The process, in retrospect

Over a week ago, we signed the papers to commit to purchasing an apartment closer to the center of Stockholm.  Neither Matt nor I got much work done that week.  And almost as soon as the week was over, I left for a meeting in Vienna (meat for another post sometime, I hope).

I found myself in Austria, wishing I hadn’t left so soon.  I wanted to revel a bit in the purchase and to schmooze with Matt over what we would put where in which room. I found myself moving imaginary furniture in my head at odd moments during the meeting.  Meanwhile, Matt was left to figure out how to transfer the money to the broker in time, so that the contract would remain valid!

And now I’m back, and we still don’t get to take possession until July 1! So, I guess I have a lot of time to make sense of what had happened.

Matt and I just spent a ton of money purchasing our first apartment together — and our first apartments individually as well.  It’s odd to think that the tightness of the market here made this tiny place seem like a good deal to us, or at least a good investment.

I had a moment where I wondered — Did we do this too soon?  Should we have looked around a bit longer?  No.  I’m noticing ads this week that have higher prices for seemingly equivalent places than a few weeks ago — so maybe this is not a bubble.

The economics here still confound me.  Matt says that brokers here make 3% or so. I hesitate to guess how much the photographers, house arrangers, printers and designers for the deluxe pamphlets, and all the other players involved make.  Is the market truly inflated in Stockholm? Or are prices here simply a reflection of how little housing stock is available?  I feel like there’s an investigative story here — and of course, it’s one that everyone in Stockholm has an interest in!

As I left for my trip, Matt was obsessing about interest rates for loans — when to lock in, what rate to choose — we found out, thank goodness, that we don’t have to decide on that until we pay the final down payment in June.  Now I just have to work on putting it out of my head, so I don’t obsess about furniture, space, etc.

However, I will say this:  As I was walking down Jungfrugatan yesterday toward our new apartment complex, I felt a twinge of excitement.  Here’s our new street!

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