Category Archives: Apartment

Selling an apartment in Stockholm

(for information on buying an apartment, see this other post!)

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the delay, but the process took much longer than I expected (as with most things) – but the good news is, we sold the place in our building so I’m happy to report back with some tips and tricks for those of you thinking about selling. Note that the time lapsed had nothing to do with a difficult Stockholm market or anything – it was simply due to logistics with the holiday season.

The most important thing is to find a real estate agent that you personally feel comfortable with. Rapport with your agent is the most important thing you can invest in, and that should be highest on your priority list regardless of the commission they’re charging. Transactions will probably go relatively smoothly, but when they don’t, you want to know that the person you’ve trusted with the job of selling will go to bat for you. In addition, this agent will represent YOUR personal and legal interests as well as the legal interests’ of the buyer; there is no concept of a buy-side agent in Sweden.

Continue reading

Selling an apartment in Stockholm (Intro)

Hi readers!

I’m about to facilitate the sale of an apartment in my building on behalf of our homeowner’s association (I’m a Board member). I’m meeting with a few real estate agents/firms to evaluate their offerings and will make a recommendation to the Board. This is new for me – I’ve only ever bought property in Sweden – so if you have any questions, leave a reply and I’ll try to get the answer for everyone.

I’ll blog more about this when the process has moved along a bit…

Making new friends and Swedish Midsummer

What a spring so far!  I’ve been working hard in Stockholm but also did a decent bit of traveling around the world both for work and pleasure.  And of course, I’ve been enjoying every (warm) moment of the spring. I hope all of you have been enjoying the weather equally much I have been!

I thought this time around I’d post about two things: 1) a recent trip I took to the US, and 2) the Swedish midsummer festivities this year.  These two things, located on two different continents, really highlighted how Swedish I feel when I’m in the US and how American I feel when I’m in Sweden.

I recently traveled to California and Oregon for 3 wonderful weeks of vacation.  I went to the wedding of one of my oldest friends in San Diego, my sister’s medical school graduation in San Francisco, and visited my friends Josh and Kellee and their adorable son Judah in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading

Glögg season and new friends

It’s glögg season again, and it’s time for another post!

Stockholm got its first “real” snow this past week!  Real snow is when it actually sticks to the ground and stays around, and boy was it needed.  It had been raining a lot and was dark and miserable, as it tends to be during this time of year.  But as soon as the snow came, everything brightened up.  Yes, it was still cold but I prefer cold and dry to cold and wet.  Even WordPress.com has snow on its front page!

(Side note: Californians, you have no idea how good you have it!) Continue reading

Buying an apartment in Stockholm

(Last updated on August 1, 2013)

It’s been a long time since I posted a blog post.  A lot has happened in the past few months, both privately and at work, so I’ve been busy.  But that’s no excuse – det är dags för ett nytt inlägg!

Today we are going to talk about the Swedish real estate market and the process of getting a mortgage.  It seems to be pretty relevant right now since I have many friends who are looking for a place to call their own.  I also have a former colleague who will be moving to Stockholm soon, and she just went on an apartment viewing spree today.  So yes, it is fresh on my mind.

Since my experience is limited to the Stockholm inner city, take everything I say with a grain of salt!

I bought an apartment in Stockholm in the spring of 2008.  I found an apartment in Östermalm that fit my taste and was in the bidding process.  I was the only bidder, and I put forth an offer of 2,750,000 SEK.  That’s about $410,000 USD with today’s exchange rate, but was closer to $460,000 USD back when I bought it.  That’s a big chunk of change, even for a kid from San Francisco. Continue reading

Trash, Recycling, and Maintaining Order

Swedes are very proud of the fact that they are one of the most environmentally-friendly countries in the world.  Generally, I agree – and this is coming from someone who has lived in the California Bay Area.  Bay Area residents have been recycling for decades, and those of us who live in the San Francisco and Berkeley areas know that the local City Councils are extremely supportive of recycling and other environmental issues.  Did you know, for example, that grocery stores in San Francisco do not allow the use of plastic bags?  They only give out paper bags or sell the reusable grocery bags.  The picture featured on this blog are of two containers that are provided to every family: a recycling container and a compost container.

In Sweden, we have recycling centers, everyone promotes lower electrical use, taxi companies have a large fleet of environmentally-friendly cars, we get to use a fantastic public transportation system (at least in Stockholm), and most important of all, everyone understands the importance of doing their part for the environment.

But this comes at a price. Continue reading