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Five tips to help homeowners in Norway slash costs and save cash 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Five tips to help homeowners in Norway slash costs and save cash 
There are a number of ways to cut the cost of owning a home in Norway. Pictured is the Norwegian city of Ålesund in western Norway. Photo by Jonathan Hunt on Unsplash

The cost of being a homeowner in Norway has risen significantly over the past couple of years. But there are still some ways you can cut costs to keep things cheap. 

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Being a homeowner is a lot more expensive than saving up for a deposit and then paying your mortgage monthly.

Between the property taxes, municipal fees, and insurance, there are a number of hidden, additional costs which can add up. All of that is without the expense of rising interest rates. 

Recent figures show the average cost of being a homeowner in Norway is 180,000 kroner per year. Thankfully, there are several ways you can try and reduce these costs. 

READ ALSO: Where are the most expensive places to own a home in Norway?

Municipal fees

Municipal fees are comprised of water, sewage, and road and street sweeping fees. These are estimated to cost residents of Norway around 15,000 to 17,500 kroner each year, which is a significant chunk of money.

In many countries, it may be typical to have a separate water provider from the local authority, many have meters fitted so providers can send bills. 

However, many homes in Norway don’t have a water meter fitted. If you don’t have a water meter fitted, then the municipality will estimate your consumption based on the size of your home. 

If you get a water meter fitted, you will instead get a more accurate measurement, meaning a fairer bill. This also means that homes which are efficient with water will see their bills cut. 

Insurance

When it comes to getting a better deal on your insurance, the best thing you can do is to be an active customer. 

Your first port of call should be to contact your insurance company and see if they can offer a better deal. Many point to threatening to cancel your policy as an effective negotiating tactic. 

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Shopping around and seeing what is available out there is also suggested. There are a number of comparison providers in Norway which help you gather quotes, which could save you a couple of thousand kroner a year. 

Norway’s Consumer Council has a comparison service for home insurance

Energy 

Much like insurance, shopping around is recommended. The thing that makes comparison deals hard is that most people sign up for spot price agreements. The spot price is the current market energy price. 

However, energy firms charge different service fees, so you’ll need to pick a provider offering lower service fees to reduce your overall energy bill. 

Investing in energy-efficient measures such as heat pumps, better windows, and more can help bring down costs in the long term. Some of these home improvements can take years to pay for themselves, though. 

Maintenance 

Keeping a home maintained costs homeowners around 36,535 kroner on average. Being on top of maintenance can save you money, as oftentimes it can prevent minor issues from snowballing into major problems. 

Therefore, while you may think about putting off any projects, it could cost you a lot more in the long run. 

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Interest rates 

One of the first steps is going to your existing provider and negotiating a better deal with them. Ideally, getting the best interest rate on a mortgage starts before you sign the dotted line. 

Shopping around for offers from different banks means you will get more of a picture of the kind of interest you should be paying rather than accepting the first offer you receive. In some cases, banks can run a credit check to see what offers you are eligible for. Having too many credit checks in a short amount of time can negatively affect your credit score, though. A lower score will also impact the offers you receive.

Going to your bank with a better offer and asking them to match it could be one way to do things. Getting a better deal can be as simple as using the chatbot in the mobile banking app, though. 

Should your interest rate be up for renewal, negotiate a lower rate rather than let it automatically renew. 

You often will not need to change banks to change mortgage or loan providers.

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