5 step property buying guide for expats
Eindhoven is one of the major cities in the Netherlands and holds one of the most important economic sectors of the country. The Brainport Eindhoven region is one of the three main drivers of the Dutch economy and is best known for its many innovative companies. Because of this, Eindhoven attracts a lot of knowledge workers from other countries.
The Brainport region is a very pleasant place to live and offers a great variety of cultural, leisure and outdoor activities. One of the most popular residential areas for expats is Meerhoven. It is ideal for families with younger children and is in close proximity to Eindhoven Airport.
Because the rents in Eindhoven are incredibly high, more and more expats choose to buy a home. But getting a mortgage can be quite the challenge when you don’t speak the native language. Most banks communicate mainly in Dutch and due to a lack of clarity a lot people end up paying more than necessary.
Besides this, the housing market in the Netherlands is what they call “overstressed”. Especially in major cities like Eindhoven where the demand for housing exceeds the supply. When you look on Funda.nl (the main housing platform in the Netherlands) most houses are marked either as “sold” or “sold under reservation”. So when you finally found a house you like, the chances are that it is sold before you know it.
Thinking about buying a house in the Netherlands? Read this first:
If you are thinking about buying a property as an expat, you will want to make sure you are able to apply for a Dutch mortgage. There are no formal restrictions for non-Dutch citizens to buy a Dutch property or apply for a mortgage. However, there are certain situations in which the mortgage provider may want to investigate your personal circumstances to predict if they will be at risk. Such as:
- If you are relatively new to a job
- You are relatively new to an area
- If you are self-employed
- If you have a low income
- If you have a non-EU nationality
This is much like anywhere else, particularly following the global financial crisis. Each bank has different requirements but as a rule, if you’re from the EU, they will probably expect you to have:
- a valid passport
- have lived in the Netherlands for at least six months
- have a citizen service number (BSN) and
- have permanent employment in the Netherlands.
You want to buy a home as an expat? Follow these steps:
Step 1: Prepare
Before you start searching for a house on Google or Funda you first want to know what your budget is. The amount of money you can borrow from a bank is dependent on your fixed income and other loans you have. There are two ways to calculate your maximum mortgage:
- Use one of the many online tools to calculate your maximum mortgage and monthly expenses. Note that these calculation tools are merely a way to get an idea of your possibilities and do in no way guarantee that you can borrow the money.
- Let an expert help you. The best way to get a good impression of your maximum mortgage is to plan a meeting with an independent mortgage advisor. A first appointment is almost always free and they can tell you everything you need to know about getting a mortgage in the Netherlands. They will look at your entire financial situation and tell you precisely how much money you can borrow. There are many banks that will give you free advice, but be aware that their mortgage might not be the most advantageous for you.
You only have to formally arrange the mortgage once you have made an offer on a property and the offer has been accepted by the vendor. But it is much smarter to start your search by making an appointment with a mortgage advisor. It will speed up the whole process and they can often even help you find the right home for you and your family.
Step 2: Search
Once you know what you can borrow from a bank, it is time to find your dream house. You can always try Google, but most Dutch people find their new home on housing platform Funda. There are also specialised purchase brokers that help you find the right home and organise special tours for expats where they visit several houses in one day.
You don’t want to have to deal with multiple organisations? Then consider our purchase guidance service. At De Hypotheekshop Eindhoven West we help customers find their new home and support them during the negotiation process. We have experienced that this service greatly increases the chance that you will get the house. And when your bid gets accepted we will immediately start the mortgage application process.
Step 3: Make a bid
Found what you were looking for? Then the most nerve wrecking part of the process starts. It’s negotiation time and you now have to formally bring out your bid. You can offer below the asking price, but keep in mind that a lot of people want to buy a house in Eindhoven and if your bid is too low the seller will simply decline the offer and wait for someone else. Especially in this difficult housing market it is best to call in the help of a professional that can advise you on the right strategy and can even help you bring out a formal offer.
Part of our purchase guidance service is helping you during the negotiation process and protect you against any legal inconveniences that you may not be aware of. And the best thing yet, when your bid gets accepted we can immediately start the mortgage application process. This way you will know as quickly as possible whether the house is really yours!
Step 4: Apply for a mortgage
Your bid got accepted? Great! Now there is only one hurdle left to take: the mortgage. It is important to act quickly and start your application process as soon as possible. Because there might be a chance that your application won’t be accepted the first time and you don’t want to miss your financing deadline and risk losing the property.
A personal mortgage advisor can relieve you of all your stress. Because he takes care of everything and knows exactly what is needed to get a mortgage approved quickly.
Have you already bought a house and need a mortgage? Contact our office so we can quickly start the process and help you find the mortgage that best fits your situation.
Step 5: Sign with a notary
When everything is arranged the only thing left to do is sign the deed of delivery and mortgage certificate at the notary. There are a lot of different notary offices all with different costs. The very cheapest can sometimes best be avoided, but you also don’t have to break the bank. Give us a call or send us a message if you want some free advice on the right notary office in Eindhoven.
Hopefully we have given you some insights in how you can buy a house in the Netherlands. If you have any questions or would like us to help you during the whole process? Please do not hesitate to drop us a message or give us a call. We are here to help and to get you started we offer everyone a free first appointment!
Like to schedule your own appointment? You can do that by clicking the button below (only in Dutch)