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anonguest

Arctic Circle - A Get Away From It All

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At a private social do the other night.....and chatting with friend of friend.

In the course of conversation, as an aside, ended up being 'offered' a modest 2-bed single storey rural house on respectably sized plot (with the to be expected separate double garage, odd outbuilding or two) in a small fairly isolated community (i.e. house is not genuinely alone/secluded in the sense that there are 'adjacent' neighbours). Unashamedly being 'sold' as secluded rural/fishing retreat for those wanting escape the rat-race, at least from time to time.

Best comparison, for illustration, I can think of is some of the various small communities to be found dotted along the extreme NW coast of Scotland, etc. From pictures shown to me it seemed reasonably modern and in fair shape - given the extremes of temperature/climate. Lots of timber and flat steel(?) roofing, grounds (e.g front driveway, tarmaccing, etc) looked well maintained.

Price seemed very attractive at a little under £15,000.

The catch? It's located barely south of the Arctic Circle near Norwegian/Swedish border.

Naturally had me wondering, given the ease at which it could be bought for cash, about the merits/virtues (as well as possible liabilities!) of owning such a remote second home. Could be used for a few weeks a year in summer at most, as a peaceful haven? rented out sporadically to isolationist types or rural fishing types? Could even be 'lent out' to friends/family sporadically at no charge just to ensure it doesn't stay empty and fall derelict (obviously they would pay their own stayover costs, etc).

Anyone got any knowledge/experience of what such places (and people!) are like in that part of the world? how they would possibly (typically?) respond to foreign ownership, let alone mostly empty much of the time?...........

There's also issue of local taxes, house purchase costs, etc too.

For a brief moment I was seriously thinking of unilaterally putting in an aggressive/cheeky offer of £10,000.

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Penguin eggs do not go white when you fry them! They stay tranparent!.

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Penguin eggs do not go white when you fry them! They stay tranparent!.

I knew I could rely on deep meaningful and erudite responses. <_<

I think I should just go back and update myself on the latest goings on in that, strangely addictive, more entertaining thread "Deluded Scrapper Birds"....... :D

P.S I think I should add/clarify that the surrounding scenery/location appeared to be lightly forested and near a lake shore, with modern highway running past the front of the property (and neighbours). So not quite penguin territory I think.

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I knew I could rely on deep meaningful and erudite responses. <_<

I think I should just go back and update myself on the latest goings on in that, strangely addictive, more entertaining thread "Deluded Scrapper Birds"....... :D

Well, I've been up there working (not in that place - I don't know where, but near the artic circle).

You can't sleep in winter. it is too frigging cold. In summer you can't sleep because it is too light. You won't need to worry about what the neighbours think, because there won't be any. For miles. In winter you will need a massive snow plough to get through the drifts. There will be no internet (goodbye). Bears will try to break down your door. Wolves will piss in your garden and Moose will munch anything your plants and try and grow and trample down your fences. In summer it will be amazing if it gets above 20. And the mozzies and fleas will drink your blood. If you want to pop down the offy for a couple of beers, or a hospital for a heart attack it will be a massive drive. I could go on.

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I knew I could rely on deep meaningful and erudite responses. <_<

I think I should just go back and update myself on the latest goings on in that, strangely addictive, more entertaining thread "Deluded Scrapper Birds"....... :D

Having had a concern in a holiday home for a bit, in my past, I'd say the questions you should be asking are:

- how easy is it to get there? If you are relying upon an airport/airline, what if they stop the route?

- will you rent it out? or have it locked up?

- will you use it every year? really? for how many years? how much annual leave do you get and do you want to spend that limited time tied down?

- will it SAVE you money (I know people paying 2k GBP a year in storage in London - if you can stick furniture in it, you'd save that)

- whats the running costs?

- whats the insurance?

- whats the politics of the country/town? as a foreigner, might you have it taken off you?

overall, I'd say that it all depends what 10k means to you. if 10k is a lot, probably not worth it. If it is one months savings, probably worth it, after you have considerd the above.

that more helpful?

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Penguin eggs do not go white when you fry them! They stay tranparent!.

Also, as far as wildlife is concerned, I was thinking more possible wild bears - or even wolves?!

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Well, I've been up there working (not in that place - I don't know where, but near the artic circle).

You can't sleep in winter. it is too frigging cold. In summer you can't sleep because it is too light. You won't need to worry about what the neighbours think, because there won't be any. For miles. In winter you will need a massive snow plough to get through the drifts. There will be no internet (goodbye). Bears will try to break down your door. Wolves will piss in your garden and Moose will munch anything your plants and try and grow and trample down your fences. In summer it will be amazing if it gets above 20. And the mozzies and fleas will drink your blood. If you want to pop down the offy for a couple of beers, or a hospital for a heart attack it will be a massive drive. I could go on.

Hmmmm......I had a bad feeling as such. The photos I saw were clearly taken in summer and it looked almost lightly forested English countryside-ish (think some of the more denser woodlands of the New Forest in Hampshire, or Thetford Forest in Norfolk).

That said......

"You can't sleep in winter. it is too frigging cold" - Outside. For sure. But I always thought that indoors the Scandinavians knew a thing or two about how to stay warm - certainly warm enough to sleep?! No shortage of wood to burn that's for sure.

"Bears will try to break down your door. Wolves will piss in your garden and Moose will munch anything your plants and try and grow and trample down your fences" - as said, the photos showed a property in remarkably good shape. No such sign of damage/mess from marauding wildlife. In any case I'm guessing their gun laws are way more relaxed than ours? So, if push came to shove, you could shoot the blighters?

"In summer it will be amazing if it gets above 20" - I'd be happy with temps at/near 20-iish in summer. I suspect/guess the air will be somewhat fresher in feel than the usual muggy warmth we get here in summer?

"And the mozzies and fleas will drink your blood." - That bit did surprise me, and I did just read before you posted that, apparently, Malaria is found in some regional pockets as far north as the Swedish/Finnish arctic circle region! I'm guessing (hoping?!) that perhaps it is also very terrain dependant? (e.g if the property were, say, in some of the higher altitude/mountainous regions then the risk would be almost nil? etc)

All in all sounds like a place for only very temporary seclusion/solitude such as, for example, the novelist character played by Colin Firth in Love Actually(?).

All in all perhaps a lower offer at nearer £10,000 is in order, rather than the £15K asked for. As for subsequent re-sale? I'm guessing that these sorts of properties will always find a niche, albeit small, population of Brits who entertain ideas of owning such a place - and that the chances of selling it for less than what would be paid for it is close to nil (i.e not likely difficult to sell and not likely to make a capital loss?)

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Hmmmm......I had a bad feeling as such. The photos I saw were clearly taken in summer and it looked almost lightly forested English countryside-ish (think some of the more denser woodlands of the New Forest in Hampshire).

That said......

"You can't sleep in winter. it is too frigging cold" - Outside. For sure. But I always thought that indoors the Scandinavians knew a thing or two about how to stay warm - certainly warm enough to sleep?! No shortage of wood to burn that's for sure.

"Bears will try to break down your door. Wolves will piss in your garden and Moose will munch anything your plants and try and grow and trample down your fences" - as said, the photos showed a property in remarkably good shape. No such sign of damage/mess from marauding wildlife. In any case I'm guessing their gun laws are way more relaxed than ours? So, if push came to shove, you could shoot the blighters?

"In summer it will be amazing if it gets above 20" - I'd be happy with temps at/near 20-iish in summer. I suspect/guess the air will be somewhat fresher in feel than the usual muggy warmth we get here in summer?

"And the mozzies and fleas will drink your blood." - That bit did surprise me, and I did just read before you posted that, apparently, Malaria is found in some regional pockets as far north as the Swedish/Finnish arctic circle region! I'm guessing (hoping?!) that perhaps it is also very terrain dependant? (e.g if the property were, say, in some of the higher altitude/mountainous regions then the risk would be almost nil? etc)

All in all sounds like a place for only very temporary seclusion/solitude such as, for example, the novelist character played by Colin Firth in Love Actually(?).

All in all perhaps a lower offer at nearer £10,000 is in order, rather than the £15K asked for. As for subsequent re-sale? I'm guessing that these sorts of properties will always find a niche, albeit small, population of Brits who entertain ideas of owning such a place - and that the chances of selling it for less than what would be paid for it is close to nil (i.e not likely difficult to sell and not likely to make a capital loss?)

Make sure you have the jab for tick bourne encephawhotsit. Nasty.

Pin is right though. Despite the packs of wolves, savage polar bears, insanse moose and life threateningly low temperatures, the greatest threat to human life in artic is surely the fried transparent penguin egg.

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Make sure you have the jab for tick bourne encephawhotsit. Nasty.

Pin is right though. Despite the packs of wolves, savage polar bears, insanse moose and life threateningly low temperatures, the greatest threat to human life in artic is surely the fried transparent penguin egg.

I don't think that Polar bears are found in the part of Norway/Sweden I was pointed to on the map (it looked east of Trondheim to me). Similarly no Penguins either.

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Having had a concern in a holiday home for a bit, in my past, I'd say the questions you should be asking are:

- how easy is it to get there? If you are relying upon an airport/airline, what if they stop the route?

- will you rent it out? or have it locked up?

- will you use it every year? really? for how many years? how much annual leave do you get and do you want to spend that limited time tied down?

- will it SAVE you money (I know people paying 2k GBP a year in storage in London - if you can stick furniture in it, you'd save that)

- whats the running costs?

- whats the insurance?

- whats the politics of the country/town? as a foreigner, might you have it taken off you?

overall, I'd say that it all depends what 10k means to you. if 10k is a lot, probably not worth it. If it is one months savings, probably worth it, after you have considerd the above.

that more helpful?

EXACTLY! These are the sort of questions I realised I would have to answer. Some of the answers will always likely to involve some guesswork/assumption (based on hope!?), such how often would I personally go there, etc.

Worst case, if the wife and I never use it, I'm assuming it could be de facto 'maintained' by letting others (family/close friends/etc) make use of it - a la Uncle Montys house in the Lake District in the film Withnail & I. Rather than formally some profit making charge/rent, merely ask (if at all) some token payment towards essential costs (e.g insurance, council tax, etc).

In this case I am, again, working on the assumption that there might, just might, be a sufficient pool of interested persons to make sufficiently frequent use of it?

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Having had a concern in a holiday home for a bit, in my past, I'd say the questions you should be asking are:

- how easy is it to get there? If you are relying upon an airport/airline, what if they stop the route?

- will you rent it out? or have it locked up?

- will you use it every year? really? for how many years? how much annual leave do you get and do you want to spend that limited time tied down?

- will it SAVE you money (I know people paying 2k GBP a year in storage in London - if you can stick furniture in it, you'd save that)

- whats the running costs?

- whats the insurance?

- whats the politics of the country/town? as a foreigner, might you have it taken off you?

overall, I'd say that it all depends what 10k means to you. if 10k is a lot, probably not worth it. If it is one months savings, probably worth it, after you have considerd the above.

that more helpful?

The other important question is to know just how likely it is that the locals would speak/understand sufficient English to at least 'get by' on?

In the major Scandinavian cities/towns I would guess it would not be a problem? But in those remote areas? Would the yokels know a single word of English?

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You might be able to get a satellite broadband service. It might even be reasonably performant given the remoteness of the area.

Assuming you can get power for it and align the dish yourself since an installer is unlikely to traipse across a frozen wilderness for miles.

But I don't imagine that broadband is the deal-breaker here.

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The other important question is to know just how likely it is that the locals would speak/understand sufficient English to at least 'get by' on?

In the major Scandinavian cities/towns I would guess it would not be a problem? But in those remote areas? Would the yokels know a single word of English?

My experience is that Scandanavians speak pretty good english in general.

Phrases such as "Put it down" and "A pint of beer ? That will be 100 krona." all seem to be in use on a regular basis.

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hundre kroner oel?

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Seriously - why would you?

For £15k you can take a holiday up there every year for ten years (if you want to keep going back that long) and also not have to spend a fortnight putting right the weather damage from the previous winter. Add in rates, insurance etc.

If somebody offered me one up there I would assume it was a wind-up.

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Seriously - why would you?

For £15k you can take a holiday up there every year for ten years (if you want to keep going back that long) and also not have to spend a fortnight putting right the weather damage from the previous winter. Add in rates, insurance etc.

If somebody offered me one up there I would assume it was a wind-up.

On the other hand, if this global warming stuff all turns out to be accurate, then it could be a useful place to move too once most the Europe is a parched desert. There'll a bit of DIY to attend to when the permafrost melts and it sinks 10 feet into a stinking bog, but I'm sure a few trips to B&Q will sort that one out.

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Seriously - why would you?

For £15k you can take a holiday up there every year for ten years (if you want to keep going back that long) and also not have to spend a fortnight putting right the weather damage from the previous winter. Add in rates, insurance etc.

If somebody offered me one up there I would assume it was a wind-up.

From a purely strictly rational financial accounting point of view.....I agree entirely. Although "For £15k you can take a holiday up there every year for ten years" might be a bit of an exaggeration - allowing for inflation and how expensive travel and Scandinavia is in general. But it is certainly not in the category of some nutters paying £50K+ for a poxy beach hut on the English south coast somewhere - when they could stay a fortnight in a top class local hotel every year for XX years for the same money......

I guess maybe, deep down, it was just the idea of owning a remote retreat for when the world goes all Mad Max. :lol:

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On the other hand, if this global warming stuff all turns out to be accurate, then it could be a useful place to move too once most the Europe is a parched desert. There'll a bit of DIY to attend to when the permafrost melts and it sinks 10 feet into a stinking bog, but I'm sure a few trips to B&Q will sort that one out.

I need to repeat that, from the photos shown to me, this place was NOT permafrost country - it was green and wooded, with nearby lake, a few neighbouring houses, modern highway a stones throw away, etc.

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I guess maybe, deep down, it was just the idea of owning a remote retreat for when the world goes all Mad Max. :lol:

...and having the last laugh at the inevitable comfortable upper middle class Daily Mail reading sorts who will laugh out loud when they hear we had bought such a place! :lol:

(In the meantime of course some use/enjoyment could, presumably, be derived from it?)

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Also, as far as wildlife is concerned, I was thinking more possible wild bears - or even wolves?!

Bears, Wolves, Wolverines and Lynx. Four carnivores big enough to cause you grief - though extremely unlikely to do so in practice.

What will eat you in the warmer (non-frozen) months is the mozzies. Unless you're at altitude up in the mountains.

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Bears, Wolves, Wolverines and Lynx. Four carnivores big enough to cause you grief - though extremely unlikely to do so in practice.

What will eat you in the warmer (non-frozen) months is the mozzies. Unless you're at altitude up in the mountains.

You mean a bit like midges on the Isle of Skye? or a LOT worse?

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