About the house-buying process in Amsterdam

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.

https://vimeo.com/234836879


“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

€750,000+

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

Location

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMsfp2qcg0Y&feature=youtu.be


Why Is It So Difficult To Find Property To Buy In Amsterdam?

In our latest video, Barry Burgemeester, founder of Burgemeester Vastgoed explains why it's so difficult to find a property to buy in Amsterdam. It's currently a seller's market in Amsterdam as demand outstrips supply. If you're looking to buy a home in Amsterdam or Utrecht then get in touch with us. We can help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbkcpUOYW6A&feature=youtu.be


My offer on a house has been accepted, what happens now?

Has your offer on a property is accepted by the seller? Great news! Still, make sure you sign the sale and purchase agreement as soon as possible to be sure you are the buyer. In this video I tell you what you need to do next.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1-YAqayBrM


So what is the difference between freehold and leasehold?

If you buy a house in Amsterdam not all the land you buy a house on is yours. The choice of property is either freehold (eigen grond) or leasehold (erfpacht). Here I will explain the difference.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8mA54acwcU


Why do I have to go to a notary to sign the contracts?

In Amsterdam the notary is a VIP. The purchase and sales agreement is signed at the office of a notary and also all money travels through the notaries account. In this video I explain why you must keep them in mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_MeF4gd2bI