I moved to my flat in Gröndal/Liljeholmen in Stockholm, in 1999. It was in a rundown area and the building itself was looking rather tired and worn. Built in the early 1940s it had not been renovated since then, and still has a nuclear bomb shelter in the basement.
The area is beautiful though with the lake on one side and a little forest on the other, with the city centre 15 minutes away by public transport. From my flat I can take the boat, the bus, the underground or the tram to get into the city centre, where I work.
I bought the flat about 4 years ago with great reluctance. After having lost my home when my parents died and I was too young to inherit, had no legal guardian and was a ward of the state, I NEVER wanted to own a house.
But it was converted to tenant ownership/condo and in the end I had no choice. Something weird then happened – something which has never happened to me before. The area became trendy. The value went up. ENORMOUSLY. About a year ago the apartment was valued at triple what I paid for it and housing prices are rising. Since then I have a new balcony, new windows and doors and a facade renovation. I expect the housing bubble will burst but it won’t make any difference to me as I just want a nice home to live in with my cats and my plants.
I was amused to read an article in the local paper calling Liljeholmen The Manhattan of Stockholm. It is so popular nowadays that they cannot build outwards so they are planning on building upwards. Skyscrapers!
Here is an architect’s impression of how the new buildings will look. You can see why Stockholm is called Beauty on Water – it is built on 14 islands. I have put a red arrow on the photo above to show where I live. On a little peninsula right by the third biggest lake in Sweden, Mälaren. Its area is 1,140 km² and its greatest depth is 64 m. Mälaren spans 120 kilometers from east to west. I love it!
The blue arrow above shows the bridge where the tram crosses. Below is a photo taken from the tram of where I live. Blue arrow on the photo below shows where I live. Aren’t I lucky?