House Hunting in Finland: Log-Cabin Dreams Come to Life for $1.4 Million


This 1,300-square-foot cottage sits on a small island near the Porkkala peninsula, about 25 miles from central Helsinki, in the Gulf of Finland. Situated on about two wooded acres with a small sandy beach, the property has two saunas — one in the house and one in a separate, smaller cottage on the beach, said Petri Marttonen, an agent with Habita, which has the listing.

Situated in a narrow inlet and accessible only by boat, the island, called Blamansholmen, is about a fifth of a mile long and has a handful of homes. This property has two piers, with space enough for four boats, Mr. Marttonen said. The nearest marina, close to a small grocery store, is about a five-minute ride.

Built in 1992 from thick pine logs, the house has a wraparound deck to maximize water views. The front entrance opens into a heated glassed-in porch, and then into the living room, with exposed pine walls, a slate fireplace and a vaulted ceiling.

Off the living room is a large dining room lined with windows and the galley-style kitchen. The kitchen has ample storage, with wood cabinets and countertops along three walls, and a door out to the deck.

One bedroom and a bathroom with an adjoining electric sauna are on the ground floor. Two sleeping lofts are upstairs.

The smaller cottage on the beach has a wood-heated sauna, a sitting room with a fireplace, and a shower room. Outside are a terrace and swimming pier.

A short walk away, a small, glass-enclosed gazebo perched on a high point affords broader views of the coastline, the gulf and, to the west, the Baltic Sea.

Jutting from the southern tip of Finland, Porkkala has nature reserves with hiking trails, and is known as a prime location for watching migratory birds. The town of Kirkkonummi, about 10 miles away, has shops for necessities and restaurants. Central Helsinki is about 35 miles east, and Helsinki-Vantaa airport is about an hour’s drive. The northern coast of Estonia is 40 miles across the Bay of Finland.

More than a quarter of Finland’s 5.5 million residents live in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which includes the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. With apartment construction booming, that density is expected to continue to grow, such that a third of the country will be clustered there by 2040, according to a property market report from KTI, a Finnish real estate research company.

In central Helsinki, prices for apartments in historic buildings, many in the Art Nouveau style, are well over 7,000 euros a square meter ($760 a square foot), said Kenneth Katter, a partner and agent at Snellman Sotheby’s International Realty in Helsinki.

But foreigners are much more common in the Helsinki metro area. Mr. Marttonen estimated that about 20 percent of property transactions involve a foreigner, most commonly from Europe, Russia, China and India.

Mr. Katter said that, in addition to those regions, he also sees buyers from the Middle East and the United States.



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