Stockholm - House buy
If you stay in Sweden for a longer period of time it may be worth buying a property. Find the area you want to live in and contact the agents specialized in that neighborhood, and look at their websites. Do ask around to find out who has a good reputation. Few property owners sell without engaging an estate agent. If you plan to buy a property without a middleman, contact a professional in order to get the right legal and financial advice. Also, be aware that some houses in and around Stockholm have high "radon gas" levels so check on that. Get an evaluator to look through the property to avoid unpleasant surprises. When you buy an apartment, look into the building's financial status as this influences you personally.
The price will often be specified in SEK/m2, i.e. you pay a price per square metre. Of course, the area and the condition of the flat/house will influence the price level.
Once you have focused your interest in one or two places, remember that even if you are prepared to pay the price stated in the advert, you have to go through a bidding process. Other interested clients will also bid on the price, often making a higher offer than the one published so the price could go higher than expected and you may have to look elsewhere. If the owner has engaged an agent for selling purposes, you will not meet the owner and all dealings will be made through the agent.
Buyer expenses to be familiar with:
Two kinds of expenses are involved with an apartment: a) the costs of electricity, gas, telephone connections, and b) the monthly fee to the condominium for services that include central heating, laundry facilities and general maintenance of the building. In a villa, you pay for the usual electricity and telephone and other services, plus a yearly tax, based on the value of the property.
Checklist for the new property owner
The bureaucratic side of buying a property is relatively easy in Stockholm. The agent handles all the legal aspects of the purchase in the presence of the buyer, the seller, and the seller's bank. The meeting is held in the bank's premises. All the new owners have to do after signing the various documents is to ensure that the property and its content are covered by insurance and together with a separate insurance to cover against damage to others in the same building, such as water leaks to the flat below! Buyers must contact the electricity and telephone companies to let them know of the change of ownership.
For properties on the market search "Fastighetsmäklarföretag Stockholm" on yahoo: all results are in Swedish!
The Stockholm area
It is very difficult to find a house or apartment on Djurgården. Whatever is for sale or rent almost never makes it to the regular market, it is found by 'word of mouth.'. On Djurgården there are many museums including the largest open area museum: Skansen. Diplomatstaden is a section of Djurgården where many embassies and missions are located.
Gamla Stan is the oldest part of town, characteristic for narrow cobblestone streets and old buildings. The Royal Castle is located here as well as many churches and shops. It is a very fashionable place to live but some find it too dark and the lack of trees and parks disturbing.
"Functionalism" is the architectural style on Gärdet. Apartments should be practical and light according to this school. It is a green area with parks and playgrounds for children. There is a good mix of smaller and larger apartments. Top floor apartments on the hill have excellent views over Stockholm.
Kungsholmen is a very sought after neighborhood in Stockholm. The walks along the water are beautiful. Many new restaurants and shops are appearing in this part of town, which formerly was primarily a residential area. Kungsholmens Gymnasium, a Swedish high school that has an excellent International Section where the teaching is in English, is located here. Hospitals, administrative buildings and Stadshuset, the City Hall, are located here.
The island is a beautiful mix of older and newer houses and neighborhoods. You can find small red cottages and there are many large green areas. It was traditionally the blue-collar worker's domain. Now, it is becoming the fashionable place to live since all the artists love to live here. There are plenty of art galleries, antique shops and plenty of good restaurants and pubs. Young people love to live here because it is a very lively part of town where "things" happen.
Vasastan has the largest number of beautiful buildings in Stockholm. Vasastan is close to two universities and many students live here in the smaller apartments. The larger apartments are inhabited by families and adults. New restaurant areas are developing. Sibirien (Siberia) is the part of Vasastan around Roslagsgatan, which as the name indicates, was considered far from the center of the city when it was first built in the end of the 19th century.
This is the upper classes' terrain. Large apartments in this neighborhood is one of the reasons why this part of town traditionally belongs to the well to do families. The real estate prices are always high. It is a very residential area, but there are not many restaurants and stores nearby. A Strandvägen address is very fashionable both for businesses and residents, and it overlooks the water.
Many expatriates love to live outside the city centre because they love to have their own house and garden and do not mind having to travel by car into town whenever needed. Distances are not great and public transport is very good. All the services you may need including sport facilities, are usually present in each suburb, which are small towns in themselves. However, traffic has increased quite considerably in recent times and in peak hours you may sit in queues for a while.
This suburb lies west of the city. It has many green areas with houses as well as apartment buildings. It is close to the residence of the Royal Family (Drottningholm Slott) and Ekerö where there are many recreational areas. According to real estate brokers, many French families choose Bromma to live due to the proximity to the French School on Stora Essingen. Kungsholmen Gymnasium, a Swedish high school with the teaching in English, is close by on Kungsholmen. Some domestic flights leave from the small local Bromma Airport.
Danderyd municipality encompasses Djursholm, Stocksund and Enebyberg. Many ambassadors and international business people live here. There are many old beautiful houses in this area. The British Primary School is located in Djursholm.
Large houses and many green areas are significant for this area. Many families have lived here for generations. Stereotypically, people who live here are usually university-educated people voting for the more conservative parties. Many work within the Swedish industry, financial services, law and medicine. Djursholm has a lot to offer with marinas, riding facilities, golf courses, hockey rinks, tennis courts and other sports facilities. Djursholm can be reached by subway, local trains and buses. Those who need to go into the city drive to Mörby Centrum (which has an indoor mall with parking) and take the subway.
This is another area loved by expatriates. It has large houses as well as some parts with apartment buildings and it is quite near to Stockholm. Lidingö Island is green and you can take advantage of the forests and lakes here. Lidingö Centrum provides you with all the services you need. You can get here by bus or subway.
Located south of Stockholm city there is a 'coastal feel' to Saltsjobaden. Big and beautiful houses as well as more average sized family houses can be found here. As the name indicates, it is by the sea. There are marinas everywhere, and sports facilities as well as services can all be found here. Some people complain of the distance from the city but it is very well serviced by the local train and buses. If you prefer to drive you have a highway into the city.
It is located on the border of Djursholm and has the same nice surroundings and facilities as Djursholm. The gardens are slightly smaller and the houses not quite as large. The two suburbs share a high school.
Täby is close to Stockholm though a little further north of Djursholm and Danderyd. Families with young children live here as the surroundings are ideal for children. Sports facilities are good and Täby has a large indoor swimming pool. Täby Centrum is one of the largest shopping malls in Sweden with a great variety of stores and services. Täby is well serviced by local trains and buses. Täby Galopp, (the race track located right by the local train station) is another reason why Täby is well known.