How long it will take you to find a nice place to live and how much that place will cost, depends on what you are looking for in the Arnhem - Nijmegen - Foodvalley area. By being clear on what you want and need, as well as what you can do without, you might just get precisely what you are looking for. Let us tell you what you need to know.
What are my options?
Are you looking for a single room, a studio, an apartment, a terraced house or a (semi-)detached house? Do you want it to be furnished or unfurnished, with or without curtains and carpets? The location matters too, of course: where you live has a significant influence on how much bang you get for your buck. A spacious, well-maintained house is much more affordable if it is situated somewhat remotely. We would advise you to think carefully about what's most important to you. If you want to live in the centre of town and don't need a lot of space; look for a smaller apartment that provides you with everything you need but is near to the buzz and excitement of the city. If you want a bit more space and like the peace and quiet, an accommodation that is in a more remote area, but still provides you with an easy journey to your work is what you need. These are obviously only two simple examples; you can fine-tune all you like! It's all about making the right choices for you.
Renting a house in the Netherlands
If you are staying in the region only temporarily, renting a place is the most obvious way to go. Rooms, studios, apartments and houses can be rented furnished or semi-furnished from private landlords, agencies, certain estate agents and social housing associations.
Renting in the private sector
As with most things, the web is your friend! Most of the accommodations that are available in the private rental sector, can be found through property portals. These portals allow you to select a budget, location, facilities and other conditions, so you can search for a space that’s a perfect fit for you! A few good ones that are in English:
After you have found what you're looking for, you will usually have to pay these portals to get access to information relating to the actual viewing of the accommodation and the contact details of the person or organisation in charge of the letting. Because of the high population density in the Netherlands, accommodations are much sought-after, which means that you should try to act quickly if you have found something you like. Get in touch with the contact person and ask for details regarding dates and the paperwork you’ll need to provide, so that you’re an appealing potential tenant to them.
It is difficult to provide a general figure with regards to how much accommodation will cost; the rental prices can vary considerably, depending on what you are looking for. It might cost you anything from €350 to €2.500 a month.
Social housing accommodations are often the cheapest in the country, but the waiting lists are long, expats often don’t qualify and there is strict maximum yearly income you need to adhere to. The website of the social housing association of Arnhem and Nijmegen, entree.nu, is a good place to start looking for social housing accommodations in the area.
If you are experiencing issues with your landlord while renting an accommodation in the Netherlands, the Rent Tribunal (‘huurcommissie’ in Dutch) is there to help! This organisation is impartial and aids tenants as well as landlords if a dispute over rental prices arises. If needs be, it will issue a ruling on the price. This decision is then final and will have to be adhered to by both parties. For more information on the Rent Tribunal, check out the English part of its website.
Rental agencies can be a real help in your quest for a nice rental accommodation. Their knowledge of the rental market and the surroundings, relations with landlords and expertise when it comes to the finer details, can save you a lot of hassle. Below, we have provided you with overviews of rental agencies in the Arnhem – Nijmegen – Foodvalley area:
Good to know:
- Usually a landlord, letting agency or similar will require a deposit before you start renting their accommodation. The deposit often amounts to one or two months’ rent. When you move out of your accommodation you will get your deposit paid back if you leave the place nice and tidy.
- Everyone who lives in the Netherlands has to register at the municipality they live in. Do NOT forget to do this when you’ve found a place to live!
- Keep a close eye on the rental price of your accommodation and whether the utilities are included or not. This way, you’ll avoid unpleasant (financial) surprises.
Purchasing a house in the Netherlands
In general, buying a house is only cost-efficient if you are planning to stay in the Netherlands for at least three years. If you are staying for a while, there are a few upsides to owning a house: you have full control over the property and can really make it your own; there are certain tax incentives; it could be a smart investment; and it might give you a sense of stability and security.
Most residential properties sold in the Netherlands are sold by estate agents who are members of trade association NVM. The properties they currently have for sale are available on Funda.
Unless you are extraordinarily wealthy, chances are you are going to need a mortgage to buy a house. This is something a mortgage advisor/broker (‘hypotheekadviseur’ in Dutch) can help you with. Although a mortgage advisor will charge a significant fee, they can also help you out in a meaningful way, as financing the purchase of a house is a process that requires quite a bit of thought, a lot of admin and calculation. Of course, meeting with a mortgage advisor is not obligatory, but it is an option that most people use and with good reason. The first consultation with a mortgage broker is usually free of charge, so this could be a great of getting to know how much you have to spend on a house. The one-time costs for taking out a mortgage are usually around €2000. Please note this has nothing to do with your monthly mortgage payments.
Whereas a mortgage advisor helps you with financing your future home, an estate agent is concerned with the buying and selling of houses, as well as with the negotiations surrounding these transactions. They can also help with the hunt for your dream home. While nearly everyone in the Netherlands will go to a mortgage advisor, the use of an estate agent is slightly more optional: it’s still very common, but you could go without one and contact the current owners of your potential future house directly. There are some significant advantages to using an estate agent, however. They are familiar with the local housing market, for instance, and can therefore help you find a house, as well as give you a good idea of what a reasonable price might be. They are also experienced negotiators, which can be really helpful if negotiation is not something you’re great at. They usually charge between 1% and 2% of the selling price of the house.
Do you want to know more about the ins and outs of buying a house in the Netherlands? IamExpat has a great dedicated page that can help you.
Provisions for expats
If your company has asked you to relocate to the region, it might be able to help you find a home. Radboud University Nijmegen and Wageningen University and Research, for example, have built on-campus guesthouses for their foreign employees (researchers, professors and others) with apartments that are suitable for one or more persons.
Another way of getting the place you need, is getting in contact with other expats that have moved to the area. This is, of course, also a great way of making new friends and finding people who can help you out by sharing their experiences with Dutch culture, authorities and landlords, for instance. Expat Meetups gives you the possibility to connect with groups of expats in Arnhem, Nijmegen and Wageningen.