How to buy a house in Rotterdam

Looking to buy a house in Rotterdam? These are the most important things you need to know.

Why buy a house in Rotterdam?

As a rule of thumb, if you are planning to live in Rotterdam 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. 

Rotterdam has a big city vibe, excellent public transport links to the rest of the country and beyond and is a very bike-friendly city for commuting to work. It has some great museums, stunning architecture and a diverse cultural scene yet pretty villages and the seaside are only a short trip away.

Little C Coolhaven is a new housing development along the waterfront with modern apartments while Delfshaven largely survived the ravages of WWII and offers canals, picturesque streets, and traditional Dutch architecture. Noordereiland is an island in the middle of the Nieuwe Maas river, overlooked by the iconic Erasmus bridge, and part of the Kop van Zuid development area. If you are looking for a quieter life, the residential area near Blijdorp zoo offers more green spaces and traditional family 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 Rotterdam 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 Rotterdam, 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 parts of Rotterdam 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. Would like to live on the river front or in a more leafy area? Do you plan to cycle to work? Then check out the distance. 

Step 4: Check out the VvE

If you are buying an apartment in Rotterdam, 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. Then you need to finalise your mortgage. 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 Rotterdam 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 a house or apartment in Rotterdam, please get in touch. 

Give us the call and let our team help you plan
the next financial step in your life