SoraHouse project, to help us with the cleanup of the hunks of metal left over from the demolition.

It was a long, sweaty process, but after spending half a day of hauling sheets and shards of metal to the truck and loading them into the bed, we were done.

Or, more accurately we were done with the first phase of the day’s plan. Once we closed up the truck’s tailgate, we hopped in, Imazu fired up the engine, and we were off.

Our destination: the scrapyard.

Yep, it was time to turn our trash into cash. We may not need the metal we’d cleared away anymore, but that just meant it was time for the materials to be recycled and start the next chapter of their inanimate lives, and the first step in that process was us selling them to a scrap metal buyer.

Since the amount you’re offered for your scrap depends on how much it weighs, we were worried that we were now going to have to spend hours unloading all of the stuff we’d just loaded into the truck so it could be weighed. Thankfully, the professionals who run the scrapyard have a much smarter, more efficient systemin place. First, you drive your truck, with all the metal you’ll be selling still in it, onto what’s essentially a giant weight scale.

Then, you drive back off the scale and dump everything out the back. Finally, you drive back onto the scale and weigh the truck one more time, and the difference tells you how your pile of metal weighs, which in our case turned out to be 640 kilograms (1,411 pounds)!

▼ No wonder it took us so long to load up the truck.

As with any commodity, the price of scrap metal fluctuates, but on this day our 640 kilograms were worth 28,800 yen (US$201.08). Add in the 50 yen the scrapyard gave us for a washing machine we were getting rid of plus another 540 for some copper wiring, and our total earnings came to 29,390 yen.

So we guess you could say that our house we bought for one million yen really only cost us 970,610 yen. Who knows, maybe we’ll find a bunch of old hats in one of the SoraHouse closets and the place will end up paying for itself.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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