Buying a house in Holland 4

Mortgage criteria

Buying a house in Holland 4

It is very noticeable that many lenders have changed their criteria for providing mortgages to foreign nationals. And, these are for the worse. Here, therefore, are some of the institutions with whom we currently arrange mortgages and their current criteria.

Firstly, however, you should understand the law with regards to residency permits (verblijfsvergunningen).

In principle anybody coming to live in The Netherlands from an EU country is no longer required to apply for a residency permit. Having said that, since many institutions still insist on seeing a residency permit before they will do business with you, it is as well to apply for one anyway.

There are now only two types of permit - Permanent or temporary. If you are from an EU country you will be issued with a permanent permit. But there may be restrictions attached. If you are a non-working spouse your permit could be dependent on your working partner remaining in the country. If you are here on a short term working contract then your permit could be restricted to the term of your employment.

Citizens of non-EU countries will be issued temporary permits until they have been in the country for 5 years when they have a right to a permanent permit.

Most lenders will give you a full mortgage (i.e. 125% of the foreclosure value of the property) if you have been in the country for 5 years AND if you have a permanent residency permit without restrictions. Anything less and the maximum you can hope for is 100% of the foreclosure value.

For EU The exceptions are Florius (formerly Bouwfonds) and Hypotrust both of whom will give you a full mortgage so long as you can demonstrate that you have a permanent contract of employment.

Aegon, Avero, Fortis, AMEV, Delta Lloyd and Bank of Scotland require evidence of 3 years residency even for EU citizens.

Temporary permit holders will have difficulties with everybody though, the longer you have been here the easier it becomes. Plus we have now discovered a lender who will provide a full mortgage for non-EU citizens who have been here less than 5 years. The terms are not great but you will get your mortgage!

In ALL cases you must be in full-time permanent employment. This means that your employer MUST state that you already have a permanent employment contract or that they intend to issue a permanent contract when your current temporary one expires.

If you are self employed you MUST – in all cases – be able to produce accounts showing a minimum of 3 years earnings at the level required to support the mortgage for which you are applying as well as, of course, having the applicable residency permit.

Employees of the major multinationals, (SHELL, BP, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, etc.) may have a so-called “tax equalisation” contract so you may not be aware of how much tax is being paid on your behalf. Again, therefore, you need to know your GROSS salary when applying for a mortgage.

Having said all of that, we have arranged full mortgages for clients who have been in the country for less than a year and who do not have a residency permit. Whether or not you fulfil all the usual criteria give us a call!

One serious constraint for all lenders is if you have a debt registered at the central credit register (BKR) in Tiel. This can be as innocuous as a credit limit on your credit card or as serious as a previous bad debt whereby your credit rating has been damaged. It is, therefore, very important that we know full details of such debts as in most cases we can circumvent the problem.

Peter Gibney is a consultant with Strategies based in Dordrecht. Strategies are a fully licensed insurance broker/financial advisor specialising in the expatriate market. Any questions arising from this series of articles or other none related matters may be directed to Peter on {phone} 078 844 0879 or {fax} 084 751 2944 or {e-mail}

This article has been submitted by Peter Gibney

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