Why housing in the Netherlands is becoming a problem
We know the Netherlands can be a wonderful place to live and work. In fact, many international companies are choosing our country for their global HQ. And no wonder, Amsterdam recently got an award as number two city in the world to live and work. But this wonderful life doesn’t come easy. And good preparation goes a long way to turn your move into an enjoyable process. In this article, we will help you prepare and warn you of the problems that might occur along the way. Because finding housing in the Netherlands can become quite a challenge! And if by the end you find out you need us, you know where to book a call!
Preparing to move to the Netherlands
The first thing to know when you move to the Netherlands, we love paperwork. The bureaucracy is real when you move to our country so you better prepare your documents well in advance. The Dutch like to be on time for appointments but we also don’t plan very far in the future. Which makes for an unusual mix that can make your move a challenging process. Preparation becomes even more important when you need a visa for the Netherlands. This is very common when you have a nationality outside the EU.
Once your paperwork is done you can focus on the checklist below. At Dutchify your assistant will help you complete these steps:
- Step 1 is getting your paperwork If the IND is involved because you need a visa, we recommend you to take the help of a professional. You can book visa help here
- Step 2 is planning your arrival with a BSN appointment, plane tickets, airport pick-up, and help to get the basic necessities for the first few days.
- Step 3 is finding housing. You can buy a house when you come here, but we recommend you first rent a place to get settled. This step is becoming more challenging every day and we will describe why below.
- Step 4 is the orientation of your new neighborhood, the new school of your children, and your new job. But you will also need to visit a lot of appointments to get your paperwork sorted.
- Step 5 is your first month where you get used to the grocery stores, our bank system, and payments (pinpas). But also where to throw away your garbage and how we separate it.
- Step 6 is aftercare where you will face issues and questions you didn’t encounter before. It can also become very difficult to deal with a landlord. But more on that later.
If you are reading this checklist and you have most of this covered, congrats! The hard part is over, you are almost ready to move! But if you are reading this and you feel unprepared. Maybe it’s a good time to book a call with Dutchify? We take care of all the steps we just listed. Just so you know
Finding housing in the Netherlands
You need to plan for at least six to eight weeks of house hunting if you are managing your move yourself. Sure, you might get lucky and take less time, but the housing market in the Netherlands is really challenging for newcomers. We first wanted to put this forward before continuing with our blog. If you feel you have less time we urge you to book a professional to help you.
To find housing (for buying or renting) you have two major websites you can use. Funda and Pararius host almost 70 % of all the housing listings in the Netherlands so use this to your advantage. We would like to point out that the housing market moves really fast in the Netherlands, also on the web. And both websites are basically post-it boards of houses, containing both old and new listings. So you can easily get in a negative spiral with lots of rejections.
Before we go into the housing market, here are three common problems you will experience when managing a housing search by yourself:
- You end up paying more for the house you find.
- Staying longer in short stay
- You end up getting a house that is not your favorite choice
- Bonus: you end up empty-handed, sleeping on a friends couch
If you buy a house in the Netherlands it’s lucrative to get a mortgage. This has to do with tax benefits and Dutchify can assist you in finding the right mortgage. Nine out of ten people use an agent to buy a house. This is because of the shortage of available houses. But also because an agent has a better network and gets better results from its network. Dutchify can be your agent for buying a house and we can assist the whole process for buyers and investors. Buyers usually overbid the asking price. Sometimes by 10 % or more. So aim for a buying price that gives you a little room to negotiate.
If you rent a house it’s common to search by yourself or get an agent to help you. An agent has the benefit of a better network and faster results. Rental houses move quickly though, and most listings are gone within one week after listing. It’s typical for a landlord to ask for a deposit, and the deposit cannot be used for your rental payments. It’s common to pay two months of deposit for a rental apartment, so be prepared for this expense. Also, if you rent during the month (15th of April for example) it’s common for the landlord to charge you 1,5-month rent and two months deposit at the start.
Dutchify has agents who specialise in housing and we help 20 people monthly on average to find a rental or buy a house. Our partner network exceeds 300+ housing agencies and we offer personal guidance throughout the search process. So be sure to book a free demo to find out how we can help.
Why housing is becoming a problem
If you made it this far you are getting well informed on moving to the Netherlands. But why is housing becoming a problem in the Netherlands? Well, to answer this we have to look at three major factors:
- The Netherlands has a big shortage of houses for a long time now, and the shortage is growing.
- The Netherlands is a very popular place to move to. Especially for internationals outside of the EU.
- Everybody that wants a house, wants the same thing. So you’ll compete with internationals and locals.
The shortage of housing in the Netherlands is the biggest issue. Our cities and canals look beautiful, but you can’t build a skyscraper in the same neighborhood. And shortage means rising prices which leads to a lot of people not moving to a new house. The housing market is basically stuck in the Netherlands and it will not be solved fast. But the downside of the shortage is that the housing market gets really busy. It’s very common to schedule a viewing on a rental and having 20 to 30 people viewing at the same time. Here is where a network of housing agencies can work to your advantage. And Dutchify has the agents to help you with that!
Just yesterday the news in the Netherlands released an article that says “realtors stop accepting new clients for buying a house”. You can find the article here (in Dutch). And the housing market will become even more overheated and busy once all the COVID restrictions are lifted.
The second factor making house hunting a real challenge is all the international companies that are opening an office in the Netherlands. This means direct competition for you because all the new hires want the same apartment you want. If you are in this situation expect a lot of no answers to the viewings you want to schedule. Or a lot of no sorry, we sold yesterday. Or we are taking no more biddings. This can make a move become a nightmare. And the stress you will feel when you experience this is unbelievable.
Now we are not saying that it’s impossible to find a house on your own. But the time it takes to find one might take a toll on you. And don’t you want your first experience in a new country to be a great one?
How you can do it better
If you have made it this far you are really keen on getting well prepared for a move to the Netherlands. And that’s great. At Dutchify, we spend our days making sure you have everything sorted and we take charge if something goes wrong.
If you didn’t like reading about all the issues and problems you can run into when you move to the Netherlands. Well, maybe Dutchify is the right company to help you. With Dutchify, you can cut your preparation time in half and experience little to no stress. You will also get:
- A 300+ partner network dedicated to complete your move
- You will probably end up paying less for your dream home
- You’ll have guaranteed housing from day one
- You can even avoid a short stay
- And you get a personal agent to help and guide you
And we do this all on an innovative platform that lets you keep full control of the moving process.