The word Sommarstuga in Swedish means Summer house. Some summer houses came from farm house complexes that had additional buildings other than the main house that were uninsulated, and some or all the family members moved into the smaller building in the Summer.
Also, there are some summer houses that are located in various places such as the beach, or the forest. Many can only be used in the Summer, because there is no heat or insulation. Sometimes there will not be any indoor plumbing. A large majority of these summer homes have been passed down from generation to generation.
In the early 1900’s the industrialization in the cities, and people being forced to live in apartments that did not give any outdoor space, started the movement of Summer homes.
In areas that were at one time in the country around the cities, are now right at the edge of the city, or the city has grown around it. These communities are called, “koloniområde”. The houses are called “kolonistuga”. This designates a summer house in a colony, or community. Most of them are no larger than a large storage shed. Some of the homes are lived in during the summer. But some are only used to have a garden, which isn’t available in an apartment. Most of the homes are not allowed to be lived in, during the winter.
I know of two koloniomrädes around Linköping. One in the Valla area, and one near the airport. Stockholm has 132 koloniomrädes in and around Stockholm. The land that the communities are on is usually owned by the city. In some cases, it is owned by an organization like a homeowner’s association. The form of ownership is leasehold. The house is owned by individuals. They then pay a sum which is sometimes very small to the city or whoever owns the land.
In real estate ads you will see them listed in the classification of “fritidhus”. This means “only for summer use”. Some are listed as fritidhus/villa, which means they could be used for both. When it is listed as a villa, the pricing will be a much higher price than that of a fritidhus. Some fritidhuses have been converted to full time living, but there are definite rules in each area as to whether that is allowed.
Here is a link to another article written by my friend Lynette Kleve. She is an American, living in Sweden for the past 11 years. http://kleve.se/en/blogs/lynette/my-day-valla
What do you think? Is this arrangement something that you would like?
And my Swedish readers, let me know what you think. Do you have a sommarstuga that has been passed down through the generations? Is any of my information incorrect? Let me know!
Globe Trottin Granny