Dutch mortgages

Your guide to Dutch mortgages

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This step-by-step guide explains how to secure a mortgage in the Netherlands, including Dutch mortgage calculators, Dutch mortgage rates and mortgage brokers for expats.

No restrictions are placed on foreigners buying Dutch property and taking out a mortgage in the Netherlands, even foreigners classed as non-residents. Securing a Dutch mortgage (mortgage in Dutch is hypotheek) is thus facilitated by mortgage lenders that offer specialised expat services, such as English-language contracts or other special features related to expat mortgages in the Netherlands.

The Dutch government has encouraged home ownership for many years, offering tax exemptions on Dutch mortgage payments alongside other benefits for homebuyers in the Netherlands. However, following the 2008 financial crisis regulations were tightened, making it harder for some people to get a Dutch mortgage – although expats are typically not affected if they earn attractive salaries. However, like everywhere else, the self-employed and other groups may now find it harder to get a good deal as banks consider them to be more risky.

As the Dutch housing market continues to show signs of improvment, expats should weight the benefits of buying a Dutch property and securing a Dutch mortgage in a country where home-ownership is the norm, with owner-occupied properties making up some 60 percent of the total housing stock.

This guide explains:

Dutch mortgage updates

  • Your maximum mortgage amount is not only be based on the LTV ratio but also your income. From 2017, the income of your partner will have a greater effect in determining your loan maximum limit, increasing your buying capabilities as a couple.
  • From 2017, the government-set mortgage limit was reduced by 1 percentage point to 101 percent of the property purchase price; although, banks typically charge an extra interest rate of 0.5 percent if a mortgage is higher than 80–90 percent of the property value.
  • The mortgage limit will be reduced by another percentage point in 2018, to 100 percent, after which no further reductions are currently planned.
  • Mortgages rates in the Netherlands continue at historically low levels of around 1.5–2.0 percent on a 10-year fixed loan, in line with the lowering of the Euribor in recent years.

Dutch mortgage rates

Should you rent or buy a propery in the Netherlands?

In the five years following the onset of the financial crisis, property prices in the Netherlands plummeted more than 20 percent and left many homebuyers with mortgages that exceeded the value of their Dutch property. However, the Dutch housing market upswing that started mid-2013 is predicted to continue through 2017, as the Dutch economy and consumer confidence improve and interest rates remain at historical lows. These conditions have turned the Dutch housing market into a buyer's market – particularly for first-time homebuyers – and increased local and foreign investment is pushing property prices back up again.

In contrast, rental prices remained relatively stable over the same period, and are showing significant growth as the economy recovers; in 2015, for example, housing experts said rental prices doubled in the main cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Groningen. Rental housing platform Pararius recorded the average rental price in the Netherlands in 2016 at around EUR 1,365 a month but in Amsterdam the average was EUR 2,200 per month, while in Rotterdam the average was around EUR 1,200 and in The Hague EUR 1,500. One main cause is the short rental supply in the private sector, which accounts for only some 5 percent of total housing stock, with the remaining rental stock classified under the social housing sector, which has long waiting lists and restricted to those on high salaries. Read more about renting in the Netherlands.

In comparision, as a result of low interest rates, in some cases it is possible to secure a mortgage lower than the average rental prices. However, costs associated with buying property in the Netherlands total around 6 percent of the purchase price, thus buying Dutch property is more suitable for long-term investments, at least a minimum of five years.

Who can get a mortgage in the Netherlands?

There are no formal restrictions for non-Dutch citizens buying Dutch property or applying for a Dutch mortgage. However, if you are relatively new to a job or area, self-employed, on a low income or of a non-EU nationality, these may result in a stricter lending criteria.

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 may need to pay a deposit and be limited to a maximum mortgage of 90 percent of the property value, although the Netherlands does allow mortgages of the full value of a property.

Regardless of nationality, if you're employed you will need to show proof of income (eg. a permanent employment contract) and a statement from your employer (werkgeversverklaring) with details of your contract and salary. Temporary workers and university researchers/PhD students will need statements from their employers/universities confirming their position. Self-employed people need to supply the last three years’ income tax returns and accounts.

Dutch mortgage rates

Mortgage rates in the Netherlands can be as low as 1.5–2 percent on a 10-year fixed loan, some of the lowest ever recorded Dutch mortgage rates. In the current environment, it is also possible to fix low Dutch mortgage rates for up to 20 or 30 years, which has been a popular option as Dutch mortgage interest rates don't have much room to go lower but experts predict interest will likely increase in the coming years.

As a rough guideline, you can borrow up to five times your gross salary, although dual-income households can typically borrow more. There is no mandatory minimum deposit, and in 2017 a mortgage can cover up to 101 percent of the purchase price of the property (to be reduced by 1 percentage point per annum until it reaches 100 percent in 2018). New laws introduced in 2016 mean that owners of energy-neutral homes will qualify for higher mortgages.

If you can't repay your mortgage loan, your home will be at risk of seizure. Therefore, it is advised to assess the monthly repayments required by your preferred plan, and determine whether you can afford them.

Dutch mortgage calculators

Mortgage calculators Netherlands

Costs of securing a Dutch mortgage

Buying a Dutch property and arranging a Dutch mortgage comes at a price, typically EUR 5,000–6,000 (excluding your estate agent fees).

These costs will cover:

  • Valuation fee, typically EUR 300–400;
  • Mortgage broker or advisor's fee, typically EUR 1,500–3,000;
  • Administrative charges for associated products, such as insurance. Typically, life insurance is the expected minimum with an administrative fee of under EUR 200 per person;
  • Notaries charge as well, although as mortgage completion usually coincides with the sale completion there is typically only one charge, typically around EUR 1,500.
  • Costs related to the National Mortgage Guarantee, if applicable (see below).

Additionally, fees for estate agents are typically based on a percentage of the property purchase price.

Tax refunds on your Dutch mortgage

In the Netherlands, it is possible to claim a tax refund on mortgage interest payments – even as an expat –  provided the mortgage is a capital repayment mortgage (not an interest-only mortgage) and the property is your main residence. Thus, you typically need to be Dutch resident and paying taxes in the Netherlands to claim a tax exemption.

In 2017, the maximum refund was set at 50 percent of the interest, and will be further reduced at an annual rate of 0.5 percentage points until 2040. This refund deduction only affects those with a gross annual income more than EUR 66,421; typically lower income earners can claim a refund of up to 42 percent of the interest.

If you are aged between 18 and 40 you can receive a tax-free, one-off contribution of EUR 53,016 from your parents to buy a home, which will be increased to a maximum of EUR 100,000 in 2017. However, a parent residing abroad can donate any amount tax free. Parents who used the one-off exemption in 2015 or 2016 will be able to increase their tax-exemption donation to EUR 100,000 in 2017 as well. In addition, in 2017 a parent-child relationship will no longer be necessary to quality for the exemption.

The following are usually tax deductible:

  • Valuation fee
  • Mortgage broker's fee
  • Administrative charges for arranging the mortgage
  • Notary's fee
  • NHG fee
  • The mortgage interest.

Read more about tax advantages for expat homebuyers in the Netherlands.

How to apply for a mortgage in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, a mortgage is formally arranged after you have made an offer on a property and it has been accepted. However, it's important to make sure you have already investigated mortgage options and chosen your mortgage provider. They can give you a quote which, once you sign to agree the terms and conditions, will be valid for three months. It is usually possible to get an extension if the property transfer is going slowly.

Mortgages may be arranged directly with lenders (typically the larger banks) or via a mortgage advisor (hypotheekadviseur). There are a large number of mortgage brokers and advisors, and some firms, including Finsens and Expat Mortgages, explicitly cater to expats. Additionally, according to the Financial Times, mortgage loans are increasingly originating from private funds acting on behalf of institutional investors (regiepartijen). Before the crisis, the main Dutch banks controlled around three-quarters of the Dutch mortgage market, but this landscape is increasingly changing as pension funds, insurance companies, small banks and foreign mortgage providers enter the market.

Large banks include:

  • ABN AMRO – offers English-language mortgage sections on their website and advice tailored to expats on request.
  • ING Bank (Dutch only).
  • Rabobank (mortgages section in Dutch only).
  • SNS (Dutch only).

In order to arrange a mortgage, an appraisal of the property must be made by a certified appraiser. This must be an objective third party – not the buyer's agent nor the seller's agent nor another interested party. It is advisable to have this done before you agree on a sale price as this could be a key piece of information. Structural surveys are typically not required to get a mortgage – your lender can provide you with the full list of what an appraisal must cover.

The mortgage deed must also be signed in front of a notary (notaris) and this is usually done at the same time as completion of the property transfer, by the same notary.

Mortgage Netherlands

What types of Dutch mortgage are available?

There are two main types of mortgages available in the Netherlands: a linear mortgage or an annuity mortgage. The critical point is that any mortgage must include a plan for paying off at least 50 percent of the loan during the loan period. Below is an explanation of the main Dutch mortgages available (including a translation for each mortgage in Dutch).

Linear mortgage (lineaire hypotheek)

The borrower repays a fixed sum each month, which covers the interest and a slice of the capital. Repayments are fixed over the entire period.

Annuity or repayment mortgages (annuïteiten hypotheek)

The borrower repays a fixed amount of the capital each month, plus a fluctuating amount of interest. Repayments will go down over the loan period.

There is a wide range of options available in both cases, covering most mortgage types found elsewhere, such as a fixed or variable interest rate and savings-offset accounts. Unusually, it may be possible to fix interest rates for long periods, up to 10 or even 30 years. Dutch mortgages are typically arranged for a period of 30 years.

Why can't I have an interest-only mortgage?

In the years since the 2008 financial crisis, the Dutch government has instituted a range of measures that have affected the housing market and property purchases. This includes banning interest-only mortgages where the loan amount is greater than 50 percent of the value of the property. If you are not a first-time buyer, it may be possible to get a combination mortgage, where part of the mortgage is interest-only and part a repayment mortgage.

What is the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG)?

The NHG (Nationale Hypotheek Garantie) is a scheme that guarantees repayment of a mortgage, even if the borrower becomes unable to do so directly. It is only available for mortgages up to a certain value (EUR 247,450 in 2017). Taking into consideration the maximum mortgage of 101 percent, the maximum purchase price (if you want to be covered by NHG) is EUR 245,000.

Should you become unable to repay the mortgage, the NHG ensures that:

  • you will not be liable for any sum over the value of your property when it is sold;
  • the lender will be repaid in full.

This means that if, for example, you become unemployed and can no longer repay your mortgage, your property will still be seized and sold. However, if the value of your property is lower than the value of your mortgage (eg. your home sells for EUR 150,000 but your mortgage is EUR 200,000), you will not be liable for the difference.

The NHG reduces the cost of lending, and lenders in turn offer NHG participants a lower interest rate, typically up to 0.7 percent lower.

The application fee for the NHG is 1 percent of the mortgage value. This means that if you buy a property that costs EUR 140,000 and put EUR 40,000 down upfront, the mortgage value will be EUR 100,000 and the application fee will be EUR 1,000.

Click to the top of our guide to Dutch mortgages.


This information is provided as a guide only. It is always advised to seek the help of a specialist as each individual case is different.

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Updated 2017.


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26 Comments To This Article

  • Veronica posted:

    on 1st May 2017, 05:42:46 - Reply

    Thank you very much for such an informative post! Would you be comfortable sharing your agent's contact information? We are planning to relocate from Canada.

    Your help is very much appreciated!
  • Corrie posted:

    on 13th March 2017, 10:29:50 - Reply

    I've read these comments and so many seem to have had the same problem my colleagues at budgetverhuisservice.nl had
  • Candy posted:

    on 11th September 2016, 09:24:26 - Reply

    I have been scouring the internet to find a 'real' step-by-step guide to buying a house in The Netherlands, but to no avail. From a beginners point of view, I need to know exactly what to do every step of the way. My main question is how much do I need to pay upfront? I am looking to purchase a house for �100.000 and meet all the criteria to enable me to get a mortgage to cover this amount, but I am completely perplexed by all the additional costs and fees. I do not have any savings whatsoever, so really need to know what I must save for in advance and what fees/costs can be offset with the remaining amount from my mortgage loan. I would be very grateful for any help with my question, I don't really want to get my heart set on a house to find that I need to save for a year first, only to find that my dream house has been sold! Thanks in advance.

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Orsi posted:

    on 11th January 2016, 20:24:08 - Reply

    Hi everyone,

    I read all the above messages and I was wondering these:

    1. Lets say you buy a house with many rooms and you keep one room to yourself and the other ones you rent them to different people, but in the meantime you use this house as a second residence (because you also live in another country and that is where you work, not in the NL). In that case, there is still no way to kick out the other tenants if they do not pay their share of the rent?
    2. If you get a mortgage of lets say 200k and after having paid the first 5 years, you decide to sell the house (of course at a lower price), what is the worst scenario that can happen ? I mean, even if you lose all the money that you would have paid until those 5 years it is not that bad because if you compare it to renting for 5 years in the NL, paying your mortgage is for sure cheaper..So whats the catch on that one?


    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Jessica posted:

    on 4th September 2015, 08:44:37 - Reply

    My agent was Frits Meerhoff, 020 Maakelaars. Those with horror stories either relate to losing the tax benefit, again it should be clear you have to pay tax in NL to get the deduction, same as any tax deduction in any jurisdiction, OR because they had renter or squatter issues. Knowing how the law works and how to prevent those issues is important. Selling if you leave NL is probably safer than renting and never leave a property unattended...total no go. Good luck!

  • Angela posted:

    on 12th June 2015, 14:42:18 - Reply

    Great information, Jessica! I've been looking for someone trustworthy to help my partner and I during the treacherous home buying process in Amsterdam. Would you mind sharing your friend's contact info? I'd love to talk to them.


  • Claudette posted:

    on 16th November 2014, 22:24:19 - Reply

    Hello everyone,

    What if an expat wants to buy a property cash (paying in full with no loan) How or where can she/he find out which areas have rent control and which ones don't?

    Thank you!

  • casandra posted:

    on 12th October 2014, 21:48:42 - Reply

    I am a small investor and i have invested in few different countries but i never heard scary stories like the above in Netherlands !!! wowo...it puts me right off !.
    By the way ..if anyone wants a lender do not go to sharks...just go to your bank and if they do not lend you then it means you have to save some more and increase your deposit or better your income.
  • Dee posted:

    on 7th March 2014, 19:49:19 - Reply

    If in doubt of any of the above, you cn always use the apartment for,holiday let 4 to 8 days a month to cover the mortage.... But don t be greedy....
  • Dee posted:

    on 5th March 2014, 03:51:51 - Reply

    Hello ,

    Rick i was sorry to hear about your disadventure, but i still would never go to a tenant s house with a knife . You will need to play by the rules. You must have rented it to owfull people i guess .

    I am not sure how did you get in troubles by being above the threshold of 15 points and then?? Did u get this certified by a professional and then agreed to it by all parties like huurcommissie townhall tenants ect ect?

    Can t remember who mentioned police but they meant the officers of huurcommissie which is an indipendent charity which is on the side of the tenants. Definately the police is from the side of the tenants if you harassing them with a knife as you said you did. In any event it is a civil matter so u need a lawyer.

    1) i am not sure which lender you have , and to whom you spoke to in the bank or when you spoke to them but mine was really helpfull and it depends on specific circumsances-

    i had to change the mortage but they did not increase the interest rate instead they just reduce it all together :) again it depends on someone s circumstances and how honest you are .

    3 of course you won t get tax back else is mortage fraud and tax fraud

    4 of course you will always need to be honest with town hall , but then again i am not sure whch type of property are you talking about, mine was with own ground or eigen grond . Maybe it was like this before or with some types of properties i am not sure , my gemeente were promptly informed, before hand i was first abroad for work and left my apartment empty for a more the 4 years before i started renting it out i was just going back for week ends or once a month and enjoy my property and the westerpak and all.

    So from 2005 till, 2009 i never thought to rent out i left it empty with the light on as being on the ground floor. Then in 2009 i started renting it for just 12 months had english tenants it was superb, then the dutch for 5 months and it was still all right beside a bit of mess in the garden , then a dutch couple of which one of them was a laywer. I happend to have studied the dutch law and i knew better then my lawyers and them ...... At a point that the judge hated the tenants for being greedy ... All in all the judge was on my side, they don t like if you are a greedy landlord i suppose well i wasn t one and i never harass them.

    5) i agree you are right , the contract i was told to give to my tenants ,mstates that if i have to sell then they need to leave, in fact the property has to be on the market In order to have them removed.
    (anyway you can alway do an anti craak contract , so you are pretty sure they are out by certain date and do not need the bank contract but still you need thier authorsization . I did happen to relocate ages before i rent out , i just happen to be with no income as i had a surgery so it was a special circumstance otherwise they just would have had a loss them selves since it was a global recession so it was in their own interest too as well as mine, i did this remember? And did not make this up. By the way you will need to be putting it up for sale and u can always put the price on the market twice his value so you for sure u make a deal if really have to sell due to a couple of scroungers that are trying to make a living out of it.

    6) again if you find the wrong people and have the wrong judgment , then you are really part of the problem, you don thave to get tenants you can get housesitters instead , like an anticraak so they are not tenants they are anti squatters looking out for your house and paying lesser money but you still have your property, but they will leave ona week or month notice.

    7 yes i had help , you always have the right to legal help wherever you go , it is a european law, if no income . it is limited though as i had to do half of their job , i had to study and translate the dutch hosuing law . In the end also in the uk if you have money you will not get free legal help , it is only the vulnerables who gets it, in my case i was one.

    But you said is not true? Maybe it was true till a certain date? But then banned ? Or banned something it wasn t true? Or perhpas it is true for some individual circumstances

    8) you can only evict a tenant for arrears on rent or antisocial behaviour , which by the way it is exacty the same in uk, with assured shorthold and section 21 only enforced by a judge . so be ready with putting your house for sale or prepare an anticraak contract or contact me to get the contract you need from a professional which covers the landlords rights!

    9) sorry i bought one which it is part of the 10%, again , do your due diligence before buying ....so was i just lucky or did i just see the rewards and not the risk ? But you are a specialist in this i don t need to tell u.

    Lastly if you just rent to proper and well educated professional people that are just into career i don t think they would do all the things you just listed.
    You chose a wrong market .

    Uk has similar laws so you always have to be careful who to trust and to get informed about the laws, due diligence on the property market and choose a good rental market too.

    Ps. Laws can change every week so a law it was existent last week it may have changed this week, so always best to check on the website i provided in my original post VROM

  • Rick posted:

    on 28th February 2014, 20:31:58 - Reply

    I did all my 'homework', and i even had my points counted and was 15 points over the threshold, and then i got into trouble:

    First of all, let me point out that the POLICE does NOT, i repeat, does NOT help you evict tenants, even if they threaten you or treat your place in an unsafe or illegal way. Police will send you to go find a lawyer and fight the case in court. If you don't believe me, pick up the phone and call a police dept while pretending about the situation, you will be SHOCKED about how little help you get. Yes, it happened to me already. Did i go to court? no, i took a knife, a really big one, forced my way into my OWN house and threatened my tenants to KILL THEM if they wouldnt leave my house right away. This, is the ONLY way to kick out tenants. Brutal raw force.

    1) the mortgage lender did NOT allow me to rent out (apparently only houses which are 100% paid off can be rented out, since the bank won't have a mortgage with you and therefore no 'anti-rental-clause')

    2) even if i had gotten permission from the Bank, than still they want to add 2% on top of my interest rate (they told me at the bank), and they said, that that's because i will be viewed as a commercial owner, so i will have to pay higher commercial interest

    3) naturally mortgage interest can no longer be deducted if you rent out

    4) the municipality gemeente wants to know if yes or no, you requested for a so-called 'house permit' (permission from the gemeente for the tenant to start living in your house instead of YOU living inside it). This is because certain houses are not only under category 'social' but also under category 'must have gemeente Housing Permit before renting out'. that'e because if the gemeente thinks you ought to put another family inside your house, then they want to be able to not give you the permit and force you to take in that 'poor family'.

    Netherlands is quite notorious for being more communist than USSR or China when it comes to real estate owner's rights, which are almost non-existent in the communist land of the nether-lands.

    5) Mortgage lenders don't give 'contracts' to kick people out. They either allow you to rent out, or do not allow you to rent out. If they allow, they will increase your interest. However, to allow you to rent out, they normally demand that you put your house on sale and prove to them which makelaar is selling it for you. In other words, they won't allow you to become a landlord, just because you happen to relocate to another country as that is not a valid reason to allow you to rent out (their words, not mine!). I am a specialist by the way, when it comes to this, i did it myself, remember?

    6) even IF you get the bank's permission, the tenant has the RIGHT to refuse to leave the house (even after he agrees to leave it on a certain date, even if he did it in writing!).THAT's the scary part about the netherlands. They allow tenants to change their minds about leaving date, and then they offer them free legal help. What a wonderful communist country, isn't it? that's probably why we all are suffering under the 52-75% income tax payments, to pay for all the 'free legal aid for tenants'. Trust me, when facing a tenant's case - you would WISH on your hands and knees, that you lived in the USSR instead of the communist land of NL.

    7) Dee said that owners could get free legal help, but that is NOT true. They banned it recently, as it it considered 'engaging in business of rental', and they only subsidize 'first life necessities' (hence they will pay for your tenant as he needs a roof, but NOT for the owner).So if you are an owner and 'poor' or no income, then you still have to pay thousands of euros yourself to pay for a lawyer and evict the tenant (and mind you 80% of the cases are lost by the owner). I had to pay 9000euro. I lost my case, but thank goodness the tenant decided to leave after 2y by himself.

    8) no matter what a contract says, ONLY a judge is allowed to evict the tenant!!! if you don't believe me, pick up the phone and ask any lawyer. So be ready and put 9000 eur aside for that court case.

    9) even if you do manage to kick out the tenant, then, since 90% of Dutch houses in cities fall into the social housing bracket, so still, you will have ended up subsidizing the tenant, because he will for sure ask for his rent to be reduced. Which means it will be way lower than your mortgage interest, so it means you will be financing his stay (or the shortfall between the lowered rent and the interest you need to pay to your bank).

    Lasly, the tenants these days have no respect, they do the following and get you into trouble (happened to me)
    - they sublet your place without you knowing about it
    - they sublet it to students who come for short stay, and then the VVE (home owner association) starts to make fights with you
    - they grow weed and you get penalized by VVE for exercising narcotic shop in your home (you are responsible EVEN for your tenant)
    - they will rob your stuff, out of anger and disappear with it, if you try to move them out
    - they start selling your address to immigrants who have no address, and you end up with 10 people registered in your house, which you will find is almost impossible to de-register without their permission EVEN if it is YOUR house!
    so it means you will also get higher gemeente bills, since those are calculated over the number of people living in the house

    In short: if you want to invest, do it in the UK, where governemtn respects property rights. In NL, you are dealing with COMMUNISTS.
  • dom posted:

    on 24th February 2014, 22:23:49 - Reply

    Hi Dee,

    I was curious about what u said:

    "As regards to your lender , you will need to tell them you are about to rent out coz you dont work any longer or so , (if) and they will issue a contract that enables you as a owner to be able to kick the tenants out"

    Are u saying that if I tell my mortgage lender that I am leaving the country then they will issue me a contract that will enable me to get rid of tenants at the end of the tenancy?

    I am possibly going to be leaving the Netherlands but I dont want to sell my flat because the market is too low. I was therefore planning on renting. But I am scared of the Dutch legal system. All I want is to be able to get my flat back at the end of the tenancy agreement like in the UK. So that if I want to sell it I can do so.

    Equally if my tenants are not paying the rent then I want to know that at the very least they will have to leave my property at the end of the 12 mths etc.

    Is it possible to get a contract like that via my mortgage lender if I tell them I am leaving.

    Many thanks for your help!

  • House for Sale Newfoundland posted:

    on 18th February 2014, 09:27:06 - Reply

    I strongly advise people not to buy property blindly ,because you are going to put your hard earned money into it.
  • Dee posted:

    on 13th February 2014, 01:37:49 - Reply

    Oh i forgot to add , i am agree with you jessica on the annuity mortgage, but you will always pay the same amount every month even if your salary will increase and so your capital repayment increase , and interest decrease.

    Spaar hypotheke is an option for those who like to save everything,
    but the best is when the more you pay per month the lesser is the next months coming , so by decreasing the mortgage balance every months then monthly interest of the future months is less and lesser.....
  • Dee posted:

    on 13th February 2014, 01:20:30 - Reply

    Hallo all

    I have bought an aprtment in front of the westerpark in 2002, and rented it due to the fact i had to go abroad for work.
    So i have few tips for some of you who improvised in becoming the landlord/landlady , they should have done a proper due diligence on the rental market, by going on the web site of the ministry of housing (VROM) to know all the law on the rental control and all.

    Regarding the rent comtrol : is to do with the points you apartment may have, according to the matrix that rent comtrol officer uses; whatch out the officers are inaccurate. My pointcounting was more accurate then theirs , they like to bring down your points as they are from the tenants side.

    You have of course some branches of townhall that can do that for you, but also them can do it wrong.

    I have paid a company to verify the points and even them got it wrong , i have made the three of them confront each other as they all were wrong there is a gap in the law and in the system at the disadvqntage of the owner, but if you pay a little extra they can advise on how to increase the points .
    However the law has changed in 2012 as regards to some properties at the advage of the owner.

    The matrix used by rent control officer (huurcommissie) has a certain points threshold, whcih under this threshold your apartment will go on the social , which it means they will stick to the matrix table; if above this threeshold then your apartment is on the free market (private sector , not social) , therefore you can charge as much as you like as long as you are above this threshold at least of 10 points to be just sure , the tenants may just nreak things to reduce this points.
    They have recentrly changed the law i think in 2012 for the 50sq apartment , if your WOZ is above 200k then you have an increase of 15 points. If the huurcommissie goes at the door for inspection you have a deadline to appeal against that decision, and yes you will need a lawer , the cheapest is 250 per hr plus vat, they ask for a minimum of 2k to start the case, nut if you are a unemployed landlord you have the right too , to have a subsidised lawyer that can apply for a toevoeging.
    You will have to do a court case against the commission which is now slowly vanishing , a court case against the tenants to get them out, a court case against agent who made the fixed contract who then may get really scared to go to court and that will definitely will be willing to find an alternative accommodation for this bogus tenants. If you are not part of the solution I am afraid you are part of the problem,

    As regards to your lender , you will need to tell them you are about to rent out coz you dont work any longer or so , (if) and they will issue a contract that enables you as a owner to be able to kick the tenants out, normally the contract is not very appreciated by certain estate agent who then may give a fixed contract to tenants, well guess what? it does not exist a fixed contract in holland therefore the contract is void.

    So before you look at the rewards , make sure you watch out the risks. If you are on and off the country, make sure you can maximize your space and perhpas get a nice flat mate you can trust so it enables you to come back when you want.

    For the mortgage , most people get the NHG but it is interest only mortgae for perhaps 30 years, so you pay 30 years mortgage and then what?? You still have to pay the house as you only have paid the interest to the bank, shich of course you can change at any time, or just make overpayment. But you pay 100 euro on top of the interest for the guarantee which will be just for the bank , not for you. So be careful to shop around the right mortgage product. Now it is the best time to buy as it is the buyer s market , the people who bought on 2007 and sold during thr last 5 years they had no clue about property market at all or global financial meltdown,, however i was just sorry to hear. Check global property index for any city in the world.

    If you use interest only the mortgage is very low already, which half of it gets refunded to you ether monthly or yearly so that you can ammortize your mortgage cost add the 30% ruling which only people with certain salary can apply for. If you leave NL make sure you leave the radio on or put someone with an antisquat contract so that the townhall cannnot take over and the person is paying little money but at least you are sure they will leave as they do not have a proper rental contract .

    You don t really need a CPA Or a tax lawyer, just Do your homework.

    Happy investing

  • Jason posted:

    on 8th January 2014, 20:04:54 - Reply

    @brutal truth - the minute you leave NL or your income, it means you stop paying tax (at least in NL) and that in turn means you will be facing HUGHE penalties:
    1) you lose any mortgage tax deduction (since to qualify for it, it is mandatory that you work inside NL)
    2) you lose NHG as soon as your interest period renewal comes up
    3) you face a mandatory 1,2% to be paid each year over the market value of your house (do that 100years, and you will have given your entire house away to the Dutch tax department)
    4) if you die and your kids inherit it, the Dutch will slap you with steep inheritance tax (even so if you/kids are living outside NL and holding on to the Dutch passport, because there is a clause about it in the inheritance tax law that disadvantages the Dutch nationals)

    If you think about renting out your house while staying abroad, beware of their Rent Control. It effectively means you won't get to fetch a dime more than the max limit on rent control (means you can ask for no more than around 700 eur pure rent excl utilities). If you try to get around rent control, be careful, because the Dutch have Rent control police working for free and who are actively scouting expats to offer free legal advice. You could be out thousands of euros, and unable to kick your tenant out because of their quasi socialistic rent laws. Just be careful. Shell execs (i knew them) made it to the UK news papers when the Dutch tried to force them fill their vacant homes near Vondelpark by taking in needy poor families as a tenant. They don't tell you this kind of stuff when they sell you the house, but this is why the house prices and rents are not nearly as high as they are in UK. Its because nobody is interested in investing! You should google about that.
  • brutal truth posted:

    on 12th December 2013, 14:37:55 - Reply

    Bought an apartment in nieuw pijp in 2011. with NHG. My question is if I ever quit my job and/or decide to leave the country (simply because job market sucks -at least in my case- and I feel I have kind of a burnout) , can I get use of the NHG if my property has a lower value than my mortgage? Because I'm seriously considering to quit my job and I don't really know what to do with this apartment if I can't find a new job and my buffer savings finish.
  • Michael posted:

    on 20th November 2013, 09:01:21 - Reply

    I read all the comments above...It may -seem- cheaper to buy a house. Until you find out that you need a tax lawyer (and not a CPA) to fight to get your mortgage tax rebate (which can suddenly be denied to you). And until you find out you need a local barrister to try somehow kick out your tenant. In fact, My advise would be to pay for one and get proper legal advice BEFORE buying a home. That way, you will know that short term gains do not weigh up against the long term legal risks of losing your home and 'tax refund'. [Edited by moderator]
  • Richard posted:

    on 20th November 2013, 08:41:47 - Reply

    Buying housing is a hughe risk for expats, and it happened to me (the nightmare is still happening as we speak): - i bought a house and could get some 'tax relief' (a ridiculous system, where they make you pay close to 52% income tax, and then ask you to file a 'tax refund' paper to get a tiny part back of what YOU initially paid to Tax man) - now, i am working in the UK and suddenly I am DENIED my tax refund!!!! (apparently, it is only given as long as you work within NL and pay tax) - so I couldn't sell my place (the market is bad in recession) so i decided to rent it out to cover my steep mortgage fees, now that i was no longer granted the 'tax refund': BIG MISTAKE - a Dutch guy is sitting in my house and refused to leave (squatters are helped by government and judicial system in NL!!), he also refuses to pay the rent and only pays a tiny amount for utilities - it turns out, my mortgage provider found out and now wants to Fire Sale my place to force out the squatter So in the end, I bought, i lost my mortgage 'tax rebate help', I am stuck with a squatter, and the Dutch socialistic judge isn't helping me out nor is my bank. In fact, I will end up with a financial loss on my home and lose my home. When I was googling about this situation, I found out the Dutch made it to the frontpage in the UK when this happened to a Shell executive who also bought a home and then found out the gemeente amsterdam municipality 'stole' his house from him and basically forced a poor family on him: they made him make the house available to the poor (despite that the family couldn't pay the mortage), the reason was that it is apparently not allowed to leave an Amsterdam house empty. Brokers should tell prospect tenants this stuff. I feel used by the Dutch. you can't blame me, these people stole my LIFE SAVINGS!!! They should put makelaars to jail for not disclosing this sort of important information. I would have NEVER bought a house if I had known that it is not allowed to leave it empty. Or if i had known the Dutch can force a poor family on you, or if i had known the tax refund is only for as long as you work in NL! The fact that may be the tax will decrease in future - but I have little faith it will EVER happen- is not changing anything to the above. For now, they set up a 'crisis heffing' tax, a SURTAX of 16% (!!!!!) for people who make more than 150.000eur. So those already pay 60% (top rate) and are asked to pay ANOTHER 16%? that makes a total of 76%. I don't think the USSR ever had that kind of tax rate?! So i don't see taxes coming down any time soon. It will be a long long way from 76% to 28%. WHat kind of country does all this to her expats??????????? [Edited by moderator]
  • Jessica Lombardo posted:

    on 18th November 2013, 10:23:06 - Reply

    I forgot to mention that for now the uncertainty around the tax deduction on interest that was under debate for several years and wreaked havoc on the market pricing has subsided now that the government has settled on gradually reducing but not eliminating the benefit. I believe it is set to reduce to 37% (from 52%) over the next 28 years. That's another reason I bought. I'm not saying to trust the NL gov't not to change their minds...but this issue is no longer a hot topic of debate and probably won't be for several years so buying now seems more reliable as to the price you'll pay.

    Also, any interest paid on your primary home financing is deductible, not just the mortgage interest. I.E. if you mortgage 80% of the value but need to borrow from your business/employer or family member (other than your fiscal partner) or friend an additional amount for the down payment then that interest is also deductible.
  • Jessica Lombardo posted:

    on 18th November 2013, 10:12:20 - Reply

    Not sure if anyone will read this since the comments/article were from August but....for anyone that does, I hope this is informative. I'm buying a home now, as an expat, and I'm a CPA...so I've learned everything I can about the situation.

    1. Anyone that blames the Netherlands (market) for losing 15% on a purchase in 2007 that was sold in 2012 seems to have missed that there was a global financial crisis that did impact house prices even in the Netherlands (only JUST out of recession) and prices did, after much delay, begin to decline in NL around 2010/11 depending on where the property was (Amsterdam center less, other areas more).
    2. If you don't pay tax in the Netherlands then you won't benefit from the mortgage interest tax deduction, that's kind of a no-brainer I hope. If you do, even after the 30% ruling, you will benefit. You have to calculate how much benefit based on the progressive tax table. If you are enough into the 52% bracket on income (after 30% ruling) than the full interest less eigenwoningforfait (0.6% of property market value) * 52% is the annual benefit. Although, as the article mentions, the tax deduction rate will decline by 0.5%/year starting in 2014.
    3. Current market is showing lower prices than in the past 5 to 10 years and are starting to show signs of increasing, it's a buyer's market.
    4. Get your own buying agent that you trust...ours was a good friend and he saved us a lot on the purchase...we would have probably paid 5 to 7% more as amateurs that the selling agent would not have negotiated with so easily.
    5. The cheapest rates offered by smaller banks such as NIBC (cheapest, etc.) are not available to expats because unlike Dutchees where the banks have full recourse, an expat can leave the country and not be effectively chased for the debt. However, rates are still quite low particularly if you don't finance 100% or more of the property value.
    6. The appraised value will = the purchase price more than 90% of the time. Unless you significantly over or under pay, this is generally not an issue.
    7. Refinancing (i.e. lock in a new fixed market interest rate and/or increase loan against appreciated house value) happens after the fixed interest term (e.g. 5 or 10 years) and you can easily shop around provided your financial situation hasn't declined as pointed out by another comment above.
    8. The larger banks (at least ABN, ING and Rabo) do not necessarily require life insurance...I am not forced to take out a policy with ABN.
    9. You can get about 0.2% discount if you take out the mortgage with the same bank you use for your normal account where you receive your salary.
    10. You can make a declaration each year once you own to have the tax deduction applied on a monthly basis so that you don't have to wait until you file your IB aangifte in the following year to get a refund for the interest deduction.
    11. The annuity mortgage type has lower payments in the first years that gradually, but not drastically, increase. So if you expect your income to increase over time this makes it easier to afford. Also, you can no longer get an interest-only mortgage so even if you only keep the house for say 5 years and you mortgage the full boat, you'll have paid back around 10% of the loan which should buffer any loss if the house price declines, which is not expected in the market.

    Bottom line, I waited 8 years to buy and paid high rent in the Amsterdam center all that time. I decided to buy because: the current market is ripe for buying and loaded with places around town at prices that can be negotiated down; we found an amazing newly renovated house in de pijp but just a canal away from center; rates are very low; I will get the maximum tax benefit even during my last 2 years of 30% ruling (2014/15); I can still mortgage 105% of the value in 2013 if necessary; I'll save several hundred a month in energy costs because the new house is far more efficient and well insulated, currently paying almost EUR 400 a month!

    Don't be afraid, especially now, but do understand all the ins and outs and do get an agent to negotiate for you...best decision we made!
  • dimitri posted:

    on 19th August 2013, 16:00:37 - Reply

    I met this broker who tried to sell me a place and he kept saying that if I didn't buy, it would mean i miss out on a tax refund, a substantial one.

    So i went over to talk to my tax lawyer who files my return, and he said I'd be nuts to buy a place. He said, i was already (!!!) getting a full refund of my tax on salary, and that buying a place will only add misery to my tax bill. Here's why:
    I'm from Bulgaria, and I work 5 months each year in Amsterdam. So that means, although i pay wage tax in NL, i get ALL of it back each year, simply by stating that my place of residence is Bulgaria for 7months out of the 12months. That way all my Dutch income gets taxed in Bulgaria (which is why i get so much refund in NL) and as you probably know, tax in Bulgaria is ridiculously low, it's even lower than UK :)

    Apart from that, this way, i don't have to register for the 'compulsary' health insurance (my bulgarian one is just fine, as it is exportable) and I don't have to register myself in the Dutch address, which means i never get any gemeente tax bills. What a life, hey?
    No tax refund (not even a mortgage tax refund) beats a FULL tax refund, now does it :) and each time i get it, I have a beer with my colleagues and remind them of how beautiful life is as a Bulgarian.
  • Jane posted:

    on 14th August 2013, 10:36:36 - Reply

    Both myself and my colleague tried to refinance my mortgage, and here's how it went:
    - I have a job and so they knew that and I could threaten my current bank by leaving them and taking up a mortgage at some other bank (that helped and they reconsidered a lower interest rate offer than their initial offer1)
    - my colleague was jobless though, so he couldn't shop around at some other bank, and he couldn't threaten his current bank. So he was and remains stuck with their 'offered extension interest rate' which of course is waaaay waaaaay higher than it should be. But they got him cornered, and they know that, right.

    Now from an investment point of view, I will share my experiences buying my place. I bought a place in amstelveen area, it's one of those older buildings from the seventies. I left for the UK and also faced a loss if I were to sell it in recession, which explains why I decided to rent it out instead. Now what these Dutch fail to tell expats, is that you can't charge out your property liabilities (mortgage interest and government costs) in full to your tenants, because apparently tenants can just claim it all back based on the fact your house isn't label 'A' (newly built). They also don't tell you that the rule of law isn't at all protecting the landlord (majority of court case settle roughly in the middle), and if a tenant runs off after breaking your place up into a dump, you face no recourse effectively, as a tenant can apparently get himself a subsidized lawyer from/through various organizations, while you as a landlord have to be either insured or ready to pay tens of thousands in law fees. In other words, in the Netherlands you just take the costs that tenants face your with, and you are probably better off going down to the police station to set them up with criminal charges of having torn apart your property. I leave it up to you to figure out how wise you would be buying a place in that country. I for myself, wish I hadn't.
  • Joel posted:

    on 11th August 2013, 10:00:03 - Reply

    I bought an apartment in 2007 and took out a mortgage. I sold in 2012 at a loss of 15%. Looking around, properties are still overpriced, I'm staying far away from this uncertain market and renting until prices are sensible and stable again.
  • elvis posted:

    on 10th August 2013, 19:01:00 - Reply

    I think the article would have been much better if it had discussed refinancing a mortage and how it works with different type of mortages and if it is possible at all in the NL.
  • elvis posted:

    on 8th August 2013, 11:40:56 - Reply

    dutch housing market is dangerous and instability of laws does not give you piece of mind to decide. I strongly advise expats no to fall in the trap of buying a house here. Plus, check the prices across Belgium, Germany, and holand to see what you could get for the same money elswhere. Almost always better houses and bigger. [Edited by moderator]