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Buying a house can have several advantages compared to renting one. There are however a number of things to keep in mind, if you want to make a well-informed decision. One factor for instance is whether you qualify for a mortgage and the possible tax advantage that comes with it.
Several conditions have to be met in order to qualify for a mortgage:
Mortgages can be closed for a period of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 or even 30 years. There are two types:
A linear mortgage: the buyer pays the same amount each month, which includes both the repayment and the interest, for a predetermined period.
Annuity or repayment mortgage: the buyer pays a fixed amount of repayments and a variable amount of interest on the loan.
If you decide to buy a house, you can turn to a platform such as Funda, or commission a real estate agent. On Funda (which is, unfortunately largely in Dutch) you can find an overview per city, quarter, search area, price category etc. Prices are usually “Kosten Koper” (k.k.) or Vrij op Naam (V.o.N.). Buyers charges (k.k.), or Vendors charges (V.o.N.) means that you as a buyer, and not the selling party, have to pay for the costs involved in the sale, such as those incurred by the notary, transfer taxes, administrative costs etc. Vendors charges means you generally will be the first owner and the charges will be limited.
Buying a house usually happens under the precondition that you get the finances in order. If you do not manage this, you can generally cancel the deal without incurring costs. If there are other reasons for cancelling, you often have to pay a fee of 10% of the price. Keep in mind that an oral agreement to buy is always binding.
When the deed has been approved and you have bought the house, a notary will register it under your name. This happens during a transfer. Prior to this you are often required to make a safety deposit equal to 10% of the costs. Before the official transfer, both parties together check the house once more. The actual transfer involves the notary reading out the official deed, which you have to sign afterwards. In case you do not speak Dutch, an interpreter always has to be present. This interpreter needs to be sworn in, and he/she will also sign the deed. You will have to pay for the costs incurred.