So you are moving to Rotterdam and thinking of buying an apartment in Rotterdam? Then it is good to know the pros and cons of the Dutch housing market. 

Before you buy you have to make up your mind if you want to really buy or maybe it is better to rent an apartment. Depending on your preferences and horizon it might be better to rent long or short stay. Anyway, your thinking of buying, let’s explain that!

Buy an Apartment in Rotterdam

The Search
You can start you search on different websites but the biggest one is Funda. Unfortunately this site is in Dutch, however it has the biggest and most updated assortment of all. Another website you can try is VBO, however also in Dutch. Some Real Estate Agents are on Facebook, however then you need to know the specific agents’ name.

The Viewing

After you have found the apartment you like, you can call the real estate agent (found next to the apartment on Funda) and make a appointment for a viewing.  Sometimes an Open House is planned meaning that everyone can look at a specific time. This is mostly done when a lot of viewings are expected.

When you view the house you obviously check the area, if you like the house itself and if the apartment is well maintained. All these aspects have to be taken into account before you start bidding.

The Bidding
When you have decided you want to buy the apartment you have found in Rotterdam, you can start the bidding process! This is an exciting process and it could be very smart to have a real estate agent which can help you buying a property. This will cost you money, but especially when you are from the Netherlands it might be a wise decision.

The first bid will always be a openings-bid to start the negotiation with the counter party. In the Netherlands the seller is only allowed to officially negotiated with one party always ask if you are in negotiation. If the counter-party gives you a price you are in negotiation. Often a seller will ask you to do another bid to put you under pressure. Depending on the popularity of the apartment you might want to do that. But again, it might be a good idea to get help before you buy an apartment in Rotterdam.

The Contract
Congratulations, you have bought an apartment! However, no the tricky part starts. You will have to sign the contract which is in Dutch. You will first sign a buying contract and after a few month you have to sign a final contract.


The Dutch housing markets knows to ways of dealing with a property:

  1. You will be owner of the land you bought the apartment on. Very good! This is the safest way when buying an apartment.
  2. You will be renting the land, which is called “Erfpacht”. This can be tricky. First of all you are renting the land where the property is build on. So you have to pay monthly rent. This is usually not high but still. Secondly, after the contract expires, might need to give the property back to the owner of the land. This doesn’t happen very often but it is good to know. Finally and most important, it will be very difficult for you to get a mortgage. So the best thing to do is not buying one with “Erfpacht”.

Buying an apartment in Rotterdam is awesome, however the Dutch housing system is not easy. The best thing to do is to hire a real estate agent so you can safely buy an apartment. Well worth the money!