Preparing for a baby birth : What should you put into the hospital bag?

Whether you are planning to give birth at home or at the hospital, it is always good to be prepared with the hospital bag well in advance. Wherever you give birth, keep in mind you may have to go to the hospital. It is important to have necessary items in the bag for yourself, your baby and your partner. There is always a question, what should we pack for the hospital and that leads to the last minute confusions. Do not worry, we have made a handy checklist for you. The list will give you a good idea of what to bring to the hospital.

When do you start packing the bag?

The labor can start anytime after 37th week of pregnancy. So our advice is to start packing around 34th week so that the bag is ready with essential items before the labor starts. With this you have enough time that you do not forget those cute little clothes you bought for the baby.
No stress of rushing to find all the things together and forgetting half of the things will not happen. Preparing early gives you a peace of mind and let you focus on what is important : bringing your baby into this new world.

Finally Checklist

You probably have a lot on your mind right now on what to pack and what not. Here is our handy checklist with all the tips that will help you to pack better.

Documents

The most important to pack are the documents. Do not forget them at the last moment.

  • Hospital Card : Patient id card for hospital (If you going to this hospital for the first time, you will need to be in line to get the hospital card or you can do it in advance by visiting the hospital)
  • ID card (can be your resident permit or Dutch driving license or a passport)
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Birth plan (not necessary, only if you have one)

During the delivery

  • A comfortable long gown/night gown or Tshirt (upto the length of knee)
  • A bottle of water
  • distraction for you (a magazine, books, songs on smartphones whatever interests you)
  • an elastic band to tie your hair
  • Something to eat or drink

After the Delivery (for yourself)

  • Toiletries
  • Underwear and a bra (some people prefer a nursing bra, some do not prefer to wear a bra right away, its upto you)
  • Bath slippers and a bathrobe or a bath towel
  • Clean clothes or another pair of night gown (whatever you feel is comfortable)
  • A phone and Charger or a Camera (you can click the photos during and after delivery)
  • Coins for getting the wheelchair
  • plastic bag for your dirty clothes
  • Nipple shield if the baby is not latching properly for breastfeed
  • Food and drink
  • Warm socks or a shawl (only if you feel very cold)

After the Delivery (for the baby)

  • 2 pair of romper (very important to take it to hospital) – Size 50/56
  • 2 pair of full body suit for the baby is a quick choice instead of a separate top and bottom – Size 50/56
  • socks and hat – Size 50/56
  • A blanket to keep the baby warm
  • A baby car seat so you can take your baby home safely

For Partner

  • Toiletries
  • Loose or comfortable clothing
  • Towel or wash clothes
  • Book or laptop or tablet or smartphone to keep you busy
  • Snacks and drinks

What will you already get at the hospital ?

There are few essential items which are already there at the hospital. You do not have to keep them in the bag at all. These includes :

  • Diapers and wipes. Also available in delivery room as well as your room
  • Warm bottles to keep the baby warm in the baby bed
  • Bandages for yourself etc.
  • Hospital grade pump if needed
  • Formula milk if needed

Pregnancy is a wonderful time. Despite the many to-do’s and don’ts, you should enjoy it and not let yourself be stressed. With a good organization you can perform all important tasks and you have enough time to look forward to the arrival of your child. Good luck !

Tips for inburgering exams

With the news making rounds that the difficulty level of the inburgering exams may be increased from A2 to B1 in 2021, almost everyone is scrambling to complete the exams as soon as possible. And rightly so! If you can do something in A2 level, why would you want to wait till it gets to B1 level?

So, here I am to give you some tips for the Writing and Speaking inburgering exams in A2 level

Writing (Schrijven):

  • Writing exam is on paper unlike other exams (on the computer). If you are like me and think you don’t have a great handwriting, do your practice on paper rather than on the computer.
  • During your preparation, time yourself – this will help you get used to the time pressure in the exam.
  • What do they evaluate in your answers? This is called the assessment model (Beoordelingsmodel). Adequacy is the most important thing they evaluate in the exam. You can see the full assessment model in the duo website. If adequacy is not good, other things don’t matter at all (doesn’t matter if you write grammatically correct sentences that do not answer the question):
    • Write atleast 3 sentences for each exercise (opdracht), but keep it precise (not more/not less)
    • Write about everything that is asked; do not miss any point asked in the opdracht
  • During the exam, usually there is one question where you need to fill-in a form. Many people consider this the easiest because you just need to fill-in your personal details (you do remember your name, phone number, email address 😊 don’t you?). As this exam is on paper, you have your entire question paper with you – you can start in any order. Start your exam with this question because it is a great confidence booster!
  • Write short sentences as much as possible.
  • Use more of Hoofdzin (Independent sentence) and less bijzin (sentence which is dependent on the hoofdzin) as much as possible. This will avoid mistakes related to word order.
  • Usage of conjunctions (voegwoorden) gives you extra points. Use conjunctions like (en, of, want, maar, dus) rather than conjunctions like (omdat, als etc). You use the first set of conjunctions between two hoofdzins and you use the second set of conjunctions between a hoofdzin and a bijzin (This is more difficult and a possibility for mistakes related to word order).
  • Check Articles (de/het) of all words. Tip: In Dutch, majority of the words are ‘de’ words. So, when in doubt, simply use ‘de’ and the probability that it is correct is higher 😊. ‘Diminutief’ is a noun ending with -je, -tje, -mpje, -pje, -etje. These are always ‘het’ words.
  • If they mention the number of sentences in the opdracht – try and stick to it.
  • Use appropriate beginnings/endings. (Greetings – Beste, Hallo etc) and (Salutations – Met vriendelijke groet, Groetjes etc)
  • When asked, do not miss even dates and signatures – you might be wondering how this is important in a language exam, but it is about adequacy.
  • In forms to fill-in, pay attention to: [Voornaam (First Name)] (vs) [Voorletters (Initials)]. This is an easy mistake to avoid!
  • In forms to fill-in, strike through the wrong one and circle the correct one: [M (Man)] (vs) [V (Vrouw)]
  • Check eenvoud (singular)/meervoud (plural) of all words that you write. This is a common mistake that we tend to make when learning!
  • Check Tenses (present/past) of all words.
  • Write with enough space between words/lines so that there is space to make corrections if required. Again, this is useful for people like me who write something promptly and get fresh ideas later 😊 – then it is hard to fit them in if there is no space. Remember, you cannot erase (you should write with a pen and not a pencil).

Speaking (Spreken):

Before you start your exam; don’t worry!
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
  • The assessment model (Beoordelingsmodel) for speaking is also in the above-mentioned duo website. Again, Adequacy is the most important thing they evaluate in the exam:
    • Keep it precise (not more/not less) but answer accurately; make sure it is an answer to the question and not something random
    • Speak about everything that is asked; don’t miss any point from the question
  • Try and keep the Dutch pronunciation of words which are common in English as well (Ex: goed vs good; water vs water etc)
  • Avoid repetition/stammering/re-forming the sentences; re-record if time permits
  • Try and avoid long pauses between words; re-record if time permits
  • Do not worry about an accent – it is acceptable to have a foreign accent
  • Other tips (related to grammar) mentioned for Writing are also applicable for Speaking.
After you finish your exam and following the tips 😊
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Here are some common topics to prepare:

During your preparation, think of the below topics and come up with example (simple) answers. If you get a similar question in the exam, you shouldn’t be searching for ideas at that time. This will help you for both Writing and Speaking exams:

  • About your favorite restaurant
  • About your favorite dish/fruit/vegetable
  • What did you do in the weekend?
  • About your favorite city
  • About your last vacation
  • About the weather
  • About your favorite activity to stay healthy
  • About your house/job/family/city/country
  • About your hobby
  • Introduce yourself
  • Describe your problem to the doctor
  • Describe the route to your house

Good luck with your exams!

I learnt most of these tips during my preparation and some of them from my experience of the exams. Hope you find them useful!

Leave a comment if you have a question. Hit the Like button if you liked the article!

How to Schedule a First Dental Visit in the Netherlands?

Well said: ‘Life is short. Smile when you still have teeth’. And, if you don’t have them, do not worry! The dentist can rebuild your smile and confidence back again. So, now you can say, though life is short, yet we can make it happier, healthier and grand.

Your mouth reflects your awareness about healthy eating and cleaning habits. Remember my friends that you are working everyday hard to eat deliciously good food and relish every bit of your meals. And all this is made possible by your teeth and supporting structures of the oral cavity. Is it not your duty to provide a simple careful concern to keep them bacteria free? Save your pennies by consulting a dentist at an early stage when prevention could be possible or else you may end up draining your pockets paying for expensive dental treatments later. So, call your dentist and arrange your first dental visit before it hurts too much.

Unrecognizable crop dentist in latex gloves examining teeth of patient in clinic
Source: pexels.com

Try to  control the number of harmful microbes in your mouth by brushing twice a day, flossing or using interdental brushes. Because increased oral bacterial load might push microbes to your digestive or respiratory tract if not taken an active care of. Also let me tell you that your baby’s milk teeth are as important as the permanent ones. It’s a misnomer that they will fall out soon so need not to be worry about. If milk teeth are ignored then how can you expect the permanent teeth to be perfect? They will either pop out of place or may have malformed enamel( white or brown spots on successor teeth). Be a proactive parent, don’t be among ones who bring their kid when they notice an oral swelling or pus discharge.

toddler boy in highchair
Source: unsplash.com

If you experience sleepless night due to agonizing toothache in the Netherlands, try to reach out to the registered dentists (called ‘tandart/ tandartsen’ in Dutch) as soon as possible. Dutch dentists(KNMT affiliated) are experts not only in sense of work expertise, but also in delivering an atmosphere of ease and comfort in communication and understanding their patient’s health. Moreover, standard dental hygiene and sterilization protocols are adopted strictly in every practice for your safety. Find out how to schedule a first dental visit.

woman in black tank top holding white textile
Source: unsplash.com

First time visit to Dentist?

You can look for the dentist that is accessible from your home or work and book an appointment on call or online by sharing a few details for registration like name, date of birth, address and BSN number(citizen service number). Tandarts.nl allows you to find the best dentist based on your search requirements by distance, specializations or review ratings of patients. Searching for a dentist by zip code also makes it easy to access a nearby practice. For the first appointment, a dental practice books you as an ‘intake’ during which they examine your mouth and make digital diagnostic x- rays/ pictures( bite wings). Then, discuss the necessary treatments and their cost with their patients.

woman holding medical tool on person's mouth
Source: unsplash.com

What do you need to carry while going to a dentist?

Carry your insurance card and a valid identity proof (just in case if asked for) when walking to the practice for the first time. On arrival, you are requested to fill a consent form and medical history. And now during Covid-19, dental staff asks you to wear a mouth/nose mask and lets you rinse your mouth with 1% Hydrogen peroxide for 1 minute. Find out how safe is it to visit a dentist during the pandemic. Usually the practices forward you the invoice letter by post within 2 weeks and you get definite period of time to make necessary payments.

  • Dental Insurance

A compulsory basic health insurance(basisverzekering) does not cover a few treatments and dental costs so you can choose optional supplemental insurance plans(aanvullende verzekering) as per your requirements. The dental insurance packages usually cover 100% reimbursement of your dental costs up to 250 euros yearly for consultations(controle), fillings, Extraction of teeth( extractie), Anesthetics(Anesthetica), dental surgeries(tandheelkundige ingrepen), pictures and cleanings(Mondhygeine) and 75% for other dental treatment. The good news is for children under 18 years whose general dental treatment costs are covered under Dutch basic health insurance and there is no deductible(www.zorgwijzer.nl). The allowances for children and young adults below 18 years of age include:

  • Gum treatments(tandvlees behandeling)
  • Fillings or restorations( Vullingen)
  • Treatment of jaw disorders(Behandeling van kaakaandoeningen) except implants( implantaten)
  • Surgical dental treatment(chirurgische tandheelkundige behandeling)
  • Removable prosthetic device
  • Root canal treatment(wortelkanaalbehandeling)
  • Occasional consultations(consultaties)

However orthodontics, crowns and bridges, implants, partial dentures and external bleaching for children are not covered by the basic insurance. Most expats opt international health insurance companies like Allianz Care and Cigna Global that provide dental coverage as well. Orthodontic treatment (teeth alignment using braces or aligners) lasts for 2-3 years and may cost upto 2k-3k euros, so it’s advisable to take additional insurance to claim reimbursement.Out of almost 60 insurance companies, Achmea is one of the most distinguished market leader with around 5 million insurance parties. It is an umbrella organization with many insurance companies like Zilveren Kruis(mostly chosen by expats).

Cost of dental treatments

Although the dental clinics in The Netherlands are privatized, the prices of dental services are regulated by government or Dutch Health Authority (NZa/De Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit) , so you cannot expect any negotiation, as the cost of each procedure is pre-defined and reasonably fixed( though sound justifiably too overpriced for expats). For comparing the rates you can visit dental rates 2020. The plan for costs of dental services changes once yearly as of 2020 came into effect on 1st January and will expire on 1st January 2021.

List of emergency dental clinics in the Netherlands

red and white massage chair
Source: unsplash.com

Not all dental clinics provide 24/7 services but few of them enlisted here provide round’ O clock treatment hours.

  • Lassus Tandartsen in 3 locations in Amsterdam is an expat oriented practice.
  • Opening hours- 7 days a week with special evening hours( including public holidays). 
  • Dental365 in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam. Tandartsen Post 010 in in Erasmus MC (managed by the chain of Dental365 network) delivers first aid( Immediate relief for toothache) in Rotterdam.
  • Mondzorg Poli in Amsterdam and Utrecht. 
  • In Nijmegen, Villa Westhof Dental Surgery 
  • At the OLVG Hospital, Tandarts Spoed Praktijk is collaboration of dental team, pharmacy, general practitioners, emergency services, and dental surgeons. 
  • The International Health Centre of The Hague offers emergency services during weekends and holidays but treatment is requested to be paid in cash; a premium on the regular dental rates applies. 
  • If you are not satisfied with any of the dental services or you develop a sense of doubt on treatment, budget, bill or the dentist, you can simply send your query to TIP( Dental information point) or even file a complaint if needed. Questions about the reimbursement can only be enquired from your health insurers. 

Steps involved in buying a home in the Netherlands

Hey “An almost proud owner of a home” 😊. Good to see you here! This blog is to explain the steps involved in buying an existing property in the Netherlands. If you are still thinking if you should buy a property or not, do check out my other blog which explains why you should buy with a mathematical example.

So, here we go:

  1. Deciding on the type of property: Do you want an apartment or a house away from the city center or a house in a historical city center? Are you someone who loves gardening? Then maybe you want a house with a garden. Are you someone who loves the waterside? Then, maybe you are looking for canal house. Different people have different wishes – when I say different, I also mean wife and husband 😊. Decide together on what exactly are your wishes. Believe me, this takes more time than you can imagine, so start early!!!! I suggest start looking for properties in your area even if you have no intention to buy that house. This will give you an idea on the different types of properties available and will also give you a clarity on what you don’t want (let’s be honest, when you visit a house, you will mostly spot things which you don’t like – that’s just how our mind works).
  1. Deciding on a neighborhood (buurt): Deciding a city/town where you want to live is one thing. Then you also need to decide on a neighborhood you would like to live. Do you want to live in lively neighborhood bustling with shops/cafes or would you rather live in a quiet neighborhood near a park/lake? Do you perhaps want to live in an area where there is a (international) school? Or something close to public transport? This website shows the liveability of your area. Many cities/towns also have their own websites. Just Google for your city name+ buurtmonitor for information about your city.
  1. Determine your budget: You would most likely need a loan to purchase a house (unless of course you are super rich). So, how much can you borrow from a mortgage lender? This depends mainly on your income and a few other factors. You can make a free first appointment with most mortgage lenders and they will give you an estimate of how much you can borrow. But this can take a lot of time if you have to visit 2 or more mortgage lenders and it will also be difficult to compare them. This is where a Mortgage advisor (hypotheek adviseur) plays a role. The Mortgage advisor can give you quotations from multiple mortgage lenders and also compares them for you. A mortgage (hypotheek) is formally arranged after you have signed the preliminary purchase agreement. However, it is important to make sure you have already investigated your mortgage options and budget.
  1. Looking for a property: You can start looking for a property yourself by using websites like funda, pararius etc. or you can engage a real estate agent (makelaar). Now, you might have a question as to why you should engage a makelaar when you could do it yourself for free? There are some advantages of engaging a makelaar for a fee (there is no such thing as a free lunch 😊):
    • they have early or sometimes even exclusive access to houses which are going on sale.
    • they know the local market and help with negotiation and or the bidding process.

Makelaars have different payment models. Some of them charge a variable fee (% of the house value), some of them charge based on the number of properties you visit before you make a decision and some of them charge you a fixed fee. Do explore your options and agree with them on a payment model before engaging them.

  1. Zero-down on a property: This is of course the most important step. You find a property which you like. Now, what are the things to keep in mind?
    • How do you know if the seller is quoting a fair price for the house? For a small fee, you can get the recent property sale prices per address from kadaster. This gives you an idea about how the asking price of the house compares to recent sales in the neighborhood.
    • Check if the property has ground lease rent or leasehold (erfpacht): In cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht, it is common to find houses with a leasehold – meaning, you don’t own the land on which the house is built, instead you pay a lease amount (erfpachtcanon) to the owner of the land. There can be municipal leasehold or private leasehold. If the property you are interested in is a leasehold property, the seller must inform you about this.
    • Structural survey: You would want to know what the state of the property is before you buy it. Not all faults might be visible to the naked eye. This is where a Structural or Technical survey can help. An independent surveyor can do an assessment of the property and provide you with a detailed report and an estimate of how much repair costs might be (if any).
  1. Bidding and making an offer: It is time to negotiate or bid and make an offer. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate on the asking price. In an ideal word, you wouldn’t want to pay more than the asking price. But with the current demand-supply situation in the Netherlands, there are often multiple prospective buyers for any property. This simply means the highest bidder will be chosen by the seller. Your makelaar can help you decide what is the right amount to bid. When placing a bid, keep in mind that the mortgage lender will give you a loan only for a certain amount. This amount depends on the taxatierapport (explained later).
  1. Sign the purchase agreement: Yay!!! Your bid has been accepted. Finally, things are starting to fall in place 😊 The seller’s makelaar usually prepares the preliminary purchase agreement (koopovereenkomst). It is called preliminary because this is not the formal handover of the property to you (this happens later through a Notary). Make sure the following are covered before you sign it:
    • financing clause: simply means that if you cannot get your mortgage approved, you can withdraw without any penalty
    • structural survey clause: if you are not happy with the Structural survey results, you can withdraw without any penalty
    • The date of transfer of ownership: this is the actual date of the formal handover at the Notary (just can’t wait for this date……😊). Make sure you have enough time between now and the date of transfer of ownership so that you can approach a mortgage lender and arrange your funds.

You will need to pay 10% of the agreed price to the seller’s notary when you sign the purchase agreement. This serves as a deposit. You can get a bank guarantee (waarborgsom) for this if you cannot arrange the funds yourself.

From this point on, the timer has started (tick, tick, tick………).

  1. Valuation report (taxatierapport): This is an appraisal of the property done by an independent valuer (taxateur). You will need this report to approach a mortgage lender for a loan. In 2020, the mortgage lender can offer you a maximum mortgage of 100% of the value on this taxatierapport (not on the asking price or your bid price). The validation institute  NWWI must have validated the report.
  1. Preparing your mortgage application: Reach out to your mortgage advisor/mortgage lender for a loan with all the required documentation (includes your income details, taxatierapport etc). You will be informed of the outcome (hopefully approval 😊) in a few weeks. You can avail tax deductions on the interest paid (hypotheekrenteaftrek). During your mortgage application process, your lender will inform you about the mandatory insurances you need to take.
Photo by Precondo CA on Unsplash
  1. At the notary (notaris): The big day has arrived! This is the day you are formally going to be the owner of the property. The makelaar and the mortgage advisor usually accompany you (so you have some men behind you 😉). If you don’t speak/understand Dutch, you will also need a translator. Arrange for a translator prior to your appointment with the notary. In my case, I felt like I had an army behind me 😊 (makelaar, mortgage advisor, translator, my wife and myself). Fun fact: Usually notary deals in the Netherlands happen either on the 1st or the 15th of a month. So, these 2 days are extremely busy for makelaars and translators. What exactly happens at the notary:
    • First, you and the seller sign the Deed of Transfer (Leveringsakte) and the seller hands-over the keys to you (Photo moment 😊). This deed explains about transfer of ownership, the agreed purchase price and other details.
    • Then you sign the Mortgage Deed (Hypotheekakte). This deed explains the agreement between you and the mortgage lender, the amount of loan given to you etc.
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com
  1. In your home: Welcome home 😊. By far, the most exciting step!!! You have made it this far by going through a hell lot of paperwork (mostly in Dutch)! Don’t forget to pop a champagne and celebrate!
  1. Arranging your utilities: You have to arrange providers for your utilities like electricity, gas, water. You might want to check out this blog about how to choose a Utilities provider.

Costs involved (buyer’s costs usually amount to around 6% of the purchase price) and can include:

  • Transfer tax (Overdrachtsbelasting): This is the transfer tax that you as a buyer pay when you purchase an existing property (bestaande woning). Current situation is that you pay 2% of the purchase price. Starting 2021, this will be zero for first-time buyers under the age of 35. You can read all about it here (in Dutch)
  • The costs of your makelaar (if applicable) [around 1.5% of the purchase price]
  • The fee of your Mortgage advisor [around 3000 Euro to 4000 Euro]
  • (or)
  • The Mortgage processing fee of the lender (if applicable) [around 1000 Euro to 1500 Euro].
  • Notary costs [around 1000 Euro to 2000 Euro]
  • Valuation (Taxatierapport) costs [around 300 Euro to 800 Euro]
  • The bank guarantee costs (if applicable) [around 1% of the guarantee amount]
  • The costs of a structural survey (Bouwkundige Keuring) (if applicable) [around 300 Euro to 800 Euro]
  • Translator fee (if applicable) [around 200 Euro]
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some of these costs (Notary cost, Valuation cost, Mortgage advisor cost) are tax deductible. So, all is not over….you get back something too!

Personally, I felt a sense of accomplishment after I bought my home. It is a long process to buy a home but well worth investing your time and effort! Good luck!

The explanation mentioned here is purely from my own experience. It is not to be taken as professional advice.

Leave a comment if you have a question. Hit the Like button if you liked the article!

Why should you consider buying a home in the Netherlands

You’ve been living in the Netherlands for a few years now and you have started to think long term. How about buying a property in the Netherlands? It sounds simple, but it is not an easy decision to make! But it can be beneficial to you. Let me explain how.

Renting vs buying: For most of us expats, in the beginning renting is an obvious choice. But a question you need to ask yourself is: How long do you intend to stay in the Netherlands? If the answer is anything more than 3 years, then you should consider buying instead of renting. Let’s take a layman’s example: For an 70 m2 apartment outside the city center (centrum), you typically pay a rent between 1000 Euros to 1500 Euros per month (sorry, need to exclude you Amsterdam as you are too expensive for this example) depending on the city you live in. Best case scenario, 1000 Euros per month, that is a whopping 36,000 Euros for 3 years – this is money you are throwing-away – you will never get this money back. On the other hand, if you buy the same apartment worth about 350,000 Euros (again, you won’t get it for this price in Amsterdam, but in a smaller city perhaps), you would pay a monthly amount to the bank (via a mortgage). And guess what, the monthly amount will look very similar to your monthly rent and in many cases, even cheaper than your monthly rent. There are different types of mortgages available, but in most cases, your monthly amount will have a principal component and an interest component. The interest component is the throw-away part but the principal component is actually your investment. You will get this back in the form of your house in a few years. While you are still paying the 36,000 Euros out of your pocket in a period of 3 years, only the interest component of this is throw-away and the rest is yours. Oh, another thing – the interest is tax deductible, so you get back some money from the belastingdienst (Dutch tax authority). Yippie! 😊

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Now, let’s say you want to move out of the Netherlands (why-o-why do you want to do that!!! but anyways…..) after 3 years of buying your house. Don’t worry, you have options – you can either rent it out (if you have an outstanding mortgage, you need permission from your bank) or sell it. If the housing market has crashed and your apartment is worth only 330,000 Euros now (worst case scenario) and you still have an outstanding mortgage of 314,000 Euros (350,000 minus 36,000) with the bank. When you sell the apartment, the bank takes the outstanding balance (314,000 Euros) and gives you the rest 16,000 Euros (330,000 minus 314,000). So, you would have paid a net amount of 20,000 Euros over a period of 3 years (36,000 minus 16,000). Despite the market crash, this is still better than the 36,000 Euros you would have thrown-away in case of renting! I have not elaborated on other scenarios like renting it out and I don’t have to show you the numbers if the house prices have appreciated – it will only be more beneficial to you!

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Phew!!! We did some number crunching, but in the end, even a market crash did not impact you so badly… so that’s a relief indeed. I am not a finance guy, so the example taken here is a simple one with a worst-case scenario. If you look at the actual mortgage formulae, the calculations are more complex, but the idea is the same! I have excluded Amsterdam for this example, but the calculations will look similar even for Amsterdam (just append an extra zero to every number you see here 😉)

If you have read the article till here, I am convinced that you are convinced to buy instead of rent 😊

If you need more reasons to buy, here are a couple:

  1. All-time low interest rates – the mortgage interest rates are going down and down and down and doooooown. They are in search of that zero, I guess!
  2. If you are turning 35 in 2021 or later, this is for you 😊. Overdrachtsbelasting is the transfer tax that you as a buyer pay when you purchase an existing property (bestaande woning). Current situation is that you pay 2% of the purchase price. Starting 2021, this will be zero for first-time buyers under the age of 35. The Dutch government wants to encourage young first-time buyers. This can be a substantial saving. You can read all about it here (in Dutch). Overdrachtsbelasting is not applicable if you buy a newly built property (nieuwbouw)

Check out my next blog on the steps to buy an existing property.

The examples and explanation mentioned here are purely from my own experience. The examples are not to be taken as professional advice.

Leave a comment if you have a question. Hit the Like button if you liked the article!