Accommodation in the Netherlands
Expats have a number of options when it comes to accommodation in the Netherlands.
The country is known for being tolerant and cosmopolitan, and in large cities, dozens of cultures live side by side, so it’s common to find expats from all over the world living and working together in different areas.
Housing in these areas is expensive, but smaller surrounding villages are usually cheaper. Most facilities are available in these small towns, including stores, supermarkets and sports facilities. But expats who want to sample the top restaurants, cinemas and exclusive shops will need to visit the city.
The east of the country offers a more relaxed, greener environment with farms, woods and lakes. Housing here is cheaper and more spacious than in the west.
Altogether, expats will need to decide if they prefer living in a buzzing metropolis or in a more laid back area like the east of the Netherlands.
Finding accommodation in the Netherlands
Expats can find property to buy or rent using various websites. Rental agencies are also available and offer rental houses and apartments throughout the Netherlands, but normally charge for their services.
Most agencies advertise on large online property portals. They're quite competitive, so expats should compare prices.
Types of property in the Netherlands
The bigger cities offer a range of accommodation, including houses with three or four bedrooms, apartments (mostly two or three bedrooms) and small rooms to rent. Finding suitable space in the centre of a large city can be difficult.
The housing market in the Netherlands has experienced some upheaval in recent years, including declining house values, stricter terms for mortgages, and less money for first-time buyers. In general, Dutch people are confronted with more obstacles in buying and selling property. These issues are being addressed by the government and the housing market is expected to climb in the coming years.
Factors to consider when house-hunting in the Netherlands
The state of housing in the Netherlands is generally good because of strict laws concerning the environment and construction regulations.
Home security isn't a major concern and security alarms are relatively rare. Larger houses may have them, but most apartments do without.
When buying or renting older houses, it's best to check for damages, which many people do with the help of someone who knows about construction and building.
When renting accommodation in the Netherlands, expats should confirm what exactly is included in the rental agreement; utilities, for example, aren't always covered and may be considered an additional expense for the tenant. Deposits vary from one to three months' rent, and are returned when the tenant moves out, provided the house is in the same state as it was when they moved in.