7 Mistakes to Avoid When Searching for a Home in the Netherlands
As an expat navigating the Dutch housing market, it’s essential to be aware of potential pitfalls that can turn your search for a dream home into a nightmare. To help you avoid these common mistakes when searching for a home in the Netherlands, we’ve compiled a list of major fails that new home buyers often make. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive in!
Heading in without a realistic budget
One of the most significant mistakes new buyers searching for a home in the Netherlands make is not knowing how much they can borrow. It’s essential to determine your borrowing capacity before starting your house hunt. Consult with a financial advisor to get a clear understanding of your financial situation and ensure that you can comfortably handle the monthly mortgage payments. Additionally, don’t forget to catch up with your financial advisor regularly. Interest rates may have changed since your last meeting, and you don’t want to miss out on favourable mortgage terms that could save you money in the long run.
Neglecting your property homework
Were you the kind of person who always forgot to do your homework? You will need to leave that bad habit in the past in your search for a new home. Before you get into the nitty-gritty of how many bedrooms you want or how big the garden is, make sure you have a clear understanding of the property world. This includes taking the time to familiarise yourself with common property documents, including the purchase agreement, deed, and survey report. Before signing on the dotted line, it is always worth seeking legal advice or consulting with an expert to ensure you fully comprehend the terms and conditions of any purchase.
It’s also important to research the market value of properties. By comparing similar properties in the area, you can gain a better understanding of what constitutes a fair price. This research will protect you from overpaying and give you leverage during negotiations.
Skipping the technical inspection
If you want to avoid unexpected costs and headaches later on, the home inspection is essential. Hiring a qualified inspector is crucial as they can identify potential issues with the property, such as structural problems or hidden damage. This information can help you make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the purchase or negotiate repairs.
Letting your emotions cloud your judgment
We’ve all been there – fallen desperately in love with the exposed beams, the beautiful fireplace or ‘the character of the place’. But I’m here to warn you against falling in love with a house too quickly. While it’s natural to get excited about a property, this can cloud your judgment at a time when it’s important to remain clear-eyed and objectively evaluate a home’s practicality and functionality. Take the time to assess if the house meets your needs both now and in the future.
Don’t forget to consider other factors. One of the most important of these is location. Ignoring the importance of location is a major mistake when buying a home. The neighbourhood, amenities, and transportation links can significantly impact your quality of life. Consider your lifestyle and long-term plans when choosing a location to ensure it aligns with your needs and preferences.
Ignoring extra financial costs
Not considering additional costs beyond the purchase price is another common error. Budgeting for property taxes, maintenance, insurance, and potential renovations is crucial to ensure you can afford the ongoing expenses of homeownership. By accounting for these costs, you’ll have a more accurate understanding of your overall financial commitment.
Moreover, overlooking the resale value of a property can impact your future investment. Even if you plan to stay in the home long-term, it’s wise to choose a property with broad appeal to potential buyers. This way, you can safeguard your investment and have more flexibility if you decide to sell in the future.
Be prepared to negotiate if you need to. Negotiation skills are essential to secure the best possible price and terms for your new home. Take the time to learn effective negotiation strategies or rely on the expertise of a buying agent to advocate on your behalf.
Rushing your decision
Rushing the process is a mistake that can lead to making hasty decisions or overlooking crucial details. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate each property you’re interested in. Visit multiple times, inspect carefully, and ask questions. Patience and a thorough assessment will help you make a well-informed decision that you’ll be happy with in the long run.
Going it alone, without the help of an agent
Not working with a buying agent or expert is a mistake that many new home buyers make. Buying agents or real estate experts have in-depth knowledge of the local market, can guide you through the process, and provide valuable insights. Their expertise can help you find the right property, negotiate favorable terms, and navigate any complexities that may arise.
Lucky for you, you can scratch searching for an agent off your list. Expat Housing Network (or EHN for short) offer the perfect housing agents for expats searching in the Netherlands. A team of internationals, they understand first-hand what it’s like to navigate the Dutch housing market, rules and regulations. They offer different packages depending on your budget and how much support you need and have an excellent success record. Since 2015, they have dedicated themselves to improving the expat housing experience in the Netherlands so that internationals can feel right at home from the start. They often run Buying Your Own Home in The Netherlands Webinars, and ideal way to learn about the process for buying a property in The Netherlands
So now you’re aware of these major mistakes when searching for a home in the Netherlands and ready to avoid them, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the Dutch housing market with confidence and make a wise investment in your new home. Remember, with the right mindset, thorough research, and reliable support, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream home in the Netherlands. Happy house hunting!