Aussies in Sweden

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ACCOMMODATION

TOURIST OR SHORT TERM

For lists of hotels, you can see the page on Swanning Around Sweden. Most of the tourist sites listed there have hotel accommodation. If anyone knows of a particularly good place please let me know. You can email me at HERE.

I can personally recommend two hotels - one relatively budget, Hotel Rex, and the other middle in price, Hotel Diplomat.

Hotel Rex I stayed at the Rex in 2009 and recommend it. The rooms are small but tasteful. There's high speed internet and a decent breakfast included in the rates. And it is inexpensive. The R3ex is situated in a non-touristy section of Stockholm but is in walking distance of the city center and subways.

Hotel Diplomat An upmarket hotel with views of the sea. Tasteful rooms but breakfast and other amenities are not included in the rate.

The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi (Norrland) which is a truly unique place and well worth a visit in summer or winter.

B&B'S, HOSTELS, CAMPING and YMCA

Kfuk-Kfum has information about YMCA and YWCA in Sweden

Youth Hostels - Sveriges Vandrahem links to all Swedish youth hostels

Campingplatser - Camping and Cabins has a guide to camping and cabin (stuga) accommodation

Bed and Breakfast - Sweden links to bed & breakfast accommodation in Sweden

FINDING A HOUSE OR APARTMENT

This is based on others experiences in Stockholm. If you want to live in central Stockholm, and you're not in the Sultan of Brunei income bracket, then it is pretty much apartment living.

I’m not trying to sound too negative but it is extremely difficult to find an apartment in Stockholm. I would say your best options are to either buy (very expensive!) or sublet (be prepared to pay outrageous rents). People report huge frustrations and bureaucracy when it comes to finding a place to live anywhere in Sweden There is a real housing shortage here and note that even in suburbs further out, or small towns (out in the sticks), rent is not that much cheaper. It's the pressure of the market.

Here though are a few tips for your search.

Before you start....
(1) Decide where you don’t want to live! (Next door to the nuclear power station may not provide the best living environment for example)
(2) Now concentrate on "suitable" areas for your needs. And start hassling the agents in that area. Where you want to live will depend on work, schooling etc. (3) Consider the transport options, too, remembering that the lovely 20 minute stroll to the T-bana may be beautiful in May, but hell in February.
(4) How much can you afford? It’s pretty expensive to rent here in Sweden. A water view will double that rent. A really, really basic starting rent for something around 70sq metres (say 3 rooms + kitchen) would be at least 6,000kr. Then depending on things like location, services etc the price goes up from there.
(5) Would be willing to take anything?
(6) Do you need a first hand contract or would a second hand do for now?
(7)Are you entitled to any housing benefit, if so how much? Check with Försäkringskassan

Grapevine approach
Ask around. You'd be surprised how many people hang on to their first apartment after they've moved in with a new girlfriend/boyfriend. That new sambo relationship can quickly become särbo, however, and you may not get the contract renewed. But it seems that everyone knows someone who's got a friend who might be......... At least it’s worth a try.

Newspapers - An excellent start for second hand contracts. They are not as safe as a first hand contract, often more expensive, but sometimes the only choice. One benefit, though is that after nine months on your second hand contract you have the right to take over the first hand contract (provided there is no clause forbidding it in the contract). There is a limit to how much more expensive they can be. Apartment swapping is very common, so you can take something - for now - and look to upgrade later. Dagens Nyheter (check in Bostader) or Eniro Köp & Sälj tend to carry a lot of ads. The site at Blocket also has a lot of listings. Note that July is dead for all business in Sweden

Official Technique Bostadsförmedlingen is the official state run body to redistribute vacant flats (though it has been called many other names) In theory, landlords should re-let through this authority. The system is a bit of a mystery and waiting lists tend to be long.

Direct Approach The housing allocation in Greater Stockholm is run by individual kommun. Each one has a list of places to rent out. Sometimes you can get a place fairly quickly, but be warned, it could be in a less desirable part of the area. But at least it’s a roof over your head, then you can join the queue merry-go-round in order to update. Years of entertainment!

Back Door Technique Phone one of the main landlord companies and ask to be put on their external queues. They will then give a phone number to ring night or day to their "Hot line computer". There you can register your interest for flats then wait ten days to see if your call got pulled out of the hat and you have won an apartment.

Note: if you do win you'll be given a first hand contract somewhere, which entitles you to join their "internal queue" and upgrade.

OTHER USEFUL ADDRESSES

Borstad is the best website for Sweden. They often have many ads for second hand rental. Although they charge 700 kr to get contact addresses / telephone, they let you browse all the ads before you pay. They are perhaps the biggest agency in the area and rated highly among Aussie expats here.

Annonsplatsen You check under the heading - "Hyres" - to look for rental properties. They also cover properties for sale.

blocket - This site covers ads by people for housing from rooms to villas and covers the whole country

Boförmedling The PMS Boförmedling site has a lot of tips and links to various rental and information sites. There is also a number of properties for rent second hand and it is free to register to look at their listings.

BoPunkten usually has around a few hundred or so places on it’s books at any one time. The listings are for rentals, those who want to change apartments, rent out their apartment or house.

Bostadsguiden is a great site for getting the low down on a place to live in Stockholm.

Bo Vision is in Swedish but fairly easy to follow. It lists property for sale (houses as well as apartments) and also places available for rent. It covers the whole country.

Check-in - The people at check-in rent out quality furnished apartments on both a short and long term basis. They are located in Stockholm

Koll.se This is a site geared at the second hand market offering cars, boats and properties for sale and also for rent all over Sweden The site is in Swedish, so you will need to look at "Bostad" and enter details in "Hyresrätt".

Andrahandsguiden (second hand contracts) has a list of available apartments under the heading "lediga bostäder". The site is only in Swedish, but it gives information about size of the apartment, location, rent, when it is available and when the ad was placed in the list.

Land Agents and CompaniesThis International Real Estate Digest is a list of links to realtors, landlords and property managers in Sweden .

Shared AccommodationThere is a U.S. based site called Easy Room-Mate which has a search option for Sweden and you can either advertise for a room-mate or see ads from people seeking a room-mate.

A site that offers classified for rooms and apartments is .

Huddinge (a southern suburb of Stockholm) there are also student places that you can check out in English at Studenttorget . Another site is Svebo . It is not easy and you have to really comb these sites every day. There are rooms available at Stockholm university (and sometimes even family apartments), but you either need someone 'inside' who is watching for the ads to go up and who can call immediately or watch the message board at Lappkärrsberget.

Long or short term storage - The Shurgard company has locations all over Sweden. If you're in between apartments you might need to place your belongings in storage.

CHANGING APARTMENTS

Once you have the initial apartment, you can start to look around for another apartment when you need to. Many people prefer to do an apartment swap, rather than go through the whole process of finding another place via the methods above. There seems to be a busy trade in apartment swapping, with people wishing to change area, size of apartment etc. The following sites may prove useful.

Björns Bostadsbytare is good for swapping contracts. It was featured in the real estate spread of Dagens Nyheter and rated as the best place to get a hit.

Bytesguiden - For swapping your apartment for another.

Ny Bostad - A site with swapping listings for houses, apartments, terrace houses, country cottages and covers the whole country. The site is in Swedish.

RELOCATION COMPANIES

There are companies which offer expats advice and help to settle into Sweden. They have programs and seminars to "de-mystify" Sweden easier and they also help people to find a suitable place to live as well as take care of the myriad bits of paperwork needed when setting up in Sweden - all for a cost, of course.

Newcomers is a professional relocation company, providing support for those moving to Sweden. The site has lots of useful tips and information, but only if you register with them.

Euro Patria Sweden This is the Swedish branch of Relocation Group and they offer a written guide as well as helping with work permits, banks, finding an apartment and helping people to acclimatise .

Rosen & Hagenborn are a location company run by two energetic women based in Malmö. They offer all the services you need to settle into that city.


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