What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
As a rule, housing is quite expensive in Norway. You can always expect that the closer to a city center you want to live, the higher rents you will pay. Outside the city center (but still reachable by metro or bus), it is much more affordable. Considering the prices for renting a place in Norway, buying property is one of the smartest things you can do if you plan to stay for a long period. It is advisable to hire a real estate agent to help you buy a home. The cost of housing in Norway is generally high for several reasons: houses are well-built and fully insulated, with heating in all rooms because of the cold climate. In addition, quality requirements are high, which means that there is little simple and inexpensive housing available.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Compared to other capitals, Oslo is a very compact city with short distances to most things in the city center. From Oslo Central Station, via Karl Johan street to the Royal Palace, it's only a 15-minute walk. Alternatively, public transport makes it easy to reach popular areas in a short time. Each area in Oslo has its distinct character.
In the center around the main street, Karl Johans gate, you’ll find discos, night clubs, bars, jazz clubs and cafés in between all the shops, shopping centers and hotels. Downtown Oslo has a little bit of everything.
Oslo’s west side has traditionally been the area for high salaries and prices, which gives the area a special atmosphere. The streets are lined with exclusive shops, bars and restaurants, and stately apartment buildings, but the area also offers cozy neighborhood cafés, small shops and big parks for lazy summer days.
Oslo east was once Oslo’s industrial- and working-class environment, but the division between Oslo east and Oslo west is no longer as distinct as it used to be. The area is blooming, and now you will find trendy bars and original shops in between cheap restaurants and traditional neighborhood cafés.
According to many globetrotters, Aker Brygge is the most attractive place in all of Northern Europe for people who want to have fun, experience something unusual and eat well. New York has its South Street Seaport, San Francisco has its Fisherman's Wharf and Oslo has its Aker Brygge.
Bygdøy is a peninsula on the western side of Oslo, and here you find several of Oslo’s most popular museums. Bygdøy is mainly a residential area, but in addition to the museums, Bygdøy is also a popular recreational area during summer.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
This depends on how long they will stay in Norway. They often rent at the beginning and then buy if they are staying for a longer period. Employers often provide expats with housing, either rented or owned.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
It is normal to pay a 3-months’ rent deposit up front when signing the contract.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Utilities are generally not included in the price of the rent; however, this will depend on the arrangements made with the landlord.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
Oslo is one the world’s most secure places. There is no neighborhood to be avoided. Nonetheless, it is recommended that a centralized alarm system be installed and high-value items, such as jewelry, be locked up (in a safe, etc.).
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current is AC 220 - 240 volts. Frequency (Hz) is 50. Electrical appliances from the UK are compatible. However, appliances from the US (110 volts/60 Hz) need step-down transformers. For most appliances from EU countries, a simple adaptor should work for everything except the heavier appliances. These may require transformers as well. Plug shape is the standard two-pinned type. Plug adapters can be bought in most electrical shops.
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
In many cases, you can rent a property for a short term and then increase or extend the period later. This will give you the opportunity to evaluate the property and the area and assess its suitability before committing to a longer rental contract. Property owners/agents are often prepared to negotiate on the rental term.
When renting a home, you are usually limited to the changes/improvements you are allowed to make. When you own a home, you can make almost any changes you want (subject to local planning restrictions). You benefit from living in the environment of your choice plus, in many cases, your improvements add to the value or saleability of your home. In addition, when renting a property, you will not benefit from any increase in the property's value.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.