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.


What to expect from luxury homes for sale in Amsterdam


In this blog post we breakdown some of the elements you can expect in higher price ranges (€750,000 and above). This is part of a short series of blog posts where we will look at what you can expect in Amsterdam when buying with different budgets, from your average property to luxury homes.

SUMMER 2020 UPDATE: Burgemeester Vastgoed continues to find customers their dream homes throughout coronavirus. We have implemented multiple safety precautions, which you can find listed on our home page: https://burgemeestervastgoed.nl/

While the information contained within this blog post is still accurate, we also wanted to update on how the market is moving at the moment. We still have a number of clients, and see a strong demand for new homes in Amsterdam. However, there is a lower supply at the moment. There are still some amazing properties to be found, but it makes it more important than ever to have a well-connected buying agent who can give you the edge. We expect luxury property prices to increase in the coming months, based on what we are experiencing at present.

When many buyers start looking at properties in Amsterdam, often a priority is to get good value for their money. Regardless of budget– nobody wants to feel like they’ve been cheated or misled.

But if you’re new to the Amsterdam market it’s also important that you are realistic. Your budget in Amsterdam won’t get you as much as it would in more rural areas.

At Burgemeester Vastgoed we help buyers in a whole range of prices, from ~€400,000 to €5,000,000. Below we have looked specifically at the €750,000-€1,000,000 – as we feel that this price range can open up a whole new world of opportunities to those who are able to afford it.

So, what things should you be looking out for when looking in this price range? What can you expect?

High quality finishes

Properties within this price range should have a higher quality finish, using durable materials. Unless you are looking specifically for a renovation project, you should not have to worry about the lifespan of the structure or interior. When viewing the property be sure to note things such as the quality of the windows, lighting installations, stairs, etc. closely.

You can also expect a higher level of design. It’s not unusual to find an apartment or house which has clearly been touched by a talented interior designer.

Higher ceilings

As a taller individual, I’m familiar with the challenge of low ceilings. You can tell when a property has been built purely to shift as many apartments as possible, because the ceilings are lower – just so they can fit one more in.

As you reach the higher property prices you tend to see much higher ceilings. This isn’t just helpful for more towering individuals, but also makes the space feel lighter and larger.

Space for everyone

Particularly if you are a family with children, it can be difficult to find homes where you don’t feel like you are living on top of each other. However, when you start looking at the €750,000+ range it becomes easier to find somewhere where everyone can have their own space.

In addition, you tend to find that the kitchen and living room are bigger than the Amsterdam standard. If you’re a keen cook then it can be a godsend to have just a few extra square meters for your appliances and workspace.

Another benefit is multiple bathrooms or toilets. Again, this is a major plus for families tired of shouting at each other to get out of the shower.

Exclusive features

Usually when you reach the higher price ranges you can expect at least one magical selling point – something that will make you go “wow”!

This could be:

  • a private sauna
  • a large roof terrace with a view
  • multiple bathrooms
  • a sunshower


These properties tend to often be found in very safe and family-friendly parts of the city. The Old South, West, Amstelveen, and others.

You’ll usually note the proximity of important services: supermarkets, shopping centres, doctors, schools – all should be close-by.


Did you know: Burgemeester Vastgoed never takes on competing clients. All our clients must be in different price ranges or looking in different areas. Get in touch if you’re looking to buy in Amsterdam


Preparing to Buy a Property In The Netherlands

This video provides a guide on the things you need to do before you buy a property anywhere in the Netherlands. Barry Burgemeester is a real estate agent who operates in Amsterdam and Utrecht and has over 16 years experience. In this video, he shares some of his knowledge on what you need to know. If you'd like more information, please visit our website.