Netherlands: Foreigners’ Freehold Dream


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Netherlands? Is it the dazzling tulip fields swaying under the sun light, the yellowish Gouda cheese sorted firmly on top of each other, the enormous historical or industrial chains of windmills or the photo of someone posing in front of the famous iconic I amsterdam sign with the Rijksmuseum in the back ground? No matter what comes to your mind at this point, the first thing that must come to your mind after reading this article is the possibility of buying or owning a real estate as a foreigner!

The Country

Netherlands is a European Country located on the Northern West of Europe, bordered by Belgium to its South, Germany to its East and by the Sea to its North and west. The name itself is interpreted as the lower countries due to its lower than the sea level topography which makes it the one of the few countries in the world aggressively preparing for a potential sea level rise!

Its official language is Dutch, however almost all the population can communicate in English. Besides, German and French are other popular foreign languages known by Dutch citizens.  West Frisian, Low Saxon and Limburgish are another regional languages used by the locals living in different provinces of Netherlands. Most of the expatriates are living in Amsterdam and The Hague


The Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces. Each province is divided into several municipalities. It is also subdivided into 24 water districts, where each district is governed by a water board. Their main concern is water management and they are elected every 4 years. Netherlands also has 3 Caribbean islands under its governance but they are considered as a public bodies rather than municipalities.

Holland and contrary to the global wrong conviction is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands not a second name for the whole country. Its name means the land of wood. It has the Country’s Capital Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the city which has the largest port in Europe!

The Randstad is one of the famous regions in Netherlands where several cities and large towns are merged to create an aggregated urbanely developed area. Located on the western side of the country, Randstad comprise of Amsterdam from the North Holland Province, Rotterdam and The Hague from the South Holland Province, and Utrecht from the Utrecht Province.


Geography and Climate

Netherlands was primarily initiated over a coastal land where the largest European rivers (RhineMeuse and the Schelde)  flow into it and meet with the open sea. The combination of the sea and fresh water over its territory give high levels of nutrients for the soils. (Now that explains much about the numerous Tulip fields and colorful gardens! PS: Keep in mind that these Tulips were not originally from the Netherlands but brought from Turkey back in the 16th Century).

 The weather is moderate in Netherlands with Sunny days vary between April and October where as the cold days vary December and February. The nature of its soil and the adequacy of its climate have put The Netherlands on the world map as one of the top exporters of agricultural products and consumer goods.


Being distinguished by its advanced economic freedom and member of several international organizations including United Nations, European Union and NATO, Netherlands is one of the most important economic pillars of the European Union. Due to its location and it marine access to UK and other western countries Dutch economy mostly relies on international trade.

Since the 16th century, the main sectors that shaped the Dutch economy were fishing, agriculture trade and shipping. Due to its open economic freedom, it is considered among the top European countries attracting direct foreign investment Moreover, it host huge amount of tourists annually from all over the world due to its varied historical sites and enormous nature.


Being one of the most populated countries in the Western Europe, Netherland has complex road networks connecting its main cities with other local towns and other European cities. In addition to the paved roads for car mobility users, Netherlands has also rail services for public transport users.

On the other hand, the largest port in Europe is located in Rotterdam, a city based on the banks of Muese and Rhine rivers with strategic pathway to France and Switzerland. This port serves the industrial and general cargo sectors along with transshipment services in addition to the transitory role between Europe and the western world.


Dutch Property Market

The Dutch housing markets has witnessed a boom during the previous decades, but its housing markets was hit by the global rescission plague after the 2008 financial crises. Recently, it began to retrieve its strength and the prices started increasing after they hit the bottom in the previous years.

When the Dutch property prices were falling, rental fees continued to be constant over these years. This reality gives a positive insight about the high demand over the relatively insufficient properties available for rent.

As all the resources on the internet state, there is no restriction on foreigners to own a property in Netherland. It’s an ordinary process where the buyer and seller should agree on a price, sign a contract, paying a 10% Down payment then registering at the notary public and then the transfer of the ownership will be made at the Public registry.

The Dutch housing market is expected to continue to strengthen in the coming months, thanks to low interest rates, increased consumer confidence, and improving economic conditions.

You can find more insight facts and figures about the dutch property market in general and the housing market in specific on Expat Housing Seminar  and Global Property Guide

In case you are interested to invest in a Dutch commercial or residential unit check Global property guide  and  Engelvoelkers.  In case you will be moving to the Netherlands as a foreign worker or international student or short stay tourist and want to have an insight of the current property prices and rates check Pararius

Country Property Rating: BBB

Did You Know? The International Entertainment Show THE VOICE was Originated in the Netherlands!   the voice logo



Add yours →

  1. Very nice guide. I find the Netherlands to be one of the most interesting countries in Europe. I utterly enjoyed visiting Amsterdam and The Hague for example!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great, nice to hear that you enjoyed it! its really a great place to visit or settle! If you had enough money would you think about buying an apartment or house there? and in which city?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hm, I think I’m too much of a traveller to really buy a house or an appartement. I’d rather stay in some cities for a longer time in a hotel or something similiar. My personal favorite so far would definitely be The Hague due to its location just a few kilometers away from an amazing beach!

        Liked by 1 person

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