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PROPERTY

What paperwork do you need to buy a house in Norway?

Before putting in an offer on your dream home, you'll have to make sure all your paperwork is in order. So, what documentation do you need to buy property in Norway? 

Pictured is a home in Aurlandsfjord in Norway.
These are the documents you will need to have in order to buy home in Norway. Pictured is Aurlandsfjord. Photo by Sander Dechering on Unsplash.

Buying a house comes with plenty of things to think about, endless viewings, hours spent going through listings, the bidding process and getting a mortgage in place. 

With all this to worry about, it can make it easy to overlook the paperwork you’ll need to make it all come together and get the keys to your own place or take another step up on the property ladder.

Let’s face it, none of us like bundles of red tape and sifting through the documents, so it’s better to be prepared rather than stress later down the line. 

The first step to buying a home in place for many will be getting a mortgage or loan in place. 

READ MORE: How easy is it to get a mortgage in Norway as a foreign resident?

The documents you need will vary, but generally, you’ll need your financial records, such as payslips, as proof of your income. In addition, the bank may ask for your tax records too. You will also need a Norwegian Identification Number, such as a D-number or Personummer. You will not be able to secure a mortgage or buy any property without the ID number. 

Another hurdle could be a lack of credit history in Norway if you have been in the country for less than a year, sometimes longer. The lack of credit history, which doesn’t carry over from the country you came from, could hold up the process or prevent you from getting a mortgage entirely. 

There are no hard and fast rules to what banks will ask for, though, so you may also need proof of residence and an employment contract handy.  

Once your mortgage is approved, you’ll receive the all-important official mortgage approval document; you’ll be ready to begin looking at homes. This document can take between one and two weeks to arrive. 

During the viewing process, two documents have essential information with crucial information about the property, and even though you won’t need them to purchase the place, they’ll inform your decision. 

Firstly there’ll be a prospectus where you can learn about the structure of the home and the surrounding area. 

Secondly, there is the boligsalgsrapport (property report) which will be an overview of the state of the house and include technical aspects of the house such as the drainage, foundation, roof and other areas of the home.

You’re ready to bid on houses or put in offers with all this in place. 

These documents will cover which parts of the house may need costly renovation or whether it’s part of a property association, which could mean costly fees.

When you place a bid, the estate agent will ensure you have financing in place by checking with the bank, so if you haven’t secured your mortgage approval document, your offer will be rebuffed, and you’ll likely be left disappointed.

Making offers or placing a bid will typically take place digitally. 

READ MORE: Norway’s house bidding process explained

When placing a bid, you will need to use bankID to confirm your identity. BankID is a form of digital identification issued by financial institutions. As with the mortgage process, you will need a Norwegian identification number (D-number/Personnummer) to hand. 

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PROPERTY

Half of Oslo’s old apartment blocks don’t meet fire safety regulations

As many as 1,800 old apartment buildings in Norway's capital pose a fire risk and fail to meet modern safety regulations, Oslo Fire and Rescue Service recently warned. 

Half of Oslo's old apartment blocks don't meet fire safety regulations

In total, there are around 3,500 apartment blocks categorised as 1890 buildings. These are buildings built between 1860 and 1930. Half of these buildings could pose a significant fire risk and don’t meet modern regulations, broadcaster TV2 recently reported

“The probability of deficiencies is very high. In 99 percent of the inspections we have already carried out, there have been deviations (from the regulations),” Patrik Czajkowski, team leader for the apartment building team in Oslo Fire and Rescue Service, told TV2. 

Compared to modern building standards, these older blocks typically allow fires to spread quicker and lack steel fireproof doors, automatic fire alarms, or extinguishing systems. 

“The buildings that have not been upgraded are less equipped for a fire. All the measures that should be in place and could reduce the risk of fire are not present” Czajkowski explained. 

Around 1,700 of the city’s 1890 buildings have been upgraded to meet modern fire safety regulations, according to Oslo Municipality

Tenants and homeowners in Oslo can check with the chairperson of their apartment board about the building’s fire measures. An apartment building’s chairperson is responsible for ensuring the building’s fire safety is up to scratch.

The National Association Of Homeowners said a lot of work had been done to improve fire safety in general over the past few years. The association added that making older buildings more resilient in the event of a fire was a more cost-effective process than people may have realised. 

“People think it is expensive, but when they complete the project and see that they actually have the opportunity to survive a fire, I think most people think it is well-spent money,” Anders Leisner, head of the legal department at the association, told TV2. 

However, Leisner said that it can be challenging to motivate associations to spend money on fire safety if they haven’t been ordered to do so. 

“They are subject to several costly requirements, such as replacing front doors and plastering the basement and attic. It can reach millions of kroner, especially in apartment buildings with a small size,” the lawyer said. 

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