Why buy a house in Amsterdam?
As a rule of thumb, if you are planning to live in Amsterdam for more than three years, it makes good financial sense to buy rather than rent. After all, buying a property is an investment and will also enable you to put down roots and really feel at home. Rentals in Amsterdam are also very expensive and in short supply.
Amsterdam has excellent public transport links to the rest of the country and beyond and is a very bike-friendly city for commuting to work. Prices vary greatly throughout the city, but in general the nearer the centre, the more expensive that dream home is likely to be. Look at the square metre prices of property to get an idea of how much you are likely to get for your money. Check out areas you might not have thought of, like Westerpark or Oost, where you may have more choice. Noord is also really up and coming and if you are interested in a new-build apartment, one of the many developments over the IJ waterway could well be your best bet.
If you are looking to buy a house in Amsterdam, rather than an apartment, you’ll probably need to go to the suburbs, such as Weesp, which officially became part of the Dutch capital in 2022 and has a great deal of small-town charm. Amstelveen is a separate local authority but seamlessly connects to Amsterdam and has a wide variety of different types of homes.
How we work: five steps to your dream house
Step 1: Find out how much you can borrow
The experts at FVB de Boer Financial Consultants can help you work out how much you can borrow and how much you are likely to need in other costs. Once you have this information to hand, you can start looking in earnest, because you will know how much financial room you have. In addition, the Amsterdam housing market is fast moving, so it is wise to be ready to sign a mortgage contract as soon as you find the perfect place.
Step 2: Find an estate agent (makelaar)
If this is your first home buy in Amsterdam, we really do recommend you sign up with an estate agent. It is usual for the seller and the buyer to each have their own makelaar, who will negotiate on their behalf. Ask friends and colleagues who they would recommend, or look for an agent who is specialised in the neighbourhoods you would like to live in.
Step 3: Start looking
Now is the time to start scoping out the market and seeing what is out there, and what you can afford. Keep your makelaar in the loop and visit as many places as you can. If you find somewhere that feels right, walk around the neighbourhood to get a feel of the area. See how far it is from your place of work by bike and by public transport.
Step 4: Check out the VvE
If you are buying an apartment, and in Amsterdam you probably are, it is important to check out who is running the VvE (home owners association) and how much money is in its reserves. If the reserves are big enough, you won’t be called on to make a sudden investment if something needs doing unexpectedly.
You should also check out if the VvE has drawn up a multi-year maintenance plan (meerjarig onderhoudsplan) which sets out what decisions have been taken about painting the outside windows, for example. You may discover that major work is about to be carried out, there is not enough money in the reserves, and that you will have to stump up part of the bill for that as well. Your makelaar can help you with this.
Step 5: Agree the deal
Once you’ve agreed the deal, you and the seller will sign a pre-sale agreement (koopovereenkomst) or provisional contract (voorlopig contract). This has to be done via a notary – a type of lawyer who specialises in civil contracts. FVB de Boer will handle communication with the bank, property appraisal, and insurance requirements. Once the mortgage has been finalised – which won’t take long if you’ve already started the process – you and the buyer will sign a completion contract and that Amsterdam apartment is yours.
Our financial services
FVB de Boer Financial Consultants can help expats in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals who live abroad with a wide range of financial services, from mortgage advice, to help with asset management and retirement planning.
Why use FvB de Boer Financial Consultants?
Our mortgage advisors have a long track record of working with expats. They understand the unique needs of expat borrowers and the challenges they face.
Our track record is second to none. We have been helping international workers get a mortgage in the Netherlands and with other financial issues since 1998.
We are registered with both the Dutch Financial Markets Authority (AFM) and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). These regulatory bodies ensure that our advisors adhere to strict guidelines and provide high-quality service. We are also completely independent, so you know you are getting the best deal to fit your particular situation.
To talk to one of our experts about getting a mortgage to buy house in Amsterdam, please get in touch.