First steps on the Dutch property ladder
When buying a house or apartment financing the purchase in most cases will be the major issue. We advise to meet with a mortgage advisor at your private bank or a specialized agency right at the beginning of your search. He or she will give you a realistic picture of the financial possibilities. ExpatPurchase can provide you with a shortlist of reliable specialists in The Netherlands.
In most of this country properties are freehold (“eigen grond”). This means that you will be buying a piece of land combined with the house or apartment on top. In parts of a number of larger cities, like Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, real estate can be leasehold (“erfpacht”) instead; you will then pay a rent per year, groundrent, for the ground on which the building is situated. The current owner might have paid in advance for a number of years, at a fixed, discounted price.
Make sure to ask your realtor on housing rights too. As a buyer/occupier no housing permit will be required for any existing or new built property. However, if you are not occupying the property you have purchased and intend to rent it out, a housing permit for your tenant might be needed. You will be allowed to use your second home (pied-á-terre) for residential purposes, but not for holiday rentals, lodgings for free or (partial) office. If you wer to do so the property would be considered a hotel or office, which could lead to a fine.
There are many more financial and legal questions to consider. For example what type of mortgage is best for you, maintenance issues, tax implications. In addition there are the so-called buyer’s costs (“kosten koper” or “k.k.”). These are the costs you incur for things like the services of the agency, notary, transfer costs, mortgage costs and stamp duty. Finally, residential accommodation in the Netherlands is almost always sold unfurnished. So you will have to bring in your own furniture. ExpatPurchase will show you the way to get well informed in all these areas.