Monday, October 17, 2011

House

We're buying a house! We've been to many viewings and even placed bids on a couple of places, but the bidding has always skyrocketed. Somehow we managed to get this one, and it's just about perfect.

Real estate purchase is strange in Norway. An open house is held and bidding starts immediately. SMS updates are sent your phone to announce the latest bid, and if you want to bid over you need to do so within hours. The sale is usually over in a day. And at the bidding wars we've seen, the price is usually way above asking.

I wasn't sure we'd be able to get a house in town that we could afford. Housing prices are really crazy here, and getting more expensive all the time. The folk wisdom is to buy something sooner rather than later and get into the system or else the prices will outrun you. We've been renting for the past three years, paying about $2600 month. Buying a house means much lower payments.

This house came to market right behind where we're living now, next door to some very good friends, in the neighborhood we love close to school and work, and with an amazing view of downtown and the fjord. The house is small (113 square meters/1130 square feet) but passable, and we can build on later. It also includes a strip of land up the hill, so we have our own slice of cliff. There's a two-car garage and good parking at street level. The house needs updating, but it's entirely good as it is.

We were the high bidders with our bid below the asking price, but the owners insisted we meet the asking price which we did.

We won the bid a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't want to post until I knew we actually got it. We signed the contract today. And because our rental contact extends a bit longer we'll have a leisurely move-in period and some time to do a few improvements before we move in.

We're very pleased to have found a house we can afford right in the neighborhood we wanted. A new adventure awaits!

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