Property defects: understanding your rights

As an experienced and certified purchase estate agent in #amsterdam , I've helped many expats find their dream homes. In my opinion, buying a new home should be a joyful and stress free occasion. However, what if you encounter defects in your recently purchased property? Let's dive into it.

Under Dutch housing law, the purchase and sale of a residential home require a written agreement called the purchase- and sales agreement. This agreement covers essential aspects like price, conditions, finance clauses, and property information. It can be a standard NVM agreement, an so called Amsterdam's Model like we use in Amsterdam, or a custom agreement, as long as it complies with Dutch law.

The language used in the purchase and sales agreement is vital for protecting your rights. That's why it's crucial to have guidance from someone like me who understands the importance of clearly stating essential information.

When buying an existing home with previous occupants, the moment of ownership transfer is key to addressing any defects. As the owner, you take responsibility for the property. Older properties may have natural wear and tear that isn't anyone's fault. For example, you might encounter leakage or a sagging floor after a few months.

The purchase and sales contract often states that the previous owner can't be held responsible for such age-related issues. If you face significant issues that impede your use of the property, legal action may be an option, but it's important to understand your rights and obligations first.

Seller's obligation: Disclosure

The seller is legally obligated to disclose important information about the property, including its condition and the surrounding environment. Failure to disclose hidden defects or issues that impact the property's residential use may be a breach of contract. Examples include hidden asbestos or unsafe wiring. Sellers must provide this information to avoid accountability for resulting issues.

Buyer's obligation: Examination

Buyers are responsible for conducting a reasonable examination of the property. This determines what they could have reasonably known based on legal standards. If a defect is clearly visible or discoverable during examination, it becomes challenging to argue it as a breach of contract. The extent of investigation required depends on the property's age.

When can the contract be breached?

To determine if a defect qualifies as a breach of contract, consider three factors:

  1. what is specified in the purchase and sales agreement
  2. whether the defect is essential to the deal
  3. what is considered reasonable under Dutch Law

A defect must significantly impact your ability to use the property or have played a crucial role in your decision to purchase.

If you encounter problems after you became the owner, contact your purchase agent for assistance. If you bought the property without an agent, consult a real estate lawyer for guidance. It's a good idea to try negotiating to resolve property defect disputes.

Different rules apply when purchasing newly built houses!

Getting a professional structural inspection and report is often a wise investment if you need to hold the seller accountable later on for major defects. Sometimes this is not needed, if we have recent knowleadge and recent data on the property.

Are you in the process of searching for a home to buy?

To navigate this competitive market, it's advisable to work with a certified and experienced real estate agent like myself. I'll examine the agreement, inspect the property for visable defects myself, and address financing or architectural concerns if necessary. I understand that the information provided in this article may be overwhelming. Feel free to reach out to me for a chat. We can discuss the possibilities of working together and explore how I can assist you in your home buying journey.

Decoding the current avarage house prices in Amsterdam

Buying a home in Amsterdam? The actual average house price is currently € 571 568, but  what does that say?

As a certified purchase agent with over 23 years of experience, I know that when it comes to property prices, it’s essential to understand that prices can vary significantly from street to street, but how is that?

In Amsterdam, each neighbourhood has its own unique charm, character, and amenities, which can influence property values. But even within the neighbourhood prices can differ significantly. Certain streets are more desirable and more expensive per m2 price than other streets, so the average and current price per m2 of € 7 189, is not standard for all homes.

When it comes to determining property prices, several crucial factors come into play. Factors such as size, condition, layout, and renovations all significantly impact the value of a property. Additionally, even within the confines of a single neighbourhood, you may find a diverse range of properties on the same street, each possessing unique characteristics that contribute to price variations.

Therefore, relying solely on average prices may not provide an accurate representation of the dynamic real estate market. Evaluating the market value of each property individually is of utmost importance.

How About the future prices?

Predicting home prices in Amsterdam is a complex task influenced by numerous factors. While I don’t possess a magic ball, my expertise and knowledge of the market and recent sales are the basis of my advice.

Currently, the housing market in Amsterdam is extremely tight, with significantly more demand than supply. This has resulted in a competitive market for buyers. The demand for homes in Amsterdam continues to rise steadily, driven particularly by the city’s popularity. In Amsterdam, we only have 33% home ownership, so that explains a lot.

Over the past couple of years, we have been fortunate to benefit from remarkably low mortgage rates. However, it is encouraging to witness these rates gradually stabilizing towards more typical levels. As a result, it’s important to acknowledge that borrowing capacities may be slightly reduced due to the rise in mortgage rates, so it is always wise to visit a bank or a mortgage advisor and get your numbers clear.

It is crucial to emphasize that the housing shortage in the market continues to persist, driving sustained demand for available properties. The reality is that finding a desirable home remains a challenging task, as there are multiple interested buyers for every property available.

What now?

So, if you are considering purchasing a home in Amsterdam, I provide a tailored approach that considers your unique requirements, preferences, and budget. We do not work with multiple clients who have the same criteria, as we believe in avoiding competition among our clients, we will keep you safe and we work on a no-cure/no-pay base.

Rest assured, if you maintain a realistic view and are open to following our advice, we are committed to finding you an exceptional home where you can create lasting memories.

Call me today for a personalized consultation, and let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

The Energylabel

The Netherlands has been at the forefront of adopting policies and initiatives to reduce energy consumption and promote the use of renewable energy sources. One of these initiatives is the energy label, which provides information about the energy efficiency of a building to potential buyers or renters.


An ‘energielabel’ (Energy Performance Certificate – EPC) shows the energy efficiency of a property. The EPC also notes potential energy-saving measures for a property.

The label takes into account factors such as insulation, heating and cooling systems, ventilation, and renewable energy sources. The label is valid for 10 years and can be obtained through a certified energy advisor.


When buying a home in the Netherlands, it is important to consider the energy efficiency of the property. This is where an energy label comes in – a certification that rates a property’s energy performance on a scale from A to G. The label is mandatory for all homes being sold or rented out.

Also, it can help you make an informed decision about the property you are considering. A higher rating means that the property is more energy efficient and will cost less to run, which can save you money on utility bills in the long run. It can also indicate that the property is more environmentally friendly, as it is using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions.


Well, it is worth noting that the energy label is not a guarantee of energy efficiency, as it is based on theoretical calculations and does not take into account factors such as user behaviour. However, it can still be a useful tool for comparing properties and making informed choices.


First, look if your home already has an energy label at

The application is no longer completed online. You have to make an appointment with a certified energy adviser, that will visit your home. Make sure you have as much as relevant documents available when the advisor will visit your home. Documents about the house, drawings, pictures, receipts, if you have refurbished or upgraded the house than add the bills and any other relevant information you might have.


If you own a monument build, you may be relieved to know that you do not need an energy label. The reason for this exemption is that monument builds are considered to be part of our cultural heritage. They are protected by law to preserve their historical and cultural value. As a result, any structural changes or renovations to the building must be carried out with extreme care and in accordance with strict regulations.

For all other exemptions we recommend you to visit the website of the government  (Dutch).

Any questions left? Give us a call!

The Art of Bidding

The art of bidding on a property is one that requires years of practice. Having someone with the right kind of experience in your corner cannot be underestimated. Luckily, Barry Burgemeester possesses both the diligence and the know-how when it comes to getting bang for your buck! We sat down with Barry recently to answer your burning questions when it comes to bidding on a home in the Netherlands.

- What exactly does it mean to 'bid' on a house in the Netherlands?

A 'bid' means that you're showing interest in purchasing a house - it's more like a gesture, or even a proposal. Remember; bidding is not just about the price - flexibility, restrictions on finance and your budget are all things the seller will consider before proceeding with your offer. If you're not sure about how to present yourself when it comes to the tender - don't worry! That's where your real estate agent comes in.

- From start to finish, what happens during the bidding process?

Your real estate agent will propose the content and then make the offer to the selling agent or seller on your (the client's) behalf. To make the client as attractive as possible to the seller, your real estate agent will help you to develop a sort of ‘portfolio’ to make you stand out from the crowd. Remember, there are usually a LOT of people competing for the same property, so preparation is key.

- Why can't I just bid on a home myself? Why do I need a real estate agent?

There's a lot to do when you're trying to secure your dream home - if it was that easy, Barry wouldn't have a job! For a start, everything moves very fast and is always negotiated in Dutch. This means that it can be hard to keep up if you don't speak the language, let alone if you're unaccustomed to the market. With a good real estate agent, you'll be bidding on properties that are both good value and within your budget.

- If I need to overbid, what do have to be aware of?

Amsterdam has an extremely overheated market. It's often the case that there will be an influx of interest on the same property, which means you'll almost always have to overbid; the question is, by how much? Well, there's never a right answer here, however your real estate agent is always the best person to advise on a strategic approach that will be mutually beneficial for both you and the seller.

- How do I finance a bid if I don't know how much to overbid by?

Good question! Prior to submitting a bid, you'll need to consider how to finance the extra cost overbidding will incur. This is why a real estate agent is crucial. With Barry's background and extensive experience, he can advise an estimate on how much you'll need in total so you can secure your finances, get your ducks in a row and be ready to strike while the iron is hot!

- What happens if and when I win the bid?

Firstly, congratulations! However, do remember that the initial verbal agreement or email confirmation is not binding for the seller and buyer. A deal is only binding after all parties has signed the sale and purchase agreement, so Barry will be your right-hand man in ensuring this process goes smoothly. If you have any questions along the way, don’t be afraid to ask!

So that’s it! We know bidding can be a daunting task for many when it comes to buying your first home, especially in such an unfamiliar market. Bidding is a craft that needs to be honed, but with the right real estate agent you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re being put first. To get in touch, email info@burgemeestervastgoed for a free consultation today.


Who is Barry Burgemeester?

Barry Burgemeester is a certified real estate agent and has worked in the property market for more than 23 years. Originally hailing from Utrecht, he is incredibly passionate about what he does and loves helping clients in Amsterdam and beyond. Specializing in helping expats to find their dream home, Barry is an expert at guiding them every step of the way.

A Fast-Growing Market

Considerations When Buying A Home In The Netherlands

Buying a house is no mean feat. For most, purchasing a home may be the biggest investment one ever commits to. There are many reasons to want your own home; from the sense of stability and security to financial incentives such as tax benefits, there are an abundance of pros to owning your property. However, taking a leap and putting your hard-earned savings into the right kind of home can be daunting, especially in another country when one is unaccustomed to procedures, regulations and language – that’s where we can help!

An Unusual Market

Amsterdam’s property market is an unusual one, to say the least. Whether you intend on living in the building yourself or renting it out to tenants, finding the perfect fit for your criteria is essential. Firstly, consider your goal for the property. Is it just for you, your family or an external party? Is the home intended for the long haul or a temporary solution? How important is the location? Do you require amenities within close proximity, such as the commute time to your workplace, schools or recreational facilities that you regularly use? Drafting a list of goals and necessities will make it easier for your real estate agent to narrow down potential opportunities that fit your needs, making your journey smoother and more efficient.


The next, and arguably, most crucial element of consideration, should be your budget. The demand within the housing market in Amsterdam has sky-rocketed over the last few years, and factors such as Brexit have caused this number to soar even further. It has been estimated that Amsterdam’s population will exceed over 1 million residents by 2035. This exponential growth may seem harrowing, especially for first-time buyers. The uncertainty surrounding the economy and job market as a result of COVID-19 has made searching for a home without an advisor even more precarious.

Navigating Unfamilar Territory

Due to the increase in residents and market ambiguity in the wake of the pandemic, the gap between supply and demand has widened significantly – and so too has the price of buying a home in The Netherlands. Fluctuating prices reflective of an unstable economy make it hard to know when a home you have your eye on is a good deal or a nightmare waiting to happen. A perceptive real estate agent will help you to navigate prospective homes, costs and advise you on the necessary steps so you can feel confident in the knowledge that you are making informed decisions when in unfamiliar territory.

Cost-Effective Solutions

If you are unsure about what you can afford, a mortgage advisor or bank can help you to weigh up your income and expenditure to determine the most cost-effective solutions for you when it comes to purchasing your property. From there, we can draw up a list of appropriate options to suit your needs. Remember, expats can benefit from a multitude of tax breaks in The Netherlands – doing your due diligence prior to the big move can save you a lot of hassle, and increase your chances of getting the best value for money!


Experts In The Expat Market

At Burgemeester Vastgoed, we have grown our base in Amsterdam over 18 years, nurturing strong relationships with our clients, many of whom return to us time and again to seek advice on new investments. As experts in the field, expats feel a sense of comfort in our friendly, knowledgeable approach. Authenticity, loyalty and fostering a solid rapport between our colleagues are the fundamental building blocks of our business. If you are thinking of purchasing a home in The Netherlands, we would love to sit down and have a chat, no strings attached! Get in touch today at

Buying Property in Amsterdam: Navigating a Unique Property Environment

Looking for a home in the Netherlands can be something of a challenge, especially when unique rules and regulations may pose unfamiliar obstacles during your search. Approximately 30% of homes in Amsterdam are privately owned as there is a natural shortage due to regulations, rapid population growth, and the economy. When it comes to finding the perfect home for expats, Barry Burgemeester has had over 23 years of experience in the market. From your first steps to closing the deal, Barry will be by your side every step of the journey.

Finding the Perfect Match

While finding your dream house is an exciting prospect, it can also be an overwhelming one. Choosing the place you call ‘home’ is an art in itself, especially when moving to a new country. As an expat, you need to be reassured that you’re in good hands and that the right real estate agent will help you when the time comes to close the deal. Navigating Amsterdam’s unique infrastructure and unusual regulations combined with adjusting to a new culture can be quite daunting. Don’t know where to start? Well, Burgemeester Vastgoed is here to help!

How Barry Burgemeester Can Help

Barry Burgemeester is a Dutch native living in Amsterdam. Originally hailing from Utrecht, he has worked for over 23 years in real estate in the Netherlands and his extensive knowledge of the area is uncontested! Barry’s background and expertise is invaluable to our expat clients. His wealth of experience within the Dutch market guarantees that he will be able to predict any potential issues or concerns you may have when introduced to this unfamiliar territory.

What is ‘Leasehold Ground,’ and how might it affect your decision?

So, when it comes to actually living in Amsterdam, what do you need to know before making that all-important purchase? For a start, Amsterdam is unique in that more than 80% of houses are built on leasehold ground. This means that the person buying a building or apartment does not buy the ground on which the building stands.

Making Changes Within the Canal Ring

Something else to consider when buying a property in Amsterdam is that the canal ring was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010. Used as a prime example of town planning that influenced the world for centuries, some restrictions were placed on the buildings to preserve their original structures.

Before closing a deal on a property, if you plan on making any changes to the building in the future these restrictions need to be considered; often, it is not possible to make any changes at all. If changes are allowed, a permit must be approved prior to the alterations. For example, if you’d like to add a rooftop terrace, balcony, or make any changes to a building, you must have a permit known as an integrated environmental permit (omgevingsvergunning). This permit is often required before you can make changes to the outside of the building, too. Handling these unique challenges can be tricky, however, Barry will be able to guide you every step of the way so you can make a confident and informed decision when it comes to purchasing your home.

We’re here to help!

Considering Amsterdam’s market is so unusual, we understand that trying to find the perfect fit can be quite challenging. Barry has had years of experience in helping expats to secure their dream home. If you’re currently in the process of looking for a house in the Netherlands, we would love to have a chat - no strings attached! To get in touch, email or visit our website at


Buying Your First Property in Amsterdam | FAQs, Where To Start & Advice From The Experts!

You may wonder, what makes Barry the best buying agent in Amsterdam? Well, other than his friendly, personable service with a smile, his excellent reputation, and unique service level, Barry's knowledge of the market due to years of experience makes him the perfect companion for any expat looking to find their dream home.

Navigating the housing market in the Netherlands is no mean feat; especially if you are still abroad and trying to organise your new life prior to the big move. With Barry's help, you can guarantee your move will be hassle-free, ensuring you find the perfect property to complete your life in the Netherlands.

Below, we've rounded up some of Barry's most frequently asked questions below from first-time buyers to give you an insight into how our service works.

1. I have never bought property before, where do I need to start?
First, you check what your budget is. If you have savings and/or are able to get a mortgage. I would strongly advise that the very first thing you do is find out how much money you can borrow. The market is so hot that if you find a house you like, you must be ready to act straight away. There are a lot of different banks and institutions providing mortgages in the Netherlands, so it makes sense to talk to a mortgage expert first; we can help you with that.

You can borrow up to 100% of the value of the property so you will need your own cash, about 4-6% more than the actual price of the property to cover the bills for taxes, the estate agent and notary fees, and other matters. If you know your numbers you can then make a list of requirements and see what you can get online. The easiest site to visit is Keep in mind that not all the prices you see online are what the property is sold for. Most properties in the Amsterdam region are sold (far) above the asking price. Having that said, we will always be honest with you, so in our first meeting we will tell you if your expectations will match with reality.

2. Why is it important to ensure I secure an estate agent that understands my requirements?
This is very important as a good agent understands your needs and can explain what is feasible, making the process smooth and successful.

3. What are the benefits of working with an estate agent with a portfolio of experience from an expat perspective?
An estate agent with a lot of experience will guide you through the process, avoiding pitfalls and ensuring the deal gets done as seller agents like to sell to experienced buying agents.

4. Cost breakdown: if I spend €250,000 on a property, how much of that goes to my estate agent as commission and what is my return on investment in choosing to work with Burgemeester Vastgoed as opposed to another agent?
Depending on if the transfer tax ( +/- 2%) bill passed or not, in total 5% of the purchase price, of which 1,5% ex vat would be the commission to work with BV. BV is a family office with excellent responsiveness and a high-quality level of service guaranteeing a knowledgeable, personal approach. If there is a deal to be made, we will do it!

5. If I run into a dispute with the seller, how can Burgemeester Vastgoed assist me in resolving the issue?
We will for sure help our clients in any situation as much as we can. If it is not within our realm of experience, we will advise our clients on the measures they can take and put them in touch with the right organisations to ensure they can resolve their issue.

6. Negotiations are not my strong point; how does Burgemeester Vastgoed guarantee the best price possible for me and how is this part of their service different from other estate agents?
At BV, we assist our clients from A-Z and will negotiate the best deal possible; our goal is a satisfied client, we are there for the client all the time and pride ourselves on our unique, personable service approach.

7. I’m in the process of selecting an estate agent; one option is Burgemeester Vastgoed, the other is a cheaper but less experienced agent. Other than his extensive experience with the Dutch housing market, why should I choose to work with Barry over the other agent?
Money is only an issue in the absence of value; if you choose a cheaper agent, you most probably get what you pay for. We only deliver a high level of service and charge everybody the same percentage to be able to do so.

If you're looking to find your dream home, we would love to see you for a chat! You’ll be under no obligation. Call, or email us now for an appointment and we'll help you to take the first step in securing the perfect property.