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Frequently asked questions

These are some of the most common questions our home buyers have.

 

What are the different prices mentioned?

Terms relating to purchase price include “selling price” and “free-of-debt price”: 

Selling price is the sum the buyer pays to the seller 

Free-of-debt price consists of the selling price and the portion of housing company loan calculated for shares sold. 

The buyer usually has the option to choose whether to amortise housing company loan on a monthly basis as a charge for financial costs or to pay his or her own share of housing company loan as a one-off payment. Usually housing company loan can also be amortised in instalments. 

 

What taxes do I need to pay for buying a new apartment?

The purchase of an apartment in a limited liability housing company is subject to transfer tax, amounting to 2% of the free-of-debt price. The tax shall be paid and declared after the completion of the building, within two months from the transfer of title.

If you are a first-time home buyer, that is, you are 18 to 39 years old and have not previously owned 50% or more of an apartment or real estate in Finland or elsewhere in the world and you are buying the apartment as your own home, you are exempted from this tax. 

The transfer tax is paid and reported in the Finnish online tax service and we will give guidance on it closer to your moving-in date. 

 

What does the maintenance charge normally cover and what not?

Maintenance charge covers all common expenses incurred to the housing company, such as heating, annual real estate tax, administrative costs, housing management, waste management and building service company costs. 

Our housing companies always have apartment-specific water meters, which means water consumption is charged separately. Usually a monthly water prepayment is collected, based on the number of persons, and adjustments are made annually.

Broadband connections are also installed, and these are subject to a media management charge. The amount of media management charge is equal for each apartment.

Residents take their own electricity contracts with a power company, and the service provider charges each resident directly for electricity. 

 

What is the difference between an owned and a leased plot?

An owned plot means the housing company owns the plot and the price for the plot is therefore already included in the purchase price. A leased plot, on the other hand, is owned by some other party (JM’s land-owner partners are stable, reliable, large investment companies) and the housing company enters into a long-term (usually a minimum of 50 years) lease agreement with the landlord.

The lease agreement defines the lease amount for the plot, which is divided between shareholders, usually based on apartment floor space. The lease amount is either specified in the price list separately as a plot lease charge or calculated directly as a part of the maintenance charge. The lease amount is usually bound to the cost-of-living index, such that it is easy for you to estimate future adjustments, which are always moderate – no big rises in monthly costs!

The lease agreement can either be permanent, when the plot remains leased for the entire lease term, or optional, when each shareholder can, at their own decision, redeem a portion of the plot corresponding to their apartment. In this case, the portion of plot redemption price is also separately indicated in our price list. 

 

How do I obtain a housing loan from a Finnish bank? 

The bank estimates your ability to pay back the loan based on your monthly income and saved own capital. Guarantees are used to safeguard repayment of the housing loan to the bank. Usually the apartment’s mortgage lending value is sufficient to guarantee 75% of the apartment’s value.

You may need other guarantees for the remaining part of the loan. Other additional guarantees can be real-estate properties, apartments, securities or other liquid assets. Personal guarantees can also be used in some cases. When you are using own money for buying an apartment, the amount of required additional guarantees is smaller and the price is lower. 

The interest rate of your housing loan is composed of a reference rate and the bank’s margin. Alternatively, a fixed interest rate can be agreed, which remains unchanged during the agreed period. 

 

How much can I influence on the appearance and content of my new home?

JM plans all homes to be as functional and comfortable as possible as a whole, and we seek to find practical solutions that suit a variety of preferences and life situations. Before sales launch, we apply for a building permit for the project with the city's building control authority, and after this we must generally adhere to the plans drawn up.

The buyer can influence on the solutions in the apartment to a certain extent; slight modification on light separation walls and electrical installations are possible immediately after the start of construction works, as long as these are within limits of the building permit.

Within the timeframe for modification works, the buyer has the opportunity to choose interior materials for the apartment from our wide selection of products. Some of these options are included in the price and some are subject to additional charge.

JM Suomi bears the procurement and installation responsibility in its projects, so the customer is not allowed to introduce any own armatures or other materials in the construction stage. After the construction works are completed, a shareholder can install any desired solutions in the apartment with the housing company's permission. 

 

Should any other questions arise, please don't hesitate to contact our experianced sales team!

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