Starters’ cafe on buying your first house

 Yesterday night was the ‘Starters’ Cafe on Housing’, organised by Rabobank Eindhoven-Veldhoven.

This doesn’t really need a translation, starters café is starters’ cafe. This can’t be said of the rest of the vocabulary on buying a house in the Netherlands though. What about ‘ontbindende voorwaarden’ and ‘overdrachtskosten’, not to mention ‘werkgeversverklaring’!

Joran Pütz, financial advisor of Rabobank, explained the six steps procedure on buying a house to an audience of around 20 interested international starters on 27 February.






Step 1: Orientation.
This is the phase where you start looking at various housing websites, get an idea of what you want and where you want it. Also the time to already talk to an advisor to find out what your possibilities are financially. He or she can give you also the information which might give you an advance at the housing market as you know better what to do and what to look for.

Step 2: Purchase.
You have visited the house and decided this is the one to buy. Or at least try, because in the current housing market this is not easy. Many people do turn up at a collective house viewing and higher prices than the asking prices are offered by potential buyers.

At this time you should have investigated on how the process of obtaining a house goes, the obligations you have and know a bit about the rules of the game. Under which conditions are you buying, what to put on paper are other details you need to become acquainted with. A tip from Joran: the selling estate agent is not your friend. (He or she wants to get the highest price, for the owner). If you feel confident enough to do the whole process yourself you can do that of course, but you can also hire a buying estate agent to advise you and do the negotiations for you. Also you need to get a valuation report (for the mortgage) and a ‘bouwkundig rapport’ (construction report), to establish the constructive state, in case the house is a bit older so you are not going to have too many or too severe surprises once you start removing the old ‘schrootjes’ (wood paneling of the 80-ies).

Step 3: Mortgage advice.
Now you know what you want you can go into detail on the financing of your new home to be. There are different types of mortgages and you will look with your financial advisor which one fits you best. Risk against the height of the loan; if relatively the part (you are loaning) of the total value of your house gets higher, also the interest gets higher. This is just one aspect of the many variables. And mortgages are quite a personal choice too.

Step 4: Mortgage offer.
If all is sorted out and agreed, all papers will be sent to the notary. 10% of the selling price has to be paid after six weeks as a sort of guarantee.

Step 5: Transfer.
Agreed between the two parties is the date of transfer. This day you actually transfer the remainder of the money and you get THE KEY! The appointment is at the notary’s office where the deed, ‘akte van levering’ is signed. And the house is yours.

Step 6: Now the real fun begins: exploring the house and Moving. Renovating, decorating, furnishing etc. Still, this all also costs a bit of money…. Is there some left?

Peter Klapdoor the Manager of the Financial department of Rabobank pointed out that being a starter also has benefits like:

-you probably have a rental place which can be cancelled quickly

-you don’t have a house to sell so you are more flexible.

In general Rabobank said that very often the basic information is needed for internationals as they are not aware of how it works in the Netherlands. Also buying your first house is a very exciting and sometimes stressful time. It is a huge step indeed.

After the presentation, there were 7 advisors present to answer the more individual questions. Like ‘how long should I live in a house for it to be a good investment’. The answer to that was that this, of course, depends on the price you have paid, your costs, your circumstances and most of all, the housing prices after five years can’t be predicted. But at least 3 years was mentioned as a minimum.

Therefor, let yourself be advised by specialists before and during is their advice. Next to the financial part you need to think of inspection of the house, renovating necessities inside and outside and taxation changes for example.

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