Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about expat housing in the Netherlands.

The process

What will the exact process be when buying an apartment in Amsterdam?
First we will put you in touch with a mortgage broker, and mortgage adviser to make sure you know what you can borrow and spend on the market. The next step is the housing search. has most if not all properties that come on the market, so we will start the search together. We will schedule viewings based on your feedback and accompany you to them. When you have shown interest in a property we will do area and property research to advice you as best as possible. We will then draft the offer and help with the negotiations. After having your offer accepted we will arrange for a valuator, technical inspector and notary. We will accompany you to all meetings, review the contracts together, and make sure the property is handed over to you in a good condition.
Can we buy a house immediately after arriving in Amsterdam?
Yes you can. You need a dutch address and a secure job to apply for a mortgage. Buying a house can take a variable amount of time though. The time it takes to secure your home varies according to multiple factors such as the market at the time of your arrival - and of course your specific requirements, wishes, and personal financial situation. You will need a mortgage initially - and applying for this can take some weeks. The following processes after you have been granted your mortgage will take at least another few weeks. Surveyors, Notaries, Valuators and other services are involved. Working with these partners can take time, so we would reccomend at least securing a temporary housing contract for between 3 months - 1 year, to make sure that you give yourself ample room to breathe during the process.
Do I need to have a Dutch bank account to obtain a mortgage in Amsterdam?
You have to have a Dutch home address and pay taxes in the Netherlands, register at the city hall (Gemeente) and recieve a BSN number in order to open up a Dutch bank account. You will be unable to obtain a mortgage without a private address (not a temporary company address). Depending on how much you earn or if you have any debts, the mortgage provider will grant you a certain amount.
What are the extra costs I can expect when buying a home?
We advise you to keep in mind that you can expect extra costs of approximately 6% on op of the final sale price of your home. These are called the buyers costs and are explained above.
Once my offer/bid is accepted, will the landlord work with me exclusively? Is the home 'secured'?
Most likely, the landlord and agent will move forward with your offer. The deal however is only finalized once the provisional purchase contract has been signed (please note this is not the case if you buy a property through a company).
Will I be penalized for breaking a rental lease agreement early, when I purchase a home and no longer need to rent?
When looking to buy a home, we recommend obtaining a temporary rental apartment (with a fllexible 1 month notice period from the start date of the lease) first. As soon as you get a temporary or 'fixed term' contract, you can break the lease with just one calendar month of notice. This is the best option if you are looking to buy, as it gives you relative flexibility. Temporary contracts can be agreed for any period of time - for example 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or even 2 years. This model of contract also gives you flexibility in the event that you have an offer rejected, for example - or for example, if the renovation work you are pressing to complete before you move in to your new home is delayed. It is good to be aware that you will not be granted a mortgage whilst registered at a company address. If you have an initial period specified in your rental agreement (for example one year initial with the possibility to extend indefinitely thereafter), then you will recive a financial penalty for breaking the lease early. The penalties vary per lease agreement.
How can I tell if there is a serious issue with a house that I am considering purchasing?
For this very reason, we advise you to pay for a technical inspection of the house prior to purchase. We will set an appointment up with a trusted Dutch technical inspection firm. Some things are not visible to an untrained eye!
How can I find out the exact value of a property?
It is difficult to determine the exact value of a property according to its features and sqM. We will do our due diligence, look at properties sold in the past and can give you an indication of what the property is worth. We furthermore work with great partners who will take on the valuation process with care.
What happens if faults are found after the inspection?
The landlord is supposed to inform the purchaser about all errors that they know of in the property. If they are not aware they do not have to mention (for example if they are not living in the property). The landlord can be held liable for costs if it is something they should have made the purchaser aware of. There can be cases where it isn't clear/the owner can argue that they did not know and that the issue (such as a leak for example) developed between them leaving the property and the new purchasers moving in. In this case it's likely that the buyer is responsible for the costs.
What are the benefits of working with EHN?
What we can do for you is to assist you in navigating and gaining insight in to the market - both for rentals and for buying. We make sure we put you in touch with all the trusted partners that are necessary during the process. We also communicate and work in English. We accompany you to your viewings in order to advise you regarding what to look out for when buying a home. As soon as you wish to put an offer in to buy a home, we compose the offer for you, and write you a personal client profile. We also try to find out as much info from the agent as possible in terms of owner, condition, and other important factors. There is a municipality data system, and using this we research detailed info and records on the property, and neighbourhood for you. (What properties have been sold for in the direct vicinity, and therefore determining what might be the best offer for you to make - case by case). We negotiate for you in terms of pricing, oversee the technical inspection of property, and accompany you to the final singing with the notary and interpreter.