Consider yourself waking up a summer morning out looking a green landscape from the bedroom window, or the same landscape covered in white powder in the winter. This is what you can wake up to in the Scandinavian center Sweden. How do I get this amazing view, you might ask. By following these seven steps you are absolutely on your way.
- Financing: Whether you are a first-time home buyer or someone who is re-entering the housing market, you need to pay for your home when you move in. How you finance it is your decision, by your own money or by a mortgage. Whatever choice you find the best, you will need at least 15% of the purchase-sum in cash – as down payment when you’re signing the contract. If you decide to take a mortgage, you will have to understand that the Swedish banks now only accept at most 75% of the purchase-sum as a collateral loan with the house as security. Before you can get a loan, you need pre-approval from the bank.
- Location: You may decide to live on the countryside or the city – the opportunities are almost infinitive. Take into consideration that the prices in the cities are a lot higher and there are more condominiums than houses there.
- Find a house: There are some nationwide realtors; You can also find some local realtors depending on the location. Most of the realtors have their own web page where they show the available houses and a listing price. They might also advertise their listings on collective sites, which list all the different realtors’ listings and sort it by location. These sites give you good possibilities to find your own dream home in Sweden.
- Check out the house: When you have found a house; or some houses in your budget range, on one of the web pages mentioned above you will be able to look at the house or the houses. According to the law another Real Estate agent cannot be representing anyone to buy a house, although hire an attorney to represent you if you’re not able to attend yourself. Not being familiar with the Swedish real estate market I would recommend you to take the opportunity to hire your own attorney who has a good insight in the Swedish real estate market.
- Bidding: Due to the high demand of houses there is a possibility that you will have competition on getting your dream home. Therefore, before starting the bidding process you need to consider that the purchase-sum can increase up to 25% from the listing price. Thus, even though you are the one with the highest bid, it is the seller who decides who she wants to sell to. Therefore, the highest bid does not automatically become a winning bid.
- Signing the contract: After the bidding is over and if you’ve been chosen by the seller, it’s time to sign the contract. But before signing the contract I would recommend you to get a certified inspection of the house, because you as a buyer have a certain amount of inspection duty to follow – if you don’t want any surprises later, ask your attorney or the real estate agent for a recommended inspector. You are signing the contract together with an educated impartial real estate agent, but I recommend you to have your attorney with you at this time. This is now that you will need to pay a deposit for the house, and depending on the contract getting notice of being able to move in to your dream house on a certain date.
- Moving in: The date has come and you are now able to move in to your dream house. This is now that you need to pay the rest of the purchase-sum and thereby have access to the house. According to Swedish law you also need to apply for legal ratification for your property – within three months. The cost of this legal ratification is today 1.5% of the purchase-sum plus an administrative cost.
Buying your own home is one of the biggest purchases you might do in your life, and it is important that you are well prepared. Starting off with a budget will make you go far. According to me you need to take these costs in to the calculation; Deposit-sum (15%), Cost of attorney, increased purchase-sum due to bidding (+25%), Legal ratification cost (+1.5%), other bank and moving costs. Make sure that you have the pre-approval from the bank if you want to finance your purchase with a mortgage before starting to budget.