5 Tips on how you can prepare for the homebuying process
Although the prices have dropped over the last months, you’ll see that, in the cities, the housing market in the Netherlands is still a competitive market. Especially for well-maintained mid-priced, affordable apartments and houses. So, how do you get started in this market? The key is to be well prepared, so you can beat the competition. Here are some useful tips!
1. Find a mortgage advisor
To be eligible for a mortgage, you first need an income in the Netherlands and a citizen service number (BSN). You could go online and use a mortgage calculator to find out what your maximum mortgage will be, but there is much to consider when it comes to your budget. A good place to start is with a visit to your bank, but it’s even better to make an appointment with an independent mortgage advisor. It might cost a bit more, but they can save you money by finding a better mortgage solution as banks just present you with their own loan products.
The documents that you will need to have to get a mortgage in the Netherlands are: a recent salary slip, a contract of employment, an overview of your savings / loans and, if applicable, a confirmation letter of the 30% ruling.
2. Determine your budget
When it comes to an annuities mortgage (annuïteitenhypotheek) and a linear mortgage (lineaire hypotheek), you can decide on your monthly costs. Most of the time, an annuities mortgage has lower monthly payments than a linear one. Now that you know your maximum mortgage capacity and your monthly payments, you can determine your spending budget.
Think carefully about the budget. You may think your monthly costs are too high with the maximum amount that you can borrow, or perhaps you have some extra savings that you’d like to invest to increase your budget. Plus, you will also need to keep in mind that you need money for the closing costs.
3. Save for the purchasing costs
If you buy a home, you will have additional costs that you need to pay for - the so-called closing costs. These costs include the transfer tax, the notary fees, the valuation costs, the cost for the technical survey, the interpreter, the mortgage application fee and the fee of the buying estate agent. The transfer tax is normally two percent of the purchase price. The notarial fees are for the deed of transfer, and if necessary, the mortgage deed. If you don’t speak the Dutch language well enough, an interpreter is mandatory. All together you can expect between 5-7% closing costs
4. Make your wish list
Now that you are aware of the financial consequences and you’ve decided on your budget, you can start dreaming of your new house. In what part of town do you prefer to live? Do you want a newer or an older one, full of character? Are you willing to do some renovation, or does it need to be ready to move in? How many bedrooms would you like to have? Would you prefer an outside space? What features are important? What are the must-haves and what are the nice-to-haves? With this list, you can discuss what is doable within your budget with your estate agent, so that you manage your expectations.
5. Find a real estate agent
In principle, you don’t need a real estate to buy a home in the Netherlands. However, you might benefit from hiring one. Agents can save you a lot of time in the search process of finding the right property.
Real estate agents have knowledge about the Dutch housing market, the right areas and will know if a certain property is a good investment. They can prevent you from making costly mistakes by getting hold of important and complex paperwork and information. Plus, they have access to the database of the properties that have been sold. That way they can determine the best buying price and handle the negotiations on behalf of you as an independent person.