Hi there! Please be warned that this FAQ section is as long as it is on any other financial services website… Therefore we want to tell you one thing in advance:
The quickest and best way to find out about YOUR possibilities is to dedicate ONE HOUR of your precious time to come by for a cup of coffee and we’ll tell you EVERYTHING you need to know.
Q I hear owning a place is cheaper than renting, is that true?
A Actually… yeah. Most of the examples you hear or read are at least partially true**. Due to low interest levels and tax reimbursements for home owners, your monthly costs as an owner are often lower than as a tenant. But ofcourse this is just a thumb rule and we will be happy to elaborate on your particular situation. Feel free to reach out to us!
Q Seriously, can I get a mortgage as an expat?
A Yes you can! In general if you have an EU passport / nationality, you don’t encounter much more barriers or restrictions than if you were a Dutch national. If you come from outside the EU then there are some restrictions but mainly in terms of restrictions on the loan to value ratio. However there are exceptions to this rule (e.g. if you’re a knowledge migrant) and every bank has its own “sweet spot” so the best way to find out is to give us a call or come by for a cup of coffee.
Q And how?
A Roughly there are two ways: a) go to a bank and b) go to an intermediary. Since we are an intermediary this answer may be somewhat biased 😉 but generally banks only advise their own products. Banks as well as intermediaries are obliged by law to not only arrange your loan but to also advise you the best suitable option. With banks this is somewhat difficult since actually they don’t know what’s in store with other providers. Banks fees may be somewhat lower on average, but mind you you get less advice and less guidance. Intermediaries on the other hand work independent from banks and can offer loans form a wide array of providers usually including all major banks. Within the intermediary category we distinguish players with a “lean” approach (standard advice, automated intermediation) versus more service oriented advisors who literally guide you through the whole process (indeed, that’s us!).
Q Or how much?
A How much you can borrow depends on a number of things. To start with, there are two perspectives: the Loan-to-Value and the Loan-to-Income . Basically the lower the Loan-to-Value ratio, the better your interest rate and the more flexible lenders will become but still your mortgage loan can never exceed your maximum Loan-to-Income. When purchasing a property, the way to lower the Loan-to-Value is to make a downpayment on the property. Some lenders have capped the Loan-to-Value for expats and not every lender assesses your income the same way, so your maximum loan varies from bank to bank. For all lenders goes that your income should be consistent (e.g. employment contract for an indefinite period)
Q what are the extra costs when buying a home
A This varies from approx 3 to 6% of the purchase price. To start with you pay a 2% (of the purchase price) transfer tax, unless you buy new development. Other purchase costs are for a notary (up to € 2000 for delivery and mortgage deed together), mortgage advisory fee (usually from € 1000 to € 3500), valuation report (approx. € 500) and - if you decide to hire one – costs for a real estate agent (aankoopmakelaar) who often charge around 1,25% of the purchase price ex VAT
Q Do I need to have savings?
A In any case you need some savings to cover the above mentioned purchase costs. Furthermore it depends on many factors like your (loan-to-)income, your nationality (EU citizen yes / no) or residency status. If you are eligible for a 100% Loan to Value loan, in principle savings amounting to the aforementioned 3 to 6% of the purchase price suffice. But either way: it definitively helps to have savings as you will have more banks to choose of if you can lower your laon to e.g. 90-80% Loan -to-Value.
Q i don’t live in NL yet / am currently relocating , can i get a mortgage?
A Difficult, but not entirely impossible. In any case you need a social security number (BSN), an employment contract for an idefinite periode, no probation time and starting date within 3 months. You might want to settle down first though 😉
Q i don’thave a permanent employment contract, can i get a mortgage?
A There are possibilities also when you don’t have a permanent contract. For instance when your employer is willing to sign a so called intention statement, your income will be regarded as equally consistent as in the case of a permanent contract. Also when you are an entrepeneur, freelancer or when you are on secondmend it’s possible to take out a mortgage loan. Lenders tend to look more at your income history then and deduct a consistent income from your last annuals.
Q my residency permit is not for an indefinite time, do i still qualify for a mortgage
A Yes, possible. Only you will have less providers to choose from and you will have to take into account that lenders will demand a bigger downpayment (lower Loan-to-Value). You will have more options when you have a temporary permit but are a knowledge migrant though.
Q it says you’re based in A’dam, do you also work in other places like The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht or Eindhoven?
A Yes! We are always happy to meet you and work from Maastricht to Amsterdam and from The Hague to Nijmegen. If planning a meeting on short notice turns out to be difficult, we can always turn to skype e.a..
Q I earn a bonus on top of my regular income, do banks take this into account?
A Yes and no. There are a number of restrictions when it comes to bonus income. For example a bonus will in principle only be taken into account when based on your personal performance (in other words will not when depending on company result) and only up till 25% of your fixed income. In case your bonus income is consistently higher than your fixed income (e.g. when you are a broker or trader on the financial markets) then some banks will be a little bit more flexible. In that case please contact us, because we would like to discuss your case with banks beforehand in order to eliminate any surprises later on as much as possible.
Q I think my situation is a little complicated, do you charge extra for this?
A No. We always stick to the prices that are listed on our website. And apart from this we like a nice challenge every now and then…
Q Can i get a mortgage even though i’m an expat and self employed or a freelancer?
A Yes, Also when you are an expat entrepeneur / freelancer or when you are on secondmend it’s possible to take out a mortgage loan. You need to be able to show some track record though as lenders want to deduct an income out of your income history (usually over past 3 years)
Q I have the 30% ruling, how does this affect my mortgage?
A In a nutshell: the 30% ruling has some implications with regards to tax deducitbility of your mortage paymentes (interest part) but bottom line the impact is in most cases not huge. In terms of borrowing capacity it also does not make a big difference with most banks as the majority of banks consider 30% income as regular income. Only few providers convert your higher net income into a higher maximum loan and when they do, these providers will request extra repayments during the period of your 30% ruling
Q how does it work in NL when I want to buy a house?
A As there is a whole lot to say and there are some tips & tricks, we wrote a separate post bout this. Please click here if you want to read it!
Q I’m an expat and come from from outside the EU, am I still eligible for a mortgage in NL?
A Yes, also for you there are possibilities. For instance when you have a permanent residency status or when you are a knowledge migrant, there are some lenders granting loans up tor 100% Loan-to-Value. Otherwise – provided that you have savings - it is still possible to make a downpayment on the property. If you are able to lower the Loan-to-Value to 80-90% we can surely find a lender for you.