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Stefan's story: ten apartments in four years

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13:25 CET+01:00
Despite many people's horror stories, not everyone shakes in his boots at the mention of the Stockholm housing market. In fact, Belgian Stefan Geens thinks Stockholm is a great place to live if you don't mind the moving merry-go-round.

“I've lived in over 10 different apartments during the past four-and-a-half years,” he explains.

“I rent ‘andrahand,' or second hand, which means mostly that I stay in furnished apartments while the owner tries out sambo-ing (living together) with their partner, is off sailboarding in South Africa for three months, or working the ski slopes for a season.”

Stefan enjoys the freedom and flexibility that come with subletting. Since he doesn't own any furniture, he can just pick and go when the wanderlust strikes.

“I don't have to deal with any of the hassles of actually owning something. I'm a lot more mobile,” he says.

He described several other upsides of moving often – including keeping things simple. “I know all of Stockholm, and it forces me to be ruthless when deciding what to keep and what to throw away. Also, I have digitised my life – or at least my music and photos… books and clothes are still analog…This makes moving no more traumatic than calling a cab,” he says.

His “digital” lifestyle also provides an avenue for finding apartment leads. There are several online resources (both free and fee-based) that provide a lot of good leads. Stefan has a few recommendations.

“I use Bostaddirekt.com,” he explains.

“It's a clearing house for people with apartments to let ‘andrahand.' There is always something there.”

As difficult as the Stockholm housing market might be, it's far from being the Big Apple. Stefan moved to Stockholm from New York City in 2002. “Finding an apartment here compared to NYC is child's play. I'm never complaining again,” he says.

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