I have previously written a blog about legal forms of home ownership in Norway, where I emphasized that both ownership models, cooperative housing associations (borettslag) and joint ownership (sameie), are secure housing options regulated by good laws and functioning effectively.
What I want to share with you additionally is how these housing associations work in practice.
When you purchase an apartment in Norway, you’re not just buying the property itself; you’re buying into a community that is either a cooperative housing association or a joint ownership. The law dictates how these entities should be managed, who is responsible, what decisions are made by the elected board, and what must be discussed at the general meeting or co-owner’s meeting, where all property owners can attend and cast their votes.
What’s great is that the board is composed of people who live in the housing association, and as such, they have a vested interest in running it as effectively as possible. They receive valuable assistance from professional property managers who handle accounting and budgeting, collect common fees, provide assistance with maintenance plans, and organize annual meetings.
Each housing association has its own articles of association that align with the law. In addition, there is the option to have specific rules on certain matters, such as the housing association’s responsibility for maintenance and the individual owner’s responsibilities. For example, in some places, window replacement is the responsibility of the housing association, while in others, it’s the responsibility of the individual apartment owner. Therefore, it’s always advisable to review the articles of association.
When I assist you with your property purchase, I always go through the documents provided by the property manager, including the annual report and financial statements, to check whether the housing association is being run well or if there are specific issues you should be vigilant about. For instance, excessive renting out of units and complaints about noise or significant upcoming expenses that will be passed on to you through common fees.
I find that many foreigners looking to buy an apartment are somewhat anxious about whether the buildings and housing association will be adequately maintained by the board and property manager. This is a healthy skepticism, and we always need to verify, as I’ve described above.
But overall, we are good at managing housing associations and taking collective responsibility in Norway, and the entire system is well-organized through legislation. So, you can generally feel secure when buying an apartment in a housing complex in Norway.
Anne and Don, hailing from New Mexico, USA, embarked on an exciting journey to purchase a holiday home in rural Norway, guided by the invaluable assistance of Boligdama, Trude. Facing initial hurdles with unresponsive Norwegian realtors, their remarkable journey unfolded in just one weekend, culminating in the successful acquisition of their dream property.
Anne and Don, residents of New Mexico, USA, had long nurtured a deep affection for Norway, drawn to its natural beauty and Anne’s ancestral ties. Their dream was to secure a holiday home in a rural Norwegian district, a place to escape to, and a canvas to showcase their treasured furniture from Anne’s grandparents’ house.
With a budget in mind, the couple meticulously scoured listings and shortlisted three potential properties. However, their enthusiasm waned as they encountered an unexpected roadblock—Norwegian realtors remained frustratingly unresponsive. Stuck in a sea of uncertainty, they desperately sought guidance and support.
One fateful day, Anne turned to the internet in her quest for assistance. A simple Google search led her to Boligdama, Trude, a name that would soon change the course of their journey. Boligdama quickly proved to be a godsend, offering the expertise and reassurance they so desperately needed.
Boligdama’s Touch: Transforming Desperation into Homeownership Bliss
Armed with Trude’s guidance, Anne and Don had found a charming property in Telemark, discovered through the online platform finn.no. Despite the property needing some renovation, Trude made sure they were fully aware of the renovation challenges. Luckily, the couple, experienced DIY enthusiasts, were undeterred.
As the weekend dawned, Anne, Don, and Trude decided on a strategic approach—they opted for a secret bid, aiming to negotiate without competition from other potential buyers. Trude efficiently handled the paperwork, and the bid, which was NOK 50,000 below the asking price, was submitted to the realtor.
The trio had to wait until Monday for a response, as the realtor needed to verify the buyers’ financing with the bank. The clock ticked, and anticipation grew. Finally, at noon on Monday, the long-awaited answer arrived—a positive response, albeit with some details to iron out.
With hearts pounding and excitement, Anne and Don eagerly reached out to Trude to finalize the details. Remarkably, they were awake at 05:30 AM in New Mexico, unable to sleep due to their overwhelming excitement.
In a whirlwind of negotiations and confirmations, Anne and Don’s dream of owning a holiday home in Norway came to life in a mere weekend.
Anne and Don’s Testimonial: Boligdama’s Invaluable Support
Anne and Don reflect on their incredible journey with Boligdama, expressing their deep appreciation for the guidance and confidence she brought to their home-buying experience.
We had been looking for a house to buy in Norway for years. We wanted an older home and some land. Finally, we decided to make the leap and find a place to enjoy and bring our treasured furniture from my grandparents’ house out of storage. Our budget constrained us, and we found ourselves stuck, unable to get in touch with realtors and clueless about how to proceed. Feeling desperate, I turned to Google with a simple plea: ‘I need help buying a house in Norway.’ That’s when Boligdama appeared, and it was truly a godsend! The rest, as they say, is history. We couldn’t have done it without her, and with her help, we felt confident in our choice. Thank you, Boligdama!
Please download my booklet to get a short brief on the home buying process in Norway.