parallax background


Always adapting
August 13, 2023
blokhut in Noorwegen
Dreamhouse wanted
October 10, 2023

Thursday August 10 - Brøttum

Starting this winter, we can rent the same place we rented last winter. Ideally we would like to buy that place, but the owner will never sell it. So we are left with a double feeling. It is a beautiful place where we loved to live, but do we want to pay rent for a dream house that we actually want to buy? If we rent it, we help her financially and it only decreases the chances that she will sell it. As long as we don't have our own place, this is the best alternative, until she suddenly calls us with some very unpleasant news.

'I found someone willing to rent the house for NOK 12,000 a month,' she says. 'That's double what we were paying. We are surprised at the price, never believing anyone would want to pay this. It's a beautiful place, but it's more than a kilometer into the forest. Extremely expensive to keep the road clear of snow in winter. We walked this road all winter, but of course a Norwegian does not. Moreover, the house is old and poorly insulated. We only heated the living room and bathroom, but in the rest of the house the temperature was sometimes below zero. She asks if we still want to rent it, for 12,000 kroner. Not a hair on our heads thinks about that. We have lost that place, although we are left with one option that we have wanted to play out for a long time. It is time for us to make an offer on the house.


'We offer 2,000,000 NOK,' we say. 'No, I never sell it,' she replies immediately. '2,200,000*,' we raise our bid. It remains silent for a moment on the other end of the line. She has to think about it. The high interest rate makes it difficult for her financially and stresses her out. In Norway, fixing interest is not so common and almost all interest is flexible. In two weeks, the interested couple will come to see. We can only hope they are not interested, because that is the only way our offer has a chance. It's a small chance, but it feels like we've tried everything now. Making a real offer was the last thing we could do. If it comes to nothing, we have nothing more to blame ourselves for. Still, we feel we really have to forget about this place now. It hurts, but the situation can always change in the future.

*If this is our dream house, an offer of 220,000 euros may sound low. A year ago she bought the house for 175,000 euros. And there is still a lot of work to improve the house.

"A cabin barely 8 kilometers from Lillehammer, with electricity and water, in the forest, and within our budget. Inside, we are burning with curiosity and prefer to go look immediately."

New chance

So starting in September we will most likely have to look for a new place. We want to have our own place so badly and now suddenly the pressure is increased. We still have 3 weeks left. On the Norwegian housing website we are also looking at rental houses and come across an unusual advertisement. A man in Lillehammer rents out the first floor of his house for 300 euros per month. In exchange for the low price, he wants tenants to cook for him a few times a week. He suffered a brain attack many years ago and in May his wife died. She did everything for him and now he is on his own. He is looking for companionship and help around the house. To bridge a month or two, it might be a solution so we decide to visit the man.

Standing in the doorway is an old man. His right hand sticks between the buttons of his shirt near his stomach. After his stroke, that arm is paralyzed. He leans on a cane and stands slightly hunched over, just as older people always slump a bit. We are allowed in and immediately go to the basement floor. It is spacious, but dark and unsociable. Zoe doesn't like it at all, even for a short time. We haven't seen everything yet when Tor suddenly says, "You're actually looking for a cabin near Lillehammer anyway.
‘Yes,’ we say a little surprised.
'I have a cabin I would like to sell. It's barely six kilometers from here.'
Our senses are all on. What is he saying now? Six kilometers from here, that's biking distance from Lillehammer. Could it be? 'I'll show you a picture in a minute,' says Tor Hendrik, who must surely sense our enthusiasm.


Too good to be true

On the kitchen table, a book of photographs is already laid out. Tor leafs through the book, past many family photos that still show his wife and where he is still in good health. The loss of his wife still hurts him very much.
'This is the cabin,' he says, pointing to the picture of a cozy wooden cabin surrounded by many trees. 'There's also some grounds belonging to it, but that's full of trees.'
Ideal we both say in our heads. It seems almost too good to be true. A cabin barely 8 kilometers from Lillehammer, with electricity and water, in the forest, and within our budget. Inside, we are burning with curiosity and prefer to go look right now.
'If you were with the car, we could go look,' Tor says.
We sit on the couch for a while longer with Tor, who is quite a sociable grandfather. Sometimes a little hard to understand, but he likes to talk and is still very spiritual. We agree to come back on Sunday and look at the cabin together.
We can't wait!

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