Life Update: Water Damage, Buying an Apartment, and More

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A life update: we had water damage in the apartment, so we needed to move out as soon as possible (within two days after we found out). My insurance provided an apartment in the meantime, then we finally decided to buy an apartment instead.

Almost a month in our first home (we’re officially homeowners*, yay!), and we finally returned the keys to the previous apartments! Moving to another apartment is exhausting and usually takes time to pack and unpack. But, what if I tell you we moved between three apartments within the past two months?

*technically, we have the bostadsrätt which means we bought a share in the apartment and the right to live in the apartment indefinitely.

It only happened during the end of 2020 and January 2021, but it felt like more than a few months have passed. I spent all my energy on these apartments.

Life Update: Water Damage, Buying an Apartment, and More 1

I decided to share this life update with you, and I also wanted to write this for when I look back on these events! The situation was totally unexpected and also cost us a lot of money. But, at the end of the day, we are happy with the situation we are in now after all the happenings.

Before finding out about the water damage in the apartment

It was Sunday, November 30, when we cleaned the apartment, and I asked Miguel to mop the floor. He did, and we both thought it was just the typical cleaning day.

Then, the next day, I noticed that the floor was quite wet, and I thought Miguel used too much water (correlation is not causation). I had no idea that the worse is yet to come, so I shrugged it off, hoping it was nothing.

The apartment was built in 2017, so nobody expected the water damage that soon.

On December 1, we both felt uneasy with the current situation, so I texted my landlord and sent photos. Obviously, we didn’t think there was water damage in the apartment because we would have noticed it from the bathroom or kitchen.

But, that was not the cause! The pipe that connects from the bathroom of the apartment above was the one that was damaged.

That same day, my employer announced the second wave of redundancy for the year, so I was stressed out. The landlord, janitor, and plumber came to check the apartment. They confirmed that there is water damage and we might have to move out that night because they need to turn off the water. That’s too much bad news in a day.

Life Update: Water Damage, Buying an Apartment, and More 2

There was a carpet in that area so we never noticed any changes until it was visible near the bedroom.

Who is responsible for water damage in apartment?

In Sweden, both the landlord and tenants are supposed to get home insurance. The landlord’s home insurance covers the apartment itself, and the tenants’ home insurance covers their belongings.

When we reported the water damage to our landlord, she immediately called her home insurance to get more information on the next steps.

As for us, the tenants of the apartment, our home insurance arranged a temporary home for us. If our belongings were damaged, our insurance will also cover that.

Making arrangements with my landlord, insurance, and moving out

This was still all happening on December 1. My landlord obviously wasn’t happy with what happened to her apartment, and I also felt sorry for not finding the water damage sooner! But, given that situation, I am thankful that we both took it well and calmly talked about the next steps instead.

My landlord tried to arrange a temporary place for us, but we found out that I should be talking to my home insurance instead. Luckily, I have one!

I am with Hedvig for only a year and pay around 149kr per month. I never claimed anything from my home insurance and never experienced water damage in an apartment, so I have zero ideas on what to do.

That same night, I received a call and got asked where I want to stay temporarily. It was nice to have an option, and I also requested a 2-room apartment.

Related: What I Love About Living in Sweden

I was initially told that it might only take 2 weeks to fix the damage, so I booked for 2 weeks.

The next day, someone came to check the damage, and he confirmed that they needed to remove all the floors and it will take 4 to 6 weeks to dry the floor! This is definitely not what I was expecting.

We only packed for 2 weeks, but apparently, we needed to pack everything ASAP. We are moving out that day.

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Moving to a temporary apartment

On our moving day to the temporary apartment, we had 5 luggage and 3 moving boxes! We don’t have a car, and we cannot book a bigger car ahead of time. We originally planned on going back and forth twice in case we cannot book an Uber that’s large enough to carry everything.

Fortunately, we booked someone with a bigger van, and he even told us that if we have more stuff to bring, he can wait for us to put everything in his car. It was so nice of him! He gave us his number in case we want to book with him in the future.

Side note: it was good that we met him. We had a weekend getaway after Christmas and needed a ride, so we booked him!

Nothing too fancy on the temporary apartment. It is in Solna, so it’s closer to the city, but the apartment is pretty small.

We booked until January 31, 2021, and only had to pay 1.500kr to my insurance.

Buying an apartment in Stockholm

2 days after moving into the temporary apartment, Miguel gave me an idea that maybe it is now the time to really start looking for an apartment we can buy.

I checked with a bank and got a loan promise within a minute! This loan promise shows how much we can borrow from the bank for a mortgage.

We started booking for viewings and spent most of the days looking for an apartment. We went to 1 public viewing in an apartment that is one street away from the damaged apartment.

I like the area because it is familiar already, but it is not that accessible. The grocery store is 15 minutes walk, and I have to take the bus and train to the city (not a big issue but it will be more convenient to take one transportation only!).

I liked the apartment but not to the point where I wanted to sign already. Usually, you need to bid if you want to get the apartment. But, during this apartment hunting, we did not bid at all.

That was also the first and last time we went on public viewing.

We had a private viewing for the next apartments, which is better because we can then discuss with the broker right away without other people. The good thing about having a private viewing is the broker can show you different units that are for sale.

We viewed 5 apartments in total, and this apartment is the only one that really caught my attention.

Related: Our Experience in Buying an Apartment in Stockholm

Life Update: Water Damage, Buying an Apartment, and More 4

We viewed the apartment on December 14, and both Miguel and I wanted to get the apartment already. The next day, I called the bank and told them that we wanted to sign an apartment. There’s no bidding because the apartment is new, and the seller is the building’s association itself.

The apartment was built in 2020, and nobody lived in the unit we want, so everything is brand new. The train station is only 3 minutes walk only, the same as the grocery. The building is also right in the centrum! Also, there is an accepted price already, so we decided to just go for it.

I was amazed at how fast the processes are in Sweden.

When I called the bank, they checked the details of the apartment and the broker. They told me that it might take a while for the approval and everything (the latest is the next day), but after a few hours, the mortgage loan was approved. This means we can sign the contract already!

Moving to our first home

Life Update - Water Damage, Buying an Apartment, and More

The most memorable day next to our wedding, and my most favorite part about this life update: moving into our first home!

Actually, we told the broker and the bank during the contract signing (December 15) that we want to move in on January 28. After some thought, we realized we don’t have to wait until the 28th.

Because of the Christmas holidays, I did not contact the broker and waited until January 4. I called the broker that day and told her we want to change our move-in date to January 14 instead, if possible.

Then the next day, she gave us a letter that the bank approved the change and we can move in on January 14 already! Woot woot!

Planning for everything

To be honest, it was really difficult to plan and take action on everything! It was fun, but I wouldn’t wish for it to happen again.

I know this post about my life update is getting long already, but this only covers two months! Haha!

I went on vacation starting December 21, so I can focus on planning for the apartments. We have three apartments we need to consider:

  1. The damaged apartment 
  2. The temporary apartment
  3. The apartment we bought

I would like to take everything one at a time, and we wanted to avoid going out also, because of the current situation.

To make things easier, we decided to buy everything we need for our own apartment from Ikea. I think we only went there twice. The first one was to explore the entire shop, and the second one was after we got the measurements in the apartment.

I have a list of furniture that we want, so I can just order it online.

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Here’s a timeline of my life update about the water damage, buying an apartment, and more:

December 2, 2020
We packed everything as much as we can on the damaged apartment & moving day.
December 4, 2020
We applied for a loan promise & the start of apartment hunting.
December 7 - 14, 2020
Viewing of different apartments after work.
We viewed the apartment we have on December 14!
December 15, 2020
We called the bank and our mortgage loan was approved. 
We signed the contract on the apartment! 
We also had to pay the 10% downpayment within 1 week.
December 29, 2020
We went back to the damaged apartment to pack everything that is left. We booked for a pickup from Vinden for January 4.
January 4, 2021
Vinden picked up all our stuff from the damaged apartment.
We rescheduled our move-in date from January 28 to January 14.
January 5, 2021
Visited the apartment to get the measurements and went to Ikea.
January 13, 2021
We made another booking with Vinden to pick up our stuff from the temporary apartment.
January 14, 2021
Delivery of all orders including our stuff that we stored in Vinden. 
January 30, 2021
We finally returned the keys on the damaged apartment and temporary apartment.

Aaaaaand, that’s it for my life update! We have been living in our apartment for almost one month now and we are not 100% done with the decorations, furniture, and all.

Soon I will share the photos of our apartment and check out my next post about buying an apartment in Sweden!

If you reached here, thank you for reading my very long life update post!

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  1. Just wanted to thank you Karen for writing this blog which really helped us on buying our first home. It may not be as easy as yours, but it’s definitely worth it. We can peacefully sleep at night thinking that we can live indefinitely in such a nice apartment. Thanks for all the guidance! We are forever grateful ❤️

    1. Thank you! It feels good to still not worry about finding an apartment again even though we merely bought a share in the association, which gives you the right to live in the apartment. HAHAHA.

  2. You’re not really a homeowner if you bought a bostadsrätt. You merely bought a share in the association, which gives you the right to live in the apartment.

    A lot of foreigners in Sweden do not understand this.

    1. Thank you! I have updated and added a disclaimer that buying an apartment means buying a share in the association & the right to live there. 😊

  3. And to think this all happened while the rest of us were sitting around (or locked down) dealing with COVID prevention. Good work!! Enjoy your new home!

  4. Nice! Very informative! I always enjoy reading your blogs. Helps me as well since I’m very new here in Sweden.

  5. Hi ! I’m Adel by the way 🙂 I was just surfing on the net looking for an aparment to rent here in Stockholm and I bump to your site. It is very helpful. Is it Ok to ask what site did you use to to buy an apartment?
    Hoping to hear from you. Been working here in Stockholm for 2 years 🙂

    1. Hi Adel! We found the apartment in! You can also explore for apartments for sale. Soon I will post about our detailed experience & process of buying an apartment in Stockholm 🙂

  6. Hi Ma’am Karen Roldan! It is been nice to heard some information regarding your permanent stay in Sweden. You know I’d like also to live in another country maybe because I want to experience on how to live out there. Currently, I am here in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and working as a Safety Officer in Dallah Hospital, am here for 6 years and 6 months now (I arrived here last July 2014). It took me twice only to have my yearly vacation since I came here. My wife is also with me (she is only for visit visa), I am planning to exit next year (God’s willing I’ll be 8 years next year), you know I want to see Sweden as a tourist visa (I read your itemjust only now, February 15, 2021 / Monday / 1556H) and it is VERY INTERESTING FOR ME….:=)…I am browsing which country is the best to work and live and I saw that the number 1 is SWEDEN!!!…That’s all for now, I hope I can see more of YOUR VERY INTERESTING SUBJECT MATTER ABOUT SWEDEN here. Thanks for reading my letter. By the way speaking another language like English is another advantage for all us Filipinos and Filipinos are very flexible. Thank you.

    1. Hi Denis! Thank you so much for enjoying my blog about living in Sweden! I really enjoy sharing stories about what it’s like to live here. I hope you will be able to travel soon and maybe visit Sweden also.

      It is really nice to work and live here.

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