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All you need to know about buying a house in the Netherlands

Anyone can buy a house in the Netherlands without restrictions, but you should know what is happening in the Dutch housing market before buying a house in the Netherlands.

Whether you are new to the Netherlands or have been living in the Netherlands for ten years, you may someday consider buying a home in the Netherlands. As mentioned, there are no restrictions for foreigners to buy a home in the Netherlands, but you should know the quirks of the Dutch housing market before buying your home.

Like in many other countries, the housing market in the Netherlands has undergone continuous change since the financial crisis ended in 2008, accompanied by a rise in property prices.

The Netherlands is densely populated and the population is constantly growing, so there can be strong competition to buy property in certain areas, for example in large cities. Or country houses, especially after the Corona virus pandemic.

It is worth noting that nearly 60% of Dutch people own their own home.

Should you rent a house or buy a house in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands there is a high proportion of social housing. Usually these homes are given to renters with low incomes, which makes it more difficult to find a home, if you come to the Netherlands to work, but if you are staying in the Netherlands as a “refugee” for example, the situation is easier for you.

There are tax benefits for homeowners and the mortgage costs are often less than rent, but the transaction costs of buying a home are about 6 percent of the home’s price, and don’t forget the real estate market is in flux.

Average house prices have reached nearly the same pre-crisis levels, as the market has recovered from the more than 20% price drop that occurred during the economic crisis years.

By the end of 2016, house prices in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Utrecht had surpassed their pre-crisis prices.

How do you find a home to buy in the Netherlands?

As in most European countries, you can find homes to buy online, and in advertisements in local newspapers.

Hiring a real estate office is very common in the Netherlands.

Websites to find real estate on the Internet:

All you need to know about buying a house in the Netherlands in 2023
Expatica.
funda in Dutch.
Perfect Housing.
Paraius.

Advantages and disadvantages of hiring a Dutch real estate office:

  • The office will ask you to sign a contract with it, and you are not allowed to sign a contract with other offices. This means that the office fee may be charged, even if you find the house yourself or even if you decide not to buy a house.
  • The fee is usually 1-2% of the house price.
  • The office should work and help you only, not the seller.
  • The office may have good knowledge of the market in a particular area.The office may be able to advise about neighborhoods, schools, and public transportation near a particular home.
  • The office may be able to translate for you.
  • The office must assist you or have it complete all the papers that must be signed.

Things to be aware of when buying an apartment:

When you buy an apartment, even though you explicitly own that apartment, you only own a share in the building and/or the land on which the apartment is located. As a result, buying an apartment can be more complicated than buying a house-huis.

In the Netherlands, every apartment building is managed by a company called “Vereniging van Eigenaren” (VvE). This company is responsible for general repairs and maintenance and it may be good, bad or even possibly in debt. As a builder member, you will be responsible for this debt, so it is very important to check your VvE before purchasing.

Buying a home:

Once you have found a property that you would like to make a purchase offer, the next step is to obtain a “price assessment” and, if necessary, a building structural survey.

It is best to contact a real estate office, to ensure that you get an appropriate price assessment. You can also request information about the land on which the house is located and other information through the Kadaster office

When you have a clear idea of ​​the value of the property, you can make an offer and start negotiations. This is usually done through the real estate office. Negotiations are usually conducted with only one buyer.

After the sale price is agreed upon, the formal steps are taken to transfer ownership to you.

1- The seller and the buyer sign a pre-sale agreement (koopovereenkomst) or a temporary contract (voorlopige).
2- A notary (notaris) who certifies the signed contract and deposits 10 percent of the house price is determined by the buyer.
3- The buyer shall bring any additional papers needed by the contract.
4- The seller and the buyer sign a purchase completion contract (akte van levering).
5- The notary registers the transfer of ownership in the land registry office (kadaster) to complete the process.

Legal requirements:

Dutch law requires that a notary register the property for the buyer. Notary costs vary. It could be a percentage of the property price, a cost per hour worked, or a fixed amount.

The total cost is usually between 1000 and 3000 euros.

The law also requires an interpreter to attend notary meetings in cases where one or more of the parties is not a Dutch national. The translator must be “certified”.

Selling fees and other fees for buying a house in the Netherlands:

As mentioned earlier, in the Netherlands, it is common to hire a real estate office by the buyer, and a real estate office by the seller. The seller will pay the real estate office fee to the seller, otherwise, all other fees must be paid by the buyer.

In all, the buyer will have to pay a fee of approximately 6 percent of the home’s purchase price.

These fees are divided into:

The tax transfer process (overdrachtsbelasting) is about 2 percent.
Legal fees are around 1.0-1.5 percent.
The registration fee is 1.1-1.5 percent.
Real estate agent fees 1-2 per cent.

There is a legal period of 72 hours after signing the contract, during which you can change your mind without incurring any penalty.

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