Anna Silje and Arild: Co-owners

Cut investment and operating costs in half by co-owning the cabin

Kristian Ellertsen
min read

Arild cut investment and operating costs in half by co-owning the cabin: - No reduced sense of ownership

Fifteen years ago, Arild Andersen and his family bought a cabin together with members of his in-laws' family, significantly reducing the investment costs. Now he recommends others to do the same.

It all started when Arild's brother- and sister-in-law came across a cabin at Ustaoset. When he and other members of the family heard about it, they ended up buying the cabin together.

"At the beginning, all co-owners owned a third each, but eventually, my wife´s parents sold their share. Now we own 50 percent. Our in-laws live in Eastern Norway, so the autumn and winter holidays are not the same for us. The cabin has served as a meeting point, but it is mostly used individually between the families," he says.

"We have had very positive experiences co-owning our cabin at Ustaoset. It is so great that we also bought an apartment in France together with the same people," Arild laughs.

Even though the family could have bought the entire cabin themselves back then, it would have been a much bigger decision to make, as all investment costs and maintenance would have fallen solely on them. Andersen believed that it would have been much harder to justify the purchase.

The view at Ustaoset is an experience in itself

Having a cabin has meant a lot to the family

"I feel like time stands still in the mountains. It feels calmer, and you get closer to nature. You also get to spend more time outdoors," says Arild.

"When you live in Bergen, I feel like you need access to the mountains, among other things, to be able to teach your children to ski. A very nice memory was when the kids went skiing all the way up to Hallingskarvet for the first time," he smiles.

When the children were young, Arild and his family used the cabin more frequently. At that time, they used to be there during Christmas, winter holidays, fall break, Easter, and a little in the summer. As the children grew older, the use of the cabin fluctuated.

"With older children came other activities, like soccer tournaments - and then the weekends were gone. Now the oldest works on weekends. We also want to travel to other destinations. It would have been harder to justify keeping the cabin if we had had 100 percent ownership since it's now empty even more often," he explains.

No feeling of reduced ownership

Do you feel that any of the holiday homes are less yours because you co-own them with others?

"No, we do not feel any less sense of ownership. If anything, it is only marginally less. We talk about it and refer to it as 'our cabin'. The only difference is that, of course, you have to make more diplomatic decisions about what investments, upgrades, and furnishings to make," says Arild.

"The advantage is that the winter and fall holidays are asynchronous with the other co-owners who live in Eastern Norway. We have to coordinate a bit more around Easter, but there is generally agreement on everything, both regarding use and investments. In addition, we all have a good relationship with our cabin neighbors, which is an important factor. Our cabin is located as a small cluster with eight other cabins."

Two happy co-owners

Not been difficult to share the use

Andersen says they have cut investment and operating costs in half by co-owning the cabin.

"It would have been hard to justify the purchase with 100 percent ownership with such limited use. It is only positive that the cabin is being used more, both in terms of practicality and sustainability. Additionally, it has not been difficult to share the use," he says.

"Our experience with co-owning is so positive that, as mentioned, we bought an apartment in France a year ago. Here, we own 50 percent. We know that we have limited use of both the cabin and the apartment. We envision using the apartment for a maximum of five to six weeks per year, maybe some weekends as well. On the other hand, we also want to travel to other places, so it is not practical to own anything 100 percent."

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Kristian Ellertsen
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