I don’t yet think I have written about arguably on the biggest decisions one could of course make in the world.
I will, as of Friday, have keys to my own apartment. One I own. One that belongs to me (well, about 80% the bank, but me nevertheless).
Looking back on the whole buying process, I think compared to what I can imagine it being like, it has been fairly easy here in Sweden. I am certainly very naïve to all the ins and outs of it – and actually what just strikes me is that I have never directly asked any of my friends for advice.
Which actually might be a little stupid, but it certainly is my style.
The highlight on a comedy standpoint of this has to be the bidding process. The system here in Sweden is for bidding to take place very quickly, usually over one day just after the viewings. So going to see an apartment in August was a waste of time when I was going on holiday the day after and it was snatched away from us. It is an auction, and one of such lunacy and desperate moments along the way. It was, of course, a school day, so while bidding was taken place (and the price is invariably over the asking price in Stockholm for apartments currently), I was only able to take part in between lessons, sub lessons, meetings with parents, department meetings and all the other things that I do where I can’t really tune out and put in a bid. Even then, all you do is type a number of the amount you want to pay and send it from your mobile phone. To get that last closing bid in on time, I was running from a meeting to my phone to type in the digits. How bizarre and frankly how inconvenient – there are many more professions less accessible than mine after all.
The apartment is nice – looked after well and in, at least for me, a decent location – and one can’t complain with a 20 second stumble to an underground station and bus to school. It has a balcony (always a dream of mine to have) and, oddly for Sweden, a normal, sensible layout of living.
However, there is a oh my goodness what have I done which each thing that comes up. Remember too that I have done each and every step of this transaction in Swedish. I am obviously doing this illusion of being fluent a good job or being taken on a ride. However no, from interest rates to buying the furniture already in the flat to working out each step of getting the keys, and indeed the price I paid for the flat – I’m being told I’ve got a decent deal.
Gosh how lucky am I?
It’s all brought up an awkward question from people over the last few weeks about my future. It’s like I’ve moved to a different social divide now – the questions are “ooh, you must be planning to stay here for a long time then?” – like I would be different for thinking so, and for planning that almost.
But hey, that’s not actually the main reason for buying. As soon as the stress (and although it has been easy comparatively, stress can still apply) of getting this happens and stops, I don’t ever have to find somewhere else to live again. That will be a huge huge relief and solves one of the toughest things about living here.
But part of this is selfless too. I expect to have a dearest loveliest person coming over to Sweden too next year. Not just to squeeze in a weekend but to try and actually live here. For her, I need a stable place to live so she can learn the language and commute to wherever she needs to be in peace every day. I can do that here. I am thinking about the needs of two. How and if relationships change I don’t know, I certainly don’t want to predict futures too much that could always turn out more exciting than planned – but it appears one life plan has gone another step up the ladder at least.
Finally, to try and answer that question – how long will I live here for? Will it be forever???
I’m still enjoying the freedom – and that doesn’t change though. However at the same rate I can’t see myself moving away soon. I have always finished the projects that I have started in my life before – and I currently am just about 1/3rd through with one with – a smashing mentor class at school. It is a project that I would like to see to completion – but even then that far ahead is looking far far away and scares me more than any mortgage. The thought of going back to the UK though, where the pubs are everywhere and the reduced prices in the supermarket so glorifying yet the lifestyle taints this so depressingly – is not anywhere on my agenda yet. Nowhere comes close to here at the moment.
Now if only Christer Björkman would realise this is the stage he wants to use for Eurovision and Malmö can sink into the Öresund then we would be in paradise – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t4N2kZ9jxw