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The must-have vocab for buying a flat or house in Denmark

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The Local ([email protected])
The must-have vocab for buying a flat or house in Denmark
A house being put up for sale in Denmark. Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Buying a house in Denmark? Not sure how to read a 'salgsopstilling' or what an 'energimærke' is? Here's The Local's guide.

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The early stages

The first step of any property buying journey comes well before any money has been spent - this is the part of the journey, often before you've even decided you're moving house, where you start scouring property sites such as Boligsiden and Home to see what's out there.

First off, what is it you're looking to buy? Are you interested in a villa (detached house)? Or is a rækkehus (terraced house) what you're after? Not wild about the idea of having to look after a garden, or want to stay in the city? Then a lejlighed (apartment) is your best bet.

If you're looking for a holiday home or a summerhouse with space for growing vegetables, then you might want to look for a kolonihavehus (allotment house) or grund (plot) if you've always dreamt of building your own property exactly how you want it.

Or, have you always dreamed of buying a Danish farmhouse out in the countryside? Then you can look for a gård, with or without its own skov (forest).

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Once you've decided what kind of property you want to buy, you can narrow down your search by the asking price (kontantpris), number of rooms (rum) and the size of the living area (boligareal). You might also be interested in the number of floors (etager) or whether there’s an altan (balcony).

Other important information you are likely to see on sales listing (salgsopstilling) are the byggeår (year of construction), which also might include later years when the property was renovated. The grundareal is the overall footprint of the property including garden and other grounds. The liggetid is the amount of time it has been on the market and can be a good indication of whether you have a chance of making a successful bid under the asking price.

The energimærke or “energy marking” is an indicator of the amount of energy a building uses and is a form of guidance that can be used by potential buyers of a property.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Denmark’s housing 'energimærke'

How do I read a floor plan?

Make sure to take a look at the plantegning (floor plan) to get an idea of whether or not the property layout will work for you. Generally, Danish properties aren't referred to as "two bedroom", rather by the number of rooms, although this does not usually include the bathroom.

A one-bedroom apartment with a separate kitchen, a bathroom and no living room would therefore be an et-værelses lejlighed (one-room apartment), for example. A studio-style apartment that had a separate bedroom but a combined kitchen and living room area would be a to-værelses (two-room) with a køkken-alrum (kitchen and all multi-purpose room). This is why it can be important to look at the plantegning, to see how many of those rooms are actually bedrooms.

In Denmark, you might be able to buy a property with appliances (hvidevaer) included if you negotiate and agree this with the seller. Lights are not included though, so there will be plug sockets in the ceilings which you can plug your own lights into. So, if you're moving from abroad, make sure you buy the correct plugs in advance (or have floor lamps close to hand), so you're not left in the dark.

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What about fixtures and fittings?

You're likely to see various appliances and fittings mentioned which may need explaining. An opvaskemaskine is a dishwasher and a køleskab is a refrigerator (commonly also fridge-freezer), while fryser is freezer and kummefryser is a chest or deep freezer. The komfur is the oven.

A garderobe, is a wardrobe and you might see the loaned expression walk-in to mean a walk-in closet. Vaskemasine is a washing machine and tørretumbler tumble dryer.

These various elements are often represented on plantegninger by small icons, like a snowflake for the refrigerator or four circles inside a square for the oven.

When you've found a property you think could be interesting, see if there are any åbent-hus visninger (open house viewings) coming up. You might need to tilmelde dig (sign up) for these with the ejendomsmægler (estate agent) in charge of selling the property.

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Making a bid

If you're seriously considering buying a property in the near future, it may be a good idea to contact one (or multiple) banks to discuss a boliglån or mortgage.

If you receive approval from the bank to take out a mortgage with them, you can get a, forhåndsgodkendelse, a lender's note before you start attending viewings. This is a non-binding mortgage approval from the bank or lending institute, based on your income, the price of the property and the monthly fees (ejerudgifter) for an apartment or terraced house, as well as the repayment (afdrag) on the loan.

Once you've found a property (ejendom) you like, and you've been to a viewing, you might find yourself thinking it's the one. You can then put in a bid (afsende et bud). Have a look at the starting price (udbudspris) for an idea on how much you should bid.

You can conduct negotiations (forhandlinger) yourself, or and advisor (rådgiver) can help you.

Once a bid has been accepted, the køber (buyer) and sælger (seller) must sign the contract (skrive under på købsaftalen). It is the seller’s estate agent who draws up the contract, and it can include things you might have negotiated such as overtagelsesdatoen - the date where the buyer will be given access to the property.

Once both sides have signed the contract, the buyer has the right to fortryde (cancel) the purchase for up to six working days. Should they decide to renege on the contract in this period, they must pay 1 percent of the price to the seller. On the other hand, the seller’s signature is binding and they cannot pull out of the deal after the contract is sealed.

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