Netherlands is an environmentally conscious country with a very pleasant atmosphere. You will find a mix of old and new architecture and an affinity to bicycle transport, enjoyed on mainly level terrain. Main language is Dutch with German, French and English also widely spoken

The Netherlands, as the name indicates, is low-lying territory, with one-quarter of the country at or below sea level. Many areas are protected from flooding by dykes and sea walls. Much land has been reclaimed from the sea, the Flevoland polder being the most recent example.

Industrial activity in the Netherlands predominantly consists of food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining as well as electrical and electronic machinery. It has a dynamic agricultural sector and is well known for its plants and cut flowers. The port of Rotterdam is the busiest in Europe, serving a vast hinterland which stretches into Germany and central Europe.

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership.

Netherlands in the EU including links to Netherlands government sites and Tourist Information.

Getting a mortgage: Before you start looking for a property, you should get an indication of whether you can actually raise a mortgage and if so how much.

In principle you should not have too much difficulty in raising up to 5 times your gross salary as a mortgage so long as:-

1. You have lived in the Netherlands for at least 5 years.

2. You are in permanent employment (i.e. you are not a contractor on short term contracts)

3. Or (if self employed) you can produce a minimum of 3 years accounts (prepared by a recognised accountant) detailing your taxable earnings over the period as well as a prognosis of your expectations for the current year.

4. You have a valid residency permit.

Purchase Agreement: When you find a suitable freehold property in the Netherlands a purchase agreement should be drawn up binding both parties to the property purchase. A notary will often be used for this. The sale is transferred under separate contract by an official notary who will conduct searches at land registry and register new ownership.

 

 

Legal Representation: It is considered advisable to use a solicitor/lawyer or a notary to draw up initial contracts and liaise with the official notary when buying property in the Netherlands.

 

Costs and Fees: Legal transfer costs should amount to a tax of 6% of the properties market value or purchase price, collected by the notary on completion and this can also apply to property stock holdings.
Notary fees will be around 1.5% and will incur V.A.T on top at the current rate of 17.5%.
Estate Agent fees will vary between 1.5-2.5%.
When V.A.T has been charged on newly constructed property, registration duty is not always due.

Annual Local Tax: Property tax is charged annually by local authorities in the Netherlands. This local tax is charged on ownership or use of property and is based on the market value or square footage of the property. These taxes vary between districts and will normally be reviewed after five years. Some other small local service charges exist.

 

Mortgages: Most Dutch banks and mortgage providers will normally allow you to borrow up to 80-85% of the buying price and life mortgages and savings mortgages are the most popular types of mortgage in the Netherlands. Interest rates would be higher for any loans above the normal the normal percentage borrowings.
It can also be beneficial to use off shore companies and property shareholding investment can have capital gains advantages. For more information on buying property in the Netherlands, please visit the Netherlands Governments website:

Map of the Netherlands
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Disclaimer: This guide is for information only and should not be relied upon as definitive. Details have been obtained from various sources and although we have done everything possible to ensure that it is correct, we cannot accept responsibility for it or guarantee its accuracy. This is because processes and laws change frequently, and may also vary dependant upon personal circumstances. You are welcome to use the information provided, but should always obtain confirmation of specific details and get independent specialist and legal advice in the country that the information refers to.

20-10-2009