We bought a log cabin! Five words I’ve only ever dreamt of saying (or write). But yes, we bought a log cabin!
It’s been a dream of ours to own a cabin and a house for so long, but until just a few months ago we lived in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, where log cabins are pretty much non-existent and house prices in generally are millions and millions of Swedish kronor which in USD translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In early 2020 we finally moved to the tiny mountain town Åre in northern Sweden (I have another blogpost coming out next week about our decision and move to Åre so stay tuned) and it’s been a total dream come true from the start.
Every morning for the first 3 months I would walk out onto our balcony and look out over the snowy mountains, the lake and the tiny village and instantly feel happy, I still do.
Our new rental apartment was twice as big than our old one in Stockholm and was a total dream apartment, it had slanted ceilings, a huge bedroom (our old apartment had a loft and I’d been dreaming of a real bedroom for as long as I can remember), a magical glassed in balcony that felt more like a greenhouse than a balcony, a big storage room for Henrik’s ski equipment and many bikes and a small spare room that I was planning on making into a sewing room, I even painted it light purple, the day before we found our new house. We could have lived in that apartment for years and years but with all that space came a pretty big price tag and with COVID-19 a bunch of my freelance work fell through leaving us with Henrik’s income and me burning through my savings, fast.
We had dreamed of buying a house in Åre before moving up from Stockholm but we wanted to make sure we both actually liked living here enough to buy something, plus finding something that was in our price range and that wasn’t too far from the village center proved to be a challenge.
Buying a house in the middle of a pandemic
One Monday morning I was casually scrolling through the Swedish real estate site Hemnet, if there’s something that is truly super Swedish it’s scrolling through Hemnet and knowing every property that’s for sale in your neighborhood, maybe it’s the same where you live!?
So there I was scrolling and all of a sudden I saw this house that I instantly recognized, it was a “summer” house that one of our friends’ family had owned a few years ago, Henrik had even spent a few winter breaks there. We had driven past it a few months earlier and both felt it was kind of a dream house with the big garden and it being so close to the village center, but we both guessed it would be way out of our price range if it was ever for sale, which weirdly it wasn’t. I instantly showed Henrik the listing and we called the realtor to see if we could come see the cabin before the actual viewing which wouldn’t be until 2 weeks later. This was the first week of quarantine here in Sweden so the idea of leaving your house and going to see a house felt really weird and kind of forbidden, almost shameful.
As soon as we entered the house we loved it and only a few hours after seeing it we decided we needed to buy it. We were lucky and the owners agreed to sell it to us before showing it and one week later we signed the papers. Given social distancing and the fact that the sellers lived 10 hours away, the whole purchase, loans and all had to be managed on a distance. We became pro’s at signing, copying and scanning papers and it worked way smoother than I could have imagined, I only seriously freaked out one time which was when we realized the house key had been sent by snail mail only to arrive a few minutes after the actual purchase went through, just a few hours before our house inspection was planned. Pew!
First time home owner
This is the first time I’ve ever owned any type of property. I’m of course terrified while simultaneously being so excited and filled with ideas. The idea of owning a house with a garden no less, oh yeah, I haven’t even mentioned the garden, feels like a magical dream come true.
The cabin was built by our friend’s grandparents in 1965 from the wood of two old barns and is super cozy! It has that rustic cabin look and feel to it except the kitchen and bathroom which the previous owners renovated about 1-2 years ago, which is great since we don’t have to bother with any internal renovations other than cosmetic ones. The exterior on the other hand was a different story, the whole house was tilting in various directions and it felt like a fun house in some places. Thankfully we had found this log man, Isak, on instagram that we contracted to come lift, straighten out the house and rebuild the foundation. Who knew there still was such a profession as log man!? There are some other necessary things we need/want to do too but more about them in an upcoming “boring things”-post.
I’m very excited to share this journey with you and would love to know more about you too, do you also live in a log cabin, dream of it or dread it!? Let me know in the comments and thanks so much for sharing your time with me!