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Buying/Renting a flat in Sweden

Kungalv/Gothenburg Area

philios33
post 2.Feb.2013, 11:14 PM
Post #1
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 24.Sep.2012

Have read the related posts on the Local about buying vs renting, but my problem is of simply finding something suitable. I need some decent websites to look at.

Can someone answer a few questions I have about finding somewhere to live in Sweden. First off i'll explain my situation. Me and my Swedish gf live in Kungalv (just north of Gothenburg) in a 2nd hand rented appartment. We're coming up to the end of the 1 year limit that you're allowed to rent 2nd hand for and need to find somewhere else (preferably in the same area). The problem seems to be supply, there just doesn't seem to be enough places to live, or any decent website to find places. Does Sweden even have estate agents? Our 2nd hand rental ends in June, but i'm getting worried now because it just seems like there's nothing out there.

There seems to be 3 options I have been told of.

1. Rent 1st hand flat from the kommun. You have to sign up to this website to say that you're interested in renting. http://www.kungalvsbostader.se/ Problem is that it's a waiting list which everyone is on. You don't have to be looking to be on the list, so everyone just signs up anyway. My gf has been on the list for 2 years and is still at position 100-150 when selecting properties that she's interested in. It seems like a bit of a silly system. Have no real hope of finding something on here even by June.

2. Rent 2nd hand flat privately. My gf was kinda lucky to get this place as she knew the person renting it was moving out. We love it here and thats why we would like to stay in the area. The whole road is owned by the kommun (see website above). There seems to be hardly anything on websites for 2nd hand renting. Perhaps 1 or 2 properties in the area. I guess I will need to search again nearer the time we need to move. Does anyone know if we can extend the 1 year period that you're allowed to rent 2nd hand? or whether we will get an opportunity to take it on 1st hand if the 1st hand renter decides to move out? Have looked around on websites such as http://www.bostaddirekt.com for example. There are only 4 properties on there in the whole of the Gothenburg area. Does anyone know any widely used websites for 2nd hand renting?

3. Purchase a flat. I have a bit of money saved so wouldn't mind this route, but want to be careful with how I "buy". In Sweden it seems you dont purchase real estate but rather a share in the owning company. They sign a contract which allows you to reside on the premises. You pay circa 1m SEK for the privalige and also a monthly rent (upkeep) of circa 4k SEK. So you don't actually own the flat, it's more of an investment in the managing company. Have read about this (bostadsrätt) on other posts. I've been assured it's the way things work in Sweden and that it's very common. I can see the benefits but I don't like the idea of paying all that money and not owning something. It sounded a bit dodgy to me because it sounds like the company that owns the block are getting a hell of a lot of income from shares and regular avgift. Does that money then fuel the expansion of the company itself. Would rather purchase freehold than invest in a company. Is there any risk of the share price in the company crashing if they screw things up? Does anyone know any decent websites of people selling off flats freehold?

Are there any other options people know of? Private renting? Competitive pricing markets, rather than fixed prices set my the kommun? Do you think it's just because Kungalv is a small area with not many people buying or selling? Didn't mean for this post to be so long, but I have so many unanswered questions about this whole situation. I will appreciate any answers/help that you guys have for me, and thanks for reading this long post.

Phil
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Hede
post 2.Feb.2013, 11:26 PM
Post #2
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 29.Nov.2012

I agree I was looking to buy one flat in Stockholm to but as you said its like you dont own the flat you still paying even tho you have bought it , the 4k is for tax I think and all the cleaning and washing rooms that the company taking care of . it must be more reasons but I also believe having been in UK and a friend of mine owned a house but paid loads for tax and other stuff , it also came close to the rent you could pay for the place . anyway 4k is almost the half of what you pay normally when you rent the flat so its a bit better in some way . just be carful where you buy the flat IF you gone buy one , buy it somewhere nice so it will be easier to sell later when you want to move somewhere els . I am at a second hand flat and pay 6k for everything , water , internet and el etc.
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philios33
post 2.Feb.2013, 11:47 PM
Post #3
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 24.Sep.2012

Thanks Hede. That is good advice. Actually went on a viewing for a place last week. Flat was perfect, but was put off by the location. It was in an area of about 6 or 7 high rise blocks of flats. The whole estate had a "Spanish holiday resort" feel to it. Location is even more important when you're buying outside of the city. Don't think I will buy anywhere more than 10 mins walk away from the bus route to the city.
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PDX
post 2.Feb.2013, 11:56 PM
Post #4
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Aug.2011

No one is making profit with the monthly avgift - you can ask for detailed documentation on how the money was spent last year.

If you feel like you really need to own the bricks, buy a villa. There are some nice ones in the area...

~~~PDX~~~
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hatim
post 3.Feb.2013, 12:43 AM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 31.Dec.2010

Owning a villa may turn out to be more expensive and time consuming. Not to mention that villas are harder to sell compared to flats (generally speaking, since flats command better location)
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Hede
post 3.Feb.2013, 01:23 AM
Post #6
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 29.Nov.2012

No prob , true location is key I have seen loads of big flats for only 400 k to buy 3 room flat almost perfect but far far away from city centre , then you see a 1 room flat near town for 1.2 m or more . It's a difficult buying a flat isn't easy either I wanted to buy one is because its very hard to find a second hand one , you may also seen a new rule has come out that the owner can charge anything they want there is no one who can stop them for charging you 8k a month instead of 5k. Stupid rule
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Hede
post 3.Feb.2013, 01:25 AM
Post #7
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 29.Nov.2012

Villa is difficult one to , it needs someone to be hands on and fixs stuff all the time where your flat can be renewed every 5 years or so and if anything brakes you call them but with villa you have to pay for everything . It's also a place for big family's .
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Beavis
post 3.Feb.2013, 08:56 AM
Post #8
Joined: 2.Mar.2008

Ive never seen an aprtment for sale as such in Sweden, only shares in a housing org. However the monthly fee can work out cheaper for you in that if its cold 6 months of the year that fee covers your heating and hot water cost, snow clearing around the area and any maintenance to the outside of the building (eg the windows which are damn expensive to replace yourself!) I would prefer to buy outright like yourself but its the nature of the beast here.
The smartest way to do it requires a lot of asking around. You should rent an aprtment 1st hand in the queue of an area that is working on becomeing a Bostad, they will offer to buy at cost price, then you can sell (usually after a year) at marketprice and make a lot of money (-22% tax)
Either way you need to check into the economy and plans of the housing assos and treat it like buying a share in a company.
If the red scum get back in the next election, its pretty sure they want to intentionally crash the housing market, as they dont believe you should be able to make a profit from selling real estate (apartment wise they believe 100% in the failed queueing system) so your investment can be flushed down the toilet over the space of a year, but then thats a risk in any country
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