Tips on finding a home in the Netherlands

If you are coming to live and work in the Netherlands, you might be wondering how to find a place to live and whether you’d be better off renting or buying. Your (new) employer in the Netherlands may be able to help you. Take a look at our tips.

 

The pros and cons of buying or renting a house

As an expat, you have the option of buying a house in the Netherlands. Buying a house has its advantages compared to renting a house, but it has some downsides as well. So should you rent or buy a home if you’re living in a new country?

Help from your employer

A lot of employers of expats help their employees find a home to rent and make the necessary immigration arrangements, such as requesting a Dutch personal ID number (BSN). Sometimes they have properties that they rent out to international employees.  Alternatively, they can ask the HR department to help expats find a rental property or they use relocators. Most expats prefer a furnished property, so they don’t need to bring furniture from home or buy new furniture in the Netherlands.

In the past, employers always paid the living expenses of international employees, but that’s certainly not always the case any more. If you are an expat and do receive a contribution towards your living expenses, this will usually be lower than it used to be and you will probably only receive it for a short period.

Finding a rental property yourself

Maybe you’ll be looking for a rental property yourself. If you rent a property, you won’t need to worry about maintenance. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many rental properties available, especially in popular cities.  The rental properties that are available are often very expensive. A rent of thousands of euros per month is no exception. Rents also go up every year.  

As an expat, you have to rent a property in the private sector, where no maximum rents apply. There are a lot of estate agents that focus especially on expats in the Netherlands, so they will probably be able to help you. A lot of private individuals also purchase properties to rent out to expats. 

Buying a property

House prices have risen dramatically in the Netherlands in recent years, due to low interest rates. However, most expats still find property in the Netherlands affordable, certainly compared with other European cities such as Paris and London. 

There are many benefits of buying a property. Repaying your mortgage means that you build up capital. And you know where you stand with your living expenses if you have a fixed mortgage interest rate.  Did you know that you can also deduct mortgage interest from your taxable income on certain conditions? You are, of course, responsible for your home’s maintenance and you also have costs for additional insurance, property tax and council tax.

Most expats want a property that they can move straight into without having to have any renovations done. There will almost always be an estate agent mediating in the buying and selling process. As an expat, you are no different to any other buyer for the estate agent, but they will assist you in English. 

Tax break for expats

Be sure to check whether you’re eligible for the 30% tax facility,  which allows employers to give certain employees an untaxed reimbursement for the extraterritorial costs they incur. This facility amounts to:

  • 30% of the salary including the reimbursement, or
  • 30/70 of the salary excluding the reimbursement. 

The tax facility applies for your first 5 years in the Netherlands. It previously applied for the first 8 years, but this was reduced to 5 years on 1 January 2019. If you started employment before that date, you may be able to benefit from the tax facility for 8 years.

The information on this page is a brief explanation. You can not derive any rights from this.

Take a look at our interest rates

If you are looking for a mortgage with a competitive interest rate, be sure to take a look at our current rates.

Mortgage calculator

Do you want to calculate your maximum mortgage? Enter your details and get instant information on your maximum mortgage or monthly payment. Even if you are self-employed or want to calculate your maximum mortgage with the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG).

Life for expats in the Netherlands

Whether you’re an expat about to move to the Netherlands or you’ve already been living here for a while, getting used to the Dutch and their habits. Allow us to explain a few typical Dutch things.