Ehm... So... Hi. It's been a while. Almost half a year by my count. So sorry to have kept any of you waiting.
So, I'm not quite dead. I'm back, actually. I've been trying to get back into writing, but it's been tough. These last couple of months have been trying. One could say that almost everything in my life has changed. Well, almost everything, I'm stil using the same crappy computer. So, what have I been up to? Let me give you the short version:
A long time ago
Me and my fiancée decided that we'd take turns studying and working. First, she'd do her three and a half years while I work, then I would do mine. Those three and a half years passed this Christmas and she graduated in January. While we were at it, we wanted to move as well. Living in a 24 square meter apartment was slowly but surely killing us. Another issue was my level of stress. Working long hours in a hectic city had taken its toll on my mind and I was developing some serious anxiety-issues. So, we figured that we would move away from Stockholm to somewhere a bit calmer. Somewhere a bit closer to nature. To add to this is the fact that Sweden is going through a historic housing-bubble (historic in our small measurements in our small nation). Demand is at an all time high and supply, well supply really doesn't exist. So it made sense to move away from Stockholm, since it is at the epicenter of this bubble. We'd be able to move into a bigger place for way less money. Now that we had the plan worked out, we just had to make it so.
We had made our minds up, we wanted to move to Sundsvall. It's a small town in the northern part of Sweden (well, the middle part, really). We liked the city, we had friends there and we had visited it multiple times. As luck would have it, demand for social workers are at an all time high. So, in October, before my fiancées studies were even done, she had not one, but three job offers in Sundsvall. So, now that an income was secured, we had to find a place to live. As I said earlier, there's a housing bubble working its way through Sweden currently, so finding apartments was tough. While the prices in smaller cities are in another league compared to Stockholm, supply is still short. Months went by with us searching and bidding without finding anything. The two big issues were location and price. Either a place was too far out in the sticks, or the price skyrocketed too much during the bidding. We contacted my fiancées future boss and asked her to pull some strings so we could get a small rental for a while. Still, nothing. The best we could hope for was a small two roomer on an island a couple of (Swedish) miles* outside of town. It looked pretty grim for a while, until a friend of ours came through.
She had found out through facebook, of all things, that a neighboring couple were selling their place. They didn't want to get a realtor involved, so they were selling it privately. To add to that, they were selling it on a website that wasn't well known for houses (the site is trying to get into real-estate, but is mostly focused on people selling used stuff privately). It was a gamble, and we were desperate. We phoned the couple and set a viewing date. Since the city we're moving to is roughly 380 km away, we had to send our friend. Word came back to us after the showing, the place looked nice. So we decided to go with the gamble. We phoned back and asked, straight out, what they were hoping to make on the place. They gave us a number, and we offered that number. The day after, they accepted.
Now, we were happy, housing might work out, but this was a gamble. Not involving a realtor, and not using any of the regular sites meant that this could be a ruse. We could be throwing some serious money into the sea. The people who were selling the place might just take it all and disappear. These were all things that were possibilities, so you can guess that I didn't sleep much sounder after getting the news.
Januray and February
We went up to Sundsvall in January to look at the apartment and sign the contract. This would be the first time we would see the place we were buying, and our first encounter with the sellers. So, with ice in our stomachs, we collected the down-payment and went up.
Turns out, the place was nice, really nice in fact. It's a three room apartment, at about 83 square meters. There's no obvious damage, the place was well kept and there was even heating in the bathroom floor. I was sold. Even better, turns out the people who were selling the place were really nice. They were a young couple who had just bought a house on that one island outside of town, so they needed to sell this place so they could move in. We got a tour of the place and we signed the paperwork together, using a standard contract from the housing union. Things were looking up, except for the fact that we couldn't move in until April. The problem here was that the job my fiancée got started in March. So, she would have to find accommodations for a month. So we would have to find a way.
Said way came from the same friends who found the place. They would rent out a room for my fiancée for a month. While she lived there, I would empty our old place, renovate and sell it. But that is a story for another entry.
Thanks for reading, and permit me to enjoy this moment of having finally gotten the cork out.
*A "Mile"(Mil) in Swedish is a colloquial term in Swedish that means 10 km. One kilometer (km) equals to 1000 meters. A regular mile is ~1600 meters. So, a Swedish mile (10km) is roughly 6 regular miles.