My First Home

Graduated from college over 1.5 years ago, I then got married, moved abroad, and got my first job in Copenhagen. It wasn’t easy pathway, especially the waiting times in Indonesia before I finally migrated. And since I landed in Europe, things have been relatively smooth, even beyond expectation. One of this beyonds is having my own home at the age of 24. Yes, it is financed by mortgage loan and yes it takes extra work to be considered as loan eligible by bank. But hey, I can’t believe that now I have my own home (one of my new year’s 2013 resolutions came true)! Of course there was up and down process in getting the right home.

It began about 6 months ago, during Christmas.  My husband and I were sick with our 25m2 cubic apartment. So we started searching new one for rent, but online market for rental place wasn’t so many back then, perhaps due to closing year which made people keep on-hold to rent or selling out their places, to observe new opportunities after new year.

On the other side, on going financial crisis in Europe has as well affected Danish property. Property market across types (ejerlejlighed/ owned apartement, andelslejlighed/ part-union owned-part-self-own, house to villa) have gone down around 20 – 40% in values since the US crisis crawled to European continent.

Although my husband has a state loan for his university spending and is still a full time student, I am debt free and have a full time job. My situation and his Nordic citizenship privilege in Denmark were expected as stealth-mode assets in our first-time-home-buying journey.

We two decided to purchase an ejerlejlighed now, as there are more cheaper selections around; many people try to sell their places before their values even lower (I couldn’t imagine that in Denmark in 2008, people were so rushed buying apartments, while unites were rare and tripled in price).

A friend of mine said that it wasn’t a good time in buying property this day, but I plan to live quiet long in this apartment, who knows if the economic situation after 5-10 years would be better.

Our reliable bank consultant (we switched from bullshit Danske Bank to JYSKE Bank, after being told under discrimination that as a non Danish citizen, I couldn’t buy home in Denmark and that I better wait until my salary increase) has assisted us in the best loan combination for our finance situation. We use F3 & F5 loan combo for our bank and credit institution’s loans. It was quiet difficult to understand Danish loan and property rules as they use such an advance Danish language to write the policies. As I am not (yet) an EU citizen, I needed to apply property acquirement to justice minister, in which my lawyer (recommended by my bank consultant) was very professionally took care of it in a very fast time (he used to reply e-mail in a snap and sometimes finishing agreement in the middle of the night — all with fix fees, not variable).

In April 29, we began our first move. Our apartment is located in a nice area of Bellahøj, just 20 minutes by bike to my office (healthy and cost-savvy). It is not that big, only 72 m2, a spacious living room, one bed room, a nice kitchen, and a very small bathroom (you have no idea how stingy copenhagen builders in allocating their lands for a proper bathroom…even a 120 m2 big unit have a bathroom where you have to sit on toilet to enjoy shower from the top and save space!).

It is such a big different with our previous cubic. I can now do a lot of maneuver in my profoundness toward cooking as oven, stoves, microwave, big fridge, and space are there to accompany me.

Additionally, the apartment is closed to one of the best pizzeria in town (run by real italian), closer to my language school, a nice hairdressing studio, a big swimming hall, and a green open park.

My mom screamed when she knew the price I paid to get this size apartment, but told her not to compare the housing price in Denmark and Indonesia as there are so many incomparable factors, such as level of wages, security, tax, water quality, environment, secure and reliable public transportation, the list goes on.

Now I have another hobby: hunting for unique furniture and home decoration online (in addition to clothes and shoes :P).

I have decided long long time ago that Denmark would be my home, and it wonderfully goes as it is: career, friends, language, and now my first home –afterall, nothing beats the sensation of “the first time”.


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