Most of the Swedes choose to buy a house, over renting it. Over time, it is much cheaper to own a house. And depending on where you live, this gap might be quite reduced. However, renting a place, sounds more appealing if you are not sure whether you are staying in the same place or not. Plus, you don’t have to worry about maintenance, since your landlord will be responsible for it 🙂
What I really like about the rental houses in Sweden is how the whole thing works. Very organized, or it wouldn’t be Sweden.
- You get used to the fact that you no longer wash and dry your clothes inside. It might be weird in the beginning, but soon you will notice the benefits of using a drying room, instead of leaving the clothes for 2 days on a rack! You have to book the laundry time that best suits you.
- You won’t need to go too far to dispose of your garbage. Probably, just around the corner. Batteries, cardboxes, metal, glass, and even bulbs and electrical appliances can also be left there.
- Sometimes there is a communal sauna that you can book and use for free!
- There is a communal shed for people to keep the bikes.
- There is a parking space (at least, one) for every house, either a garage or a carport with engine heater.
- There is an organization/person always around that ensures everything runs on track, including ploughing the snow!
The drawback of the rental system is the famous queuing time, reaching some 15 years in places like Stockholm, but even in smaller villages inland, can take 6 months/1 year, due to the recent emmigrants/refugees influx.
There are also housing facilities for students and for elderly people, which is a concept I would like to see in Portugal. Old people who are still able to live on their own, but have special needs (doctor, medication, wheelchair ramps…) don’t need to worry about that. They can apply to one of these houses, and make sure there will be a health center and a pharmacy nearby. The same with students: they can rent a small room with kitchen and toilet (20 sqm), but still ensure they can live on their own.