Is it a good time to buy a house?

We have heard this question and others over and over again, so we’ve made an overview of frequently asked questions and has asked an expat-expert to answer all! We kick off with Barry Burgemeester of Burgemeester Vastgoed.

Everyone can become a real estate agent. There is no diploma or certificate required to get started in this line of work. However, Barry has the proper certification and has been in the business for 23 years. The past 17 years he specialized in assisting expats with buying homes and commercial real estate. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what real estate agents actually do, so he’d published recently an article “A typical day in the life of an Amsterdam Real Estate Agent“.

Aren’t we in a property bubble in Amsterdam? Shouldn’t I just wait?
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The only answer to this is that unless you’re planning to speculate on the Dutch property market and sell your home within say 6 to 8 months, then it’s always worth buying. With tax rebates and low-interest rates, you’ll usually end up paying less money on a mortgage than you do rent. It’s always a good time to buy and I’m here to help you find the right place in Amsterdam that meets your needs.

What is the real challenge in the process of buying a house?

In this market, the search for just the right home is important, and we can help you with that. Once a client has set his/her sights on a desirable house, then the real challenge starts: the bidding process and the presentation of our client to the selling party. A real estate agent should advise his client on what is and is not possible. Where previously it was often about having the highest bid, now the buyer is also under scrutiny, because the selling party benefits from a customer who can also pay for the property. We can help you make the right bid, safely and freely, and within the possibilities, ensuring the highest chance of success.

So, what should I do first?

The first thing you need to know if you want to buy a house is how much money you can borrow. The market is so hot, that if you find a house you like, you must be ready to act straight away. Remember, you will need more than the actual price of the property. You can borrow up to 100% of the value of the property, so you will need your own cash – about 6% to 8% of the purchase price – to cover the bills for taxes, the estate agent and notary fees and other matters. There are a lot of different banks and institutions providing mortgages in the Netherlands so it makes sense to talk to a mortgage expert first.

My offer on a house has been accepted, what happens now?
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Once your offer for a house has been accepted, you have to sign a contract. So you, your estate agent, the seller and their agent will meet at a notary’s office to sign the voorlopig koopcontract – the purchase and sale agreement. The notary is a type of lawyer, and the contract gives you three days to change your mind. The contract also includes a clause saying the transaction is ‘subject to financing’.That gives you a period of time to arrange your mortgage. This is usually four weeks. It might sound like a long time, but there is a lot of paperwork to go through. Once all that is done, you go to the notary again and sign the final deal.

We like to thank Barry very much for his clear answers and will be back next week with another expat expert answering questions! We invited Marielle Groen of Advocura to answer the questions you have asked about legal issues in The Netherlands.

Be sure and check out our Facebook community, How to Buy a House in the Netherlands. This group was specially created to provide support and assistance for homebuyers during every step of the process, from just thinking about buying a home to making the final offer.  Ask us all your questions via monique@howtobuya.house and we will get back to you!

Expat Oriented Organistion