If you are planning on staying in Utrecht Region for a longer period of time (around 3-5 years), you may want to consider buying a property as buying normally is cheaper than renting. There are many ways to find a suiting property, for example through estate agents (for a fee), adverts, online property search websites and new building developments.
The housing market in the Netherlands has been constantly changing. It went from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and back to a seller’s market within a period of only 25 years. Buying a property is an expensive investment and it is advisable that you hire professionals (e.g. mortgage advisors or real-estate agents) to help you with the process of buying a property in the Netherlands.
A very common mistake is that internationals will start looking for a property first before investigating the options to finance it. It is strongly advised to turn this around. Get your figures straight and determine your budget before you start looking for a property.
Finding the right mortgage
Many different types of mortgage are available in the Netherlands and the most suitable variant depends largely on your personal circumstances and lifestyle. As with any loan, when you take out a mortgage you will eventually have to repay the initial loan plus the incurred interest. With some mortgage models, you immediately start repayment of the capital while also paying the interest on the initial loan, usually over a long period of time.
How to find a property to buy?
As in most countries, you can find property listings online, and in local newspapers and free property papers. Using a real-estate agent is very common in the Netherlands, and is advisable, particularly for those who are new or not fluent in Dutch. It's common to have both a buyer's agent and a seller's agent, and each will have different roles in the transaction.
Nex to real-estate agents, Funda is the main place to go to online to find an up to date overview of properties to buy. However, keep in mind that most real-estate agents have the new property listings before they appear on funda.