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A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Buying a House in the Netherlands

Louise Villalobos

ByLouise Villalobos

Nov 17, 2023

Are you looking for a house in the Netherlands? Well, this can be challenging for a foreigner who does not know how Dutch real estate works. But don’t worry; we are here to guide you through the house-buying process in the Netherlands, from identifying your ideal home to signing an agreement with the seller. Continue reading to learn more.

Homeownership in the Netherlands

Data from Statista.com shows that in 2022, 71% of the Netherlands residents were homeowners. House prices have surged over the past few years as main cities like The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Utrecht continue to experience a housing shortage. The positive thing is that banks in the Netherlands offer mortgages with low interest rates, making it easy for people to finance their house purchases.

Should You Rent or Purchase a House in the Netherlands?

Given the rising house prices in the Netherlands, buying property will only make financial sense if you plan to stay for years in this country. But if you are in the Netherlands for a short time, we recommend you rent a house. Renting is also a good option for those who have never been to the Netherlands but plan to buy a house there. That’s because it gives you the needed time to identify your preffered house and understand the Dutch house-buying process.


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Can Foreigners Buy Houses in the Netherlands?

Yes! There are no restrictions imposed on foreigners who wish to buy houses in the Netherlands. However, to secure a mortgage, a foreigner has to prove that they plan to stay in the Netherlands for several years.

While people from Switzerland and the European Union countries don’t need visas to work or live in the Netherlands, they are required to apply for residence permits and BSN, a national identification number. Note that foreigners become eligible to apply for permanent residence after living in the Netherlands for five years.

The Dutch Real Estate Market

As mentioned, houses in the Netherlands have become more expensive in recent years. House prices vary from region to region. According to Statista.com data, in areas like Groningen and Noord Holland, average house prices are €213,500 and €385,000, respectively.

However, it is expected that property prices will decline over the coming years as the Dutch government plans to build over a million units across the country in the next ten years.

Finding a House in the Netherlands

There are several ways to find your perfect house in the Netherlands. Some include:

Property Websites

You can search for your ideal home on popular property websites like Expatica, Jaap, Pararius, Zoekallehuizen, Funda, and Huislijn.

Property Agents

Although you will incur some charges, hiring a property agent to help you identify a house is worth every penny. Moreover, they will handle negotiation and arrange house viewing on your behalf. Visit Juiste Makelaar to find a property agent in the Netherlands.

The Process of Acquiring a House in the Netherlands

Choosing a House

As mentioned, you can identify your next home on property websites or with the help of a real estate agent. Due to the current housing shortage problem in major cities in the Netherlands, ensure you contact the homeowner immediately after finding a house you like because properties in these cities change ownership very quickly.

Making an Offer

After you find a suitable house, you can initiate negotiations by making your first offer. Before making an offer, do your homework with the help of a property agent to find the average house price within the area where your ideal home is located. This allows you to make a reasonable offer.

Conduct House Survey

Although conducting a house survey is not a must requirement, it can prove to be helpful in your negotiations with the homeowner. If an independent surveyor discovers areas in the house that need repairs, you can renegotiate with the seller.

Exchanging Contracts

After reaching an agreement on the house price, you can enter into a preliminary purchase contract with the seller, showing your commitment to buying the property.

Make payments

At this stage, you can hire a lawyer to help you make financial transactions with the seller and guide you on signing the sale agreement.

Receive Title Deed and Move in

After signing the sale contract, the lawyer will forward the copies of the documents to a title deed office for a new title deed to be produced. Once you receive the title deed, the seller will hand you the key to your new home, and the property-buying process will be closed.

Louise Villalobos

Louise Villalobos

Louise Villalobos is an adept writer, renowned for her compelling articles that illuminate and engage. Her prowess in breaking down intricate subjects provides readers with clarity and nuance. With a vast and varied portfolio, Louise has solidified her standing as a distinguished voice in contemporary journalism.