Buying A Property in Stavanger
So, you’ve been here for a while and you’re thinking, this is a nice place to settle down or maybe you want to make an investment while you’re living here instead of throwing your money away on rent. The information here might help.
Here in Stavanger, real estate agents generally work for the sellers.
FINN.no is the go-to site to search for property. So in FINN, click on Eiendom>Bolig til Salgs>Stavanger. There you’ll get to see all the houses that are for sale in the Stavanger area.
There is a description of the houses when you click on them, complete with pictures and other information. Google Translate is really helpful here.
Boliga.no is another site which gives you information about the properties like how many days they’ve been on the market and if the price of the property has increased or decreased over time.
So you’ve seen a couple of houses that you like on FINN, what next?
Go for the visning (viewing/open house). This information will be listed on the FINN site, for e.g.:
Visning 23.11.2009, 18:00 - 19:00
If not, it will say:
Etter avtale med megler/selger (m) xx xx xx xx (after appointment with the agent/seller)
Viewings usually last 1 hour and will be held in the evenings or weekends. If you are interested in the property, you can write your name and contact information down on the agent’s list.
If you have done so, the agent will usually call you the day after the viewing and ask if you’re interested in making any bids. Also, if anyone else has made any bids, you will be informed. This increases transparency in the whole process and more often than not, increases the selling price of the property.
If you are interested in making a bid, you need to fill out the bidding form at the back of the prospectus (which you should have received at the viewing, if not you can just go down to the agent’s office to get one) and submit it (in person or by email or fax) to the agent. Subsequent bids can be done through the phone/SMS.
You need to ensure that you have a written document from the bank stating that you will be able to have the finances(savings and/or loan) to get said property. This mortgage approval document can take up to a week or 2 to receive as the bank needs to do a credit check on you. So don’t wait till the last minute to get this!
The seller must wait 24 hours after the viewing to accept a bid. If there is more than 1 bid, the ‘war’ starts. The potential buyers will pit themselves against one another, outbidding the highest amount. Of course, this stops when interested parties drop out of the war, until the last bidder is left. The seller has the discretion on who to sell to – it is usually, but not always, sold to the highest bidder.
Most banks offer mortgages if you want to buy a house or an apartment. The repayment period for a mortgage is long, usually between 20 and 30 years. People who do not own a home in Norway can apply for a first-time buyer mortgage, i.e. a mortgage with the same interest rate for the entire amount where you can borrow up to 100% of the purchase price. Contact your bank to find out how much you can borrow and what interest rate the bank offers. Bring your tax return and pay slip to the bank to document your income level.
Find out which banks offer the lowest interest rates here.
FIRST-TIME BUYER MORTGAGE
People who do not own a home in Norway can apply for a first-time buyer mortgage from their bank, i.e. a mortgage with the same interest rate for the entire amount where you can borrow up to 100 per cent of the purchase price. If the bank is not willing to lend you 100 per cent of the purchase price, you can apply for a start loan from your municipality.
START LOAN FROM YOUR MUNICIPALITY
If you have difficulties getting a loan from your bank to buy your own home, or you need help to stay in your current home, you can apply for a start loan. The loan can be granted as bridge financing or full financing for buying or renovating a house, as re-financing to stay in your current house, and as top-up financing to build a new house. Different municipalities have different policies and practices when it comes to granting start loans. It is up to the municipality to decide whether someone should be granted a loan and how much.
BASIC LOAN FROM THE NORWEGIAN STATE HOUSING BANK
A basic loan can be granted from the Norwegian State Housing Bank for the building of a new home or for renovating and adapting an existing home. The house must meet certain criteria relating to universal design (accessibility) and energy efficiency/the environment. If the house satisfies the criteria, the Norwegian Housing Bank can grant a loan of up to 80% of the costs or the purchase price approved by the bank. Applications should be submitted to the Norwegian State Housing Bank, which administers the scheme.
A housing grant is available for those who are most disadvantaged in the housing market. The household must be experiencing long-term or permanent financial difficulties, or the home must be in need of special adaptation. Grants can be given to buy a home, to renovate/adapt one’s own home and to re-finance a mortgage to be able to stay in one’s current home. Applications for housing grants should be submitted to the municipality that administers the scheme. Contact your local municipality for further information.
Congrats! You’ve now got the property!
Once the seller has accepted your bid, it is legally-binding. There will be consequences if you or the seller go back on your/their word regarding the property. Within 1-2 weeks, you will receive a confirmation letter from the agent stating that you have successfully obtained the property. It will also give you information about the meeting you will have with the sellers.
At the first meeting, the buyer and seller will receive identical folders which will contain all information about the property. You will then check that all information is correct and all contracts will be signed. You can also start to discuss details for e.g. if you want to buy over any of the seller’s furnishings, etc etc.
You will need to pay the omkostninger (fees) and 10% of the selling price within 14 days of the first meeting. The rest of the money needs to be paid before you take over the property. (You need to inform your bank so they know when to transfer the money)
Here are some terms that might help you in looking for a property.
- leilighet= apartment
- enebolig= one entire house
- rekkehus= house in a series
- tomannsbolig= one house divided for 2 different families
- blokk= apartment block
- Bolig= dwelling
- tomt= empty plot
- Bad = toilet/bathroom/washroom
- Rom = bedroom
- Gang= hallway
- Primærrom= usable space
- Bruksareal= actual space
- Bruttoareal= gross space
- U. etg. = under etasje, or basement/cellar
- 1etg.= first floor
- loft= attic
- stue= living room
- dusj= shower
- vaskerom= laundry/washing room
- hytte= cabin
- oppvarming = heating
- beliggenhet = location
- tre = wood
- betong = concrete
- overtagelse = taking over
- byggeår = year of construction
- renovert = renovated
Note than when you buy an apartment or rekkehus, there may be extra monthly costs.
Breakdown of areas in Stavanger
Immediately around the city:
- Stavanger Sentrum/Vestre Platå
- Stavanger Øst
- Storhaug Vest
5 to 10 mins (by car) from the city:
10 to 20 mins (by car) from the city:
Across the big bridge (10 to 15 mins by car):
The information here comes from myself, friends and Ny i Norge.
Guide section: Accommodation
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