A guest post from Zoek alle huizen
HOUSING IN THE NETHERLANDS
There are a number of options available for accommodation in the Netherlands for expats, depending on where in the country they’re moving to. Short-term leases are available, but demand for accommodation is high in the larger cities, such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and off course Breda.
Finding accommodation in the Netherlands
There are numerous web sites available where expats will find property to buy or rent. These include koopwoningen.nl, zah.nl, kamers.nl and huurwoningen.nl. Rental agencies are also available; the bigger agencies offer rental houses, apartments, rooms, studios and lofts throughout the Netherlands. These agencies normally ask for a small fee or an extra monthly payment.
Most agencies work together with large web sites to advertise their properties and prices. All of these are quite competitive. Make sure you check different agencies to find out about price differences.
In the bigger cities like Breda you will find a range of accommodation, including houses with three or four bedrooms, apartments and small rooms to rent.Finding suitable space in the centre of a large city can be difficult. Most available accommodation consists of rooms and apartments. Houses with four rooms or more can be quite expensive as monthly rent can amount to over 1,000 euro/month. In the outer areas you will find villas and bigger townhouses, even farms. For example, in Breda you’ll pay about 525 euros for an apartment.
Altogether, as an expat you will have to decide if you prefer living in the sparkling and buzzing metropole with all its cultures and facilities, or if you choose a more laid back, spacious and comforting environment like the east of Holland.
The current situation in the Netherlands
Due to the current economic crisis in Europe, the housing market in the Netherlands has also experienced a lot of commotion. The resulting snowball effects could not be stopped: financial problems and bankruptcies in the construction sector, declining values of houses, new and very strict terms for applying for a mortgage, and less money for first time buyers to buy a house. In general, Dutch people are confronted with more and more obstacles in buying houses and selling their current properties.
The government is now trying to set up a new package of plans to get the situation
Buying property in the Netherlands
Overall, for expats who are looking for a house or apartment to buy, the big advantage is that houses prices are generally rated as low. The downside though, is that it seems really hard to sell your present house.
When buying a house in the Netherlands, it’s important to talk to the real estate agents. They have the best information, know all the details about locations, available houses, price rates and other specific information. It’s also possible to buy a house directly from the owner. In this case you won’t have to pay the extra costs to the real estate agents, which will save you up to thousands of euros. Something you might want to consider. Whether banks will offer you a mortgage, depends on the bank and the country you are from. Best is to check your options before you seriously start looking for a suitable home. For example, some banks only offer mortgages to an European when he has been a Dutch resident for three years.
Other banks might be a bit more willing. Just make sure you apply for information by visiting some Dutch banks online. They will be more than willing to inform you.
Another option is to make contact with real estate agents, these are the people that know about everything there is to know when moving to the Netherlands and buying or renting a house.