From Bid Disappointments to Home Search Success

At Burgemeester Vastgoed, we empathize with the whirlwind of emotions that homebuyers go through, particularly when dealing with the letdown of missing out on a dream home bid. It might seem like the perfect house is always just out of reach, but don’t lose hope!

Buying a home is a major milestone, so it’s crucial to take care of yourself and avoid feeling overwhelmed during the process. To help you maintain your balance, we’ve put together five tips that could make a difference.

Acknowledge your feelings

Feeling disappointed and frustrated after losing out on a bid for a home is okay. Allow yourself to acknowledge these emotions without judgment. Ignoring or suppressing your feelings can prolong the healing process.

Stay realistic

In this housing market, there might be someone with bigger pockets than yours. Understand that there are limitations to what you can afford and prioritize financial prudence. Take the advice from your real estate agent seriously and avoid stretching beyond your means.

Focus on what you can control

Although you’ve missed out on a particular home, there’s still much you can influence. Take proactive steps by reassessing your goals, finances, and housing preferences. One exciting avenue to explore is venturing into different neighbourhoods, maybe even going further than your desired location.

Practice self-compassion

Be kind to yourself during this time. Remind yourself that not winning a bid does not diminish your worth or abilities. Treat yourself with the same empathy and understanding that you would offer to a friend facing a similar situation. Engage in self-care activities that help you relax and recharge.

Maintain perspective

Even when you give it your all, external factors like better offers can sway the outcome. Remember, not winning a bid doesn’t mean you fell short. Stay focused on what you can influence, practice self-compassion, and keep searching for your dream home. This approach helps you cope with regrets and stress, ensuring you move forward positively.

We believe there’s a perfect home out there for everyone. Sometimes it may take a bit longer to find, but staying resilient is key, especially when you have the support of the right estate agent.

Feel free to send an email via info@burgemeestervastgoed.nl to discuss your adventures and see how we can work together.


A Complete Guide to Real Estate ABC: Essential Dutch Terms

When buying a home in The Netherlands, the real estate market involves grasping these Dutch terms. A clear understanding of these words will empower you to make well-informed decisions. At our company, we aim to provide you with the best information possible and to be transparent every step of the way. That's why we've created this Guide to Real Estate ABC—to help demystify the process and ensure you have the knowledge you need to make confident choices.

We've also produced numerous videos on home buying and interesting blogs.

Here's Your A-Z Guide:

  • Afsluitprovisie (Closing Commission) When buying a home this means the closing commission. This fee, tied to mortgage closure, should be factored into your overall budget.
  • Akte van Levering (Deed of Transfer) A vital document in Dutch real estate, transferring ownership from seller to buyer.
  • Akte van Splitsing (Deed of Division) In apartment living, "akte van splitsing" details property division, defining ownership and shared responsibilities within a building.
  • Anti-speculatiebeding (Anti-Speculation Clause) An important clause in property contracts that restricts the buyer from selling or transferring ownership for a specific period, discouraging speculative practices.
  • Appartementsrecht (Apartment Right) It signifies the right of ownership and use of a specific part of a building, maintaining the unit's integrity without the authority to divide it
  • Bankgarantie (Bank Guarantee) This serves as security, assuring the seller that the buyer has the financial means. The bank guarantees the seller up to a certain amount, deposited in a third-party account at the notary's office.
  • Beschermd Stadsgezicht (Protected City View) This term refers to a designated area or landscape within a city that is legally protected from development or alteration to preserve its visual appeal or cultural significance.
  • Blokverwarming (Block Heating) It's a central heating system serving multiple units in the same block.
  • Bodemrapport (Soil Report) A document detailing soil composition and suitability for construction.
  • Bouwkeuring (Building Inspection)  This assesses the property's structural integrity, revealing potential issues that influence the property's value.
  • Courtage (Commission) The commission paid to real estate agents. Understanding this term ensures transparency in your agreement, clarifying the financial aspects of their assistance.
  • Eigendomsoverdracht (Transfer of Ownership) This is when legal delivery or transport of property occurs on a pre-agreed date.
  • Energie Label (Energy Label) An energy label is a certification indicating the energy efficiency of a building or appliance.
  • Executiewaarde (Foreclosure Value) In case of financial struggles, foreclosure may lead to a forced public sale of property by the bank at a value often lower than the market price.
  • Hypotheek (Mortgage) This grants a lender rights to a borrower's property, often referred to as the loan itself.
  • Hypotheekakte (Mortgage Deed) A notary-drafted document that pledges the property as collateral to the lender, outlining rights and obligations.
  • Informatieplicht (Disclosure) Property owners are legally obliged to reveal information, such as structural conditions, that could influence a sale.
  • Kadaster (Land Registry Office) This is where ownership rights of land and property are publicly recorded.
  • Koopovereenkomst (Sale and Purchase Agreement) A binding contract obligates a transaction between a buyer and seller.
  • Koopsom (Purchase Price) The agreed-upon amount by the buyer and seller is stated in the purchase deed.
  • Kosten Koper (Buyer's Costs) As a buyer, you are obliged to pay costs such as transfer tax, cadastral rights, and notary fees.
  • Lijst van Zaken (List of Moveables) It's an inventory of portable items like furniture and appliances that can be easily moved from one place to another.
  • Maisonette A house with living and sleeping areas on separate floors.
  • Makelaar (Real Estate Agent) Mediates property transactions exclusively for clients, serving their interests. An agent is a negotiator, not a trader. Since 2001 anyone can call themselves a real estate agent.
  • Meetrapport (Measurements Report) A document detailing the dimensions and specifications of a property or structure.
  • Nota van Afrekening (Settlement Statement) A bill of settlement, drawn up by a notary. It details transaction costs like transfer tax and brokerage fees, costs for registration, closing costs of any mortgage loan and the estate agent fee.
  • Notaris (Notary) The notary is a public official appointed by the King and will take care of the transfer of ownership of a house and mortgage. He or she is responsible for registering the deed of transfer at the Land Registry and registering the mortgage in the mortgage register.
  • Ontbindende Voorwaarden Agreement becomes void if certain conditions aren't met.
  • Overbruggingskrediet (Bridge Loan) Uses equity from an old home to bridge the gap between buying a new one.
  • Passeren (Passing) Formal signing of property documents at the notary's office.
  • Service Kosten (Building Fees) Covers common expenses in apartment buildings, like insurance and maintenance.
  • Souterrain A cellar partly above street level.
  • Taxatie (Valuation) Assesses property value by a (sworn) appraiser.
  • Transport Akte (Deed of Transfer)  Records property ownership change, registered with the land registry.
  • Vereniging van Eigenaren (Owners' Association) Represents homeowners' interests in shared buildings.
  • Vrij op Naam (VON)  Legally required costs are included in the purchase price, excluding mortgage costs.
  • WOZ (Wet Waardeering Onroerende Zaken)  This law brought uniformity in the valuation of immovable properties and is the value of the house if it were to be sold empty to the highest bidder or the free market value
  • Wet ter voorkoming van Witwassen en Financieren van Terrorisme (WWFT) The WWFT, or "Law for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism," mandates that parties like Real Estate Agents, Financial Institutions, and Notaries verify client identities, conduct due diligence, report unusual transactions, and maintain records. This is to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by detecting and preventing illicit activities in the financial system. As part of this, they may ask for proof of identity and income from clients.

At Burgemeester Vastgoed, we're on a mission to make everything as clear as possible. If you want to know more or add a term to the list, feel free to reach out via info@burgemeestervastgoed.nl or visit our website's contact page.

Happy house hunting!


Home Buying: Explore the Process in this 5-Minute Video

Whether an apartment or a house, buying a new home in Amsterdam can be a challenge for expats. This video guides you through the house-buying process – and helps you understand each step involved in buying the home of your dreams.

We are always here to help, and no question is too challenging. Feel free to ask anything, and we’ll do our best to assist you.


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.


If you buy cheap, you buy twice!

Amsterdam's fickle property market is something of an enigma. It's not always easy to know where to start, whether that be finding the best people to work with, the location you'd like to live in, or knowing whether or not the home you have your eye on is really worth the money.

 

It's true what they say - it's better to aim for quality the first time.

We all know that if you buy something cheap, it's likely to be poor quality and it'll break, wear out or not be fit for purpose. As a result, you'll need to buy a replacement, costing you more money in the long run. Well, the same applies to the housing market!

 

Amsterdam's stunning canal views

Why work with a real estate agent?

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. Despite the pandemic, the market in The Netherlands is hot right now; but making sure you have the right team behind you is essential. If you choose to team up with someone that's not particularly experienced within the Amsterdam real estate market, chances are you'll be selling yourself short - and nobody wants to be stuck with a home they want to get rid of!

 

Manage your expectations

In our article about managing expectations , we delve into the fact that the prices you see first day do not always align with the actual purchase price. Buying a home is the biggest investment most people will make in their lifetime. Unless you have unlimited funding, you need to be realistic about what it is you can afford because chances are, the price will be higher than what was advertised.

 

How does one calculate what's affordable?

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. In the Netherlands, the purchase price can vary greatly from what you originally see online. Your real estate agent will guide you through the effects that the valuation process will impact on the property you are interested in.

 

Okay - so where do I start?!

From there, we can draw up a list of appropriate options to suit your needs. That being said, there is no point in purchasing a home that doesn't live up to the value of the property, so do proceed with caution and consult your real estate agent beforehand to do any background research.

 

Barry Burgemeester, Certified Dutch Real Estate Agent

Why work with a real estate agent?

Barry Burgemeester is a Dutch native. Originally hailing from Utrecht, he has worked for over 23 years in real estate in Amsterdam and his extensive knowledge of the area is uncontested.

Barry's background and expertise are invaluable to our expat clients, mainly because 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. Get in touch at info@burgemeestervastgoed.nl today!

 


Managing Expectations in the Amsterdam Property Market

When it comes to purchasing your property in the Netherlands, there is a lot you need to be aware of prior to landing your dream home. All is not always as it seems, and there are many pitfalls to be cautious of along the way! Luckily, a good real estate agent can help you to navigate this unfamiliar territory.

 

First thing's first - what do you mean by 'managing expectations'?

In this unusual market, it can be hard to know what kind of property is right for you, as well as what is attainable. A knowledgeable real estate agent will be able to guide you through properties you're interested in in order to ensure your needs are met personally, financially, and holistically - whatever they may be.

An important thing to remember is that although purchasing a property can be a very exciting milestone in your life, it is paramount that you are realistic about the outcome. It is possible that you may be disappointed during the journey to find your home, so try not to get too attached to an idea before it's a reality.

 

What is bidding, and how can it affect the purchase process?
A 'bid' means that you're showing interest in purchasing a house - it's more like a gesture, or even a proposal. It is one of the elements of buying a property that needs to be managed with the utmost diligence, mainly because of the uncertainty of the result when the seller opts for a 'closed bid.' A closed bid may occur when multiple parties are interested in the property, so the seller.

 

I've heard that the value of the property does not always match that presented online… is this true?
A part of managing expectations is that the prices you see first-day do not always align with the actual purchase price. Buying a home is the biggest investment most people will make in their lifetime. Unless you have unlimited funding, you need to be realistic about what it is you can afford because chances are, the price will be higher than what was advertised.

In the Netherlands, the purchase price can vary greatly from what you originally see online. Your real estate agent will guide you through the effects that the valuation process will impact on the property you are interested in.

 

Making Changes Within the Canal Ring
Something else to consider when buying property in Amsterdam is that if you are hoping to buy within the canal ring, it is a protected area. Since being added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2010, you need to be aware of some restrictions placed on the buildings should you want to make any changes to your home.

The majority of the time, it is not possible to make any changes at all, and if it is, 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.

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. Even if you have permission to make alterations, it is good to consider that this will be costly, which brings to mind the phrase, 'caveat emptor' - let the buyer beware!

 

I'm ready to know more! Where can I find a good real estate agent?
Barry Burgemeester is a Dutch native. Originally hailing from Utrecht, he has worked for over 23 years in real estate in Amsterdam and his extensive knowledge of the area is uncontested.

Barry's background and expertise is invaluable to our expat clients, mainly because 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. Get in touch at info@burgemeestervastgoed.nl today!


“How Barry found our perfect home in less than a week" - Customer Story

The below blog post was written by a customer who bought an apartment with Burgemeester Vastgoed in January/February 2020. Buying property in Amsterdam has never been easier with Barry's help!

Anyone who’s been in the expat community for a while has likely heard some horror stories about buying property here. Huge overbids. Illegal roof terraces. Ridiculously short deadlines. Always losing out to another buyer. It became apparent to us that Amsterdam’s housing market is quite unique. 

Having come from London I didn’t expect just how different the market would be. I thought London’s housing market moved quite quickly - but Amsterdam vs. London is like racing a Ferrari against a Fiat 500. 

As we realised how much our rent was just money down the drain, we started to look at whether buying would be an option. Like many, we first went to Funda, and then to a mortgage calculator. However, we were cautious - I was particularly convinced that the cards were stacked against us. 

Firstly, I was self-employed - and having only moved to Amsterdam in late-2018 was aware that there was only a short income history available. 

Secondly, we owned a flat in London with a mortgage and we were aware that some mortgage providers wouldn’t even consider us because of it - despite it being rented out. 

Thirdly, we had high expectations. We had a dream of what we wanted - and no idea if it was realistic. 

It was through a friend that I was connected to Barry and Monique Burgemeester. I like to think I’m a good judge of character - so it mattered greatly to me when Barry was able to quickly instil confidence and trust in us. 

Monique and Barry Burgemeester

We had our introductory session, and Barry talked me through the process. I also talked him through what we were looking for, and what we thought our budget was. 

Because of my partner’s workplace, we decided to go with ABN Amro for our mortgage. Barry kindly connected us to someone internally, and it felt like we were getting the premium service. I explained our situation to the bank and they promptly gave us an estimate on how much we could borrow. Our personal circumstances weren’t an issue, it just meant a little more paperwork. 

Then, we were ready to start looking. 

 

The first (and last) viewing. 

Barry had clearly listened to what we wanted from a property in Amsterdam. We’d said we’d been looking for a 2 bedroom place, with a large balcony or garden, in the west. We knew that there had to be a good-sized kitchen, and that it needed to have lots of natural daylight. 

Barry set up a viewing and - wow - it met our criteria, and then some. It was a top floor maisonette with a deck terrace. There was a large living room, with the option of converting the current kitchen into a bedroom and moving the kitchen upstairs. It also had a huge skylight which made space feel brighter and larger. Finally, as a bonus, it had solar panels and was on ‘own ground’! 

What’s fantastic about having a good buying agent like Barry is that he understands property, and understands your needs - so he find where they meet in the middle. This property didn’t have two bedrooms, but he could see the potential and knew that we would be open to a renovation project like this. 

Amsterdam from above

I spoke to Barry about this and he mentioned how it’s rare for people to put an offer on the first property. Usually, this is because people want to see what else is out there - which is perfectly reasonable. But the market moves so quickly that this can be risky. Luckily, we had done our research. A few months before we had viewed a few properties in open houses. We didn’t have a mortgage estimate or buying agent, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to put an offer in - but we just wanted to understand the market. So, when we saw this first property, we already knew that this was the one - we had to have it. 

The same day of the viewing Barry read all the associated documentation and made sure it was all above board - before suggesting a minimum bid. We had gone from giving the green light on Tuesday, to putting in an offer on Thursday. 

We waited anxiously - Barry kept us updated throughout and his good relationship with the selling agent helped in keeping us informed. There was a bit of back and forth, but then the offer was accepted - we were thrilled. 

Everything continued to move quickly. We had the purchase agreement signed at Kasper Notariaat within a week, and then the mortgage confirmed two weeks after that. 

 

Confidence is everything

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions one can make. It’s natural to feel anxious or uncertain - so finding someone who can give you confidence and stability during the process is invaluable. 

A more recent example of this was due to the coronavirus outbreak. We are due to move in by July - so the final transfer hasn’t yet happened. I was getting slightly nervous that the current situation may cause issues. Barry reassured me that this was very unlikely, but gave us the option of submitting the purchase agreement to the land registry. This just gives us a little extra insurance in the event something was to delay proceedings. Barry never pushed this on us, but understood the emotional side of buying a property - and so provided a solution. 

The plus side is that we can now relax - and instead spend all our spare time looking on Pinterest and looking for interior design inspiration. 

So, my advice to others? Here’s what we learnt: 

  • Things are still moving. Even during the coronavirus outbreak, buying property is still possible. 
  • Do your research. Don’t miss out on a property just because you want to see more - it’ll be gone before you realise how great it was. Start looking before you actually start looking, and get an understanding of what’s available. 
  • Start collecting your paperwork. Particularly if your situation is a little unusual, get as much paperwork and evidence as you can. For instance, I got clients to sign letters of intent for 2020 to show the bank that I would have future income
  • Pay off your student loan. No, really. For some reason my €13,000 student loan had a very significant impact on our borrowing capacity.
  • Have a buying agent. The market here is complex, and there are many traps to fall into. Have someone who can guide and protect you

Want to speak to Barry and Monique? Set up an introductory session.