ACCESS NL > Housing in the Netherlands > Finding a place to live > What to expect when looking for a place to live?

Finding a place to live

Which neighbourhoods are popular for expats?

Should I buy or rent a house or apartment in the Netherlands?

What are the types of housing in the Netherlands?

What to expect when looking for a place to live?

If you are a newcomer to the Netherlands and you don’t speak Dutch, you may find it difficult to find a home for yourself. Therefore, it is advisable to use the services of a makelaar (real estate agent); visit several agents to get a feel. This applies to both renting and buying properties and saves unnecessary costs that might be incurred on top of an agent’s commission.

The property market is very competitive and the number of available dwellings changes almost daily. This is what you should expect when moving here:

  • Houses are smaller and more compact than in many countries. However, Dutch builders are extremely skilled in maximizing the use of space!
  • One bathroom in the Netherlands is the norm. Showers are more common than baths in most houses and apartments
  • Dining rooms are a luxury; usually there is an open kitchen and living room with a dining area. Kitchens generally have four gas rings with a microwave and fridge Ovens are not always standard
  • Washing machines are sometimes located in the kitchen or in the bathroom (especially in the older or smaller houses/apartments)
  • Garages tend to be used as storage space in the Netherlands
  • Parking permits are needed in some areas, particularly if you are living in the centre of the city. In many cities, parking spaces are limited and can have a waiting list, e.g. in Amsterdam it can take up to seven years
  • Houses usually have insulation, and newer buildings will be double-glazed

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