Advice for expats buying property in the Netherlands

Advice for expats buying property in the Netherlands

Advice for expats buying property in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are becoming ever more popular with expat professionals looking for a long-term stay in a rewarding job.

As Brexit approaches, Amsterdam is pushing hard to attract long-term expats in the financial sector, with several major companies already committed to a presence in the Netherlands. Professionals on longer-term or permanent assignments due to company relocations may well be thinking about buying property, especially if they’re arriving with their families.

As with most European countries, navigating property purchase can be stressful, particularly if a mortgage is required. At the present time, house prices are slowly recovering from their low point following the 2008 crash, meaning there are still bargains to be had. Using an estate agent is the sensible option for new arrivals, as the formerly popular ‘grey’ housing market has now all but disappeared. It’s worth noting that, in fashionable districts, most properties are now selling for more than the asking price.

The purchasing process itself is comparatively straightforward, starting with a three-day ‘consideration’ period following on from your signed purchase agreement, thus giving you 72 hours to change your mind. Another standard clause gives the buyer a time period of between four to six weeks to secure financing. Around 25 per cent of Amsterdam properties are sold for cash, leaving those requiring a mortgage at a slight disadvantage.

Mortgage requirements are similar across Europe, and include a check on credit worthiness both for new expat arrivals and for those from Austria, Germany, Italy and Belgium, all of whom will be credit-checked in their home countries. The days of 100 per cent plus mortgages are now over, with purchasers required to invest their own money as a deposit. Buyers on permanent contract with their employer are preferred by mortgage companies, with freelancers and entrepreneurs advised to keep their fingers crossed as banks aren’t as lenient as they were in the past.

General advice includes never buying without a cancellation clause in the contract and checking your credit rating personally before applying for a mortgage. For expats using an estate agent who’s suggesting bidding over the asking price and dropping the financial grace period, insisting on a guarantee the property meets all technical standards is the way to go.

Related Stories:

Latest News: