Mortgage rates and house prices are falling, so it could be the perfect time to buy a new home.
A different country comes with different customs, laws and regulations, and having to cope with the legalities and tax implications of home ownership a foreign language can make things even more daunting.
In addition to the initial difficulty in finding the home of your dreams: the maze of legal work, negotiations, dealing with surveyors and notaries and worrying about the deal falling through would be enough to make anyone’s hair stand on end.
‘I had a lot of questions because the rules are so different from the US,’ says Julie Birkholz, who bought her dream home last year.
‘I do speak Dutch but buying a home is a whole new ball game – and vocabulary – so I wanted to talk to someone in English who could answer all my questions – about the implications of my residency status for example – things that my partner just didn’t know,’ says Julie.
But should you be thinking of buying a house anyway, given the never-ending stream of headlines about the end of mortgage tax relief and plummeting house prices? Henk Jansen of Expat Mortgages says expats should definitely take advantage of the situation.
‘Despite the problems with mortgages, it really is a buyer’s market at the moment,’ says Henk. ‘So if you are thinking about buying, now is a good time to get the best possible advice about what you can buy and how much you can borrow.
Experts in helping expats and internationals buy their own home are worth their weight in gold. They take the stress out of finding the right mortgage, completing paperwork and even translating documents into English, or explaining things such as the survey report.
Later this month a number of experienced professionals in helping expats take the plunge are holding a special housing seminar, where you can ask all the questions you like.
Quiz a mortgage expert about the rules for borrowing, what you can buy and what the monthly costs will be. Find out from an estate agent about how the house hunting process works in the Netherlands, about bidding and negotiating and the risks attached to going it alone without expert help.
A notary will also be on hand to explain the legal aspects of buying a home in the Netherlands while a tax consultant will illustrate the fiscal advantages to buying your own home and the implications of the 30% ruling.
The Expat Housing Seminar will take place on Tuesday March 19 at the Haagse Toren, Rijswijkseplein in The Hague.
Admission is free but the number of places is limited to 40 so please sign up in advance. The Expat Housing Seminar will be in English and kicks off at 18.30 with an informal drink.
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