House hunting, the Norwegian way


You would think that buying a house is stressful enough at the best of times. In our case we had a few additional complications to make it even more stressfull.

The first complication was that we had to get our heads around the Norwegian way of buying and selling houses. The main thing that makes it different is that is seems all to happen very quickly. All houses are advertised on a website, then typically within a week there is a single viewing of 1 hour, followed by an open bidding process. A house can not be sold before midday the day after the viewing. If you are interested you send a written offer with a time limit within which you want your bid to be accepted to the estate-agent who will then inform everybody who is interested of your bid. After your first bid in writing, everything else happens over the phone and typically this ends up with a frantic toing and froing within the space of a few hours. All pretty nerve wrecking.

In our case of course we also had to make sens of all the sales documents including valuation reports and legal abracadabra in Norwegian. A steep learning curve, involving inordinate amounts of time on the translator in Google. Luckily the brochures all follow a standard pattern so after a while we did start to remember what everything meant.

We went to all the viewings with the girls, which was nice, because we wanted them to feel involved, but also meant that they would get very exited about some of the properties that we saw, followed by great disappointment when we found a reason why we would not make a bid for them. In one case we found a nice house with a lovely garden, amazing views, right next to the hills. Unfortunately, it was just a little too far away to make the daily commute feasible and we decided not to bid for it.

We have also been feeling a little bit under pressure to move on with the house buying, because we want to be able to move on with schools, sport clubs etc. There didn’t seem much point to get involved with much until we decided where we were going to live…..

Anyway lots of complicating factors but we did manage to find a place that we all liked, had enough space both inside and outside, wasn’t a complete renovation project, in a neigbourhood with schools in walking distance and ticking various other boxes. We were all determined to get it and we did, well within the budget that we had had in mind. So we were all delighted, and did a little dance of joy when we succeeded. We’ll get the keys at the beginning of August, so from then on we can start welcoming guests. To get an impression of what we bought you can look at the sales website, we’ll probably have more to say about it after we’ve moved in.

4 Responses to “House hunting, the Norwegian way”

  1. Rona Says:

    Great to read your news: I was just going to email then I remembered the blog address was there too. What a house: better than IKEA! I hope you really enjoy it. I was also quite please that from the pics it shows of the hills I was roughly able to gauge where it was in relation to the harbour!
    How is school/work going? Have you gotten used to the currency and stopped converting everything back (its too much of a shock!)
    Al has now finished Highers and thinks they’ve been ok- he was happy to get English out of the way! he goes back into school later next week to finalise Adv Higher courses. At the end of term he goes with school to Raasay and I possibly will take advantage and go on a kayaking course on Skye.
    Take care and look forward to hearing about the new place.
    Rona x

  2. kerry Says:

    Wow exciting news! Your new home home looks just so NORWEGIAN (now isnt that a surprise! 😉

    Thinking of you all lots – Athena took Saskia’s bike out for a very successful trial-cycle recently – yes takes us a while to get organised with these things, but the weather has been mostly awful – hail in Princes St the other day… love Kerry and Athenaxx

    • geozenn Says:

      Made of Norwegian wood as well….

      And congratulations, you’re the first subscriber to our blog. We’ll think about your price, a toaster maybe?

  3. Rona Says:

    ‘Scuse me…where’s my toaster then!!!

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