Buying a house in Amsterdam: 5 useful tips

Buying a house in Amsterdam: 5 useful tips

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Purchasing a house in the Amsterdam metropolitan region can be a significant challenge. With these five tips, Aankoopmakelaar.Amsterdam hopes to make your search a lot easier.

Buying a house in the Netherlands can be a difficult process and it is especially frustrating in Amsterdam. As it is a popular city for locals and foreigners alike, it can feel impossible to find the right house for you.

1. Calculate your maximum mortgage

Always start by calculating your maximum mortgage. This way, you can search for a home within your range and make a suitable offer. Having a clearer understanding of your financial capabilities allows you to make quicker and more informed decisions.

An important thing to note: in Amsterdam, common additional costs such as ground lease (erfpacht) and homeowners' association fees for an apartment can influence your maximum mortgage. Furthermore, these costs cannot be accurately included in your maximum mortgage calculation without specific property information.

2. Check the property value

Your maximum mortgage only indicates how much you can borrow. It does not necessarily mean you can offer this entire amount for a property. The property must first be appraised for the same amount or lower. If the house is worth less than the purchase price, you'll need to cover the difference yourself.

To avoid being unable to finance a property because the purchase price is too high, you can request an estimated property value in advance. This can be done in various ways:

  • Conduct an online property value check for free
  • Conduct a property value check through a paid valuation model
  • Engage a buyer’s agent

The first option offers a general estimate of the property value for free. The second option allows you to request a more accurate and reliable valuation but for a fee.

Buyer's agents

The third option is to choose a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who assists homebuyers through the purchasing process. A benefit to this option is that these agents may provide a contingent fee, also known as “No cure, no pay”. This option provides a more accurate valuation without obligation at this stage; you may not have to pay for the agent’s services if you cannot acquire a home.

3. Respond quickly to listings

In popular cities like Amsterdam, it’s crucial to respond to property listings quickly. This way, you avoid being put on a waiting list or worse; finding out the house is already sold.

Housing websites and buyer’s agent tools

To respond quickly and be the first to receive the latest housing offers in the Netherlands, you can subscribe to housing websites. However, some buyers' agents from De Nederlandse Vereniging van Makelaars (NVM) have access to a tool with advanced search options.

This tool provides access to a wider array of listings, including some properties that may not yet be listed on housing websites. If you want to be the first to receive the complete range of properties in Amsterdam, using this tool in combination with housing websites is the best choice.

4. Consider additional costs

In the Netherlands, a mortgage can only be used for financing the property (including up to 100% of the property value), while other costs must be covered by your own financial resources. Depending on the situation, these costs can add up.

Extra costs to consider include:

  • Mortgage advice fees: This may occur if you've consulted a financial specialist
  • Notary fees: These include fees for the transfer deed, mortgage deed and registration at the land registry. Costs can be higher if you use additional services like drafting a will or cohabitation agreement.
  • Transfer tax: If you are over 35 and buying an existing property, you may be subject to this tax.
  • Buyer’s agent fees: In case you consult a buyer’s agent, you may be subject to their service fees.
  • Structural inspection costs: If you want someone to evaluate your property’s structural integrity, you must also consider these costs.
  • Appraisal fees: If you are obtaining a mortgage, your property may need to be valued by an expert.

Other fees that you may need to consider include bank guarantee fees and foundation repair costs, if necessary.

5. Engage a buyer's agent

In cities like Amsterdam, it's wise to hire a specialised buyer's agent. These real estate agents know the market, enabling you to make better choices and stand stronger during negotiations. You can't prevent someone from outbidding you if they are willing to pay more than the actual value. However, with the help of a specialised buyer's agent, you can increase your chances of acquiring a property, while reducing the risk of a bad purchase.

A final pro tip is to engage a buyer's agent who exclusively handles property purchases. This avoids conflicts of interest, such as when your agency is also mediating the sale of the property you want to buy.

Do you need help with navigating the housing market in and around Amsterdam? The buyer's agents from Aankoopmakelaar.Amsterdam are specialised in helping expats find the right property for them. For more information, get in touch with their team via the contact form or by phone at +31 20 764 0808. 



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