Investors are slowly waking up to Finland as a destination for holiday & second homes. In country famous for skiing and outdoor pursuits, it’s no wonder then that log cabins and chalets are proving just as popular with investors as more conventional types of property. What ever property you decide to purchase whether it is a normal property built of bricks and mortar or even a timber chalet or log cabin, the good news is that holiday or second home insurance can now be purchased from the United Kingdom and should offer a wide range of insurance perils. Flooding in Finland is an environmental issue although it is lucky in that it experiences far less insurance damage caused by this peril than some of it’s European neighbours. When buying insurance, always check the range of perils on offer to make sure that flooding will be included. If you have purchased a property in Finland for investment purposes, it may be your intention to rent the property in between your own private usage. If this is the case, you will need to make sure that any insurance policy you buy includes the correct form of liability cover. The easiest way to ensure this is to discuss the matter with the insurance company and tell them your full plans for the use of the building. The rules and regulations relating to letting property do vary from country to country and thus is thus important to discuss with your solicitor any legislation that you need to be aware of before renting your property to tenants. Local knowledge is essential with regard to this as often, the laws will vary from area to area.
Why Buy a Holiday Home in Finland? – Finland is a country with a population on excess of 45 million people. It’s official title is the Republic of Finland, it is known as a Nordic country and is located in Northern Europe sharing borders with Sweden in the West, Russia to the east. The climate is characterised by cold winters and warm summers but temperatures in winter are improved by the influence of the Baltic Sea and west winds from the Atlantic warmed by the Gulf Stream. In the far north, beyond the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set for about 73 days, producing the midnight sun of summer. In the same region, during the dark winter period, the sun remains below the horizon for 51 days, creating the polar night known in Finland as ‘Kaamos’.
The capital city and perhaps the centre of interest for property investors is Helsinki. Helsinki is home to as much as 20% of the population and as many as three hundred thousand occupy rental property, Half of these occupy state controlled social housing. The lively and diverse capital is located partly on the mainland, and partly on an archipelago of islands in the Baltic Sea, Finland’s picturesque and low rise capital city has many influences notably from nearby Sweden & Russia. Most of the properties have been built within the last 60 years, nothing much older than this remains as a result of extensive war time bombing. The main city centre surrounds the harbour, Etelesatama and the market square, as mentioned above, this is a low rise city, there are very few tall buildings and this makes the capital seem very un city like.
Finland scores highly on the best places in the world to live, it has excellent services, low levels of crime and corruption and residents enjoy excellent standards of living and health care. Although Finland is the sixth largest country in the European Union, it’s is the most sparsely populated. There is a strong demand for rental property in Finland, particularly in eastern regions and the northern Lapland region. In particular tourism from Russia has accounted for a large upsurge in the demand for rental property and this seems set to continue in the coming years. Of course most people realise that Finland is the home to Santa and this has a large effect on the economy of the country, visiting Santa is a hugely popular industry and can lead to a large demand for accommodation during the months of December and March, which is also a popular time with other overseas visitors hoping to see the Northern Lights. There is also an important holiday let market to Finnish people themselves, they tend to take a break between March and October. For people hoping to visit Finland from the United Kingdom, this is now possible easily and cheaply, as well as the Santa charter flights, Ryanair now offer budget flights to Finland.
How to Buy a Holiday Home in Finland – The process of buying property in Finland is now much easier, In 2000 the government removed the requirement that a non-resident must obtain a permit to buy a secondary residential property. However, overseas investors are restricted from acquiring property in the Province of Aland (Ahvenanmaa), an archipelago. You can apply to the authorities for permission and this will be given due consideration. The sales process is quite straight forward an can usually be completed very quickly. Charges are very low but as with all other countries, finding good quality legal advice is essential. Once you have located the property you require and have agreed the price, your solicitor or accountant can advise you on the best method of purchase, this can be either on a individual basis or via a limited company. Once this has been done, a contract of sale is drawn up by the estate agent and the details will of course be checked by your own independent solicitor, both parties can sign the documents. On completion, the documents are notarised and the official ownership documents are signed over to the buyer and all outstanding fees are paid.