buying a house

Everybody says rent until you make up your mind whether to stay (and for lower taxes somehow), but I really hate throwing money away like that, so I've always owned something.  Do you think it's practical to move to Oslo and then within a few months buy a house?  I've heard the bank will give you a mortgage regardless of your time spent in Norway, as long as you have the job to support it.  Is that true? 

My impression is the deals are to the north and east; e.g. in Akershus county you can find an actual house (as opposed to a row house or apartment) within walking distance of a T-bane stop, for not much more than what a flat costs in Oslo.  I think I'd like to find something like that.  But is it attainable for a foreigner at all, or do they have discriminatory barriers of some kind?

Also how much does one pay to heat a house in the winter?  I figure that may be the main advantage to an apartment - not so many exposed walls.  I'm from Phoenix so not really used to that whole heating concept at all.  ;-)  But I've always hated the summers here too.

Hi - your message would call for a multiple pages answer. I can give you some hints and some ideas:

* From a tax perspective it is better to own something than to rent as you can deduct around 1/3 of your interest from tax and the debt you are likely to have on your house reduce "your fortuen", which is the total value of your assets and is subject to a 1% tax - but in my opinion all this is valid when you have already a certain salary, above NOK 600K a year, below the advantage is not so big

* As for the banks, they are open to give loans to foreigners, your job situation is the main driver, however it may be more difficult for you to borrow 100% of the sum than it is for a norwegian or for somebody living in Norway for more than five years.

* As for the place, this is subject to much debate, but detached houses are indeed extremely expensive inside oslo or on the south west side (Baerum), they are indeed cheaper in north of east side. Traffic jam is one of the driver for this difference in cost. But I would not say that the "deals" are there ...

* There is no discriminatory barrier to buy something in Norway as long as you have a residence permit - it may even be possible without it but I guess the paperwork will be more complicated

* Heating as it is electric can be expensive, especially for older houses; you may around 20 000 a year for 120 m2 old house as electricity bill

Hope this helps!

In Phoenix we have $300/month electric bills for a few of the summer months because of air conditioning (it's above average because our AC is not very efficient), but it sounds like heating will cost even more than that; 20K kr per year works out to about $277 per month if you assume it's the same every month (which it isn't) so I guess you mean something like $500-600 per month in the winter.  I did find a couple of places on finn with district heat though; I assume that means hot water radiators or something like that, which would be ideal I would think?

But there seem to be high standards for insulation quality in Norway (energy certificates, which I don't understand too well yet).  Is that the reason why most houses seem to be built from wood rather than masonry?  In Phoenix brick and hollow concrete block are popular, and we also have a bad problem with termites so it's better not to build from wood.  I would expect more maintenance if I can't find a brick house.  But the usual tile roofs look good; do they last a long time?

Where do you think the best area is to live, given that my job will be near Nydalen station, I'd like to be able to take the train to work (or walk or bike if it could be that close) rather than having to drive every day, and I think the budget for a house is going to be under 2M kr?

Yes you pay more in winter but the system works through an advance payment scheme based on your yearly consumption, so it is somewhat flatened over the year. District heat or collective heating is great :) - that is what I have now and my electricity bill is just NOK 2K a year, almost nothing!

Now you get the nergy effenciy measurement as part of the sales process. Isolation is better than in many countries but for older house it is not always top the notch. As for wood houses, i don't see more maintenance with them, you get maybe a little more regular outisde painting that's all. Tile roofs have a 30 years life time (minimum)

as for place of living, all around where you will work is really a great place to live, kjelsås, Grefsen are very nice places with a wonderful view over the fjord. Depend than how good biker you are, but you could live around 10 km around also as cycling roads are very good here. But if you want to have a house below NOK 2M you need to exile yourself in the suburds, like lorenskog or even further away. some old houses over there sell around that price. you have one at NOK 2.4M near Lorenskog station for example on finn.

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