Moving to Norway For Members

Is it worth trying to secure a home before being granted residence in Norway?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Is it worth trying to secure a home before being granted residence in Norway?
Is it worth trying to find a place to live before your residence has already been granted? Pictured is a housing block in Oslo. Photo by Artur Alexander Holmski on Unsplash

When moving to Norway, you’ll want to hit the ground running and tick some of the biggest boxes off your checklist ahead of moving. So, will trying to get on the property ladder or securing a let be worth the legwork?

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Finding a place to live when moving to another country is one of the most important aspects of actually making the move.

Furthermore, finding suitable accommodation in a location you like is crucial to your chances of making the most of the move, because if you don’t like where you live, you’ll likely find it impossible to settle.

Many like to fix as much as possible ahead of time. Trying to get ahead of the game and securing a place to live is a smart way to try and check one of the biggest boxes off your to-do list.

Finding a place to rent

This will be much more straightforward than buying. If you’ve previously lived in Norway or have a Norwegian partner, this will also be relatively straightforward.

Firstly, it means one, or both, of you will have a national identity number and an electronic ID, like BankID. This will make signing paperwork and using some of Norway’s most popular rental platforms possible.

Secondly, having some Norwegian language skills means you will likely have more chance of hearing back from a landlord. In a survey among our readers, many revealed they were ignored when sending messages in English.

Finding a place will be harder if you don’t meet these criteria. Being unable to fill out paperwork on the most popular rental platforms will make things much harder.

Still, there are ways around this. Firstly, if you are moving to Norway for work reasons, your company may set you up with an apartment for the first few weeks and months of the move and generally help you relocate.


If not, there are relocation services that will help you find a place to rent in Norway. However, these services charge fees and will add to your relocation costs.

READ ALSO: Five common rental scams in Norway and how to avoid them

Buying a home

Non-residents can indeed buy a home in Norway. However, the process of doing so is actually quite difficult.

Getting a mortgage while not being a resident in Norway is almost impossible, although if you are relocating with a Norwegian partner, this might be easier.

Then you’ll need a lawyer or estate agent to represent you in the process and help you work around the fact that you likely won’t have the required paperwork to put in house bids via the traditional avenues.

Using such services pushes up the price of purchasing property, and in the short term, it might not work out as beneficial as just finding a short-term rental when you first arrive in the country.

READ MORE: Can non-residents buy property in Norway?


Are there any risks to trying to find a place before being granted residence?

The most obvious risk is if your residence isn’t granted. This means you’ll be stuck with significant costs for a home you don’t have the right to live in.

Then there are the extra expenses involved with using lawyers or a relocation service to help find you a home. This may end up being an expense that isn’t worth the convenience. Although, if you have children, perhaps having housing sorted when you arrive is worth the outlay.

If you are not located in Norway while waiting for your residence to go through, there are several risks. If you aren’t there in person, you can’t get a feel for the surrounding area and whether or not you like the area.


You may also notice things about the property you may not like or issues that weren’t fully disclosed before you moved in.

If you can’t physically go to the property viewing, there is always the chance that someone could be scamming you, but a relocation service should help eliminate this risk.

When arranging housing before being granted residence, you should also be wary of trying not to rush into something just to feel on top of things. Like many things in life, it might be best to exercise caution.

What’s the best solution?

Trying to buy a home outright before being granted residence is probably not the best solution.

For workers being posted to Norway, a relocation company hired on behalf of your firm should take care of the most stressful aspects of finding a home.

In many cases, they will find temporary accommodation before assisting with a permanent solution. If you are in a position to make the most of this opportunity, then it’s a no-brainer.

If you can’t have a relocation service sort the worst logistics for you, then it may be worth focusing on a short-term solution. This will give you the chance to gather everything you need for something more permanent down the line.

There are plenty of sites that advertise solely short-term lets of between one to six months, such as Hybel or Finn. However, the issue with this option is the same as that of other solutions, as you may need the required documentation and digital access to fill out the paperwork.


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