Real Estate in Norway
Last updated on Mar 12, 2023
Summary: An expat looking to buy a home in Norway should begin by researching the local real estate market. They should look into the different types of properties available, such as single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. They should also consider the location of the property, as well as the amenities it offers. Foreigners are allowed to purchase property in Norway, but there are some restrictions. For example, foreigners are not allowed to purchase agricultural land or land that is designated for public use. Additionally, foreigners must obtain a residence permit in order to purchase a property. Homes in Norway typically include amenities such as modern kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces. Many homes also have access to outdoor spaces, such as gardens, terraces, and balconies. Additionally, many homes have access to amenities such as swimming pools, saunas, and fitness centers.
How do I find a place to live in Norway?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"The best way to find a place to live in Norway is by researching online. You can check popular websites such as Finn.no, Boligbygg, or Leilighetsnett for available housing in the particular area you are interested in. Additionally, you could reach out to local housing agencies and real estate specialists to help with your search. Another option is to get in contact with colleagues and friends in Norway who may know of potential opportunities or could help you in your search," explained one expat living in Norway.
"We found our place to live off the internet site here in Norway Finn.no. We weren't concerned about neighborhood as much as we were concerned about finding a place to live. Its a University island so places go fast and there's not a lot available," said one person in Tromso.
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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Norway?
"A typical expat home or apartment in Norway is usually modern and bright, featuring light-colored décor. Expat homes and apartments typically have large windows that let in the natural light, and the majority of dwellings come fully equipped with modern appliances, furniture and kitchenware. Many expat apartments include access to some form of outdoor space, such as a balcony or terrace, and some dwellings also have a sauna and/or steam room. depending on the area, many Norwegian homes offer amazing views of nature, such as mountains, fjords or forests," explained one expat living in Norway.
"We live in a one bedroom apartment that we were able to sublease fully furnished. Typically people live in houses if available," said one person in Tromso.
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What is the average cost of housing in Norway?
If you are thinking about moving to Norway, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"Much higher than in the US. I have been paying 850 dollars for 3 bedroom nice apartment in chicago suburbs. Norways average is 7000 - 10000 kroner. I make 15000 kroner a month after deducted taxes," explained one person living in Alesund, Norway.
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Should I buy or rent a home in Norway?
If you have not spent a lot of time in Norway, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:
"When it comes to living in Norway, buying a home may be the most cost effective and flexible long-term option. Home ownership can give you the stability and freedom to make your home a reflection of your own personal style. On the other hand, renting a home in Norway typically has lower upfront costs and offers more flexibility as you can move frequently if necessary. You should assess your lifestyle and financial situation to decide which option is right for you," explained one person living in Norway.
What do I need to know when buying property in Norway?
When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Norway, they said:
"1. You will need to get a Norwegian tax number and register yourself with the Norwegian Tax Administration. 2. There are different regulations for foreigners buying property in Norway. Make sure to check these before proceeding. 3. It is recommended to get a professional, such as a lawyer or a notary, to help you secure the property and ensure that all legal requirements are met. 4. You will need to consider the cost of utilities, such as water, electricity, heat and sewerage, when determining the purchase price of a property. 5. Buyers must pay a transfer tax, called stamp duty, which is levied on the purchase of most property types in Norway. 6. You will need to consider any additional fees and taxes, such as capital gains tax, property tax, and transfer fees. 7. When negotiating the purchase of a property, it is advised that you get an independent property valuation to ensure that the price you are paying is reasonable. 8. You should be prepared to pay a deposit upon signing the purchase agreement, and the balance within a specified period afterwards," said one expat in Norway.
Are foreigners allowed to own property in Norway?
When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Norway, they said...
"Yes, foreigners are allowed to own property in Norway. Generally, they are not subject to any restrictions beyond those that apply to Norwegian citizens. Foreigners may own land, residential property, or personal property, just as Norwegians may. The main requirement is that the property must be for personal use. While foreign nationals may purchase shares of housing cooperatives, they may not have a majority ownership stake. Foreigners must also abide by local zoning laws, comply with building inspections and permission from local authorities, and pay applicable taxes," explained one expat in Norway.
What appliances are typically included in a rental?
We asked foreigners in Norway what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:
"In Norway, rental homes typically include a refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher and a washer and dryer. In some cases, the rental may also include other small kitchen appliances such as a microwave or coffee maker. In addition, many rental properties will come with air conditioning, heating, and other amenities such as TV, cable, and internet access," explained one person living in Norway.
Additional Information about Searching for a Home in Norway:
We asked foreigners in Norway what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included...
"Expats typically search for homes in Norway by browsing online platform websites, such as Finn.no or BoligPluss.no, or contacting a real estate agent specializing in international moves. Once a prospective expat has narrowed down their list of potential homes to rent or purchase, they may arrange a visit to the property to determine if it is suitable. Additionally, expats may join various expat forums or groups to source information on apartments and homes in Norway, or attend a real estate market event to meet with agents and view available properties," explained one person living in Norway.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.
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