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READER QUESTION: What are the rules for buying a holiday home in Norway? 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
READER QUESTION: What are the rules for buying a holiday home in Norway? 
Here's what you need to know if you wish to purchase a Norwegian holiday home. Pictured is a Norwegian mountain cabin. Photo by Hasse Lossius on Unsplash

If you've considered buying a weekend, summer or winter retreat in Norway, there are several things to consider as a resident and someone who only lives in the country part-time. 

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Question: We currently do not live in Norway but are thinking of buying a holiday home in Norway. What are the rules? 

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Many dream of relocating to Norway or having a summer retreat due to the stunning scenery offered in rural parts of the country. 

Norway's property market isn't heavily regulated, so foreign citizens living in Norway and those living abroad can freely purchase housing or property in Norway. 

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Loans and mortgages on property are only typically given to those who live in the country, have a personal number (Norwegian social security number) and typically have a form of income or employment in Norway. Some banks may ask for a higher deposit from foreign residents than from Norwegian citizens

Therefore, you will either need to have the money to purchase a property outright or, alternatively, obtain financing in the country you live in. There are a number of differences between buying a home as a resident and a non-resident that you will need to be aware of. 

As a resident 

Buying a holiday home in Norway, be that a rural retreat or a weekend cabin follows much of the process of buying a regular home, just with a few added twists. 

If you aren't buying outright, you will need to obtain financing from a Norwegian lender. One of the main things to be aware of is whether the property has residency requirements. Houses in popular tourist areas will typically retain a certain percentage of the housing stock for full-time residents.

This is to prevent holiday homeowners from pricing out the locals. Therefore, when buying a holiday home as a resident (or non-resident), it's worth ensuring you can use it as a leisure property. Leisure properties in areas with a residence requirement tend to come with a hefty premium. 

There are also special rules for agricultural properties that require the land to be farmed. The property can also be taken back by someone else through the "birthright" laws. 

You must pay property tax to the municipality, and the holiday home will also count towards any wealth tax calculations. Your holiday home will not be eligible for any government energy support. 

While cutting off the water and electricity when you aren't using the home will be appealing to you, this can cause very costly damage to the property that insurance won't cover. 

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As a non-resident

As mentioned before, you must ensure that the property doesn't come with an obligation to live there. More importantly, you will need to be aware that owning a home doesn't grant you any residence rights. Therefore, you must ensure you can visit Norway legally to enjoy your home. 

If you don't need a visa to visit Norway, it will be a case of making sure you stay within your limit; if a visa is required, you must apply each time you wish to visit the home. Should you decide to rent out the property while you aren't using it, you may be subject to taxes. 

That should cover the rules. The actual buying of the home may prove trickier in terms of finding an agent willing to deal with a foreign buyer. 

Even though there is little regulation, purchasing a home without ties to Norway may prove to be a logistical nightmare as the bidding round for properties typically requires a Norwegian electronic ID, and all the contracts and paperwork will be in Norwegian.

Furthermore, agents and sellers will probably ask you to go through several checks to ensure that the property purchase isn't a form of money laundering. This may require submitting paperwork to prove where your wealth comes from. 

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