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Buying a house for the first time in The Hague as an expat
With help from our office, we can make the complete mortgage process as clear and uncomplicated as possible. Buying your first home in The Hague as an expat can be a very exciting time, but there is also a lot to learn. Our financial advice covers a wide range of tips and guidance for first time buyers; such as how to save for your mortgage.
Our office specializes in independent mortgage and insurance advice. We offer a comprehensive range of mortgage products from across the market and provide services for expats for buying a house for affordable fixed fees:
- Home inspection / structural survey service for your new house;
- Screening of your purchase agreement;
- Home buying service.
What can you expect from our mortgage services?
We are committed to providing an excellent level of service. Many of our clients come from abroad. Recommendations to friends, family and colleagues and can be anywhere in The Hague. We work nationwide and therefore we provide mortgage advice over the phone, by e-mail or in person.
It is also possible to have some kind of pre-approval if you are house hunting and already have the necessary documents handy.
How to save time in the mortgage process?
To get a head-start in buying your house you can gather all your documents. If you have most of the necessary documents complete it will save yourself a great amount of time.
The documents you need to collect will detail the following points :
- Information about your earnings (copy salary slip and employer’s statement);
- Copy of your passport and residence card;
- Information about your debt and assets;
- Homeownership history in the Netherlands.
Independent mortgage advice
First of all you can expect independent and honest mortgage advise from us. This, more concretely, means that we have access to almost all mortgage lenders active in the Netherlands. We also have a partnership with foreign mortgage lenders. Besides, you have a legislator on your side who protects you.
Namely, we are required to have a license and there is an independent financial supervisor.
You can prepare the meeting with our mortgage advisors by calling in your employer’s statement.
Need mortgage advice in The Hague? We are glad to assist you!
Want to live in the wonderful famous Dutch city of The Hague? Not surprising of course, because there is so much to see and do in The Hague. For instance the impressive Rijksmuseum or the beautiful canals. Perhaps you need to adjust to the overwhelming presence of bikes!
Are you looking for a home to buy in this bright city, or have you already signed a contract for a house and do you need mortgage advice? We are happy to serve you with specialized mortgage advice.
Our highly educated mortgage advisors will give you more than appropriate mortgage advice in The Hague. We love The Hague as well. Book an initial, free of charge, telephone consultation with one of our mortgage advisors right now!
The housing market in The Hague
The housing market is going through extraordinary times in The Hague. A house with a garden is becoming scarce and the prices are going through the roof. Without guidance is it very hard to get hold of a house in the capital city of the Netherlands.
The Hague, with its beautiful Binnenhof and beach of Scheveningen, has a lasting appeal on a large group of people. Expats often choose to live in The Hague compared to other cities because of its favorable establishment environment.
There are some typical characteristics worth noticing in the housing market of The Hague:
- Some of the ground belongs to the municipality and you have it on a long lease. In short, this means you pay a reimbursement to the local authorities;
- A lot of the apartments have an owners’ association;
- There is a unique mannerism to bid on a house in The Hague.
Mortgage advice on making an offer with or without ‘subject to finance’ in The Hague
Any person currently looking for a home to buy in The Hague knows that offers are frequently made without a resolutive condition. Also known as a finance clause. This clause gives you time to organize a mortgage for your new house.
Making an offer without this condition can cause a big risk. Because what happens if the bank refuses your mortgage application?
As this happens, you may then have to pay 10% of the purchase price as a penalty and the real cost of damage. Are you willing to take this risk? We can explain to you alternative solutions to have the best bid and buying without this expensive risk.
Also, we can help you with have a sort of pre-approval mortgage application.
Code of conduct for mortgage loans
Lending institutions such as banks and other mortgage providers are bound by a code of conduct in relation to mortgages. In Dutch this code of conduct is known as Gedragscode Hypothecaire Financiering. The current version of the governments Code of Conduct for mortgage loans came into effect in 2011. The code of conduct applies to mortgages on primary residences only.
Should I keep renting or buy a property in the Netherlands?
In the five years following on the end of the financial crisis, property prices in the Netherlands plummeted more than fifteen 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 2018, as the Dutch economy and consumer confidence improve and interest rates remain at a historical low point.
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 € 1,365 a month but in Amsterdam, the average was € 2,200 per month, while in Rotterdam the average was around € 1,200 and in The Hague € 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 comparison, 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 4-5 percent of the purchase price, thus buying Dutch property is more suitable for long-term investments, at least a minimum of five years. Based on the current price increase on the Dutch housing market it goes faster.
Can I get a mortgage in the Netherlands?
Of course! There are no legal 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 stricter lending criteria and can become a bumpy road. This can result in a lower maximum Loan To Value (LTV). This is the ratio between the value of the house and the mortgage expressed in a percentage.
Each bank has different requirements, but in general, if you are from a country within the EU it helps a lot to apply for a mortgage. 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.
It also depends on the status of your residence card. We can inform you during a personal meeting about the possibilities.
You may need to pay a deposit and be limited to a maximum mortgage of 90 percent of the property value, although the Dutch bank does allow mortgages of the full value of a property.
Regardless of nationality, if you are employed you will need to show proof of income and a statement from your employer (werkgeversverklaring) with details of your contract and salary. Temporary workers and university researchers/Ph.D. 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.
As from 1 January 2013 the rules for mortgage loans are changed
If you live in a house that you own, you have an owner-occupied home. If you are a qualifying non-resident taxpayer, you may deduct the interest on your mortgage or loan for this house.
Did you buy an owner-occupied home after 1 January 2013? Or did you increase your mortgage or loan after 1 January 2013? Or is your mortgage or loan higher now than in 2012, because you bought a more expensive house? In that case, you will be dealing with new rules for the deduction of your (mortgage) interest.
On 1 January 2013, the rules on the deduction of interest on the home acquisition debt (mortgage interest deduction) were changed. For any new loans, you may only deduct the interest if you repay the loan in monthly installments. If you already had a home acquisition debt before 1 January 2013, you may continue deducting the interest on this debt and you are not obliged to repay.
When are you obliged to repay?
In order to be allowed to deduct the interest, you are obliged to repay the loan in the following situations:
- You take out a mortgage or loan for the first time;
- You increase your existing mortgage or loan, for example for a refurbishment;
- If you already had a home acquisition debt on 31 December 2012, the repayment obligation will only apply to the additional amount you borrow;
- You must repay the loan on an annuity basis or by equal amounts in no more than 360 months (30 years). In both cases, you will pay a fixed monthly amount consisting of interest and repayment. You are entitled to interest deduction in both cases.
Why use a mortgage advisor? – Pros & Cons
As a go-between for borrowers and lenders, mortgage advisors can be very useful if you aren’t confident in your understanding of finance or mortgaging. Hiring an advisor can be an excellent way of finding the best value home loan given your personal circumstances – just make sure you select your advisor carefully!
For some people, using a mortgage advisor can be a great move for your financial situation, but carefully consider the pros and cons and check that the advisor you choose has the qualifications and experience necessary to find you the best product they can.
Pros of using a mortgage advisor
- A mortgage advisor can potentially be an invaluable resource for those with a poor understanding of the finance and mortgage industry or their own financial affairs;
- An advisor may be able to find you a mortgage that’s better for your individual situation and affairs;
- If you don’t have the time to do the extensive research required to properly assess the variety of home loan products available to you, a mortgage advisor can do this for you (within the panel of products they sell).
Cons of using a mortgage advisor
- Mortgage advisors with a small product range of lenders are not wise to choose. This may not give you a fair idea of the range of products that are suitable for you;
- Educational qualifications and industry experience can differ widely between advisors, so make sure to inquire about this before you engage the services of any mortgage advisor.
For having an indication of your future mortgage payments please contact us.
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