Step two of following my dreams

Planning my next round of open houses with a delicious refreshment!
(Note to self: Wipe off iPad before snapping photograph…)

In a previous post, I told you about how I am changing my life and following my dreams!

Step one was to sell my beloved flat in Bergen – the contract was signed last week. Step two, which proves a lot more difficult, is to buy a flat in Oslo. I’ve just spent two days in Oslo going to open houses, and have even made bids on two different flats, but to no luck. In Norway, we have a sort of auction system for buying properties: The morning after the open house, the estate agent calls all the people who are interested in buying the flat, encouraging them to bid. He’s on the seller’s side, of course, and wants the buyers to enter a bidding frency between themselves (via text messages to the agent) so the property sells for as much as possible. It’s a very fast system – most flats are sold within 2 pm on the day following the open house – but you might end up paying way more than a property is worth, simply because someone else also wants the same property and both parties don’t know when to stop bidding. Most of the time, two buyers fight it out over a few hours, to ensure top dollars (kroners) for the flat.

The two flats that I was bidding on had to be totally renovated and I just wasn’t prepared to pay top money for a wreck, having to shell out at least Nok 150.000 in order to have a dishwasher. But I’m not sad about having lost out on these two: I’ve just started the hunt for a place to live and new flats are put on the market every week. I’ve already got three open houses planned for next week, and I’m really optimistic about two of them! They’re even in areas of the city that I’ve heard of (aka the joys of moving from a lower priced property market to the most expensive market in Norway)!

When I’m not planning my new life in Oslo, I’m finishing off my life here in Bergen. It’s odd to think that in a month, I will have vacated my flat (possibly homeless!) and on my way to Oslo. I’ve lived in Bergen for over seven years now and I have put down roots. I will no longer live close to my family or my dear friends here, but we can all visit each other. I also have a lot of friends in Oslo whom I’m really excited about reconnecting with.

When I was enjoying the sun and a strawberry diaquiri in Hard Rock Cafe in Oslo on Monday, watching all the people walk by (many women in really stylish outfits!), I was really excited about my new life in Oslo. I miss living in a larger city, feeling the energy from all the people and the businesses. Bergen is a sleepy city in comparison to Oslo, being less than half the size. Sitting there in Oslo reminded me of people watching in Stockholm, Copenhagen or even London. The sun was shining (which it hardly ever does in Bergen, apart from this spring/summer) and the energy pulsating. It was like I received a confirmation that my decision to move was the right one and that I won’t regret it. That is, if the huge smile I had on my face during the entire visit wasn’t evidence enough!

Have you ever made a huge life changing decision like this and how did it turn out for you?