Buying a new home in Finland

Buying a new home in Finland
In Finland new homes can be purchased in two ways. Either with the RS-trade system or as finished homes that are purchased in basically the same way as older homes.

Note that this guide doesn’t apply to projects where you buy or rent a lot and buy a preplanned house package or construct a house yourself.

This guide is about buying a new home from a ground up constructor like Sajucon.
Two forms of sales for new homes
In terms of the amount of new homes sold, the RS-system is the more common one in Finland and also the more likely option when you buy a home from Sajucon. RS-system is in Finnish called RS-kauppa and the name comes from Finnish words “Rahoituslaitoksen Suosittelema”, loosely translated to “recommended by financing institutions”.

The RS-system is very common in volume because it is basically always used when new apartment blocks are built. But the system can also apply to rowhouses, duplexes or single family homes that are built on the same lot and thus form a housing co-operative.

A housing co-operative is a Finnish way of organizing finances, responsibilities and rules when many homes share the same estate.
How buying a RS-project works
When buying a home with the RS-system you commit to buying a new home just before its construction starts or when the construction has just begun. You’ll be paying the sales price in parts at the same time as the construction progresses.

At this point you don’t yet have pay away the share of the housing collective loan that your home has. This protects your rights as a buyer, in the sense that you don’t have to put down so much money before the construction is complete.
RS-project buyers also have other forms on protection, and you can read more about them here:

In RS-system you start by booking your upcoming home and paying the booking fee, usually 500 euros. The booking fee is completely and quickly refunded if you choose to not buy the home or simply want to cancel your booking. If you purchase the home the booking fee will be deducted from the final price.

When at least half or more of the homes in a certain RS-project are booked, we get the ability to close the deals on the homes and sign the paperwork. At this point you can lock in the purchase of your new home.

The next step is to make the interior design choices. You have the ability to make certain choices to kitchen, floors, and bathroom. Floor tiles and wooden or vinyl floors usually have some color options, if the availabilities of materials allows it.

In kitchen you can choose the style of worktops and the style of all the doors. We usually have chosen three options for you that represent different styles. Our interior decoration brochure that you can look at before deciding the purchase of the home presents all the options we have preselected.

Changes to your home that are not in the brochure will cost extra. You will have a contact to one of our project coordinators who will help you to make the choices and help you with any questions you may have.

After the choices are locked in the construction of your new home moves forward and you will pay the sales price of the home in parts as construction progresses.
Paying your new home that is in a housing co-operative
In Finland many new homes built by real estate developers are part of housing co-operative (asunto-osakeyhtiö). It is a Finnish way of organizing the shared costs and responsibilities and making rules when living in apartment building, rowhouse, detached house or separate houses that are built on the same property.

When new homes are built to be part of a co-operative their price consists of two parts: The sales price and their share of the debt that housing unit company has occurred while building your home. The latter is usually referred to as the “debt-share”. Homes sold in the RS-system are always a part of a housing co-operative.

The fact that the price is split into two means that in order to get a morgage for a home you only need to have the cash payment for (usually) 10 % of the sales price. The precentage will of course depend on your loan negotiations with your bank.

You can take a mortgage to the entire price and pay the debt share off at the same time as well, or you can pay it to the housing co-operative in mortgage like payments monthly and the co-operative then pays its loan to the bank.

You technically then own shares in the housing unit company, that then means you control your home. In practice it’s not as much different from being totally on your own as it may first seem.

You can read more about how that works here:

The text linked above is about apartments and that is the simplest way to understand it. This is easiest to understand when thinking about an apartment building where apartments are owned individually and thus the housing co-operative forms a framework to organize the upkeep of shared spaces and yard areas, and for making the rules that residents must follow.

But besides apartment buildings the same system is applied other types of homes. When it comes to Sajucon most of the projects that have three or more homes on the same property form a housing co-operative. Obviously in case the housing co-operative is formed of let’s say four single family homes it won’t be as involved as it is in a bigger apartment building.
Buying a complete or close to complete home
Sajucon also sells some of its projects as regular separate homes that are considered real estate. With these items the process is very similar to buying an older house or an apartment. But instead of buying the home from an individual, who likely is represented by a real estate agent, you are buying it from Sajucon.

When we sell homes that are considered real estate we make sure our salesperson has the legal permit to sell real estate.

In these cases the home is sold as is and the process of buying it is more traditional. Sajucon is selling the home and any interested buyer is free to make an offer on it. We of course have set prices to the homes, but in these cases offers are allowed just like when buying an older home from someone.

When paying for this type of home the price is the price of the home and that needs to be paid off, most likely by taking a mortgage. The lot may be a seperate purchase, that can be paid off at the same time as the home. There is more info on the optional rented lot in the next chapter.

It’s good to keep in mind that theese homes are sold as is so if you wish to make changes to your home, that are best done during construction, you should look for projects that are sold within the RS-system
Renting or owning your lot
Most homes from Sajucon are built on rented lots with the option to purchase the lot to yourself. This means that you have the option to either pay with cash or include into your morgage the price of the lot, or just purchase the house and pay rent from the lot monthly.

The lot can be purchased when buing the house, 6 months after the house was complete and after that the purchase can be done once a year on a preset date.

This gives you more flexibility on how you want to finance your home and how much down payments you need right away. We have some customers who rent the lot for a year or two and then buy it out. After the purchase you naturally wont be paying rent anymore.

The price of the lot and the rent are both visible in the price listing.