Buy house or flat in Amsterdam


There is a big discussion on whether to rent or buy in the Netherlands. There used to be a general rule-of-thumb that said if you were to reside in the Netherlands for more than five years and if you would be paying more than EURO 1,250 per month in rent, then a house was a worthwhile investment. While this is still generally true, there could be another of other variables that influence this rule.

It is also wise to first do some basic research into whether you are eligible for a mortgage and the sorts of mortgages available. The general basic requirements for a mortgage of up to four times your gross salary are: resident in the Netherlands for a period of more than five years, in permanent, full-time employment or self-employed and able to produce accounts (by a recognised accountant) for the past three years as well as a prognosis for the current year. These are general guidelines only as individual circumstances can vary and some mortgages can be arranged outside these guidelines.

Estate agents

There are numerous estate agencies or specialised websites in Amsterdam. For example you can try:

Agency fees are usually paid by the seller and average 2 - 3% on most residential sales.

Solicitor fees

A fee of 11.5% of the initial rent is typically charged for commercial leases.
For real estate sales transactions there is a .7% notary fee and a 6% transfer tax in addition to a 6% registration fee.

Very few, less than 15%, of real estate transactions involve agents.




Before getting a mortgage, you will need a valuation report which states the current value of the property. It is common to get a mortgage of up to 125% of the current value of the property. The execution value is the price the mortgage provider can get when your property has to be sold by them because the mortgage can't be paid anymore. There are many agencies that help with mortgages.

Click here for more information or refer to your bank for further assistance:


Property tax is charged annually by the local authorities in the Netherlands on ownership or use of property and is based on the market value of the property. Typical rates of property tax are generally between 0.1% and 0.3% for both the owner and the user of a property.

Update 29/02/2008


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Solicitor fee stated is from Bulgaria
The information provided about the solicitor fee is deducted from a website about Bulgaria (not about Amsterdam). So please read my comments about the extra costs involved (in the Netherlands known as buyers costs or kosten koper......normally behind the asking price as k.k.).
More information at:



Estate agents
In the Netherlands there is a big difference between the buying agent and selling agent. The estate agent you will see when visiting an apartment is a selling agent and is solely working for the seller. I always recommend an expat buyer to get you own estate agent: an "aankoopmakelaar".
For more information please visit my website at



Estate agents
The commission paid to an estate agent is not 2-3% anymore. It used to be that way 5 years ago. Due to a lot of internet agents and the free market the average commission paid is 1,5%.
Do keep in mind that you only pay that commission if you hire your own agent.



The maximum mortgage you can get is not 125% percent of the market value. It has changed to 106% of the market value or a 120% of the execution value. Due to a strict policy from the banks and lowering of the transfer tax. See my other comment.

More information? please e-mail me on



Solicitor fees
Since the 15th of June 2011 the government lowered the transfer tax from 6% to 2% start up the market. This will end on the 15th of June 2012, unless the government approves to continue it.

For more information please e-mail me at:



Solicitor fees
Total extra charges when buying a house will be: (fees are approximately and depend on buying price)

solicitors fee including land registry costs: 2000
valuation report: 550
interpreter: 300
building inspection: 350
transfer tax: 2%
your own estate agent: 1,5-2%

Altogether it will be 6-6,5%.
So when you keep in mind that you get a maximum of a 106% mortgage, you will need 0,5% cash or get a very good buying estate agent to lower the buying price and extra costs.

More information: please contact me at:

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Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

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