Buying a house in NL. How much does it cost?

If you have read my previous posts about buying a house in the Netherlands, you may have started considering actually getting your own huisje. But uncertainties on the future, fear of the big step and doubts about the costs are stopping you.
Well, while I can’t help much with the first two, I can do my best to help with the last one. Thus in this post: how much does buying a house cost?
There is the price of the house, and there are the costs involved in the procedure. I will touch shortly on what is normally meant with the asking price (the house price), and then give a detailed list of the costs involved in the procedure because I think this is what is more standard. I will not dive into a discussion about house prices because they are so specific, depend on so many factors and vary so quickly in time, that is difficult to have a comprehensive (and useful) overview.

House prices

Making general statements about the price of houses in the Netherlands is very difficult. If you are interested in the specific unit prices, you can orientate yourself on the web, and look for example at the websites I’ve suggested in the other post (Funda and Woz mainly).

The amounts you see on Funda are specified as k.k. – kosten kopers – meaning the price indicated excludes all the costs involved in the transaction, which will be on you as buyer.
NB: it is important to know that such costs involved in the transaction must come from a source that is different from the mortgage you are getting to buy the house. The bank will not cover these expenses in the mortgage, because these costs are actually needed to get the mortgage arranged and all the procedure of purchase. It’s difficult to say exactly the total amount, as it can depend on choices and companies offering you the service. I think a good range is between 15.000 and 30.000 euro for a house between 200 and 300.000 euro.
In any case, such costs are the ones described in this post and will therefore give you an idea.

Furthermore, normally the prices are the basis of the auction, meaning that you’ll have to offer more to be in the game. That’s something expected at the moment with this crazy market, and at least in our experience kind of true. Unfortunately the amount extra you should offer is something difficult to estimate, but you can try starting with smaller offers and then see how it turns out…learning by doing.
Otherwise, you could get advice from a real estate agent that is more used to the market.

Costs before the notary

  • Getting a taxatie (objective evaluation) of your house
    This procedure costs between 450 and 500 euro, and is independent of the value of the house. This includes the rate of the specialist performing the assessment, cadastral (kadastrale) and municipal costs, and costs of administration, while normally does not include the taxes (BTW).
  • Bouwkundige keuring (technical check)
    Of course, since the technical check is not obligatory, also the costs related to it are optional. The price can vary a lot depending on few choices, like what you want to be included in the check, the way of delivery and how fast you want to get the report after the evaluation (since essentially you want it before signing the contract – the koopcontract. For this again, check the flow chart in this post).
    To give you an idea, we have spent about 500 euros to have the most complete check and the report delivered within a couple of days electronically. We have not been extremely satisfied with the service, thus I am rather skeptical on suggesting this, but (1) I think the costs related to it are not extreme, and (2) you may be luckier and get a technical check you can be satisfied with.
  • Registering the koopcontract in the land register (kadaster).
    That means, making official (through the notary) in the land register the contract you sign with the selling party.
    Also this step is not compulsory, but in my opinion it is really important. In our case it added up about 170 euro (including the fee, taxes, land register registration).
  • Bank fee; optional. In case you can’t/don’t want to transfer the 10% of the price of the house (this 10% is called deposit – waarborgsom) to the notary as guarantee, you can have the bank doing that for you. The bank guarantees at your place, and that comes at a cost. In our case it was about 300 euros.

Cost at the notary

  • Costs for the transaction ~800 euro
    this includes, among the rest
    – notary fee
    – registration of the notary contract in the land register (kadaster)
    – registration of the transaction
    – taxes (BTW)
  • Transaction taxes (overdrachtsbelasting)
    These taxes are 2% of the price of the house (intended as the one you agreed upon at the end)
    NB. in 2021 you may be exempt from paying these taxes. You can check if this is the case for you in this post.
  • Mortgage costs ~700 euro and including
    – mortgage advice
    – mortgage agency fee
    – cost of the mortgage contract
    – registration of the mortgage in the land register (kadaster)
  • NHG deposit
    In case you are eligible for the NHG, you’ll also need to transfer the amount necessary to get it at the notary. That’s 0.7% of the amount you’re getting from the bank (check this post if you want to know more about NHG).
  • Translator our notary requested us to hire also a translator for the transaction act. Although I could speak Dutch (NT2 II level) and I could translate directly to Cristian, I think they preferred to have an independent translator to make sure everything is official and there are no chances of future discussions.
    It turned out to be fine, and it costed about 300 euro.
  • At the notary, you’ll also pay the taxes for the remaining part of the calendar year, i.e. starting from the date you are officially getting the house (this includes sewerage, water and real estate property taxes). [I’ll write another post about this since this is taxes are a more general topic.]

Price of the real estate agent

This cost is optional, depending on whether you want a real estate agent.
We ended up buying the house on our own, but we contacted real estate agencies before making the choice (and actually did few visits with them).
The contract was definitely reasonable in our opinion, especially because that should save your own time and effort. It costed a certain amount (either fixed or a percentage of the final price) that would be charged after purchasing the house and the whole procedure, and included a varying number of visits. Unfortunately we did not get a good service and we decided to try a couple of times on our own.
Personally, I think that the costs associated with hiring a real estate agent are definitely worth it if you find the agent you have a click with and provides you a professional service.
It’s a great support both in the selection, in the bidding and in the transaction procedure.

Price of the financial adviser

Also the costs related to the financial adviser are an extra.
Whether you pay, depends on whether you hire one.
A financial adviser may help you with choosing the mortgage with the best option for you (especially if you belong to a special category like self-employed or fixed-term contract).
We have had a couple of appointments with financial advisers and then decided to go directly with the bank although also here the costs were not extreme (about 1500 euro, if I remember correctly).

So this wraps up my post costs involved in the purchase of a house in the Netherlands. Please note that most of the prices are simply indications, and can vary with the company, optionals and house you choose.
Furthermore, both the procedure and the costs are relative to our personal experience (February 2019).
It’s also possible that there are additional costs we are missing (or we did not experience).
Feel free to comment or reach out to me privately if you have a different experience, or want to ask something.

Have a nice Sunday!

Last updated 25/01/2021. Disclaimer.

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