Thursday, April 24, 2008

Apartment: We Bought Our First "Bostad"

Getting an apartment in Sweden is not an easy task, especially it is so in Stockholm. If you want to rent second hand, you need to pay 60 Euros for 45 days just to be able to look at what people want to rent out. Then, when you find one you like (and it is not easy either), you must schedule a meeting with the owners of that apartment to come and see it and bring the job contract and recommendations from people from whom you rented previously. Considering you are one of 15 people who came and want to rent it, it might become a really frustrating task, especially when you need the apartment asap.

Buying an apartment is a bit different story which doesn’t make it more easy. Besides the need to have a permanent job and good income, the system is much different from most of the countries. I used to see the fixed price for the apartment and then you come to a real estate agent and negotiate and try to lower the price a little. In Sweden you first come and see an apartment, and then you sign up for bidding. So, most of the time it’s one third of the price that goes on top of the starting price. If the agent is not satisfied with the final price, he can make a second round when more people will come and see the apartment and then bid as well.

After renting 4 apartments in 2 years, we decided that out economical situation is stable enough to afford buying an apartment. We chose the area just outside of Stockholm (20-30 min by subway) and started looking for what is available for sale. And today after bidding we finally got one. The price is a little bit higher than we hoped for but we like the apartment. It requires some work to be done but it is a nice location, very sunny, high sealing, well, I will take some pictures later. For now, here are the pictures that the agent used for display on the bwebsite:

ps: Bostad - is place to live; house; flat; room Swedish


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Software: Color Theme/Scheme Picker

When creating templates for the presentations, colorful headers for the documents, layouts for the brochures, quite a few people rely on the feeling of the color scheme which is basically trial and error and you know it feels right when the colors match. Obviously there is a pattern/rule/law for the matching colors. Colors can we warm or cold, bright or dark, with high or low contrast. There is an online tool that might help in picking up the matching colors for you. I think it is a pretty nice tool for the mentioned purposes. Take a look.