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HOUSING

BUYING • It is common to appoint a real estate agent, or a makelaar, to do much of the legwork. • A makelaar will track down appropriate houses, arranging viewings, suggesting areas where there’s room for negotiation, and advising on potential pitfalls. • A makelaar also knows which property will come on the market shortly. • The agent’s commission will be one up to two percent excl. 21 % V.A.T. of the purchase price. • You can hunt on Funda (www.funda.nl) to get ideas of prices in particular areas. • When buying, proximity to work, schools and amenities all play their part. • Be aware of the costs involved in renovating older property to current building standards or the quality required for renting. • For leasehold properties, check out the ground rents. • Tax is also levied on the deemed property value (WOZ), evaluated by the local municipality each year. • See www.nvm.nl for useful information in English.

IMPORTANT TERMS • Pre-sale agreement (koopovereenkomst): prepared by vendor’s agent or lawyer (notaris) with a 72-hour “cooling off” period. It will include details of when the 10 percent deposit should be paid, or when the bank guarantee has to be arranged. • Valuation (taxatierapport): designed for mortgage purposes; not a survey. • Transfer or conveyancing tax (overdrachtsbelasting): 2 percent of the purchase price. • Deed of transfer: transportakte. • Mortgage deed: hypotheekakte. • Agent commission: (makelaarscourtage): generally 1–2 percent, if applicable. A full structural survey is sensible; possibly fees for translation, plus 21% V.A.T. on the total. • Parental gift tax: In 2020 homebuyers can still receive up to roughly EUR 103,643 euros as a tax free gift to buy a property.

ARRANGING A MORTGAGE (HYPOTHEEK) There are many different types of mortgage and the tax issues are complex. The general conditions for a mortgage up to four or five times your salary are: • You have a permanent residence permit (depending on nationality and employment contract, this may not be applicable). • You have a permanent employment contract or a continuation statement from your employer. • If self-employed or a contractor, you have certified accounts for the last three years and forecasts for the following year. • Maximum mortgage obtainable is 100 percent of the house value. COSTS • The buyer generally pays costs (k.k. – kosten koper) but some costs are tax-deductible. • Allow for around 4 to 6 % on top of the purchase price. • Once your offer has been accepted, a written agreement is mandatory, and a 10 percent deposit should be paid. • Make sure your finances are in place first (ie. that a mortgage lender will lend the required amount). • On completion, both parties sign a transfer contract (akte van levering) and a notary must register the property at the Land Registry (www.kadaster.com). • Notary fees can range from EUR 1,000 to EUR 3,000, so it pays off to shop around. • An accredited interpreter must also be hired if one or more of the parties is not a Dutch citizen. • The whole process can take two to three months.

Spacious, stylish apartments and studios close to the city centre of Hilversum and within walking distance from Hilversum Sportpark Station. Suitable for short stays from 7 nights (fully furnished and serviced) and permanent residences (unfurnished). Oude Amersfoortseweg 121-131 1212 AA Hilversum hilversumcityapartments.com

SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONALS 2021 • THE NETHERLANDS • WWW.EXPATFAIR.NL

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Expat Survival Guide 2021 - The Netherlands  

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