Buying a house is a complex process involving a number of people and variables. It can be an easy process if you know and understand the steps or it can be a challenging endeavor if you’re navigating without a compass.
How to Buy a House is the brain child of Monique Burgemeester. Working in the real estate field she knows the importance of good guidance and decided to create a compass for the international community and not only.
In the Netherlands, the housing market is a world where things move really fast. Particularly in Amsterdam, due to the high demand and the constant flux of people, a house can disappear from the market in the blink of an eye. It is thus, important to get acquainted with the playground. The How to Buy a House events are a great place to start with. They have been so far organized in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Stay tuned though, they might be soon coming to your neck of the woods.
For 2019 there have been already announced four dates for Utrecht and three for Amsterdam. The first one being 22nd of January for Utrecht and respectively 11th of February for Amsterdam. The full agenda can be found on their website where you can also register for the desired date. The events are free, but registration is necessary in order to be able to properly prepare for the number of visitors to attend.
The events provide free access to a number of specialists ready to answer questions and ease the process. There are financial advisers to help with setting up mortgages, real estate agents to assist in finding the house or the apartment, lawyers to clarify any legal matters, construction companies to advise on possible modifications and costs, interior designers, and as the event keeps growing so does the list of specialists. You can talk one on one with each one of them in either English or Dutch based on your preferences.
Even more, the locations for the events have been completely different from each other, but truly special in their own. In Amsterdam it was the Posthoornkerk, a basilica designed in 1863 by P.J.H. Cuypers, the architect responsible for both Amsterdam Central Station and the Rijksmuseum. In the Hague, it was the COMM – Museum for Communication, a light and modern space filled with history, information and a lot of nostalgia. And last but not the least, the very first event to take place in Utrecht was at the Rijksmunt, the Royal Dutch Mint. The building called De Munt (The Coin) was completed at the beginning of the 20st century and it is located in the center of the city overlooking a picturesque scenery of canals.
The 2019 announced events to take place in Utrecht will be hosted at the Holland Casino, a modern and dynamic space, at 20 minutes of leisurely walk from the central station, while the Amsterdam event will continue the tradition of firsts and take place at Restaurant Moer, right next to the Vondelpark.
In order to give as many people as possible the option to attend, How to Buy a House provides an essential feature: free nanny services for children between the ages of 2 and 14. There will also be snacks and drinks in order to make this a relaxed experience and help relieve the stress usually associated with such an important task.
I personally have attended both the Hague and the Utrecht 2018 events. I was thoroughly impressed by the care with which everything was organised as well as by the friendliness and helpfulness of the people. I have had long conversations that have cleared many confusions about legal, financial and real estate matters. Coming from a completely different culture when it comes to acquiring and holding on to a property, and where the average property turnover in one’s life is nowhere near as big and fast moving as the one in the Dutch culture, these conversations have made the steps to follow very clear to me.
If you have any questions about the events or the process of buying a house do not hesitate to contact them! They will make sure to answer your question and/or put you in contact with the right people. You can keep an eye for future How to Buy a House events on their website or on their social media platforms. LinkedIn | Facebook | Community and check out their Blog for insightful articles.
In closing I have asked Monique to tell us a few words about How to Buy a House.
Thank you for this wonderful movement that you created.
– What would be the very first thing you would advise someone to do when starting to plan the purchase of a residence and what would you say is the biggest mistake people do when starting this process?
“Unless you are a cash buyer, you need to know your numbers first. How much money can I borrow, can I pay for the extra costs? Make sure that you understand the maximum mortgage amount available to you.
Then I would say make a wish list and explore neighborhoods, so you know where you want to live and where you feel comfortable. Then ask a local real estate agent to have a chat with you and get a reality check. The next step is to team up with an agent and go find yourself a great home!”
– What is the dream for How to Buy a House? Where do you see it going?
“That is a very easy question to answer ;) We started How To Buy A house with one purpose: inform people about home buying a home in a proper a neat way. We have teamed up with companies who have worked with expats for a very long time and understand expat needs. My husband is the founder of a real estate agency and we ourselves have purchased homes for over 17 years now. Our clientele? Only expats! So you might say, we know the drill haha. We do not work with companies who are in for a quick buck, regardless if they are a member of whatever organisation they belong to. We do not care about that. The word expat attracts a lot of people who say they will help them, but who do not deliver or are even frauds. To recognize true companies we will enroll our Expat Oriented Organisation quality label. This label is totally free of costs, totally “gratis” you do not have to be a member or whatsoever, we have 10 rules you need to follow and we need to know you will deliver good work for a fair price. Our visitors, but also everyone in the business can point us to companies of which they think are just great with expats, expat life and also just “normal” and “gezellig”. It’s almost finished! I am proud we have accomplished this and I can show you the beeldmerk (logo)! What do you think about it?”
Thank you and see you at the next event!