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Buying an Apartment in Denmark

Tired of paying a huge amount every month for the rental of your apartment? Well, we feel you. My husband and I just moved here January last year. And since he was an off-shore consultant that time, we didn’t have to worry about the rent. But after his contract ended, we decided to stay here for good and that means we have to get our own place.

We started looking for apartments and we were dumbfounded by the cost of renting one. Those that are in the city center cost around 11-13,000 DDK for a tiny 1 bedroom apartment and the deposit fee is 5 months minimum with no guarantee of return even if you give back the apartment in an amazing condition which sadly happened to our friends.  I am sure there are prices that are cheaper but it is extremely hard to find one.

So my husband and I just decided to buy our own apartment instead. A friend of ours offered us a room to crash while we are looking for our own, and we are extremely grateful because it gave us more opportunity to save up for the downpayment.

We will move into our new place this February and we are beyond excited! If you want to buy your own place as well, here are the things that we did.

Here are the steps on how to buy your own apartment/house:

1. Check out websites and start looking for the house/apartment you want. You can’t believe the number of apartment listings we check out every day. We tried to filter our search but it didn’t help that much. We have decided to go for ejerleglidhed, minimum of 2 bedrooms and within Gladsaxe Kommune, but the options are still so many! But do not be bothered, the more options the better! Just be very patient and enjoy the experience. 🙂 Here are some things we ask the real estate agents every time we check and apartment. a. How old is the apartment b. are there schools and grocery nearby c. heating d. common fee for the building.

Here are the websites we checked out.

Home.dk

Danbolig
Mæglercomaniet.dk (this is where we got our apartment from)

boligsiden.dk

boliga.dk

edc.dk

2. Start searching for banks. This may seem like an easy process. Not. It is really not that easy to find a bank that will give you a low down payment because you are an expat. At least this is based on our experience. They have this fear that expats can just leave and they’ll be in big trouble so they will always ask for a bigger downpayment, more than what is mandated by the law which is 5%. But I have some recommendations for banks as well. Ours is Arbejdenes Landsbank in Herlev, they are beyond amazing, really! You can also try Jysk and then another expat recommended Nordea as well. Surprisingly, they gave him an amazing deal. The bank that really asked too much from us was Danske Bank. But I am not discouraging you from checking them out, although if I were you I will manage my expectations.

Here are the requirements you are required to give the bank.

  • Yellow card/CPR number
  • residence card
  • payroll slip (3 months)
  • recent bank statement
  • insurance (if applicable)

3. Get an approval from the Justice Ministry. If you have been here in Denmark for less than 5 years, you have to send an email to the Justice Ministry asking for permission to buy a property. But don’t be worried. This step is actually really simple. Once you have decided which house/apartment you would really love to buy, tell the real estate personnel about it so they can ‘reserve’ the property for you and send an email to the Justice Ministry stating what will you be using the property for and attach your yellow card and residence permit. Wait for 2 weeks and you will get the decision.

4. Meeting with the bank. You have to meet with the bank that you have chosen and discuss the terms of your loan. This will be a long and grueling meeting so come prepared. Also, ask all the questions that you can think of to you loan handler, it will really help you have more idea of what to expect in the months to come. Oh, in this meeting you will discuss whether you will go for a fix or variable loan so start learning more about these two now and decide which do you think is better for you.

5. Get a lawyer. Your lawyer will process everything for you and make sure that you get the most out of the deal. The lawyer will also make sure that you are getting your money’s worth because he/she will do a thorough background check of the property and advise you if this is a good buy or not. If you have a lawyer and then the deal will not fall through because the bank for some reason declined it or something, your lawyer will make sure that you will not be held responsible as well. I know that getting a lawyer here in Denmark but we found a really good one but cheapest price possible. The usual price for a lawyer here is 10,000 DKK. We got ours half of that price. 🙂

Here are the details of our lawyer. Kindly tell him you were referred by Hannah, so he will give you teh same rate as he gave us.

Jeppe Steen Hansen, Advokatfuldmægtig

T: +45 50 78 20 70      

M: jsh@mettehojberg.dk

And then, you will wait…Just wait for the turnover. ❤

I hope this helps. 🙂 Feel free to comment if you have any question or if you need help. 🙂

 

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Hyggeligt Winter

Oh well, it’s winter, and you live in Denmark, the wet and windy land of the Vikings. It’s so dark and gloomy outside, and you think, there are probably thousands of white walkers ready to eat you alive. But in reality, you really just don’t feel like going out. But you want to avoid winter depression, so what will you do? You can’t go all Elsa and say ‘the cold doesn’t bother me anyway’ because it does and it will bother you.

Don’t worry, I got your back. This bubbly and loud little Filipina will teach you how to survive winter in Denmark, the Danish way. How? Well, it’s all about the word ‘hygge’. (Please don’t ask me how to pronounce it. I can barely pass my Danish language class.lol) There will be extremely no need for you to go out and risk having frost bites.lol

How to have a hyggeligt winter.

Wine and cheese on a candlelight eve. On a night when my husband and I want to distress, we sit on the sofa or just in any corner of our house and just have an amazing time drinking wine and having cheese. This gives us the time to talk about our day, which means mostly me ranting about the weirdest and smallest thing possible. My husband finds it cute, so it okay.

Movie and Popcorn. But most likely Netflix. We catch up on our favorite series together. If you are a deeply emotional person like me, though, be warned and choose carefully what you want to watch this winter. I always end up crying and getting really sad. I mean, Ragnar Lothbrok died, Glenn’s eyes popped, Monica died, etc. etc. Will that not make you cry and depressed more? sigh.

Candles and soft music. This really relaxes me and my husband. We just lay on the couch and just talk. Talking to someone you are really familiar with can make you really cheerful and excited about everything. Candles and soft music can mean sexy time for some…sooo… ermm… do whatever you please.lol (NOTE: this is a wholesome blog)

Snuggling/Cuddling the dog/husband. Whichever is applicable. 🙂 

Invite friend over for some drinks in your place. Don’t worry, they will always think that this works for mutual benefit. They will NEVER think that you are inviting them over just because you are too lazy to go out, but you also want to have fun. Although if they are really your best friends, they probably already know that just don’t want to go out in the cold winter night.  

Whatever you choose to do, always remember that hygge is about the atmosphere. (Or so I was told) Remember to create an atmosphere that is warm, cozy and really just fun. You do not have to go overboard with the music, the food, and wine. Hygge is not about being fabulous and loud, it is about being chill, calm and just the feeling of warmth radiating from the hearts of the ones you love and want to spend time with. ❤

Have a hyggeligt evening everyone. 🙂

NOTE: If you have more tips to share, feel free to comment. ❤

Tips to Fight Winter Depression

Having been born and raised in the Philippines, dealing with the harsh winter here in Denmark is tough for my husband and I. But we never let the winter blues get us. Through the years we have come up with some ideas that truly helps us fight the depression brought by winter.

Here are our top tips to fight winter depression.

  1. Go for a walk. I know this sound silly considering it is winter but taking even a 30-minute walk can truly help. It helps you keep your mind clear of negative thoughts and gives you time to breathe some fresh air. Also, this has been proven by studies to be really helpful in fighting winter blues.
  2. Engage in winter activities. Even if it is cold, there are still a lot of outdoor activities that you can do. Try skiing or maybe ice skating. There is an open- air ice skating rink in Frederiksberg Runddel, so try it. I’m sure you’ll have fun. But if you are like me who has issues with balance, errm maybe you can just sit back, relax and enjoy watching people fall.lol
  3. Go to the gym or do yoga. Winter is no excuse to be fit. If you hate outdoor activities because it is too cold, then go to the gym. I am pretty sure you’ll feel warm and energized there.
  4. Keep Warm. Make sure that you are well covered when you go outside. I know that it is not so fashionable but, never ever sacrifice your health for the sake of fashion, else you’ll feel more depressed when you get sick. 
  5. Take a short trip. If Copenhagen becomes too depressing for us, my husband and I take short trips to Malmø or even just in Helsingør. I know these places are equally cold, but going into a different environment helps us clear our minds, as well spend some quality time with each other.
  6. Hygge. I know you are all too familiar with this word already, but if you really don’t feel like going out, get a blanket, play a soft, relaxing music, light a candle, watch a movie or read a book. Try to make your room as relaxing and cozy as possible and simply enjoy life’s little pleasures.

I know these tips seem really basic, but that is the thing with winter depression, even the small things can mend it. These small things can really do wonders.

Another tip that I really want to share is this, ACCEPT THAT IT IS WINTER. It is cold. It is windy. But it’s not all that bad. You are in Denmark, the happiest place in the world. 🙂 Look around you, for sure you will find a reason or two to be happy.

This too shall pass, so just enjoy it and make the most of it.

P.S.

Here are some of the things that you can also do.

  • Hang out with your friends and family
  • Drinks Vitamins
  • Eat Healthy
  • Visit Museums and Parks

WARNING: Don’t let the white walkers get you! ❤

Disclaimer: My husband and I are not psychologists or anything related to that. These tips are just based on our experience. 🙂 We hope that this can help you as well. ❤

Top 4 Tips to Avoid Online Predators

In today’s digitally inclined world, it is very easy for people to communicate. It is easy for us to reach out to our family and friend wherever they are. But everything comes with a price. Even digitalization.

With the advent of technology, comes it disadvantages as well. It is now very easy for predators to contact and track its prey. But there are a lot of things your can do to fight these online predators. There are a lot of things you can do to avoid being a victim.

Tips on avoiding these predators:

1. Do not reply to messages from people you do not know.
This is a cliche’ but this is something that we as adults should always remember. ‘Stranger danger.’ I know you know those lines as you might have been told about that a thousand times as you grow up. However, as we grow old, we forget about this because we think we are old, we can handle ourselves and nothing will happen to us. Yes, you are old but you are not immune to all these, so never forget, no matter what, ‘stranger danger’.

2. Never meet face to face with the people you meet online.

Why would you, though? Why would you meet up with a complete stranger? The odds are not in your favor in all circumstances, so why blatantly put yourself in this delicate situation?

3. Be vigilant.

If you did go out of your way and meet up with this person you meet online or if you signed up to a dating site and you decided to meet up, then be vigilant. I am not telling you to be paranoid, I am just telling you to be on guard all the time. Never let your guard down and don’t give in easily.

4. Beware of their language and actions.

On your first date, if the person is making inappropriate advances, please, do something. Don’t just stand there and giggle because you are actually implicitly telling that person to go ahead with whatever he is doing! Say stop if you have to. If he doesn’t stop, leave. I am telling you. it is not worth it. In any first date, respect should come first. If he is not showing you any, girl, leave. Just leave.

I know that dating sites are rampant, and I do not judge you if you want to try those or you would like to go out with people you meet online. I just want you to remember to be careful. Often times those you meet in person aren’t really the same person you chat with online. Predators can go out of their way just to get your trust and attention and then leave you hanging in the end.

If you really want a relationship, then give it time. Do not give in easily. Don’t give it all out after on your first date. Let them work hard to get you. You are worth the effort. You are worth the wait.
I do not want to go all philosophical but, ‘Love grows slowly.’ It takes time. It takes effort.

You are an adult now. You have the capacity to think, so do so. Think before you do anything. In the end, whether you fall to these predators or not, is all up to you. You are the one who will decide if you’ll make yourself the victim or the fighter.

‘We accept the love we think we deserve’. So start thinking you deserve the best. You deserve a long lasting one, not a one night stand.

‘We accept the love we think we deserve’

Why You Should Never Get Married

Did the title get your attention? Oh, it’s fine. I totally get why you’d open this blog. I mean, why would a married woman who looks so happy in social media pictures post a blog with such a ridiculous title? Simple. Because it’s true.
Now before all of you lash out at me, here me out for a second. Allow me to tell you the reason why.

1. You will lose your privacy.

Privacy? What’s that? That word will never exist once you are married. Sure people tell you that you can have your private space in a while,BUT you have to tell your partner what you did the whole time,like literally everything about each minute that had passed. Might as well just carry your partner around rather than tell a whole narrative for one hour just because you weren’t with each other for a minute. It’s not that your partner is jealous but they are just nosy and they want to know everything. Also, forget about your ‘private and cozy moments’ in the toilet. Telling them that you are in the toilet and doing number 2 is no excuse! They come and go as they please so (what the fudge) might as well leave that toilet door wide open!

2. Shared bank accounts.

Do you love shopping? Forget it. Forget everything you know about Louboutin, Jimmy Choo,Gucci, Chanel. From now on,all you’ll ever know is H and M, Primark and start considering Zara as a luxury. Be prepared though to have a house full of “toys” that you do not even know how to operate. Oculus, PS4, Gear S3 to name a few. (Not even sure if those are the right names) You think it’s not fair? Oh, why yes, of course, it’s not fair! Trust me though, having these toys is a must for your sanity’s sake.

3. Master the art of cooking.

You have a baby to feed now. Oh,you didn’t know? Having a husband is like having a baby, equally cute but just more hard-headed! You need to prepare food for them, wash their clothes, entertain them (if this does not work, give them toys. See #2.) and make sure they have everything they need else they’ll throw a major tantrum and it will not a great day for you,my friend. Once in a while, he will help you cook and do the chores but beware, there is always a price. Nothing in this world is free. (Ahem,toys)
That’s not all. There are so many things that you have to do and the expectations are extremely high. You are put on a pedestal and just like that, after a day of being married, everyone expects you to have grown thrice as much wiser. Although, since you are constantly getting a tough training every day, this is but given really.
Tough right? Whoever told you that getting married is a piece of cake surely is daydreaming. There is nothing easy about getting married! As a matter of fact, it only goes tougher especially when you have kids. But just like having kids,getting married has its ups too.
When you are sick, you know that someone will take good care of you. When you are sad, you know that someone will do everything just to make you smile. When you are tired, you know that someone will give you a bear hug and just like that, everything is better.
True, everything is better when you have a husband or a wife. You might feel like the world is on your shoulders. but it’s okay. Why? Because you know you have a constant support system. One that will never fail,  nor desert you. One that will always have your back, no matter what.
You might lose the privileges that you used to have when you were single, but you have so much more to gain. Nothing can ever compare to what you will get in exchange. The love that you will get is more precious than anything else in this world.
Marriage is never easy. I will never take that back, what I will tell you though is that in the end, it is worth it. It is worth all the headache and frustration because, in this world, you know that there is only one person who can make you happy and that is the one you married.
Love is always worth it. 
– Hannah Oliveros

A Letter to My First Love

My Love,

These past few days I have been thinking about you endlessly. I always remember you when I write, when I work, when I look at the mirror and even when I smile. The thought of you fills my mind and my heart.

I remember the times when you hug me when I am so down. I remember the times when you encourage me when I feel weak. I remember the times when you tell me everything is fine, even if they are not. I remember the times when you tell me there is so much goodness in the world when I see none.

I miss how to combed my hair in front of your old worn out mirror. I miss the times when you pick and iron the best clothes for me to use. I miss the times when you made the most beautiful dresses for me. I miss the times when you make me the most beautiful stuff toys I have ever laid eyes on.

I can still remember your touch when you hold my hand. I can still remember our everyday walk to the farm. I can still remember how you tell me you love me. I can still remember the food you cook for me everyday .

I can still remember your frown. I can still remember your angry face. I can still remember your laughter. I can still remember your smile. I can still remember how frail and small stature. I remember everything about you.

Oh how I deeply miss you. Oh how I deeply loved you. Oh how deeply I love you.

But my love, you are a story that has long ended. I remember it as though it were just yesterday. I was supposed to see you. I was in the crossroad, thinking which way to go. Should I go home or should I go to you? Had I known better, I would have chosen to go to you. It became clear to me just when everything was too late. You were my home. You have always been my home, my love.

I wish I could go back to that moment. I regret not choosing you. I regret being so stubborn. I should have listened to my heart. Had I known that would be the last time I can hold your hand and kiss you, I would have done everything I can to see you.

Now, it is too late. Oh so late. I prayed, believe me I prayed to Heaven to keep you strong. I cried out to the Almighty Father to help you keep fighting. I prayed to God to keep you alive, but I guess my prayers were all too late.

Years have passed but I still remember that unfaithful moment when I lost you. I was preparing my gift for you. I was supposed to give it to you the following day. I was looking forward for the moment that you can go out of the hospital and be with me again. Dad’s phone rang, It was Mom! Maybe you were looking for me. And then I heard “that word”. And as if it were a lullaby, I fell asleep. Sound asleep. During the wee hours of the day, I swear I heard you call my name. I woke up and I realized, you were not there. And you will never be there! No, not anymore. Never. Ever.

My love, you left me… you abandoned me. Now, I have no one to protect me. No one to cheer me up when I am sad. No one to tell make me feel I am loved beyond compare.

I promised you, one day, we will go to Europe and travel the globe together. I kept my part of the promise, but why didn’t you? Why did you have to leave so soon? Oh my love, why did you not wait for a little more? I am now here, just as I promised you. Oh I hope you can see me now! I hope you are with me now…

When I stood over your casket, I uttered a prayer. I prayed to God to keep you close in His arms and keep you happy. Oh how lucky could He be. He has His sweetest and perfect angel back. I kissed your casket, my last kiss for you and then I bid farewell.

Farewell my love.

You were Heaven’s perfect gift for me. You were the reason why I did not ask for a lot of things. I had you so I know I had everything.

You taught me everything I know now. You taught me to be good and to choose to do good. You taught me about happiness. You taught me about contentment. You taught me about love. But you also taught me about pain.

I hope this letter will reach Heaven. I hope you will know ho much I loved you. I hope you will know how much I love you. I hope you will know I will always love you.

Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change. I love you and my love for you will always remain, my little star in heaven…my grandmother.

With much love,

Your grand daughter

P.S.

I am now happily married to the man I love. I know you would have been more than happy to meet him. He is beyond amazing…and he loves me more than I can ever say nor write about.

No Excuse not to be Fit When in Denmark

If someone will ask me what it is that I love about Denmark, I am pretty sure I can go on the whole day stating my reasons. I mean, it is hailed as the happiest country in the world so truly there are multiple (if not thousands) of reasons why I fell in love with it. As a matter fact, I wrote a blog before about how it is to live like a Dane. 

But one of the reasons why I love Denmark is that it gives a person absolute NO REASON not to be fit. Let me tell you why.

  1. Parks are everywhere.

    In Denmark, there are a lot of parks and playgrounds. After every few blocks, you can see a park filled with kids and adults alike. In these parks, you can play basketball, trampoline,climb or jog. Do whatever you want and nobody will care. Also, on weekends or at night time you can just go to any school playground and use the amenities there,for free.

  2. Intended walk/jogging path.

    It is very safe to jog/walk in Denmark. You do not have to worry about passing cars because Denmark already thought of that even before you did. That is why they have really wide walkways which are very convenient for everyone to use when they are jogging or doing their morning walks.

  3. It is very safe to walk around even at night.

    If you are a busy bee and do not have the luxury to exercise in the morning,do not worry. Denmark got you covered. You can do a night exercise if you want. It is generally safe to run in Denmark even at night time. As a matter of fact, I am sure you will not be alone as many Danes tend to run as well during night time. Who knows, you might meet your “fitness buddy” on one of those nights, under the starry sky and big blue moon…ahh.Sweet.

  4. Bike Lanes.

    Remember what I told you about pathways? Well, that’s not the only thing that Denmark has. They have bike lanes too. It has a reputation being the world’s most bike-friendly country.  Most of the Danes use bikes when they go to the office or even when they run their errands.In fact, almost 50% of those living in Copenhagen do use a bicycle when going to work.  30 minutes bike ride is an easy-peasy for them. I don’t know if it’s just the Viking in them, but men, these people are so fit and strong!

So if ever you are looking for a “fitspiration” country, I would really say that is Denmark. And if you want some motivation to be fit, visit Denmark because this country will give you NO REASON not to be one.