Buying overseas real estate

Guide to Buying a Second Home in Lapland

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by Lewis Balham


The pursuit of a serene escape amidst the soft, white blankets of snow and the enchanting aurora borealis has consistently drawn the gaze of those seeking a haven away from the buzz of city life. As the whisper of pine trees in the wintery air of Lapland becomes the siren’s call for tranquillity, the allure of buying a second home in Lapland captivates many who dream of a personal retreat in the placid arctic realms.

In the heart of Scandinavia’s winter wonderland, areas like Lappeenranta, Rovaniemi, and Levi stand out as the best parts of Lapland for holiday homes, offering not only picturesque landscapes but also the comfort of modern amenities. It’s a landscape where log cabins with smoke lazily rising from chimney tops paint the perfect postcard for what many would idealise as a holiday home—a vista that could soon become the view from one’s very own window in Lapland.

Enthusiasts of leisure and culture entertain thoughts of buying a holiday home in Lapland, a venture that folds together the charm of rural life with the sophistication of Finnish design. Highly-regarded for its robust infrastructure, Finland rewards the astute investor with potential tax credits for renovation, not to mention an opportunity to become part of a community where life pulses in harmony with nature’s own rhythm.

Those enamoured by the quaint towns, the alpine sports, and the silent nights lit by stars will find in these pages a gateway to making that dream a vivid reality. Discover the joy of owning a piece of this ethereal landscape as we delve into the essentials of securing a magical nook in Lapland’s vast and welcoming embrace.

Understanding the Finnish Property Landscape

Delving into the Finnish housing market can be a fascinating endeavour, especially when considering the allure of owning a home amidst the serene beauty of Lapland. For those pondering buying a house in Lapland as a foreigner, insight into the local property dynamics is paramount. The year 2023 brings with it a shift in Lapland property price trends, impacting second home buying tips essential for prospective owners.

Traditionally, purchasing an apartment in Finland is synonymous with acquiring shares in a housing company, a concept that may be unfamiliar to newcomers. Thorough examination of monthly charges is crucial, as they may or may not cover utilities like hot water. Conversely, buying a standalone house in Lapland translates to direct responsibility for its upkeep and periodic renovations. A prudent step for potential owners is to familiarise themselves with the intricacies of Finnish property terms such as ‘myyntihinta’ and ‘hoitovastike’.

Possession models such as part-ownership or right-of-occupancy apartments provide distinctive alternatives, each with varying legal and financial implications. These alternatives cater to diverse needs and investment strategies, whether it’s for those seeking a vacation escapade or a lucrative rental asset. Understanding your rights and obligations under each model is fundamental in making an informed decision aligned with one’s investment horizon.

In line with the latest market trends, we observe a nuanced lattice of price oscillations across Lapland, which has implications for both the liquidity of investments and the long-term value appreciation of properties purchased in this region. The following table illustrates the current scenario regarding property prices and related expenses:

Lapland Location Average Property Price (€) Monthly Fee (€) Year on Year Price Trend
Rovaniemi 200,000 150 ↗ 3%
Lappeenranta 150,000 120 ↗ 2%
Levi 250,000 200 ↘ 1%
Ylläs 180,000 170 ↗ 4%
Saariselkä 220,000 160 ↘ 0.5%

For those envisioning a second home amidst the snowy peaks and northern lights, such investment insights are invaluable. Lapland’s frost-framed vistas offer more than just aesthetic splendour; they promise a sanctuary where one can escape the frenetic pace of urban life. The advice we glean from the region’s price trends and buying modalities may very well shape the investment choices made today, bearing fruit in the form of treasured retreats for years to come.

Lapland Property Insights

Advantages of Buying a Second Home in Lapland

When considering the acquisition of a holiday home, the enchanting region of Lapland presents a compelling case for investment. Delving into the heart of the matter, buying a holiday home in Lapland provides an array of benefits that extend far beyond the simple luxury of ownership. This decision affords investors a personal sanctuary amidst the pristine Nordic wilderness, augmented by the convenience of modern amenities.

Cozy holiday home in Lapland

Notably, properties in the well-appointed ski resorts such as Levi and Ylläs offer year-round services, catering impeccably to the whims of every season. These amenities make such locations highly desirable for both leisure and rental prospects. Assimilating the pros and cons of buying a vacation home versus short-term renting in Lapland, owners relish the consistency and certainty of a personal abode, juxtaposed with the fluctuating availability and impersonal nature of rental properties.

  1. Retreat into Nature: A home in Lapland serves as a perfect haven for relaxation, surrounded by the tranquility of dense forests and the majesty of the Northern Lights.
  2. Year-Round Conveniences: Accessibility to services, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, underpins the year-round appeal of owning over renting.
  3. Personalised Touch: Ownership allows for customised alterations and a personal touch, converting a house into a ‘home’ reflective of one’s taste.
  4. Rental Potential: With Lapland’s magnetic allure to tourists, owning a property can translate into a lucrative source of rental income during peak seasons.

Additionally, Lapland’s flourishing tourism industry bolsters job opportunities, thereby enriching the local economy, which in turn, benefits home values and potentials for appreciation. Furthermore, the advent of modular apartments caters to the emergent demand from seasonal workers and those seeking temporary accommodations, diversifying the region’s housing portfolio. Consequently, the decision to purchase a holiday home in Lapland hinges on a multifaceted spectrum of factors, each worthy of meticulous pondering to ensure alignment with personal objectives and lifestyle predilections.

Steps to Buying a Second Home in Lapland

Embarking on the journey of buying a house in Lapland as a foreigner may seem daunting, but equipped with the right information and resources, you can navigate the process with confidence. To ensure a smooth experience, consider these essential second home buying tips tailored for those eyeing the enchanting regions of Finnish Lapland.

  1. Begin your search on renowned online property platforms like and, which serve as a gateway to a vast array of available homes and estates in the region.
  2. Don’t underestimate the power of local insight. Engage local estate agents who are well-versed in the area’s property nuances and can offer invaluable support and guidance.
  3. Utilise the reach of social media and the community’s word-of-mouth to uncover listings that may not be widely advertised.

Consider aspects of location that significantly impact your lifestyle and home use:

  • If services and amenities are a top priority, exploring bustling areas known for their amenities should be your starting point.
  • For those seeking peace and solitude, regions like Inari, though with less accommodation availability, offer unparalleled tranquillity.

In tandem with your search, it’s crucial to:

  1. Discuss with potential employers about possibilities for staff accommodation, especially during high season periods.
  2. Consult local municipal offices to gain clarity on housing permits and land ownership regulations, integral for compliance with Finnish property law.

A fulsome understanding of Finnish property-buying customs and a strategic approach to house-hunting can culminate in the successful purchase of your dream home in Lapland. Below we outline a comparison of the considerations necessary in areas that are both service-rich and those offering seclusion:

Consideration Service-Rich Areas Secluded Regions
Property Availability Higher due to development Lower, may require patience
Amenities and Services Abundant and convenient Limited, self-sufficiency important
Accessibility Typically easier, well-connected May be remote, require careful planning
Tranquillity Varies, often lively atmosphere Peaceful, close to nature
Potential for Rental High due to tourist demand Seasonal or niche market

With these strategies and considerations in mind, finding and purchasing a second home in Lapland can be both an exciting and fulfilling venture. Be sure to take the time to research, reflect on your needs and expectations, and engage with professionals, ensuring a home that not only meets but surpasses your aspirations.

Buying a Second Home in Lapland Guide

Costs Involved in Purchasing a Holiday Home in Lapland

When delving into the exciting process of securing a holiday home in the enchanting region of Lapland, understanding the financial obligations beyond the listing price is essential. The year 2023 has brought forth distinctive Lapland property price trends that potential investors must consider. In addition to these trends, the bureaucracy taxes and fees when buying a second home in Lapland form a substantial part of the overall expense. Let us examine the primary cost considerations that every prospective buyer should take into account.

Lapland property price trends 2023

Transfer taxes are a significant component of the purchasing costs. For buyers aiming at real property, like a detached house or land, the tax rate imposed is different from that for shares in housing companies, often associated with apartment purchases. Current property price trends reveal fluctuations and opportunities within this market, yet these trends must be reconciled with ongoing liabilities, such as maintenance and service charges—referred to locally as hoitovastike—which cover expenses like cleaning, snow clearance, and upkeep of common areas.

Cost Category Description Estimated Cost (% of Purchase Price)
Transfer Tax (Real Property) Tax paid on the acquisition of real property. 4%
Transfer Tax (Housing Company Shares) Tax paid when purchasing shares in a housing company. 2%
Maintenance Costs Ongoing expenses for the upkeep of the property. Variable
Service Charges (Hoitovastike) Monthly fees for services provided by the housing company. Variable
Utilities Electrical, water, and heating expenses, heightened by arctic conditions. Variable

To navigate the complexities of these expenditures, resources such as the Finnish Tax Administration’s guidelines are invaluable. They provide clarity and detail on how transfer taxes are calculated and applied, a fundamental aspect to consider when budgeting for your Lapland sojourn. Prospective buyers should also anticipate costs typically unique to arctic living, inclusive of snow removal and enhanced heating needs, to ensure their venture into this wintry paradise remains a joyous and financially sound endeavour.

Buying a House in Lapland as a Foreigner

For individuals seeking a picturesque retreat in the winter utopia of Lapland, the allure of owning a holiday home can be strong. However, if you’re an international buyer, the Finnish property acquisition process presents additional layers of bureaucracy, particularly for non-EU and EEA nationals. Delving into this requires one to acquire a special permit from Finland’s Ministry of Defence, which is a prerequisite for the purchase of real estate by foreigners. On the contrary, those investing in shares of a housing company are relieved of this requirement, simplifying the acquisition for many.

With an emphasis on ensuring regulatory compliance, engaging with a well-versed estate agent becomes invaluable. They can provide step-by-step assistance, decoding the bureaucratic taxes and fees when buying a second home in Lapland. Knowledge about potential financial obligations, such as transfer taxes, and understanding the nuances of home loan interest deductions, is paramount for a smooth transaction. Special note should be taken regarding possible concessions available to first-time buyers which could significantly affect overall investment costs.

Proactive planning is essential, and it must include familiarising oneself with the local legal structures and financial mechanisms. For non-residents, securing a Finnish Personal Identity Code is a crucial step for establishing utility contracts and integrating into the Finnish system. This meticulous approach to buying a house in Lapland as a foreigner will ensure that you can enjoy your serene slice of Lapland without the stress of unforeseen regulatory complications.

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Lewis Balham
Lewis, the sage of international relocation, brings a world of experience to his readers, having laid his hat in numerous countries before specializing in guiding souls to the UK. His articles on are a beacon for those looking to navigate the complexities of moving abroad. With a particular focus on the UK, yet rich with tales and tips from his global escapades, Lewis’s writing illuminates the path for expats venturing towards new horizons, making him an invaluable compass in the realm of international relocation.
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