A foreigner moving to Finland will usually go for an affordable living space but finding the right apartment is quite similar to job hunting, tricky and can be challenging most of the time. Affordable housing is mostly for students and permanent residents in Finland who have minimum income. The rest will have to fulfil their housing needs within the private sector. Options vary as well depending on several factors: furnished or not, period of your stay, financial and social status. This article will only focus in housing hunting within the private sector.
Private sector house hunters
For most foreigners, it can be quite challenging to find a house in Finland. Your foreign name comes first in the consideration, which is why it's best to have a good description of what you do for a living, your financial situation, the reasons why you're moving to a new apartment and why that particular apartment suits your needs. Maybe it's a good idea to also explain what kind of tenant you are and your values. You might also want your potential landlord to contact your previous ones to convince them that you are a reliable tenant who pays the rent on time. Most landlords will ask personal questions about smoking, pets, and other activities that might concern them before renting the apartment to you.
Secondly, you'll have to be physically available to compete with other potential tenants. So get you application ready on hand and give it directly to the landlord for a better chance of securing the apartment.
Location, location, location
The private sector is the most expensive place to look for an apartment so you might want to look for cheaper locations, those areas outside the main city center or nearby towns from the Helsinki Metropolitan area.
In Helsinki, if you want to find affordable housing, try searching for apartments to rent in these particular areas: Konala, Malminkartano, Kannelmäki, Koskela, Veräjämäki, Malmi, Viikki ja Herttoniemi, Pihlajanmäki, Jakomäki, Roihuvuori, Myllypuro, Kontula, and Mellunkylä.
In Vantaa, you can find affordable houses in these areas: Mikkola, Metsola, Korso, Koivukylä, Havukoski, Rajakylä, Länsimäki, and Hakunila.
In Espoo, you can find affordable housing in these areas: Lintuvaara, Soukka, Laajalahti, Haukilahti, Kivenlahti, and Karakallio
€/m2/month cheapest to expensive rent
1h: 20 - 30 euro
2h: 15 - 26 euro
3h: 15 - 23 euro
1h: 18 - 23 euro
2h: 13 - 19 euro
3h: 12 - 24 euro
1h: 18 - 25 euro
2h: 15 - 21 euro
3h: 14 - 19 euro
The bigger the apartment is, the cheaper the price per square meter. A 30 m2 studio (1h) will cost around 540 euro. A 50m2 one bedroom apartment (2h) will cost 650 euro and a 75m2 2 bedroom apartment (3h) will cost about 900 euro. You still have to consider that you will be paying at least one month of security deposit to the landlord.
Read more on how to rent apartments in Finland.