From Taina's balcony, you have a direct view to the Hämeenlinna market square and the city hall. The two-room apartment with 62 square metres is newly renovated.
“If I remember correctly, the renovation was completed last August. I acquired this apartment as my second home for work at the end of October.”
Taina has a permanent home with her husband and dog in Turku. The family also has a cottage in the Turku archipelago, where they spend a lot of time. Normally, only Taina, who works in legal tasks in the insurance sector, lives in Hämeenlinna on weekdays.
“In November, I started a fixed-term work project in Hämeenlinna, which lasts at least one year. The distance from here to Turku is 140 kilometres, which would be too long to drive every day as a commute. We began talking about the acquisition of a second home for work right after the work project was confirmed, as, at least now in the early stages, I often need to spend five days a week in Hämeenlinna,” says Taina.
It did not take long to acquire the apartment. Taina’s employer would also have had a furnished apartment available but, in her opinion, it would have been too big. She also hoped that she would find something that would better meet her needs.
“My husband and I drove to Hämeenlinna, and we sat in the car in a car park, browsing the local housing stock on the iPad.”
Lumo home met the criteria
Taina’s criteria were that the apartment should be located in the centre, it should be within walking distance from Taina’s workplace, and, to enable visits by the one-year-old dog Jörri, it should be pet friendly. When Taina found an interesting Lumo apartment, she was called back within fifteen minutes from her first contact.
“There were two interesting apartments available in the house we found, and we went to view them both. If I’d been alone all the time, then the two-room apartment with 42 square metres would’ve been quite sufficient. But it’s comfortable to have more room, and I feel more like I’m at home,” Taina says.
Laundry room and broadband made the choice easier
Other factors that spoke in favour of the Lumo home were the internet connection included in the rent and free use of the laundry room with a washing machine, drying room and mangel. Therefore, Taina did not need to acquire a washing machine for her apartment. She has tried to keep the furniture and goods acquisitions to a minimum in other respects as well. Many of the things she has are borrowed from her son's family’s storage, some were bought second hand from online flea markets and the big, brown sofa was brought from the cottage.
“We brought some extra pictures from home since, there, we were running out of walls to hang them on. I didn’t want to have any plants here either, to avoid having anything that would need taking care of while I’m away,” Taina says.
Taina and her husband have been trying since 2012 to reduce the amount of goods they have, when they moved into an apartment that was smaller than their previous one. The area where they had the most work was the books; in their current apartment by the Aura river, Taina and her husband have only one wall full of books left.
There is a dark suitcase in the corner of the bedroom in the Hämeenlinna home, which is packed when larger amounts of stuff need to be taken to Turku. Otherwise, Taina travels lightly on weekends. She is an experienced traveller, since earlier Taina worked in Helsinki, where she lived in an aparthotel during work weeks after the family made the decision to move from Helsinki Metropolitan Area to Turku.
“I have learned to be an efficient traveller. When working in Helsinki, I started, for example, wearing wrinkle-free clothes, and I kept a skirt suit in the workplace. Travelling teaches you.”
The family travels from Turku to Hämeenlinna for a visit every two to three weeks. The Swedish Vallhund Jörri settles in quickly with his toys and keeps on running back and forth, dragging his toys around on the floor. Word of the pet-friendliness of the Lumo building has reached other people as well, because there are a lot of dogs, in particular, living in the house. There are at least seven dogs in the apartments on this floor along the same corridor,” Taina counts.
“In spite of this, the house is peaceful. I hear some sounds every now and then, but they don’t bother another dog person.”
Tax deduction for extra costs
Taina gives a hint to other people who are considering a move to another town to follow their work, about the opportunity to apply for a tax deduction for the rent of a second home for work.
“The tax administration encourages people to apply for a job from another locality in such a manner that, at the beginning of this year, the right to a tax deduction of the second home for work was increased from EUR 250 to EUR 450 per month. It’s a significant and noticeable sum, and it makes accepting a job outside one’s own place of residence financially more profitable.”
When she vacates the two-room apartment in Hämeenlinna at the end of the year, Taina will move back to Turku. Some of the furniture will be returned to those who lent it, some will be sold forward.
“My son is planning a man cave of his own, and the sofa may return to him, as well as the old black leather chairs around the dinner table. The bed is the only thing bought new for this apartment, and that will be taken to the cottage.”
Tax deduction for a second home for work
- The deduction of a second home for work is deducted in the form of expenses for the production of income. As of 1 January 2019, the maximum deduction is EUR 450 per month, whereas earlier it was EUR 250 per month.
- The purpose of the deduction of a second home for work is to encourage people to seek and accept a job even at a long distance from one’s permanent apartment.
- The requirement for the deduction of a second home is that the permanent home is located more than 100 kilometres away from the second home and workplace.
- People with no family have the right to the deduction for a second home for work only in case they have two primary places of work concurrently and two homes because of the location of each actual workplace.
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