Dreaming of Home

We’d all like to live in a luxury flat in a smart part of town with a reasonable rent – but most of us can’t, writes DutchNews.nl editor Robin Pascoe.

Of course we foreigners all want to live in the best part of town for the lowest possible price. Doesn’t everyone? However, there does seem to be this myth out there that expats are rich and can all afford to pay € 2,000 for a one-bedroom flat without a bath and located in what dodgy estate agents call ‘the edge of the canal area’ or equivalent – meaning some dead-end street several kilometres from the most desirable places to live.

There are initiatives under way to try to boost the supply of cheaper housing. For example, some of the country’s empty office blocks are being converted into flats – and moves are being made to make it even easier to re-use existing buildings in this way.

In fact, the cheapest option for many expats – if you have a job and some savings – is to buy a place of your own. Mortgage interest rates are at a record low so repayments on a € 180,000 flat are easily comparable to the rent you’ll have to pay. You might not be living in a luxury flat in a smart part of town, but at least you’ll have a roof over your head.


Robin Pascoe
2014 Winter

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