Buying a house in the Netherlands: extra costs you need to know

So you’ve decided to buy a house in the Netherlands! You know your borrowing power, you know where you want to live, and you know you’ve found yourself the perfect home. But you also know about those extra costs, right? 

We hate to rain on your parade — but there are a number of significantly important extra costs that you need to consider before you go ahead and make that final bid. Let’s run through them. 

We teamed up with the experts at Expat Mortgage Platform to give you the full rundown on all the extra costs involved in buying a house in the Netherlands!

Valuation (Taxatierapport)

The first thing you may decide to do once you’ve set your sights on your dream home is getting the property valued. In the Netherlands, this is called a taxatierapport and, of course, it’s going to cost you some money. 

That being said, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. The last thing you want is to dish out your hard-earned money on a property that isn’t valued correctly. 

  • How much does it cost? Valuation reports in the Netherlands are ever-changing due to a number of factors. As a result, you can expect a report to set you back anywhere between €750 and €1,000 and upwards.
  • When do you have to pay it? You must pay this cost before the house is evaluated.  
  • Is it tax-deductible? Yes. 
  • Is it always necessary? Not strictly. However,  in most cases, before a mortgage company will give you a mortgage, it is required that you get the property valued. 

Building report (bouwkundig rapport)

A bouwkunding rapport (building report) is a constructional report of the house. This is usually done before you buy the house — and with good reason! You need to know a building is architecturally and constructionally sound before you move in, of course.

Photo-of-building-report-with-mini-structure-of-house-on-top
A very important step in buying a house in the Netherlands is the building report. Image: JanPietruszka/Depositphotos

Think of all those characteristically charming, albeit crooked, old Dutch houses. As romantic as they are, it’s best to know that they’re not going to finally give in to gravity while you’re living there. 

  • How much does it cost? A building report in the Netherlands will cost you usually between €350 and sometimes up to €750 — again, this varies depending on the building!
  • When do you have to pay for it? This is usually paid for before you buy the house. Sometimes it’s already carried out by the selling party, so it’s up to you if you want another report.
  • Is it tax-deductible? Yes. 
  • Is it always necessary? A building inspection is technically not necessary but it is often a condition of getting a mortgage in the Netherlands. 

Transfer Tax (overdrachtsbelasting)

In the Netherlands, if you move into a pre-existing home (i.e not a new build), you must pay what is called the overdrachtsbelasting or transfer tax.

It’s important that you keep this tax in mind when bidding on a home as it is a notable additional sum that can amount to up to 2% of the cost of buying your house! (0% if you’re starting your homeowner career and 8% if you’re buying for investing).

  • How much does it cost? This depends on the price of your house.  
  • When do you have to pay for it? This must be paid to a notary before you sign the deed to your house. The notary will then pay the tax to the authorities on your behalf. 
  • Is it tax-deductible? No.
  • Is it always necessary? No. As of 2021, if you are a new buyer (i.e, someone between the age of 18-35, you do not have to pay transfer tax when buying a house worth under €400,000). You also do not have to pay transfer tax if the home you are buying is a new build. 

Mortgage advice (Hypotheekadvies

Naturally, when you decide to buy a house in the Netherlands, you’re also deciding to take out a mortgage (unless you can pay in all-cash, in which case we’re raising our eyebrows). Many choose to enlist the help of a mortgage advisor when setting up their mortgage — and naturally, this is going to cost you some dough. 

While some may try to keep costs down by not enlisting the help of a mortgage advisor, an advisor can actually be a clever investment. A mortgage advisor is an expert in negotiating and holds pre-existing relationships with certain banks. All this can lead to better mortgage terms for you — which in turn leads to reduced costs in the long run. 

Also, how’s your Dutch? Because if that ain’t up to ‘I understand hypotheekrenteaftrek’-levels then you might just want to get on board with a mortgage advisor so you get all those important docs in English too.

  • How much does it cost? This depends on the experts you decide to go with! 
  • When do you have to pay for it? Usually, you must pay this immediately but sometimes it is possible to arrange to pay in instalments. 
  • Is it tax-deductible? Yes.
  • Is it always necessary? No.

Mortgage contract (hypotheekakte

Yep. Once you settle on a mortgage plan, you’re going to need to pay for the mortgage deed. In simple terms, a hypotheekakte is basically a promise to the banks that if you can’t repay your mortgage, the bank can take the house. This will be drawn up by a notary. 

Photo-of-family-speaking-with-mortgage-advisor-in-the-Netherlands
A mortgage advisor will walk you through all the steps involved in getting a mortgage. Image: Goodluz/Depositphotos
  • How much does it cost? This can range from anywhere between €450 and up to €2,000 depending on the notary and the services.
  • When do you have to pay for it? You pay this amount as part of the notary fees.
  • Is it tax-deductible? Yes.
  • Is it always necessary? Yes.

Realtor fee (Makelaarscourtage)

Another professional that may get involved when you decide to buy a house is a realtor. You can think of a realtor as someone who will guide you through the entire process of buying a house: from the search, right through to the notaries office. 

As you can imagine, the price for such services isn’t low. A realtor will usually charge between 1-2% of the property costs. 

Again, while the cost may initially spook you, this is a worthwhile investment in the long run. A realtor may help save you money by negotiating the price on your behalf and advising on whether a property is priced above or below its value! 

  • How much does it cost? This depends on the price of the property, usually landing somewhere between 1-3% of the price of the house. 
  • When do you have to pay for it? This is usually done at the notaries office. Once all the papers have been sorted and signed, the realtor will send the bill to your notary, who will then pay the commission (using your money on your behalf.)
  • Is it tax-deductible? No. 
  • Is it always necessary? Technically no, but they are used by most house-hunters in the Netherlands. 

Notary fee (kosten leveringsakte)

As you may have noticed, we keep on mentioning the word “notary” in this article — as we should. They play an integral role when it comes to buying a house in the Netherlands. 

A notary is a legal professional who will essentially manage all the legal matters when it comes to buying a house in the Netherlands. 

  • How much does it cost? Between €1,000 and €3,000 and sometimes even higher. It’s also worth noting that sometimes, the seller will also cover part of these costs. 
  • When do you have to pay for it? You must pay the notary bill before the house is transferred under your name. 
  • Is it tax-deductible? Sometimes. For example, the cost of the mortgage contract (above) is tax-deductible.  
  • Is it always necessary? Yes.

Interpreter (tolk) for meeting with the notary

If you’re an international in the Netherlands, then sometimes an interpreter is needed when it comes to understanding the important things. When it’s time to go to the notaries office, even many Dutch people will struggle to understand what exactly is happening. 

Photo-of-interpreter-and-client-at-notary-office-Netherlands
The notary office can even be confusing for Dutch speakers! Image: HayDmitriy/Depositphotos

This means that in your case if you don’t speak Dutch, it may certainly be worthwhile getting a professional translator involved to walk you through what exactly is happening at the notaries office. It’s not exactly the best place to just nod and smile when you’re uncertain. 

  • How much does it cost? A notary interpreter will usually cost anywhere between €250 and €550 depending on how many services they need to perform. 
  • When do you have to pay for it? You will receive the invoice for the services once you have clarified what you need to have interpreted. However, you may also face additional charges if the services take longer than initially agreed. 
  • Is it tax-deductible? Yes, as they can fall under the costs of financing your own, making them tax-deductible. 
  • Is it always necessary? No.

Bank guarantee (bankgarantie)

You can think of a bank guarantee as the bank vouching for you when you want to put down a deposit on a house. With a guarantee, the bank claims that even if you cannot pay the deposit on the house, it will be paid and lets the seller know that you truly want to purchase the home.

  • How much does it cost? A bank guarantee will normally cost 1% of the purchasing price but this can also differ for example if you buy a really expensive house.
  • When do you have to pay for it? Before you agree to purchase the house. You do not have to pay for it if the purchase doesn’t go through because you changed your mind. (However, there is a three-day limit to this.)
  • Is it tax-deductible? No.
  • Is it always necessary? No. 

Ready to get an expert involved? 

Figuring out the additional costs of buying a house can warrant a book in itself — so what about everything else that comes with buying a house in the Netherlands? 

The experts at Expat Mortgage Platform offer their services specifically to internationals so that they don’t need to go through the minefield alone. You can reach out to them for a free consultation or make use of their helpful mortgage tools online. 

Can you think of any other important additional costs? Tell us about them in the comments below!

Feature Image: AlleSerebrina/Depositphotos

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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