Data released by Statistics Sweden suggests that as of 2017 more than 24% of all the people living in the country had foreign origins. While a significant number of people who shift base to Sweden live in rented homes, there are others who wish to become homeowners. Fortunately, buying a home in Sweden is not as complicated as one might imagine.
If you plan to buy a home in a big city such as Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, or Uppsala, consider getting in touch with local real estate agents early in the process. This is because a growing demand in these cities has resulted in a number of homes finding buyers without going through public viewings. However, the most common way of selling a home in Sweden in still through open house viewings, after which prospective buyers place their bids. Attend as many open houses as you can to get an idea of what the market has to offer.
Biddings on homes are carried out publicly, and prospective buyers have the ability to track the bidding process online. The process is not subject to any regulations, and instances of prices shooting up in short spans of time are not uncommon. You can place your bids via text messages through your real estate agent, who then passes them on to the sellers.
The bidding process may begin within a few days of the public viewing. In many instances, deals are closed within a week. The bidding system is typically viewed as favorable to the seller because prospective buyers keep trying to outbid each other. A legally binding document is prepared after the seller accepts a bid.
According to Swedish law, the seller of a house may be held financially liable for hidden faults for a period of up to 10 years after the sale of the house. However, the interpretation of this law is often subjective. Since a majority of the problems you may encounter after purchasing home will be your responsibility, it is important that you get an independent building surveyor to carry out a thorough inspection.
The Added Costs
There’s more to buying a home in Sweden than your bid amount. Other expenses involved in the home buying process include:
Real estate agent fees: 3% to 5%
Solicitor fees: 1% to 4%
Stamp duty: 4.25%
Real estate tax: 0.2% to 2.8%
Registration fee: SEK 825 or €96
If the home you purchase is part of an apartment or a condominium, you will, in all likelihood, need to pay monthly fees to your housing association. The fees tend to vary from one housing project to another.
Getting a Loan
You may qualify for a home loan through a Swedish bank as a foreigner provided you have a steady source of income and sound financial standing. Banks in this country typically offer loans of up to 75% of a home’s selling price so you might need to pay 25% or more as down payment. Loan terms may extend up to 20 years, and interest rates tend to hover between 2% and 2.5%.
There are no restrictions on foreigners who wish to buy homes in Sweden. However, understanding how the viewing and bidding processes work is important. If you’re unsure about any aspect, do not hesitate to ask your real estate agent for clarification.
Jon works as a researcher with iCompareFX. This online platform gives its users an easy way to compare the world’s top overseas money transfer companies, while also providing in-depth reviews and access to special offers. When he’s not working, Jon likes exploring music from different genres.