Monday 16 May 2022

Dutch Housing Update: new rules in 2022

With house prices reaching record levels again in 2021, and interest rates remaining extremely low, the housing market will remain challenging in 2022. Here is a round-up of the latest news. New rules Several new pieces of legislation come into effect in 2022 which you should know about if you are planning to buy a home. For example, the government has brought in new rules to stop investors from buying up to a certain price (such as an official value... More >


Dry, but not like that

Our regular columnist Molly Quell is having a hard time getting into the mood to mock the Dutch. Everything just seems too depressing.  It’s time for Dry January. No, not that healthy thing where people give up alcohol for the month and act extremely smug about it. Dry how Dutch people cook meat: withered, shriveled and unseasoned. That’s where I am at mentally. I am already not much of a Christmas person. This really isn’t surprising, as I am the... More >



Podcast: The Ophef of the Year Awards 2021

Special guest and celebrity roof gardener Molly Quell joins us for the traditional celebration of online outrage, political chicanery and flash-in-the-pan fame that is the DutchNews ophef awards. We have 11 instantly forgettable scandals for you to choose from, but in true Dutch fashion only four of them actually count. Look back in astonishment at a year of ministerial mishaps, penis-shaped cakes, QR codes for dead dictators, unlikely online matchmakers and abstinent Euro-rockers. And don’t forget to vote for your... More >


Amity's senior school now IB accredited

It’s been a difficult couple of years for schools around the world, but Amity International School Amsterdam is in a celebratory mood. The school, teaching students aged 3-16 on a tree-filled campus in Amstelveen, has just been awarded official International Baccalaureate (IB) accreditation for its Middle Years Programme (MYP). The IB is the curriculum framework (in English) followed by all 11-16 year-olds who attend its state-of-the-art senior school, which opened in 2019. Neville Kirton, Head of the Senior School, is... More >



‘I'll be here ‘till I’m dead and buried'

Greg (60) and Johanna (51) emigrated to the Netherlands from the US nearly two decades apart and now live in Leiden. They had a long distance relationship for nearly 10 years, until Johanna decided to move here permanently. They appreciate the Dutch work life balance and recommend tourists visit Rotterdam.  How did you end up in the Netherlands? Greg: I came here with a one year contract in 2000, then it was extended and extended. Then I bought a house... More >


Inburgering with DN: 11 Frisian cities

What better way to pass the winter than brushing up your knowledge of all things Dutch? Tuesday marks 25 years since the last Elfstedentocht took place, the gruelling 200 kilometre skating race held over natural ice between the 11 cities of Friesland. But you can also travel the famous route by bike, by boat, on horseback, on foot… however you like. Here’s what you need to know about the towns en route. Lesson 28: the 11 cities of the Elfstedentocht... More >



Inburgering with DN: the complete course

Why not start 2022 by brushing up your expertise in all things Dutch, with DutchNews.nl’s very own inburgering course? Here’s a round up of the lessons so far. Lesson 1: An introduction to Dutch history Being the well organised folk that they are, the Dutch have drawn up a list of 50 key events and periods which shaped the country and made the Netherlands what it is today. This mighty list is known as the Canon of Dutch history and... More >


The best of 2021: some good reads

What could be better on a wintry day than to curl up with a good read? Here’s some of this year’s most popular features that you might have missed. Selfies in cemeteries: dark tourism in the Netherlands Dark tourists on a quest for the Netherlands’ nastiest narratives raises ethical questions about the commodification of some of the country’s most solemn sites. But condemning the practice without considering its context, say some, misses the point. Read on Seven famous Dutch riots... More >



Four ways to save health insurance costs

Health insurance costs can be quite steep in the Netherlands but luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to save money. Here are the four most effective ways of cutting your health insurance bills. 1 Compare and switch to a cheaper plan This may sound straightforward, but the best way to save money is to switch to a cheaper health insurance plan. With over 40 insurance companies and over 200 policies, chances are high there is a... More >


Dramatic first year for new UK ambassador

By any measure it has been a busy start to Joanna Roper’s tenure as UK ambassador to the Netherlands. She presented her credentials to the king at the start of October 2020, just as the second wave of coronavirus infections was beginning to pick up steam. Three months later the UK’s departure from the European Union was due to take effect when the Brexit transition period concluded. A challenging task became even more complicated on December 20, when the Dutch... More >



Inburgering with DN: supermarkets

Our favourite bars and cafes are all closed at 5pm because of coronavirus, so where else to hang out but the supermarket. The DutchNews.nl inburgering course guides has the lowdown. Lesson 27: Supermarkets Foreigners always complain about Dutch supermarkets – not enough choice, too many queues, no-one to pack up your groceries etc etc – so here are some tips to survive them. 1 Colours Colours are important: Albert Heijn is blue, Dirk is red, Jumbo is yellow and Plus... More >


Why you should opt for the NHG

If you are buying a home costing less than the national average, you may well qualify for a special mortgage guarantee, known as the NHG. Mortgage advisor José de Boer explains all. The Nationale Hypotheek Garantie is a very Dutch thing – a sort of insurance, if you will, for people buying a more modest house. It was developed in the last century with the aim of giving home buyers an extra layer of protection in case they were unable... More >



How Mark Rutte managed to cling to power

Mark Rutte could be forgiven for pouring himself a big drink this weekend. After months of intensive negotiations he has – like one of those charity fundraisers who slowly do a marathon in a hundred-kilo diving suit – finally limped across the finish line and managed to piece together a new governing coalition, writes Ben Coates. The outcome of nine months of coalition talks is a four-party alliance which includes his own VVD party, the right-wing CU and CDA, and... More >


Winter warmers: reasons to be cheerful

This article started out as six reasons to be cheerful, rose to nine, then 10 and now, thanks to the new lockdown, is back down to seven again. Omicron may have put paid to a lot of traditional winter holiday fun, but here is a list of things which you can still do to bring a little Christmas cheer into your life. Drink! Are booze shops essential? We think so. Baby, it’s cold outside, as Dean Martin sang, which means... More >



How a tax rule could give you a refund

As the pandemic has shown us, sometimes one year is significantly better than another financially. If your income has been affected by coronavirus, for better or for worse, remember this when you come to do your next tax returns. If you have income that has varied considerably over the past few years, there’s a Dutch tax ruling that might help you even things out. ‘Middeling’ – which means averaging – looks at three consecutive tax years to find your average... More >


'The Irish could be 30% more Dutch'

Irishman Rory Brosnan came to Amsterdam for love. After working as a freelance copywriter and running a private tour business, he founded Remote Pals, an online organisation that hosts team-building sessions online. Rory says the Beemster is the best place to see tulips and is quite happy to be considered an immigrant.  How did you end up in the Netherlands? In 2014 I moved here for a relationship. We’ve since broken up, but life here is too good to leave.... More >



Northern star: why look north to buy?

When house prices are rising hard across the nation, it may pay to look north, says Expat Mortgages northern expert Erwin Berghuis. Although the Rabobank predicts parts of Groningen will be one of the Netherlands’ hottest regions in terms of price growth this year, housing experts believe that in the north and east of the Netherlands, there are still some beautiful homes and excellent deals to be had. Erwin Berghuis, mortgage adviser and area manager for Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe... More >


BBB: farmers' unrest has not gone away

As if the Dutch political landscape wasn’t enough of a hutspot, the election last March added four new ingredients to the parliamentary pot-pourri, taking the total number of parties to 17. Perhaps the most unexpected newcomer was the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB), led by former agriculture journalist Caroline van der Plas. BBB was founded two years earlier and only appeared on pollsters’ radar near the end of the election campaign: the poll of polls run by Leiden University political scientist Tom... More >