A beach home (or a summer house, as we call it in Scandinavia) is not just for summer, sunshine and ‘perfect’ weather condition… Oh no…. Summer, sunshine and perfect weather is not a sure thing like in other countries such as Florida or Australia – up north we consider a summer house an all-year hide-away, even in winter. Simply being by the sea is a treat and as the home of Hygge, the Danes know how to create a fabulous atmosphere in the coldest of climates. Therefore, beach houses are hugely sought after – not just by Scandinavians, but also by Germans in particular, who love the nordic coastline.
Despite a long and winding coastline, homes by the sea are in shorter supply and under strict rules as to what we can do with the property and who can buy those homes. Below we explain the ins and outs of purchasing a summer house in Denmark – take this as a guidance and if and when you get to make an offer, consult your lawyer because the rules are complicated and changeable. But it’s not just a case of handing over the money and the house is yours…here’s how: Only Danish citizens can buy a beach home in Denmark, it says. But there ARE ways foreigners can buy or rent a holiday home by the sea.
The small Nordic country is a popular summer holiday destination with 4,300 miles of coastline and nearly 1,500 small islands. The stunning wild coastline of West Jutland is much sought after by the Germans who arrive in July and August. The British favour both Copenhagen and Skagen, the very northern tip of Denmark, and Copenhagen.
Skagen is famed for its brilliant light and heritage. Strict planning laws are in place ruling over what new and existing owners can do with the property so close to the beach. Checks are in place to ensure owners don’t overstay their welcome beyond a few months a year. That hasn’t dampened demand for summer houses in Denmark.
Scandi Connections – rent or buy a Beach Home in Denmark?
Back in the 1970s when the country joined the European Union it secured the right to stop foreign citizens buying summer homes. The Danish argument was that it’s a small country and properties should be reserved for the Danes – however, there are exceptions. If, as a foreigner, you have a connection with Denmark, family ties, financial, employment or cultural tiesthe Ministry of Justice can give permission. Or if you have any ties to a particular property you might be interested in…. It is hugely advisable to consult lawyers to work out the complicated rules and regulations.
Big Buyers – Americans, Norwegians and Germans
Main Option – To rent a Beach Home
Luxury Options for those who want to rent or buy a Beach Home
And it is, or course, within reach of the Michelin starred restaurants of the capital and views across the water to Sweden. As the Danish government manages to keep a tight reign on planning along the coastlines, there’s great pressure on renting. There is enormous competition for a house in the months of June-August. Choosing your beach home will depend on what kind of holiday you are looking for.
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Beach Home Mod Cons
Sought after features and requirements:
- Burning stove
- Sea view
- In-house bar
- Swimming pool
- Near cultural sites or institutions
- Near leisure complex (for children)
This is ok for pensioners, but others are required to have a permanent residence elsewhere. That puts pressure on the construction of the building and the infra structure needed around the property. If you’re a first time buyer, read also our blog First Time Home Buying: What to Ask Estate Agents for tips on what to look out for when negotiating with agents. Local planning in and around summer house areas in Denmark has eased in the last 25 years.
Despite the still complicated rules, some areas have come to look like villages rather than the old style beach house areas. Yet the government keeps the pressure on aspiring summer house owners with limitation on access to these properties. Therefore, anyone wanting to live the hygge life on a Danish beach should get themselves a good lawyer. If everything falls into place, it can be a lovely life, indeed!