In Sweden, the holiday home and apartment have become affordable thanks to moderate living costs: good for your wallet and lifestyle! And this is not only determined by the red houses on the lake or on the coast and IKEA in Sweden, but also by the Scandinavian style Lagom: the search for harmony and balance.
Who is allowed to buy a holiday home in Sweden?
The purchase of a holiday home is possible in Sweden for foreigners on presentation of the identity card without restrictions. There is no special permit required to purchase a holiday home or apartment in the countryside, by the sea or by a lake. Also, EU citizens no longer need a residence permit if they spend more than 3 months in Sweden, living or even working there. For non-EU citizens, a residence and work permit must be applied for in advance so that nothing stands in the way of life in Sweden.
Regions and prices in Sweden
Cottage in Småland
The most well-known regions of Sweden, which are the most popular in Germany, are certainly the landscapes of Småland from the children’s books of Astrid Lindgren. Anyone looking for the picture book landscape here – deep forests, lakes, red houses with white edges – will not be disappointed.
Holiday house in Värmland
Also popular, although not so well known among Germans, is the Värmland. It attracts in every season with its enchanting landscape and its climate. Higher mountain ranges, countless, sometimes huge lakes in the midst of boundless, lonely forests, long rivers with rapids, snowy winters and best winter sports are no longer an insider tip, but attract many Norwegians into the cheaper borderland.
Holiday homes in coastal regions and in major cities
The coastal regions and especially the regions around the cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are – as everywhere else in the world – high priced, yet there is a small house with boathouse and boat moorings at Hamburgsund for 500,000 euros and even a small island for 1 million euros Cottage in the archipelago. Holiday home dreams can come true …
Holiday homes in Swedish ski regions
Even the ski regions know their value meanwhile. A rustic log cabin in Branäs or even on the Sälenfjäll can easily and well be worth 400,000 euros. Shareholders with rights of use for two weeks a year can be already for 100,000 euros.
Cottage in the countryside and by the lake
The typical Swedish cottage in the countryside is still affordable – with luck you will find a nice cottage in fresh color for 40,000 euros. As everywhere, the proximity to the water plays a role: a house with its own lakeside is still feasible for 200,000 to 300,000 euros. A roof over your head in the loneliness north of the Arctic Circle is even to get for well under 30,000 euros.
Before buying a holiday home
Swedish properties (also holiday homes) are usually offered on a negotiated basis. This can mean both a lower and a higher purchase price. It depends on how desired the property is. After a visit, the buyer may possibly, due to the condition and necessary repairs make a price suggestion, which is below the expectation of the seller.
Very common but in Sweden is the bidding process. If there are more interested buyers, the seller will aim for such a “budgeting” as he can expect a higher price. It is up to the seller, whether he wants it or whether he wants a quick sale to an interested party. But always the decision remains with the seller, with which prospective buyer he completes the purchase. He is not obliged to sell to the highest bidder.
Nor has so far the highest bidder a purchase obligation. He can have his offer canceled. The bidding process is open, each bidder is registered on the basis of his personal details and the bidder list can be viewed on the internet. It will be handed to the buyer with all other files.
Purchase procedure and additional costs
The land purchase agreement in Sweden consists of two parts, the purchase contract and the purchase letter. The purchase process begins with the binding agreement between buyer and seller about the purchase price of the holiday home and other parts of the contract. With the purchase contract signed by both sides the purchase is sealed.
The buyer is expected to have cleared the financing at the time of his purchase decision, because the payment dates fixed in the purchase contract must be adhered to in order not to become in breach of contract. With the issue of the purchase contract, a 10% down payment is due within 5 to 7 days, which has to be made to the account of the real estate agent, who is appointed as an impartial agent.
In addition, the transfer date is fixed in the purchase contract. This appointment is usually coordinated with all parties. At this time, the full purchase price must be transferred. If both buyers and sellers have fulfilled all obligations that are the subject of the purchase agreement, the transfer of title to the buyer may take place. The purchase amount will be paid in return to the seller. The purchase letter is now created and the process is reported to the authority, which makes the registration of the new owner in the land register.
With the day of the transfer (Tillträdesdag) the full responsibility is transferred to the buyer. The insurance should be completed at this time. A notary can usually be waived on Swedish home purchases as the Swedish intermediary takes over its function.
Land transfer tax (Stämpelskatt)
The additional costs for the home purchase are correspondingly low: The real estate transfer tax (Stämpelskatt) is 1.5% of the purchase price. The processing fee for entry in the land register is approximately 90 euros.
Golden rules for buying property in Sweden
- Do not save money at the wrong end. Buying a property on your own involves high risks abroad. Even if Sweden is a “reputable” country and buying a property seems straightforward, you may need professional help in order to avoid all pitfalls in advance. It could be false information regarding the owner, his entitlement to sell, debts with Pfandbriefe, etc. The offer of the broker or the bank has already been checked, so that a risk-free process is guaranteed and you really become the owner.
- The buyer has to investigate the property and the buildings standing on it. He must bring to the attention of the inspection possible defects which can be determined by an appropriate inspection. He can no longer rely on it later.
- According to Swedish law, the principle “bought as seen” applies. The buyer is responsible for a comprehensive investigation (see above). Hidden defects, however, or those that the seller intentionally concealed, can be asserted by means of warranty rights up to 10 years after signing the contract. He can then reduce the purchase price or withdraw from the purchase contract in the case of significant defects.
- Very often, the properties are mortgaged , ie encumbered by mortgage bonds. This circumstance is always mentioned in the offer, but the broker ensures with the delivery and the payment of the purchase price that the debts are paid. The property is thus routinely transferred free of mortgages . However, it is recommended not to delete the Pfandbrief entry, as it will be easier to enter a new mortgage in the future.
- A property offered by Swedish estate agents need not be checked for formal defects, as this has already happened. From a purchase on your own is urgently advised against. When buying from private without intermediaries, however, it is important to make sure that the seller is entered in the land register. In addition, a life partner or spouse of the seller must also give his consent to the sale in writing. In addition, an official information about the marital status of the seller at the time of the sale must be obtained.
- An entry in the land register , unlike in Germany, is not a necessary condition for the transfer of ownership. However, the acquirer faces a fine if he does not apply for entry in the land register. It is advisable anyway to enter the land register, so that the new owner is protected against bona fide third-party purchases.
- A work permit is generally not required if a recreational property is acquired. However, if you buy land that is suitable for agricultural or forestry operations, you need a government approval to obtain the permit. An exception is only for private (non-commercial) buyers who are already located in the (sparsely populated) closer environment. The purchase is usually approved within a few weeks. The application can only be made after the conclusion of the purchase contract. This means that the validity of the contract of sale depends on the approval. In the unexpected case of refusal, the already paid purchase amount will be fully refunded.
- In the countryside there is usually no development through water and sewers. An own water supply and a sanitation in a proven chamber system is usual. Pay attention to the drinking water supply. Is there a functioning well with drinking water quality? In any case, ask about the experience of the previous inhabitant. It can be expensive to drill a new well, usually at least 60 meters deep. Likewise, the sewer system should be up-to-date and functional.
- Ask about the condition and the possibility of using existing stoves and fume hoods. When was the chimney sweep last there?
- Additions to the house are subject to approval, but the request is usually met by the authorities, as long as the distance to the neighboring property is 4.50 m. Otherwise the permission of the neighbor has to be obtained. Without planning permission garden houses up to 15 m² may be built. For larger garden houses up to 25 m² is a registration requirement.
- It is advisable to open a bank account in Sweden and to take out the necessary insurance there. Your sales assistants will be happy to assist you with tips.