In Finland, buying an apartment, in fact, means buying the shares of a limited liability housing company, which (based on the article of association of the Housing Company) owns or leases the plot of land and owns the residential building, and the shareholders own the shares that grant the possession of the apartment.
Residential buildings under the limited liability housing company can be apartment blocks, terraced houses, semi-detached houses or detached houses.
The Steps in Buying a New Home
1. Reserving an apartment
It is possible to reserve an apartment before making a decision to buy it. Reservations are not binding, so they can be cancelled at any time.
2. Purchasing the apartment
As soon as the decision to purchase the apartment has been made, the deeds can be signed at one of Lehto’s Showrooms and Sales Offices.
The following set of documents will be presented to the buyer prior to signing:
- the housing company’s financial plan
- the articles of association
- a description of the construction method
- the RS documents (see more here)
- a draft of the purchasing contract
3. Paying the purchase price, and financing options
The purchase price is paid to the seller/developer as construction progresses. There are a few payment options available to the buyers of an apartment:
1. Pay the full price of the apartment.
2. Use the housing company loan; read more here.
3. Take out a personal bank loan.
Usually, 30–40% of the purchase price is paid using the buyer’s own funds.
Of the apartment price, 40–60% can be financed by a bank or in the form of a housing company loan; see above.
4. Transfer tax
Read more here.
5. Selecting interior decoration solutions
When buying a new Lehto home, it is possible to choose some of its interior materials and equipment from our preselected list. Our material portfolio includes a high-quality range to choose from.
For more information, see: What You Are Buying.
6. Hand-over and warranty
Upon progress of the construction process and before acceptance of the final two payments for the apartment, at least one inspection can be carried out by the buyers.
Owing to the highly automated construction process, apartment construction defects are rare at Lehto. However, if they do occur, they will always be fixed prior to hand-over of the apartment.
For more information, see: Hand-over and Warranty.
7. Moving in
After the building has been approved by the professionals, and the property and pre-hand-over inspections have been done, the day for hand-over of the keys will be set and the invitation (muuttokirje) will be sent to the buyers.
The dates of completion of the apartment and hand-over of the keys can be seen in this invitation (muuttokirje). Ownership of the new apartment (shares in the housing company) is (are) transferred to the buyer at the same time.
Buyers receive a folder containing essential information regarding their home, including information about the housing company in general and the apartment in particular.
8. Apartment usage guidance
If necessary, Lehto’s coordinators can easily be approached for guidance on the new home before moving in. The guidance includes instructions on using any equipment in the apartment, as well as on other matters.
9. Shareholders’ meeting
During the construction phase, administration of the housing company is carried out by the construction board, but once the apartment building is complete, the board consists of residents/homeowners. The administration division meeting is held in accordance with the Housing Transaction Act, and the homeowner, as a shareholder, will be invited to attend. For more information, see: Finnish Limited Liability Housing Company.