Buying a house is not something one does frequently. Many expats would probably not consider such a purchase since they’re only staying here for a short period of time. But for expats staying here for a few years or more it’s an excellent time to stop renting and start buying. The housing prices are at a relative low and expectations are that they will soon rise again. Buying is therefore a very interesting investment.
What’s the need for a real estate agent when purchasing? “If a potential buyer falls in love with a house he tends to see it through rose-colored spectacles. We aim to put his feet back on earth. We look for hidden faults, look at the constructional state, for example the decay of concrete and provide legal assistance. This is of great importance to anyone buying a new home but especially for foreigners. They may not fully grasp the Dutch language yet, but more importantly, are not familiar with our local customs. For example, in China it’s quite normal to be negotiating six houses at the same time. That’s very rarely done here.”
“It’s convenient and wise to make use of the services a real estate agent provides. Remember, the selling estate agent is your competitor. This way you can communicate on the same level as the selling agent. We are there to assist the buyer. This entails pointing out the pitfalls, helping out with building permits and even more important negotiating for the best price. Hypodomus is your perfect partner when you are looking to buy, we even can help you with applying for a mortgage.”
When you visit one of our six Hypodomus offices in The Netherlands, we draw up a list of your wishes and criteria for your perfect home. We will supervise you until the desired house is found and purchased. We will be with you to inspect all the homes that meet your requirements. Also, we will estimate the value and the state of repair. If necessary we will advise a structural inspection to take place.
It’s important to come well prepared when buying a house. A Hypodomus real estate agent is worth the investment many times over and will inform you on all your possibilities. That’s often far more than you would guess. Visit our site and leave your contact information and we will get in touch with you. Who knows, pretty soon you will be living in the house of your dreams.
Hypodomus provides tailored, independant and professional advice and assistence in buying a home in the Netherlands. To help you getting the best advice in financing your new home we have a special services for expats. You can find the offices of Hypodomus all over the Netherlands.
No restrictions are placed on foreigners for buying property in the Netherlands, but there are some quirks of the Dutch housing market you should know before buying a home. Whether you've just moved to the Netherlands or already well-established, you may want to consider the benefits of buying a home.
Along with many other countries, the housing market in the Netherlands has been in flux since the 2008 financial crisis ended a long period of rising property prices. The country is densely populated with a growing population, so competition for appealing properties in certain areas can be fierce. Almost 60 percent of Dutch people own their own home, and apartments or high-density family housing are common.
The Netherlands has a high proportion of social housing and rent controlled housing. Both are often restricted to low-income renters, which can make finding a property harder. There are tax benefits for home owners and mortgage costs are often lower than rent, however as the transaction costs of buying a house are around 6 percent and the property market is in flux, it is recommended you rent if you are new to an area or planning a stay of three years or less.
Yes. The Netherlands does not place any restrictions on the purchase of property by foreigners, whether resident or non-resident.
As in most countries, you can find property listings online, and in local newspapers and free property papers. Using a real estate agent is very common in the Netherlands, and is advisable, particularly for those who are new to the country or are not fluent in Dutch.
Dutch estate agents are called makelaar. It's common to have both a buyer's agent and a seller's agent, and each will have different roles in the transaction – and have to be paid separately.
Concerns when choosing an apartment in the Netherlands
When you buy an apartment, although you own the flat itself outright, you only own a share or a leasehold in the building and/or the land it stands on. As a result, buying an apartment can be more complex than buying a freehold property.
In the Netherlands, each apartment building is managed by an owner's association called a Vereniging van Eigenaren (VvE). These are responsible for general repairs and maintenance and may be well or poorly run, or even go into debt. As a member, you will be responsible for your share of that debt, so it is important to check into the status of the VvE before purchase.
Further terms and conditions relating to the shared spaces will be laid out in the property division regulations (splitsingsreglement) which should be included with your documentation at the time of transfer.
Once you've found a property you wish to make an offer on, the next step is to get an appraisal and, if required, a structural or building survey. Contact the mortgage broker you intend to use to ensure you get an appraisal which is also suitable for your mortgage application. You can also request land registry and property value information through the registry office at Kadaster (Dutch only).
When you have a clear idea of the value of the property, you can make an offer and begin negotiations. This is usually done through the buyer's and seller's estate agents. Negotiations are usually only undertaken with one prospective buyer at a time.
After the sale price has been agreed, the formal steps towards property transfer take place.
Dutch law requires that a notary must perform the property registration process. The costs will vary and may be a percentage of the property price, a per-hour charge or a fixed fee. As the total cost is usually € 1,500,-.
A translator is also required to attend notary meetings in cases where one or more of the parties is not a Dutch citizen. Accredited translators can be hard to find, so ensure you book in advance, even if your Dutch is excellent. Translator fees are typically around € 200,-.
Your mortgage (hypotheek) will be arranged after the provisional sale contract is signed. However, it is possible – and important – to discuss mortgage terms with one or more prospective lenders before you make an offer. At Hypodomus we have excellent Morgage propositions from several banks. You may also wish to arrange a bridging loan or banker's guarantee to cover the deposit, for example if your cash is tied up in a property you are selling.
In the Netherlands, it is common to have both a buyer's agent and a seller's agent. The seller's estate agent fees will be paid by the seller, otherwise, all fees are typically handled by the buyer.
Budget approximately 6 percent of the purchase price for fees and charges. This breaks down to:
In any financial transaction, don't forget to ensure you understand whether the value added tax (BTW) applies, currently at 21 percent, and if so whether it has been included in the quoted price.
Pre-sale agreements (koopovereenkomst) or provisional (voorlopige) contracts should include all the usual essential information, such as property details, liens and encumbrances.
In addition, it is important to ensure that it includes:
This will form the basis for the completion contract (akte van levering) so it's important to make sure it's correct.
There is a legally mandated 72-hour cooling off period after you sign the contract in which you can change your mind without incurring a penalty.