Guide to buying a home in the Netherlands

Guide to buying a home in the Netherlands

Guide to buying a home in the Netherlands

Wherever your chosen destination, becoming an expat almost invariably involves getting to grips with the local property market and all its quirks.

Moving overseas to a new life as an expat can include the purchase of a property in your new location, making your first introduction to your new country’s bureaucratic processes likely to be confusing at best. The Dutch real estate market is no exception to the rule and is at present enjoying a mini-boom due to a shortage of homes and comparatively low interest rates.

Buying a home is always complicated, whatever the state of the market, but getting the right advice can save your stress levels from hitting a high point. The old adage of ‘location, location, location’ is as true in the Netherlands as it was in your home country, and panic buying to ensure you’ve a roof over your head is not the best idea. Researching the market in your desired area is the way to go, with checking the Dutch Land Register for sale prices on properties with the same postcode a good start.

Using a real estate agent is one way to ensure you get to see a good number of properties, as agents have access to an intranet with listings of homes which aren’t yet on real estate websites. This gives you a distinct advantage as regards snapping up your dream home before it’s out there for general viewing. In the Netherlands, property agents work for the buyer, not the seller, and can be trusted with matters such as valuations. Checking your chosen agent is a member of the NVM professional association is essential.

When you’re viewing, ignore the decor and furnishings and concentrate on structure and maintenance. Humidity or mould in kitchens, bathrooms, attics and cellars is a bad sign, and windows and door frames can give a hint of foundation problems. The house should be surveyed for any signs of asbestos – a problem in older Dutch homes. If your favourite comes within your budget and the amount of mortgage funding you can get, snapping it up fast ensures an easy transition from renter to owner.

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