Expats settling in Amsterdam should consider property purchase

Published:  14 Feb at 6 PM
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If you’re either heading for the Netherlands or deciding to stay on, buying a house can be complicated, but it’s all worthwhile in the long term.

Amsterdam is a particular favourite for expat professionals, but renting or buying a property can be complicated for new arrivals. The city’s real estate market is hectic nowadays, possibly because of the huge increase in expat arrivals, with rentals being snapped up even although they’re overpriced. As a result, advice for new arrivals includes Airbnb rentals and even cheap hostels.

Once you’ve a temporary roof over your head, the next step after necessities such as finding a job and regularising your visa is to open a Dutch bank account in order to receive your salary or freelancer payments, pay your monthly rent and get a phone number. On average, new arrivals in the city take around two months to get to this stage as well as to adjust to the new culture and way of life.

For those on reassignment as well as established expatriate professionals, buying a Dutch home is worth considering, as mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low and costing less per month than average rental charges. Requirements for a mortgage include a stable contract of employment or, for freelancers, proof of a steady income. For new arrivals, the best way forward is via a reliable real estate agent able to explain the practicalities of the process in English.

It has to be said that Amsterdam’s present day property market is hot, with demand exceeding supply and prices rising month by month. Even so, given the current circumstances, buying a home at its current valuation is still likely to ensure capital growth in the long term. In addition, renting a property at today’s prices won’t protect tenants from increases, whilst those with fixed rate mortgages are safe from any turmoil in the financial markets for the length of the loan.
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