I have a hobby which I didn’t know I had. It’s called “Funda”.
And it works like this. First you go to the website Funda, and then you select which houses you want to see. Do you want to see every house above €2.000.000,00, no problem! And the interiors? It’s like walking through the house, without getting noticed. I can do this for several hours and after that go back into real life with new inspiration. However, what has this to do with purchasing a house in the Netherlands?
Well, Funda is the largest website in the sale of houses in the Netherlands. Almost all properties for sale are on this website. In this blog, we will concentrate on buying an existing house.
Are you looking to buy a newly built house, you can read this blog, because that is too much for now.
1. Save money
A lot of people forget that buying a house requires more than a mortgage and a job. When you want to purchase a house in the Netherlands, it is wise to have already some extra money reserved for paying taxes, mortgage advisor and notary. The amount is normally estimated at 10% of costs on top of the costs of a house. That costs will normally not include in the mortgage.
On the other hand, some extra money makes it possible to have some new furniture, floor, kitchen, or whatever you want or need.
Also think about how much money you will need for contingencies.
2. Dream of purchasing a house in the Netherlands
The dreaming stage is important to know what kind of house you want to buy. It helps you to think out of the box and gives you ideas. Questions you may ask yourself are:
– What would your dream house look like?
– Is there something that reminds me of the good things about my home country?
– What is the most important space for you in the house? How does that need to look like?
– Are there things which are a big plus for you? (Like a home office or extra space for guests?)
To help you dream, you can make a mood board, write down what’s in your mind, or watch pictures from your childhood. Of course, not every dream can always come true, but it will help you to make decisions further on in the process.
3. Make an appointment with a mortgage advisor
To prevent disappointments in the process of purchasing a house in the Netherlands, the first step is making an appointment with a mortgage advisor or loan officer. Normally, the first appointment is free of charge.
There are two kinds of advisors. Dependent and independent. Dependent advisors work for a bank or insurance company, so your choice is limited there. And you probably don’t get the best offer in the end.
My advice to you is: search for an independent advisor.
After your first appointment, you know probably better what you want, what all the ins and outs are, and what you can borrow.
If you are not sure where you want to live. Renting a house first can be a good option.
4. Search for a house
There are different ways to search for a house.
1. You can ask others whether they know if a house will be for sale soon.
2. You can check websites like Funda.
3. Or ask an estate agent to help you.
The last option has the advantage that the realtor will have better inside in the local house market, knows what the good prices are, and have earlier inside in the housing market. That needs some explanation.
Before a house is shown on a website, it will take a few days. In this market, some houses are already gone by that time. A broker can help you to react quickly, have the first view, and negotiate for you.
In most cases, it is good to see a few houses before, before you start bidding.
In this phase, it’s important to research. Of course, it depends on your situation. Some things to research:
– The neighborhood the house is located.
– Are there schools or shops nearby?
– Is there good public transport?
– The crime rate (you can check it at the website of the police)
– State of the house
– The value of houses which are sold last period in that neighbourhood.
– Availability of parking space.
– Also think about the amount of noise you will here inside and outside the house.
– The available documentation.
– Think also about the extra costs which are involved being a house owner in the Netherlands.
6. Bidding (in case of an already existing house)
Finally, you have seen a lot of houses for sale. And you choose one which suits you. Congratulations. But now you have to bid.
In most areas it is normal to bid above the asking price for a house, this is especially in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Eindhoven. In other areas, it can be still normal to bid below the asking price. Be aware that the costs you are about to pay above the price asked, you can not include in the mortgage normally.
Do you want to have an extra change? Tell something of your story with the bid. Maybe you will receive a counter offer from the current owner.
7. Negotiate on the terms and conditions
This can be an important step. In Dutch, it’s called “bindende en ontbindende voorwaarden”. For example, you can negotiate about curtains, flooring, some damages which needs repair. But also on the result of a technical inspection for example, who requires paying when something requires to be repaired, or even worse: the foundation of the house is not in a good state. A good real estate agent will help you with that.
Yes, finally your bid is accepted. Congratulations. You now can purchase a house in the Netherlands. Keep in mind that you have 3 days of thinking time to still cancel the purchase if needed. This is also the time to arrange for a mortgage, appraisal and prepare for the move.
Purchasing a house in the Netherlands will take time to prepare, dream, and investigate. It is not an easy process, but on the other hand, it can be very satisfying as well as you find finally a property which suits you. I wish you good luck in this process.
If you want help with house renovations or the moving process, please contact me.