2019: the year of buying out ground lease and the extra service for expats
06 March 2019
Next year, mortgage consultant de Kredieter, located in Zuidas, will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The firm can be rightly called a specialist in mortgages and real estate finance. In 2018, the main question was in what way real estate agents, banks and other institutions could best inform owners of a home with a ground lease. This is a relevant question for many people, who in theory have the option of buying out their ground lease in perpetuity. But is this the right choice for every owner? Ronald Bieger, financial adviser and partner at de Kredieter, discusses the ground lease issue and the renewed service for the increasing number of expats in Amsterdam.
Buyout ground lease
Ronald: ‘Owners of homes with a ground lease have the option of buying it out in perpetuity with an extra discount until the end of 2019. For a fee, homeowners are offered a report made up by the Brokers Association Amsterdam (Makelaarsvereniging Amsterdam, or ‘MVA’) that will calculate all scenarios so they are able to come to a well-founded decision. Personally, I was sceptical at the beginning. But I had the report made up for my own home, and I am now convinced that doing nothing is not an option. You need to take good advice.’
De Kredieter is increasingly focusing on expats looking to live in the Amsterdam region. Ronald: ‘In 2018, we were asked to inform the employees of the European Medicine Agency (EMA) on the possibilities for a mortgage. We attended a housing fair in London on two occasions, together with the Municipality of Amsterdam, real estate agents, project developers and other parties at which we informed the EMA employees of their options for housing in Amsterdam.’
The EMA is not the only international business that is locating in the Netherlands. The number of expats therefore continues to grow. Rents in Amsterdam are highly expensive, while mortgage interest rates are at an all time low. ‘This means it sometimes costs less in terms of monthly expenses to buy a home rather than rent one, says Ronald. ‘We have also seen an increase in the number of expats coming to de Kredieter. In accordance with that, we have created a second business name: DK Mortgage Consultants. Giving advice to expats is difficult, because the mortgage offers from the banks (apart from ABN AMRO) are only available in Dutch. So for the benefit of our clients we have the offers translated into English. These translations are provided as a service, because legally the client has to sign the offers in Dutch.’
Expats often make the mistake of assuming that they have fewer options when it comes to obtaining a mortgage. Ronald explains: ‘Generally, an expat has the same options as any other house buyer. They are not restricted to major banks like ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank, and are also free to apply to other parties such as Florius, Nationale Nederlanden or Obvion for a mortgage. Expats have little to no awareness of these parties, although their offers may often make a difference of several hundred euros a year.’
From March onwards, de Kredieter will hold voluntary and free seminars lasting 30-45 minutes on every first Thursday of the month (7 March, 4 April, 2 May, 6 June, 4 July, 1 August, 5 September, 3 October, 7 November and 5 December) at 12:30PM. The seminars are specifically aimed at expats. They are welcome to visit the office of de Kredieter without having to make an appointment. Potential buyers will be fully informed as to the purchase and mortgage process at these seminars. If you would like to make an individual appointment to discuss your situation or get a second opinion, you are welcome to make an appointment with de Kredieter, free of obligation.