If there’s anything you want to know about buying a house in the Netherlands, the first thing is probably how to save money while doing it.
The answer? Get some experts involved. Heh? But don’t they cost money?? Yes, but trust us, it’s a worthwhile investment that will save you in the long run.
A mortgage expert (hypotheek adviseur) to help you
First things first: you need to consider your situation. You want to buy a house in a foreign country — and there’s a good chance you can’t navigate the complexities of a house hunt in Dutch.
That’s fair enough, many internationals in the Netherlands find themselves in exactly this situation — and that’s when you should enlist the help of a mortgage expert.
A mortgage expert knows anything and everything about the financial aspect of buying a house in the Netherlands, and can find you the best deal for you on the market.
Sure, if you go to the bank, you will get their products. However, others may actually have better conditions for your particular situation. This is why independent advisors have more insight and can be really valuable when saving you money.
In the Netherlands, you can only apply for a mortgage when you have a property, but you need to know your budget and find the right house that suits your needs and abilities.
This is what makes advisors so important. You will see them at the start of the process but also through to the end when signing the dotted line.
What’s even better? There are mortgage advisors who specifically cater their services to internationals in the Netherlands. Expat Mortgages has been in the business of finding internationals their dream home for the past 16 years. Register for a free consultation to see how they can help you.
A real estate agent (aankoopmakelaar) to find the right house
Once you’ve calculated your potential mortgage and know your budget, it’s time to begin the hunt for your dream home.
But hold up! Before you run to Funda and start bidding every last penny that you have, it’s best to bring in a real estate agent, or aankoopmakelaar as they’re called in the Netherlands.
Why? Most importantly, they can advise you on whether or not a house is really worth the money it’s up for. Before you go throw hundreds of thousands of euros away, your real estate agent will use their experience and expertise to advise you on whether or not you can get more for less.
Not only this, but they’ll also advise you on how much money you should overbid on a home (if any!) — meaning they’ll save you some much-needed moolah.
Tip! Real estate agents can also get you access to houses before they even go up online, putting you a step ahead of other potential buyers.
An appraiser (taxateur) to value the house
Realtor aside, an appraiser (taxateur) is a certified professional whose sole purpose is to determine whether or not the house you’re looking at is over-valued.
They don’t do this by just staring at the house and holding a finger up to the wind. Nee, a taxateur uses a points-based valuation system to create a valuation report of the property.
Using this valuation report, you can determine whether or not the home is really worth your money.
A structural evaluator (structurele beoordelaar) to avoid hidden costs
If anything costs money, it’s a house that’s falling apart. This is why a structural evaluation is a must before you buy a house.
While an evaluation of the house is not technically compulsory, it’s a very important step in the home-buying process, as it will uncover any pricey red flags that may not be noticeable on a surface level.
For example, perhaps that shiny and glimmering home actually hides a nasty crack in the roof beneath those gorgeous clay tiles?
Fixing this after buying the home could be an expensive waking nightmare. This is why it should be flagged before you sign the dotted line — save yourself the financial ruin.
A notary (notaris) to handle the legal process
Another expert who should definitely get involved in the process of helping you buy your dream home is a notary, known as a notaris in the Netherlands.
Unless you’ve studied law and are fluent in Dutch, then you’re going to be needing a notaris on your dream team. In fact, enlisting the services of a notary is mandatory when buying or selling a house in the Netherlands.
Your notary will take care of all the legal documentation, such as drafting the mortgage deed, overseeing the transfer of the property and, most importantly, ensuring your money lands in the right place.
While it’s compulsory to hire a notary, this certainly doesn’t mean you’re throwing your money away. You can rest easy knowing that all your complex legal documentation is in order and that the transfer of funds is carried out safely under the watchful eyes of an expert.
In the Netherlands, there are many things that you can skip out on in order to save money: get a better bank account, opt for unbranded items in the supermarket, and maybe (sadly) cut down on the takeaway coffees.
But when it comes to the process of buying a house and hiring experts, you need to invest money to make money. Sure, it’s cash leaving your bank account, but with the help of these experts you’ll be saved from many costly mistakes and decisions.
Good news! Expat Mortgages can also introduce you to their network and recommendations for all experts mentioned above. Want to know how they can help you specifically? Have a free, no-strings-attached consultation with an expert!