When looking to buy a home in a foreign country you will have to deal with numerous regulations and rules. To make it a little easier hereby we provide you a summary of the steps you have to take when buying a house in the Netherlands.
1) Professional aid or not
As buying in a foreign country is not a daily business for most it is wise to think of hiring an expert who will guide you through the entire process of buying a home. Think of a mortgage advisor, a real estate agent who is specialized in buying guidance (such as Busker Makelaardij), a valuator, a notary and a building inspector. The mortgage advisor and the buying agent are the ones you need to go to when starting your search. The other three will be consulted during the end of the process of buying a home.
2) Mortgage possibilities
Unless you saved enough money to buy a home from your savings you will have to apply for a mortgage. In order to make your home search worth your time the first step is looking at your mortgage possibilities. This can be done with a mortgage advisor or with an advisor of your local bank.
What is the maximum mortgage you are able to get with your annual salary and, maybe even more important, what is the maximum monthly mortgage-payment you are willing to pay.
3) Summary of housing needs
Once you know the maximum mortgage and thus the price range of houses you can look into you will have to decide what and where you want to buy a home. Make a list of all the housing needs that are most important and decide on what location you want to live. Think about the following: size, outdoor space, renovated or not, number of rooms, top floor/ground floor, next to a park, schools, busy street, canal, flat or free standing house, city, etc. if you are not sure, just ask your buying agent.
4) House hunting / search
Next step is the home search. Check websites such as funda.nl for homes that suit your needs. You can also ask your buying agent to this for you. After you made a list of the houses that interest you you will have to make appointments for viewings and visit the properties. When viewing properties you will meet a lot of different estate agents. Keep in mind that these agents are solely working for the seller. They will of course act nice and provide you with information about the home, but they will work with the best interest of the seller and thus will try to get the highest price for the property.
Once you found a home that suit your needs and here you feel like home you or your buying agent will have to do some research to the home. Think about the following (not limited to): developing plans of the neighborhood, constructional state of the building, health of the association of owners, market potential of the location and most important: actual market value of the property.
Once you are finished with all the research and you still want to buy the property and live there it is negotiation time. Negotiate over the price but also over the buying conditions such as delivery date, movables, financing conditions, deposit / down payment, legal conditions, etc. Consult you buying agent for the best strategy and let him negotiate for you to get the best price and conditions possible.
7) Buyers contract
Next step is the notary. The notary will make a buyers contract where all the details, the agreements, the special conditions, the price and the standard conditions are put down.
Approximately a week after you have an agreement on the price you will go to the notary to sign this buyers contract. At this notary you will eventually sign the delivery deed and the mortgage deed as well.
8) Apply for a mortgage
Applying for a mortgage can be done at your mortgage advisor or at the local bank. It takes 4-5 weeks before you have a final approving by the bank if you provided all the necessary documents in time. According to the buyers contract you normally have a maximum of 4-5 weeks to get your mortgage. If you exceed that time frame there is a penalty of 10% of the buying price unless you communicate very well with the sellers.
This is a very important rule and watched closely by your buying estate agent or mortgage advisor. If you did not hire any of them you will have to keep a close eye on it yourself!
In order to apply for a mortgage you will have to provide the mortgage advisor or advisor from your local bank with at least the following: working permit, working contract, employers statement, signed buyers contract, legal documents belonging to the house, valuation report from an independent valuator.
9) Inspection and keys
Before you get the keys of your new home you will go by the property to inspect if everything is as agreed on. There you will write down the measurements of the gas, electricity and water. After the inspection it is notary time again. At the notary you will sign the delivery deed and the mortgage deed. After everything is approved you will receive the keys to your new home.
Building insurance, home content insurance, health insurance are all insurances that have to be taken care of when buying a home in the Netherlands. Next to the insurances it is time to get your utility contracts set up.
11) Enjoy your new home
After everything is taken care of it is time to enjoy your newly bought home and start to know your friendly neighbors. Don’t forget to throw a party and to keep working as well…unfortunately the mortgage is not paying for itself.