Rent or buy?
Rent or buy?
The first thing every expat has to do when he / she arrives in the Netherlands (or any other country, of course) is to find a place to live. Very often though, expats do not know how long they will stay and thus, renting or buying a home is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Renting a house in the Netherlands
Apparently, renting a house offers flexibility especially when questions such as "How long will you stay?" and "Do you expect to be employed in the Netherlands for a long or short period?" arise.
Location is another important factor to consider. It is a good idea to take some time to decide which city area suits you best; locals know which areas are "better," but for newcomers these are often hard to spot (and judge). For example, living close to schools may be an important criterion, but is this an area that makes you “feel like home?”
Besides, if the house needs repairs or maintenance, all you have to do is phone your landlord!
Buying a house in the Netherlands
On the other hand, there are many good reasons to buy your own house or apartment. Renting a place means that you are paying or subsidising someone’s else mortgage but if you buy your own place, you can build up equity in it.
Tax payers in the Netherlands should note that the Dutch fiscal authorities favour interest payments through deduction allowances (mortgage interest). Consequently, buying may not necessarily be more expensive than renting. In fact, it may be even cheaper!
Finally, it all comes down to this: Will Dutch banks lend money to expats who want to buy a property? As a rule, yes!
Even though some banks may reject your application, seeking specialised advice from financial advisors with experience in expat-related issues and procedures will reveal that owning a house in the Netherlands can become an affordable reality sooner than you think!
Jose de Boer is an Expat Service Provider who helps internationals to feel at home in the world of Dutch finances. For inquiries and / or remarks, feel free to comment below or contact her directly.