How to buy an apartment or house in Eindhoven
Eindhoven is a popular place to live!
With a thriving economy and plenty of well-paid jobs, Eindhoven is a popular place to live. It has great schools (including an international school), great access to childcare, and a fun, modern vibe.
Although the majority of people who come to Eindhoven are single, skilled workers or couples, people fall in love with this city and often put down roots for the longer-term.
One effect of this popularity is that there is not a lot of housing in Eindhoven available for families looking for a place on the rental market. Most of the larger apartments and houses in Eindhoven are either happily occupied, or are on the market as koopwoningen – houses for sale.
Finding housing in Eindhoven
As the city is so popular, it can be hard to find a place to live. You may be forced to settle for renting an apartment that’s smaller than your ideal size, or in a less-than-ideal location, just so you have somewhere to live. After a while, you might be looking to scale-up your living accommodation.
One option to consider is buying a house or apartment in Eindhoven. This is financially advantageous if you’re going to be living in the city for a few years, but it’s not such a great option for shorter periods due to the initial costs of buying.
Buying a house in Eindhoven can give you the bigger space you need, with the benefit of growing your share of the equity over time. There are additional responsibilities that come with owning property, including additional charges, taxes and the costs of maintenance. However, the price of rent compared with the price of buying is very favorable, and it makes a solid investment possibility.
Thinking of buying a house in Eindhoven?
If you’re thinking of buying a house in Eindhoven, you should start by making a list of what the ‘ideal’ house should consist of.
Think carefully about the location that suits you, the amount of space and rooms you need, and the budget you can afford. Setting realistic goals at the outset will avoid disappointment in the long-run, and help you focus your efforts in the most productive areas.
Another thing to consider is how you feel about the age of the prospective house. Do you prefer the charm of an older building, or a modern structure that is less likely to need repairs, for example? There are many modern housing developments in and around Eindhoven, so there is ample selection in this category.
Why buying an apartment in Eindhoven is smart
Any investment comes with risks, but housing is always useful. While your investment will fluctuate in value over time, an apartment will always have some value because it is inherently in demand. People always need somewhere to live, and the city of Eindhoven is no exception to that.
Indeed, Eindhoven was one of the few areas in the Netherlands to actually experience economic growth in the first quarter of 2021, due to the strength of major employers in the region.
As an expat, you might consider moving to another city or country at some point. If so, you needn’t sell any property you own, unless you want to or have an overwhelming financial reason.
Any outstanding mortgage will need to be paid, of course. One option is to contact your mortgage provider, convert your mortgage to a ‘Buy to Let’ mortgage, and rent the property out to one of the many people who come to Eindhoven to work. This is usually quite straightforward, provided there is no self-occupancy requirement from the municipality, or if you have already been living in it for a number of years (usually three years). If you do decide to sell, a private individual will not normally need to pay capital gains tax.
There are two good reasons why buying an apartment or house in Eindhoven is a smart idea. Firstly, you use your ‘rent payments’ (now mortgage payments) to build-up capital in an investment. Property values have increased most years in Eindhoven, although there was a small slump around 2015-2016, this was short-lived.
The strong demand for housing in Eindhoven translates to robust demand in the property market. This means that your investment will (most likely) increase in value over a long-term timescale. Any real improvements or additions you make to the property will increase the value further.
Secondly, there is a disparity in value-for-money when you compare renting vs. buying. Renting is, on average, about 33% cheaper in Eindhoven than in Amsterdam, but buying is 45% cheaper – meaning your money goes much further when buying than when renting.
Another way to look at this is that there is less competition when you’re buying a house in Eindhoven, compared to when you’re renting. This means that, if you can afford to buy a house, you have more choice.
Indeed, if you check the property listings, you’ll see that there are nearly twice as many houses and apartments for sale in Eindhoven as there are for rent.
How to buy a house or apartment in Eindhoven
So, how do you buy an apartment in Eindhoven? Thankfully, the process for buying a house in the Netherlands is pretty straightforward, and is often managed by professional real estate agents and the Notary (notaris in Dutch), who will guide you through the process. We cover the details in our guide to buying property in the Netherlands, but the basic process works like this:
- Get a Buyer’s Agent, or don’t. It’s not necessary to hire an agent, but if you’re unfamiliar with the process it can help make it run smoothly and avoid expensive errors. When you commit to buying a house you’ll lodge a 10% deposit, which is usually non-refundable, so advice can be useful here.
- Get looking! Check the Funda website and call the agents to arrange a viewing as soon as possible. It takes just 18 days, on average, for a house in Eindhoven to sell – this is the time from listing to the time the contract is signed – so, in practice houses will get offers within days of listing.
- Know your budget and make an offer. Check the documentation for the house, and figure out what it’s worth. A buyer’s agent can help advise on this and potentially negotiate. If you make an offer, be sure to either have a mortgage provisionally arranged, and/or include a financial clause in the offer (‘subject to raising finance’). Also a good idea to put in a clause that makes your offer conditional on a favorable building inspection.
- Sign the Purchase Agreement and pay the deposit.
- Get a mortgage, inspection reports, valuation etc., - your mortgage provider will want an official valuation to ensure they aren’t over-lending. Building inspections can help you to know that there’s no serious problems that were missed. If you need financing to cover the cost of the deposit (bank guarantee) then this also needs arranged. All the fees and costs are your responsibility.
- Sign the Transfer Deed.
- Move in!!!
With the exception of brand-new houses or apartments, where you’re the first owner ever, you can expect to pay all the normal charges plus transfer tax. This is advertised as ‘kosten koper’, meaning that the buyer pays all costs.
What to look for when buying property in Eindhoven
If you decide to buy an apartment in Eindhoven, you should be thorough in your inspections of each house or apartment.
It’s really helpful to just start looking, and make appointments to see a wide range of properties that roughly fit your criteria and budget. The more houses and apartments you visit, the better you will understand the market and the variation in properties. Some may need repairs, and others might be polished and ready to move into immediately. Others might look great in the photos but seem weird in person.
It’s also really helpful to see different arrangements (interior layout) using the same basic surface area. This can help you imagine different possibilities when you look around other apartments and houses and think about renovations that might add value or make it more suitable for you.
Insulation and double-glazed windows will save energy and money, and a good ventilation system is necessary for the health of a building. Check to see these are all in good order.
Many apartments belong to a VvE (Housing Association) that organizes and covers the costs of communal repairs and external maintenance. You need to check that the VvE (if there is one) is in good working order, and that there is sufficient funds in the reserve. You should also check what the monthly VvE payments are, because these can be surprisingly high in some cases.
Older properties (built before 1970) may have wooden foundation poles, and these should be in good condition. If they’re rotting it can amount to a huge cost to replace the foundations with steel and concrete poles. Since 2021, it has been a requirement for all properties for sale to have a funderingslabel that indicates the health of the foundation, but this is not always a great guide for older properties, where problems can emerge suddenly after a dry summer or two.
The state of the foundations is a concern for every property in the Netherlands, but there are some areas where problems are rare. Thankfully, in Eindhoven very few houses indeed are built on wooden poles, but it’s good to know that the funderingslabel allows you to easily check – so check!
The benefits of buying your own house or apartment in Eindhoven
As a home-owner you benefit from a greater sense of stability, and the knowledge that you won’t get evicted if the landlord decides they no longer want to rent out their apartment. Although there are costs associated with buying a house, and ongoing maintenance costs, you will be paying rent to yourself instead of someone else. That feels pretty good.
Buying a house in Eindhoven is a great choice for expats who intend to stick around for a while, and it can help you feel at home and put down roots too.
There’s no guarantee that property prices will continue to rise indefinitely, but you can assume that they will move in line with inflation over the long-term, so you will retain some ‘buying power’ even if the prices drop. Currently, interest rates are still relatively low, so it might be a smart decision if you’re in a position to buy a house of your own!
Last updated: August 23, 2022