Buying your home in the Netherlands

Expats Leiden

Our notaries’ department has many years of experience in advising expats on the legal aspects of buying property. We keep a high service level and we know what expats find important.

Are foreigners allowed to buy property?

The Netherlands does not place any restrictions on the purchase of property by foreigners, whether resident or non-resident.

Necessary steps

After the sale price has been agreed, the formal steps towards property transfer take place.

  • Buyer and seller sign a purchase agreement.
  • The notary we hold the signed contract and a 10 percent deposit paid by the buyer.
  • The buyer arranges any mortgage they require.
  • All amounts due are paid to the notary’s trust account, including the transfer tax.
  • Buyer and seller sign the notarial deed of transfer.
  • The notary registers the property transfer at the land registry office completing the process and pays the purchase price to the seller.

Buyer’s costs

These include:

  • Mortgage broker fee.
  • Real estate agent fee.
  • Transfer tax 2 per cent of property value.
  • Building report if you are buying an older property.
  • Notary fees.

What you need to know when you buy an apartment

Buying an apartment can be more complex than buying a freehold property. In the Netherlands, each apartment building is managed by an owner’s association. The association is responsible for maintenance and may be well or poorly run. It is important to check into the status of the VvE before purchase and to have a close look at the division deed with the regulations that apply to the owners in the building.


  • Only annuities and linear mortgage models are eligible for the tax deduction on interest. The loan must be paid off within 30 years.
  • The transfer tax for residential properties is 2 percent of the buying price. Other real estate such as commercial properties still has a transfer tax of 6 percent.
  • In 2017 the maximum mortgage value can be up to 101 per cent of the buying price. By 2018 it will be reduced to 100 per cent.
  • From January 1, 2017, homebuyers aged between 18 and 40 can receive a gift of up to 100.000 euros, tax-free, from their parents or others as a contribution towards buying, renovating or paying the mortgage on a property. The parental gift tax exemption has been raised and lowered in recent years in response to changes in the housing market.
  • In 2017 the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG) covers properties with a maximum value of 247.450 euros.

Mortgage tax relief

You are eligible for a mortgage tax relief if you have an annuities or linear mortgage and you live in your property and if you do not rent it out.

If your income level places you in the 4th tax bracket (with a tax rate of 52 per cent) then the tax rate at which you may deduct your mortgage interest will gradually decline.

In 2017 the deductible mortgage interest rate is 50 percent. It will drop by half a percentage point each year until it has reached 38 per cent.


Please contact Janbert Heemstra if you have any questions or if you want to know the costs of our services.