How to prepare for a home viewing in the Netherlands? 

It is good to ask many questions before bidding on your desired property. In our ABC of viewing a property in the Netherlands, we concluded some main points to focus on when starting your home buying journey. In this article, we focus more on the inspection of the house and some additional in-depth questions for your property viewings in the Netherlands.

Seller and interest parties

Start with getting to know the seller, get a feel of the property and ask about the neighborhood. If possible, try to meet and talk to the neighbors. Why is the property on sale? How long did the previous tenants live there? When can you move in? Have the current tenants already found a new place to stay? How many other people are interested?

Permits and renovations

You want to know about any additional payments in advance, and not taking them into account can cause you a headache later on. If you're unsure and there is a risk of many renovations, it might be handy to have a building inspection done. In a new-built home, you should ask about scheduled construction that will take place in the future. Owners' Association can sometimes provide documents about maintenance costs you might need to consider if you buy an apartment and is also responsible for exterior repairs.

  • Does the property have all the necessary permits for reconstruction?

  • Are there floor plans available?

  • Were there ever issues with leaks, electricity, or gas?

  • When were the last paint jobs done?

  • What about a central heating system?

Building inspections

A building inspection is independent of the seller or buyer. It can give you some extra insights into the condition of the construction and possible future repair costs you might encounter. You don't have to be present, but it might be handy to see the state of the house to evaluate what you are willing to deal with.

What will you find in a building inspection report?
  1. Photos with a clear explanation.
  2. Cost overview.
    a) Direct costs: things that require your immediate attention.
    b) Long-term costs: these things need to be repaired within the next 5 years.
    c) Costs for home improvement: are not necessary but can improve your energy consumption and the comfort of your new home.

Note: timing is the key. Schedule the inspection after consulting the seller to avoid paying for the inspection while somebody's bid is already getting accepted.

What if the inspection fails? Depending on when you conduct it in the buying process, you can either step away from the purchase or use it as leverage for further price negotiations with the seller.

What can you discover during a viewing on your own? 

Before scheduling a building inspection, there are a couple of things you can easily evaluate before an inspector comes.

  • Cracks in the walls.

  • Holes in the woodwork (can mean woodworms - be especially careful about the roof).

  • Moisture problems.

  • Cellar, wiring, sewage, light points, sockets, etc. Do not forget to try them out! Use the switches, flush the toilet, open the windows.

  • Asbestos: is mainly found in ceilings, walls, roofs, or under central heating systems. Spot it by the brown, green or yellow color or a stone-like feeling when you tap on it.

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