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A land lot with an old house

In Finland, buying a detached house is quite expensive, especially in Helsinki, Vantaa, or Espoo. However, there are many real estates in Finland with old cottage-like dwellings bought from around 50 000€-100 000€. These houses were typically built in the 1920s, and they are called "rintamamiestalo. " Rintama" means front, "mies" means man, and "talo" means house. The families of soldiers who fought on the battlefront were given a simple sketch to follow to build a"Rintamamies"-house themselves. The typical front house is 1.5 stories, cubic in the frame, gabled roof, is lined with vertical boarding, and has double or triple glazed windows.

There are about 150 000 "rintamamiestalo" in Finland, and most Finnish families dream of living in one. However, some say that these houses are wiser to be demolished because renovating an old house such as these might cost as much as building a new modern home. Although some argue that these houses are better to live in because they are made of wood and are over 100 years old and they can survive another 100 years or more.

But if you do not have a minimum budget of 250 000 euro at your disposal to build a new modern home. You are able to downshift your way of living and you like surprises then maybe renovating an old house might be an option for you. Finland is anyway the land of cottages.

The positive sides of buying these real estates with old houses are the location value and the bigger yards. These houses are located in suburban areas near the city. In Vantaa, you can find these houses in Viertola, Rekola, Metsola,Itä-Hakkila, Hiekkaharju nearby Tikkurila City. In Helsinki, these houses are typically found in prestigious places such as Kulosaari, Herttoniemi, Lauttasaari, but their real estate value is very high and unaffordable for many. Suppose you are more interested in living in the countryside. In that case, the value of these houses is usually more cheaper with considerable estates, sometimes nearby waterfronts such as lakes and the seashore.

There are other kinds of old cottage houses that are similar to the "rintamamies"-houses. They are called in Finnish maalaistalot, torppa, paritupa.

Reparation costs

According to OP media, renovation costs for these kinds of houses are around 80000€-120000€. Bathroom renovation is typically around 10000-15000€, floor renewal is 15000-30000€, and a repair of the false plinth is about 500-700 euro per meter, which means that a 50 square meter house repair cost is around 25000-35000 euro. Typical houses like the old detached houses have ventilation deficiencies of the roof structures and cold attic places, moisture damages and inadequate moisture protection. Some say that if you want to live in this kind of house, your family must fit in and you should not make it fit for your family. Expanding living space will make it more time consuming and more expensive to renovate.

Living cost of a detached house versus an apartment building

Also, it would be best not to forget the living cost of living in a separate- house, especially in an old house. You must pay for insurances, road fees, garbage disposals, electricity, and water without forgetting real estate taxes and loan repayments. According to the report of Suomen Omakotiliitto ry, a family living cost in 2021 living in an apartment building is 1160€/month, a family living in a detached house with oil electricity is 1081€/month, and a family living in a detached house with electricity is 1015€/month. The calculations describe how much money households spend on housing in their entirety, including loan repayments.

If you live in an apartment building, you have the water, electricity, and real estate maintenance covered. Living in a detached house, you have to maintain and cover the cost of everything by yourself. However, you get the freedom to do almost whatever you want to do because it's your property after all.

Here is a picture of an old house that was built around 1920-1950. As you can see from the photo, some of these houses are equipped with modern shower rooms and toilet. There is also electricity and running water. Some have fireplaces and wooden stoves to keep the spaces warm.

If you dream of buying an old house. Before signing the contract, familiarize yourself with inspections and the problems of the building to avoid many pitfalls. You can join housing associations to get more knowledge and expertise about renovating an old house.


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