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Purchasing a Home

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property, whether resident or non-resident, although banks may impose some of their own rules.

It is very common to use a real estate agent in the Netherlands and certainly advisable as a foreigner to use one. Dutch estate agents are called makelaars. Be sure to use a real estate agent registered with a professional real estate association such as NVM, VBO, or Vastgoed Pro.

You can find property listings on websites such as Funda or VBO Makelaar. The process of purchasing a house usually begins with a price agreement between seller and buyer, first verbally and then signed in a contract. Most of the time, it will be organized by a real estate agent. A down payment of 10% needs to be paid to the seller through a public notary. The notary will complete the transfer of the ownership, and the purchase will be registered in the Public Registry Office (Kadaster).

If you need a mortgage (hypotheek), discuss the terms with the seller before you make an offer. You may also need to arrange a loan or banker’s guarantee to cover the deposit. For example, you can check this website, read this article or talk to your real estate agent or bank.

In the case of buying an apartment, it should be noted that each apartment is managed by the association Vereniging van Eigenaren (VvE). They are responsible for general repairs, maintenance and home insurance. As a member, you will have to contribute to the VvE. It is wise to check up front what the financial status is of the VvE before you purchase.

If you are considering buying a house, it may be advisable to join the Vereniging Eigen Huis (Home Owners’ Society). It is a consumer agency that looks after the benefits for house owners. They can also advise you on construction inspections, legal matters, mortgages, etc. You can find them on the website www.eigenhuis.nl (in Dutch).

Costs for the buyer include:

  • Property transfer tax (overdrachtsbelasting, 2% of the purchase price)
  • Transfer contract (leveringsakte, 0.3% of the purchase price)
  • Real estate agent fees, if applicable (makelaarscourtage, 0.5-2% of the purchase price)
  • Mortgage advice fee, if applicable (hypoteekadvies, 1% of the mortgage or 1.2% of the purchase price)
  • Mortgage contract (hypoteekakte, 0.15% of the purchase price)
  • Valuation fee (taxatierapport, 0.2% of the purchase price)

Buying a foreign property is a big financial commitment, but understanding your currency transfer options early on means you can budget for the purchase more effectively and potentially save a considerable amount of money.

The movement of exchange rates is an important factor when determining your finances as exchange rates can change on a second-by-second basis and can seriously affect your budget if you don’t plan ahead. One of the IWCN Service Partners, Spartan FX, has a highly experienced team who can help you find the best solution for your currency transfer needs.

For assistance, check out our IWCN Service Partners in Housing Agents and Home Services!