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:
– your permit is not limited in time
– You are from an EU Member State, have been living in the Netherlands for at least six months, and you have either an indefinite employment contract or a statement of intent that you will receive one.
– You are not from an EU Member State, but have been classified as “highly skilled migrant” by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (DIN/IDN).
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.