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A couple bought an abandoned farmhouse in rural Japan for $30,000 and has spent 2 years renovating it. Here’s how they turned it into their dream family home.

a family sitting in front of a traditional japanese farmhouse on a sunny day The Thursfield home in front of their mansion this week.

An Australian-Japanese duo paid $30,000 for an vacated house in rural Japan in 2019. They've consume two years and roughly $150,000 renovating the traditional farmhouse. They modernized the kitchen and shower, ousted the majority of members of the flooring, and changed all the electrical wire and plumbing. See more storeys on Insider's business sheet.

Jaya Thursfield and his wife, Chihiro, bought an vacated traditional Japanese farmhouse in 2019 and have wasted the last two years turning it into their dream family home.

a family sits in front of a renovated traditional japanese farmhouse on a sunny day Jaya Thursfield, his wife Chihiro, their lads Anton and Marco, and one of their felines, Kotora, in front of the house this week.

The couple, both of whom work in IT, moved to Japan from London in 2017 and started looking for a house.

One of Thursfield's priorities was knowing a room on a relatively large plot of land so they could have barbeques and a vegetable plot, and so that their now 10 -year-old twin lads, Anton and Marco, could play outside comfortably.

"The vacated home, or akiya, topic had sort of appeared in a few articles in the previous couple of years and people were just starting to talk about them ... " Thursfield said. "So we thought that might be the most likely and economical course of coming a house on a larger block of land."

Abandoned homes are a relatively common view in rural Japan these days.

an old abandoned-looking farmhouse in the trees in rural japan An old-time farmhouse in Wakayama, Japan.

As Insider's Lina Batarags and Cheryl Teh recently reported, Japan's rural areas have a surplus of unoccupied dwellings, with a record 8.49 million abandoned rooms in 2018.

On top of the younger generation's preference for city living, Japan's birthrate has been trending downward for years -- so there simply aren't fairly people to crowd the houses.

The Thursfields' room is in Ibaraki, a Japanese prefecture about an hour northeast of Tokyo by automobile.

a map of japan with a red arrow pointing to ibaraki prefecture northeast of tokyo

Thursfield is from Australia and his wife, Chihiro, is from Ibaraki. Her mother too lives in the prefecture.

In February 2019, the Thursfields bought the house at auction.

a view of a traditional japanese farmhouse

The traditional Japanese farmhouse, known as a minka, had sat exhaust for several years after the previous owner died and the family waned their endowment of the belonging, Thursfield said.

"We affection the house in terms of how it gaped, " Thursfield said. "I remember the first time I pictured it in person, it was quite spectacular and I was certainly blown away by it."

Thursfield and his wife had to submit a order at the city powers in Ibaraki prefecture. It was a blind auctioneer -- so they had no idea how many others were or how much they were bidding -- and the minimum bid was 2.9 million Japanese yen ($ 26,000 ).

"You have to submit a bid that you think will win, but you don't want to win by too much, " Thursfield said. "It was quite nerve-wracking."

They terminated up triumphing the auctioneer with a attempt of 3 million Japanese yen ($ 30,000 ).

The couple had only been able to take a quick look at the house before buying it, so they were happy to find that it was in good enough condition that they could renovate it instead of tearing it down.

Since then, the couple has expended approximately $150,000 renovating the interior and the exterior of the residence.

an exterior view of an abandoned japanese farmhouse

For the renovation, they secured the help of an architect friend in Tokyo and a regional father-son carpenter team. Throughout the process, the Thursfields lived nearby with Chihiro's mother.

"This was all completely new to me, so jumping in the deep end, " Thursfield said. "I pointed up doing quite a lot of the DIY myself, but emphatically couldn't have done some of it, especially the structural office that the carpenters were doing."

Thursfield has documented the renovation process on his YouTube channel as "a kind of keepsake for their own families, " he said.

Thursfield declined to break down the renovation expenditures by list, but he plans to eventually do so on his YouTube channel.

When the Thursfields bought the chamber of representatives, the garden was overgrown with grass and full of dead leaves.

view of an overgrown garden at an abandoned japanese house

The property's multiple molts were full of material the previous owned had left behind, including two cars, a tractor, and raise and gardening paraphernalium.

a view of an old shed and tractor with overgrown foliage in japan

Some of the farm equipment was in usable malady, Thursfield said.

"Some of it we still use, but a good deal of it was not salvageable and we had to either throw away or sell it, " he said.

Inside was a same tale. The kitchen was in need of a total shakeup - but first, it needed to be cleared out.

view of an old messy kitchen

The 80 s-style kitchen was the only Western-style room in the chamber of representatives, Thursfield said in one of his YouTube videos .

The Thursfields saw furniture, robes, notebooks, and publications abandoned throughout the house.

"This was truly an abandoned house in terms of the declined inheritance and everything left behind by the previous proprietors, " Thursfield said.

Amid all the garbage, they also came across a pleasant surprise of about $700 money.

Most of the house had tatami flooring, a type of traditional Japanese thread matted flooring.

a view of a living room in a traditonal japanese farmhouse The front room pre-renovation.

Tatami flooring has become less popular in recent years because they are expensive and more difficult to maintain than timber floors.

There was only one lavatory in the house.

a view of a dilapidated bathroom in japanese farmhouse

The bath section of the house was significantly older than the rest of the house, Thursfield said.

"The main house was built around 30 years ago to replace the previous house, but they decided to keep the bath house, " he said.

They had to remake all the house's plumbing and electrical wire, which was one of the biggest renovation overheads, Thursfield said.

an old toilet in a japanese farmhouse Before renovation.

Running around the outside of the chamber of representatives was a hallway known as an engawa, which is similar to an enclosed hall or sunroom.

before photo of engawa in traditional japanese farmhouse

After nearly two years of redevelopments, the Thursfields moved into the house last December.

outdoor view of a traditional japanese farmhouse The exterior of the chamber of representatives after redevelopments.

On the home's exterior, they superseded some of the single pane windows with double glazed windows and changed the siding.

"The house predominantly had a kind of tin siding, which was kind of popular post-war in Japan, " Thursfield said , noting that the initial plan was to replace it with a more modern version of tin siding. "But we altered our minds halfway and decided to go with wood there."

He said he's still considering make-up the grove panels a darker color.

They fully redid the kitchen, supplanting the cabinetry, devices, and flooring.

a kitchen in a renovated traditional japanese farmhouse

They installed an initiation stove with a fish grill underneath.

They likewise removed the kitchen ceiling to bring in more light-colored, expose the grove rays, and create a small loft area above the kitchen.

a view of ceiling beams in a renovated japanese farmhouse

"It is a more difficult space to heat, but I think it was worth it, " Thursfield said. "I'm really happy with how it turned out."

In the front room, they changed the traditional Japanese slip entrances - announced fusuma - and swapped out the traditional tatami flooring for wood flooring. They also installed a wood-burning stove.

a living room in a traditional japanese farmhouse

But it's not quite finished: They still need to furnish the room. Their sofa is arriving later this month.

Though they supplanted most of the house's traditional tatami flooring with wood floors, they deterred the tatami in one room, which they plan to use as a tea area and a client bedroom.

a room with traditional japanese flooring in a renovated japanese farmhouse

"It's really nice to sit and lie down on tatami, " Thursfield said. "It's hard-handed, but it's cool. And that chamber on the area, it's got a nice view out into the garden."

In the engawa, they put down new solid wooden storeys and included ceiling pendant ignites.

a hallway in a renovated japanese farmhouse

In the bath home, they set hinoki lumber walls and a bathtub with a window ignoring the garden.

a bathtub in a renovated japanese farmhouse

They likewise elevated the height of the ceiling by about 50 centimeters to match the rest of the house and computed an extractor fan and heater.

They also installed a double sink in the bathroom.

In the separate toilet apartment, they ameliorated the lavatory and lent a small sink.

toilet in a traditional japanese farmhouse after renovation

The three bedrooms are still a work in progress, with the kids' bedrooms chiefly finished and the prime bedroom still needing to be drew.

bedroom in traditional japanese home One of the children' bedrooms.

Now that they've moved in and the contractors have finished the primary restorations, the Thursfields are obligating the finishing touches themselves.

a yard and trees near a traditional japanese farmhouse The garden.

"The walls examine a bit bare at the moment, " Thursfield said. "We haven't truly framed any bookshelves or decorates or garnish or things like that up in the house yet. The residence is functional, precisely to make it look good is the next step."

For anyone looking to undertake a same redevelopment projection of an abandoned home, Thursfield recommends fully inspecting the dwelling before buying to make sure there's no substantial impairment. They were lucky that there wasn't any in such cases, apart from some child sea mar from a roof divulge, he said.

Thursfield acknowledges buying and abandoning a renovating an akiya is not undoubtedly cheap. The more than $ 180,000 they've devoted buying and renovating the home is roughly the costs of a "cheap-ish brand-new house in Japan, " he said.

"If price is the main concern, I wouldn't say get an akiya and refurbishing it is the cheapest style to do things, " he said. "Of course, there are people who have done it certainly inexpensively. It does depend on your tastes."

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A day in the life of a Singapore-based managing director at ServiceNow, who squeezes in 2-minute workouts between meetings and says 2020 was the best year of his working life

servicenow executive singapore Wee Luen Chia( title) says 2020 has been the best year of his working life because it allowed him to spend more time with his family.

Wee Luen Chia is a Singapore-based executive at ServiceNow, an American software company. He wakes up early to get his four-year-old daughter ready for school, labours from his home in the morning, and wastes part of his day at the office. He says 2020 was the best year of his working life because he got to spend more time with his daughter. See more narrations on Insider's business sheet.

Wee Luen Chia, 43, is a Singapore-based executive at ServiceNow, an American software company with a global crew of 14, 000 beings.

Wee Luen chia servicenow executive

As Managing Director and Area Vice President in Asia, Chia supervises a crew of more than 100 beings in his home country of Singapore. He connected ServiceNow, which makes software that automates business process to help its customers cultivate more effectively, in 2019.

He previously operated at Oracle, Red Hat, Qlik, and the Singapore government's Infocomm Media Development Authority.

He told Insider that despite the pandemic, "2 020 has been the best year of my working life."

While he was just about to fly around Asia for work on a weekly basis, he said he now has more time to spend with his four-year-old daughter, Chloe. Here's a peek into his daily routine in 2021.

Editor's note: This is a look at a ordinary daylight in Chia's life before May 16, when Singapore reimposed COVID-1 9 rules like closing public schools and instructing most office workers to work from home.

6:45 a.m: Chia wakes up, showers, and drinks his coffee. Then he has breakfast with his wife, Susan Tan, and their four-year-old daughter Chloe.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow singapore

"I try to get up at least 15 minutes later than my four-year-old daughter so I can prepare for the day before I wake her up, " Chia told Insider.

On weekends, the three of them often go out to breakfast for more lineage time.

In the pre-pandemic dates, Chia woke up at 4 a.m. about formerly a week to catch a flight to meet with customers and other ServiceNow crews across Asia.

8 a.m: It's time for Chloe to thoughts to preschool. Chia experiences his daughter off and his wife takes her to academy.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow

"She is currently attending full-day pre-school, so we're very fortunate to be able to have the time to concentrate on work, " Chia said.

Tan, Chia's wife, likewise works in the IT industry for National Computer Systems.

Chia said he and his wife have researched out different ways to balance their work and family lives.

"What has worked best for us -- I get up early to prep our daughter for school while Susan prepares for her work day, " he said. "We have breakfast together as their own families. Susan makes on sending Chloe to school so that I can get an early start on planning for the day ahead."

Chia's cross frequently start between 8 and 9 a. m.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow singapore

He expends any free time to go over emails that have come in overnight, which are usually from colleagues in different time zones.

Before he began working from home last year, Chia didn't have a proper work-from-home setup, but he slowly built one up. Both he and his wife have dedicated main office setups and work in different areas of the home.

8: 30 a.m: His first satisfy of the day is a one-on-one with Albert Li, ServiceNow's Managing Director for North Asia, who joined the team in March.

Wee Luen Chia Albert Li, left, and Chia have a one-on-one virtual gather.

They brainstorm ideas and check in about onboarding progress.

"These one-on-one catchups actually help when the agenda is not very organized- there's an opportunity to build rapport, share challenges and ordeals, and work together to learn from one another, " Chia said.

Throughout the pandemic, Chia said he's continued to hire and onboard unit representatives practically across Asia.

9:30 a.m: Chia has a meeting with a customer in Malaysia, busines stretch assistances firm DKSH, for a "go live" event.

servicenow singapore exec

"The 'go-live' event is the moment in time all of the hard work is realized and the make is 'live' in the hands of consumer interests- either consumers, citizens, employees, or business partners, " Chia said.

11:30 a.m: If he's home and not traveling between convenes, Chia tries to fit in some use.

servicenow singapore executive

He maintenances heaviness and other exercising gear in his home office to work out between sees in short, two-to-three-minute intervals.

"It's not a lot, but a bit vanishes a long way over period, " he said.

12:30 p.m: Chia has lunch with his squad at a sushi diner in Singapore's Bugis neighborhood.

servicenow expat singapore

"I make it a point to bring my team out to lunch formerly a week, when it's possible, " he said. "I like the opportunity to meet in small groups, connecting employees from different functional areas."

They talk about how they're adapting to the changes in where and how they labour, how they're dealing with the pandemic, and how their purchasers are adjusting.

Chia said he significances face-to-face interactions more than ever. "Each instant I spend with someone is focused on building our relationship, " he said.

1:30 p.m: After lunch, he manager into ServiceNow's office in downtown Singapore, which is the company headquarters for the Asia-Pacific and Japan region.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow singapore

ServiceNow transitioned to remote work in March 2020, a company representative told Insider.

"The Singapore team, much like the other crews globally, will continue to be allowed the flexibility to work in a way that is most productive to them- and this will search different for different people, " the spokesperson said. "The hybrid personnel is surely here to stay for the foreseeable future."

Last year, the company hired 3,000 beings in 25 countries, growing its world workforce by 25%.

4 p.m: Chia leaves the role to honcho to off-site fulfills.

servicenow singapore expat Chia's meeting with SGTech.

One of those meetings is with SGTech, a craft association for the tech industry in Singapore.

"I attached the committee as a means to use my years of experience to give back to society by help Singapore-based companionships accelerate their digital transformation journeyings, " he said.

6:30 or 7 p.m: Chia is home for dinner with his family.

servicenow singapore exec

Tonight, the group includes his 69 -year-old father, his 32 -year-old brother, and his 43 -year-old brother-in-law.

7:30 p.m: After dinner, their own families toy Monopoly and Chia has to console his daughter after she loses.

servicenow singapore executive

"Sometimes there's a teaching instant- it's OK not to triumph each time, " Chia said, adding that he schools her to be humble when she earns and kindly when she loses.

"This is currently one of my key focus areas in her progress so she grows up to be able to take failure in her step and be a good sport about things, " he said.

8 p.m: He reads his daughter a bedtime legend, which he says is a kind of his "favorite moments" to spend with her.

servicenow singapore exec

"Her favorite bible is 'Rapunzel' but I try to change fibs when it's possible to introduce new ideas, " Chia said. "She enjoys the classics including 'Snow White' and 'Hansel and Gretel.'"

8: 30 p.m: In the nights, Chia goes on a run around his neighborhood.

servicenow executive singapore

He lives in Serangoon, a residential area in northeast Singapore.

"Each time, I convert something in my routine, " he said. "Sometimes I listen to recorded Zoom calls during the course of its feed or listen to teaches on Udemy on different topics like AI and blueprint feeling. I like to fuel my body and my mind."

9:30 p.m .: Back at home, Chia showers and catches up on the bulletin on Tv and be prepared for the next day's fits.

servicenow singapore exec

Around 11 p.m ., he often depletes an hour reading a book or watching a Netflix show with his wife. Recently, they've been watching "The Last Dance" on Netflix and Chia has been speaking Simon Sinek's "Infinite Game."

Around midnight, it's bedtime.

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Jimmy Kimmel questions MyPillow guy Mike Lindell on voter fraud claims, asks why he believes he was ‘chosen’ to possess evidence of Chinese cyberattack

mike lindell and jimmy kimmel MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel faced off during a much-anticipated episode of Kimmel's talk display.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell made an appearing on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night testify on Wednesday night. The two had a 20 -minute conversation, during which Lindell said he had not been home in months because of "death threats." The two previously exchanged barbs after Kimmel lampooned Lindell's social network, Frank. See more storeys on Insider's business page.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell made a much-anticipated form on late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel's Wednesday night program, where he doubled down once again on his voter-fraud claims.

On the Wednesday night episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live, " Lindell and Kimmel discussed everything from his lawsuit's against Dominion Voting Systems to Lindell's malfunctioning social media platform, Frank.

"A lot of beings, both liberals and reactionaries, told me not to have you on. But I think it's important that we talk to each other, " Kimmel said.

During a 20 -minute conversation, Kimmel tried to get to the bottom of why Lindell became an ardent supporter of onetime President Donald Trump, and why he continued to claim that the election was stolen.

"So you started give pillows, spawned millions of dollars, then you fell in love with Donald Trump, and here you are. But let's be honest, your website doesn't even run that well, why would you believe that you've been given this evidence? " the host asked.

"All we need to do is look at the machines. Why won't Dominion cause the American parties look at them? " said Lindell in answer to Kimmel's questions, parroting his earlier claims that voting-machine maker Dominion had manipulated with the votes during the 2020 ballot.

He computed once again that he was going to bring "evidence of a Chinese cyberattack" to the Supreme Court to move the election results.

Lindell's recurred suggestions that a Chinese cyberattack "flipped" the 2020 referendums and that Dominion voting machines broke at midnight on election light have been discredited .~ ATAGEND

In February registered a $1.3 billion litigation against Lindell over his voter-fraud conspiracy thoughts, but Lindell announced on April 19 that he was counter-suing Dominion for $1.6 billion.

Kimmel and Lindell likewise came personal when the legion stroked on Lindell's recovery from his addiction to cocaine and "paranoia."

"You've been in hiding, and you haven't been dwelling for a couple of months. Are you worried that someone is trying to kill you? " Kimmel invited.

Lindell replied that he had indeed "received death threats" and had been remaining away from his home in Minnesota because of these alleged threats. It is unclear if Lindell has ever received death threats, or who these threats might be from.

Lindell vs Kimmel: "The obsession is mutual"

Mike Lindell and Jimmy Kimmel Lindell and Kimmel have not had the best relationship, as the two exchanged barbs after Kimmel mocked Lindell's social media platform, Frank.

Lindell accepted Kimmel's invitation to appear on the demo after the two publicly exchanged barbs last week. In his speech, Kimmel invited Lindell to come on his display, for an in-person interview in bunked surrounded by pillows.

"Just me and Mike snuggled up side-by-side in a California King surrounded by sacks of goose feathers, " Kimmel said during last-place Wednesday's episode. "What Mike Lindell doesn't seem to understand is, I'm his biggest fan. I have no idea what he's doing, but I cherish it."

The two men have not had the best relationship, particularly after Kimmel acquired fun of Lindell's attempt to start a social media site, Frank Speech, calling it a "world of paranoia and mustache wax" during his April 13 speech. In the same monologue, Kimmel also protruded fun at Lindell's newly launched MyStore, which the CEO claimed would be a "patriotic" rival to Amazon.

During a 48 -hour long "Frankathon" to promote his social media locate, Frank Speech, Lindell angrily censured Kimmel about his comments on the social network's start and ranted about the jokes Kimmel cracked.

"He said I was on drugs and crack cocaine and all that stuff, " Lindell said on his livestream, too accusing Kimmel of being an addict himself. "He said I'm lucky I have all my teeth. Maybe you're an addict more, Jimmy, " he said.

There is no evidence that Kimmel is an addict or recovering addict, but Lindell has not been reticent about his past addiction to crack cocaine.

In response to Lindell's segment on Frankathon, Kimmel aired snippets of Lindell's rant during his Monday night monologue , remarking that the "obsession is mutual."

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