Mortgage advice for expats – Welcome to our Mortgages advice information page. A very useful resource written by an expert on mortgages and advising expats on the best mortgages solution for their needs: Arjen Hardesmeets, the founder of Team Concepts
Mortgage Information for expats – It’s a process and some hand-holding will be enormously helpful.
Mortgage advice for expats – There is good news. Financial institutions are much more open to lending to expats than they used to be. There are of course costs involved, but that is just part of the process. Nowadays getting a mortgage and being a homeowner makes so much sense on every level. Renting is dead money and you do not own the asset. Arranging the mortgage and buying a home is the way to go, even in what is an expensive housing market. Interest rates are still at historical lows too. So if you can do it, then the received wisdom is that you should do it.
Getting a mortgage is a process. If you respect the process and are reasonably well organised you will reach your goal. Like any Dutch person, you can do the process on your own, however a lot of the process is in Dutch, so it will be smoother if you use a mortgage adviser. In this information page, Arjen will lay out the process in a simple way and show you that if you get your ducks in a row, you too can get on the housing ladder.
How much can you borrow?
Before even looking at homes for sale, you need to know what you can afford to borrow. An adviser can help you to assess what you can actually afford and what your maximum budget is. That will save you time and remove any doubt about what you should really be looking at and what you can offer when you do see a home you like. The market moves so fast, that you need to move fast too. Having the right information will allow you to do that. You will then know what your fixed monthly mortgage costs will be depending on the product and the term of the contract.
All the fun of looking at homes
Just some of the things you will be saying as you start the property search are: “Ooh, look at this one, it has a roof terrace.” Or, “This one has a man cave!”. Or, “I need that walk-in wardrobe!” Online resources like Funda or VBO are great. Or go into the Estate Agents offices and talk to them. The internet sites did not replace them! One massive advantage is that they will be aware of stock that is coming onto the market through their deep local knowledge. They will do the visits with you and advise you on the pros and cons of the properties. Their fee will be between 1 – 1.75% of the sale price excluding VAT. It’s very important to choose wisely who you work with and not just the house. Trust is paramount and the vast majority of stage agents are serious and trustworthy people.
Winning the bid and purchasing
You will be making a bid for a home. That is what will happen. If you win the bid and sign a purchase contract you have the right to cancel within 3 days. This is the cooling-off period. You do not need to give an excuse for cancelling it. This is a really good thing. as it will allow you to reconsider a rash decision. Secondly, your purchase will be subject to you getting finances. If you are well prepared then this will be a simple formality.
A notary will be used to make sure of all the legal matters in the transfer of ownership. There are buyer’s costs and these are roughly 6% of the purchase price. They include the 2% transfer tax, the costs for the notary, the estate agent’s fees, mortgage advice fee, costs for registration, appraisal and valuation reports and you will need an interpreter. When things are all clear and moving forward you will need to put 10% of the sale value in the notary’s escrow account.
Time-wise, things will take 4 – 6 weeks in a normal situation.
The mortgage application
Being prepared is a key element in the process. For every mortgage application, the process may look slightly different and the bank may require additional documents. It is best that you start early and have everything prepared before your bid gets approved. This way you will have enough time and assure you won’t miss any important deadlines.
Using a Notary
A civil law notary is the only person that can transfer the ownership of a home in The Netherlands. They are also the ones arranging the mortgage deed and the agreement you will have with the bank in regard to the property. There are many qualified and experienced notaries in Amsterdam and Team Concepts will help you select a good one.
An interpreter will be needed on the day of transfer, in case you are not fluent in Dutch. This is an obligation and ensures that you understand everything. That is a person that speaks your mother tongue and who is translating everything that the notary will read and ask you to sign. The notary is the one who receives all the invoices and pays all the parties.
Home owning and Taxes
Mortgage interest payments are tax-deductible for your main residence in The Netherlands. That is great news! Done monthly, you will clearly then see the difference between your interest charges and the refund. Your financial position for the mortgage will be clear to you.
The personal touch.
Simplicity is key. Making the complicated simple is an art form. Arjen will make you aware of all the financial things you need to know. Hand holding and clarity matters.
You can read more on the Team Concepts website.
Or simply call Arjen on 06 43 03 02 71 and he will give do an overview of your situation with you.