Tips on finding a house
Finding your ideal house or apartment in The Hague comes with its challenges, but planning ahead can get you your keys faster. It all starts with researching the options and understanding the local property market. It’s often worthwhile to involve the professional help of an estate agent or relocation agent, but you can also do the searching yourself. These tips give you an idea of what to expect and ensure the process is as smooth as possible.
Embrace the Challenge
With its strong job market and excellent quality of life, The Hague is a popular location, so demand for housing is high. Prepare to invest some time in house-hunting, and be sure to react quickly if you’re offered a viewing. Some international residents find that they need to compromise on their initial expectations, such as overall square footage, the number of bathrooms, outdoor space, etc. But the vibrancy of the city and ease of getting around more than make up for this.
Consider Short-Stay Accommodation
Signing a rental agreement or making an offer to buy a home can take some time. Most internationals who are new to the Netherlands make the process easier by opting for short-term accommodation first. This provides you with a home base to start your search from, and gives you a taste of an area that you might want to live in more permanently. There are plenty of short-stay accommodation providers in The Hague region, and most offer flexible contracts with the ability to pay per night, week or month.
Explore Locations and Neighbourhoods
Getting a sense of the neighbourhoods and areas that best suit your needs is a good place to start. Consider public transport connections, commuting times to schools, and local attractions. Compared with other cities, The Hague is compact in size and abundant with parks, museums, cultural venues, cafés, and sports facilities, so these will be easily accessible by walking or cycling no matter where you live. You should also consider the surrounding cities in The Hague region, such as Delft, Rijswijk and Wassenaar, which offer similar benefits on a smaller scale.
Use Social Networks
Dutch websites Funda and Pararius are most commonly used to find apartments and houses for rent and for sale in the private market, and you can also try RentSlam. However, you can also find housing via social media and even Marktplaats. Just be sure to check the legitimacy of the offer carefully. The following Facebook groups are widely used for finding rental homes:
- The Hague Housing, Rooms, Apartments, Sublets | Facebook
- Woning huren in Den Haag (vraag/aanbod) | Facebook
- Rooms & Houses in The Hague | Facebook
- Expat rental market, The Hague | Facebook
Check the Contract
The most important piece of advice we can give is that scammers actively target internationals in the Netherlands, as with all major cities. Be vigilant about checking contracts and never pay a deposit before you’ve visited the property. You should also be aware of tenants’ rights and know where to turn for assistance, as Dutch laws are in place to protect tenants’ interests.
Calculate the Costs
For renting, and especially for considering buying a home, there are many different financial implications to be aware of. Rental contracts should outline which taxes and maintenance costs the tenant needs to pay, and furniture, appliances, and even flooring may or may not be included. When it comes to buying, you’ll need to consider additional costs, taxes, and Dutch mortgage requirements. Find more information on taxes including property tax and municipal taxes.