• Frequently asked questions

    Mortgage questions and answers

We have been helping internationals in the Netherlands arrange mortgages for the last 14 years. We have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers about mortgages. We hope these will help you if you’re thinking about buying a home and arranging a mortgage in the Netherlands.

What is a mortgage (hypotheek)?

A mortgage is a term used to describe a loan taken out to buy a property or land.

You take out a mortgage from a mortgage lender to buy a property, and you make monthly payments to repay the amount, while you live in that property.

The mortgage lender has the option of taking the property and selling it if the mortgage repayments aren’t made. This is so that the lender doesn’t lose money as they would be making it back from the property sale.
Any time you take out a mortgage, the loan is then split into two aspects. One of which is the interest, which is what the lender charges for lending the money. The other is the capital, which is the actual amount of money used to purchase the property.

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker is a financial specialist who will look for a suitable mortgage product on a client’s behalf in order to ensure they get the best possible deal. Fees and success rates vary from one broker to another.
Expat Mortgages works with a fixed fee of 2.975 euro.
Be aware that a bank also charges a fee when you want to work directly with them. When using a broker, you don’t have to pay a fee to the bank, but only the broker.

Why do I need a mortgage advisor?

In the Netherlands, Mortgage advice is obligatory and unless you are certified consultant, the bank or the mortgage lender will ask you to have one (or appoint one themselves). The mortgage advisor will listen to your needs and wishes, look into your financial situation and then present you with the different options for taking a mortgage. In both cases you will have to pay a fee. It might be possible that the advisor appointed by the bank could be a little cheaper, but an independent mortgage advisor offers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 more choice and flexibility.

What different types of mortgages are there?

There are two main types of mortgages when mortgaging your primary residence;

Annuity repayment scheme

The main characteristic of an annuity mortgage is that the yearly total of capital repayment and interest payments remains the same as long as you’ve fixed the interest on the loan. Although the total remains the same, the ratio between interest and repayment will changes over the years.

Linear or Straight Line repayment scheme

The most important characteristic of this mortgage is that the loan is repaid yearly in equal instalments (i.e. linear). As a result of these repayments, the amount of interest payable decreases every year. Since the interest expenditure decreases steadily, this mortgage is best suited for lenders who cannot fully benefit from the tax relief on the interest payments and/or want to repay the principal as fast as possible.

How much can I borrow?

The actual amount you’re eligible to borrow will be determined by the value of the property you wish to purchase (Loan to Value) and by your annual gross income (Loan to Income). Other variables like leasehold could have an impact as well.
The majority of mortgage lenders will offer a loan of up to 100% of the property’s value. In the Netherlands there is no obligatory down payment, but you have to pay for the closing costs (5-6% of the purchase price of the house).

There is a general rule of thumb that you can borrow around 5 times gross yearly salary. The actual figures depend on your income, your personal situation and the interest paid on the loan.

For an approximate estimation you can use the calculator below and please to treat the results carefully. The best indication can be given only by an advisor, who will take all factors into consideration.

Mortgage Calculator

How long do I need to have lived and worked in the Netherlands to be eligible for a mortgage?

In general, you can get a loan as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands. Important is that your probation period should be over, but this is usually for 1 month and we can use that time for getting all the documents and preparing for the application process.

What credit checks will be carried out?

All mortgage providers will use credit scoring methods. They will check the BKR (Bureau of Credit registration) to see if you have loans outstanding and more importantly if you have ever defaulted on a loan. If you have lived in Germany, Austria, Belgium or Italy, they will also do a credit check in that country.

Can I get a mortgage if I am a non-Eu citizen with a temporary residence permit?

Yes, you can get a mortgage. How much will depend on your income situation and employment history in The Netherlands.

Can I get a mortgage when being employed with temporary contract?

Yes, you can get a mortgage. We will need a letter of intent signed from your employer, but most employers agree to sign this without a problem

What are the costs related to buying a home (closing costs)?

The price of a house in the Netherlands is always followed by an abbreviation, either ‘KK’ or ‘VON’
‘KK’ means that all of the costs related to buying a house are paid for by the buyer (‘Kosten Koper’, or ‘purchasing costs payable by the buyer’).
‘VON’ stands for ‘Vrij op naam’, or ‘purchasing costs payable by the vendor’, which in most cases only applies if you are buying a newly built property.

Costs related to a ‘KK’ purchase

Transfer tax (2%)
The costs of registering the property in your name and having that information filed in the usual registers (civil-law notary).
The costs for a real estate agent (if applicable)
The fee of Expat Mortgages
The National Mortgage Guarantee costs (if applicable)
The costs for registering the mortgage in the usual registers (civil-law notary).
The costs for the valuation/appraisal provided by an independent surveyor
The bank guarantee costs (if applicable)
The costs for a structural survey (if applicable)

Costs related to a ‘VON’ purchase

The costs for a real estate agent (if applicable)
The fee of Expat Mortgages
The National Mortgage Guarantee costs (if applicable)
The costs for registering the mortgage in the usual registers (civil-law notary).
The costs for the valuation/appraisal provided by an independent Surveyor (if applicable)
The bank guarantee costs (if applicable)
The costs for a structural survey (if applicable)

Am I allowed to make extra repayments?

Yes, you can make extra repayments. With most providers up to 10% of the original principal per year. Other windows to repay extra without fines:
– End of the locked term on interest; you can repay as much as you like (or refinance without penalty)
– When selling you need to repay the outstanding principal
Depending on the locked term on interest, fines could occur when repaying more than the allowed amount.


If I have the 30% ruling can I borrow more?

Sometimes it is possible to get a little larger mortgage that is linked to the length of your 30% ruling. This should be best discussed with your mortgage advisor to compare the advantages and disadvantages of using that option.

Can I include funds for renovation in my mortgage application?

Yes, you can. How much will depend on your income situation in combination with the value of the property after renovations.

Why do I need a valuation report?

What is a structural survey?

What is a 10% bank guarantee?


How long does the mortgage application process take?

On average 4 weeks from application to final approval.

Can I rent out my property when it’s mortgaged?

Only with the written consent of the mortgage provider. In general mortgage, providers will be reluctant to grant permission because it weakens their legal position in a default (foreclosure) situation. Please always discuss this option with your mortgage provider, so that we can consider lenders that have buy-to-let option in their portfolio.

Can I receive some tax relief (rebate)?

If you pay interest on a loan that relates to your main residence, you’re eligible for a tax rebate. Usually, mortgage interest is repaid on a monthly basis. For that reason, it is useful if you can also receive your tax benefit monthly. The balance between your mortgage expenses and the tax rebate becomes your net monthly payment.

Expat Mortgages organizes the provisional tax refund for its clients free of charge for the first two years after obtaining the mortgage.

Watch our short explanation on the tax rebate