What is the difference in the cost of acquiring real estate in the Netherlands/Belgium?

As ZwinRegio Vastgoedmakelaars, with real estate office in Sluis and real estate office in Knokke, work on both sides of the border, they know the differences and similarities when it comes to buying property in the Netherlands and Belgium.

In the Netherlands, the terms "kosten koper, also k.k." and "vrij op naam, abbreviated v.o.n.". But what does this mean?

Kosten koper actually always refers to resale, while vrij op naam always comes back to new construction. When k.k. is behind the price, it means that the transfer tax and notary fees are for the buyer. Currently, the transfer tax in the Netherlands is 2% for homes where the buyer will live for a longer period of time. 8% transfer tax applies to all other properties. Notary fees depend on the notary's offer to the requesting party; here the buyer. This usually comes down to a percentage of 1% to 1.5%.

Freehold means that the notary fees are for the seller. No transfer tax is due. However, VAT may also apply. So always pay attention to whether the selling price is inclusive or exclusive of VAT. For houses, such as a villa and a detached house, this is 21%. With a business purchase, there are other (VAT-related) factors to possibly consider. For specific questions, you can always contact one of our estate agents.

And how does this work in Belgium? Here we have to deal with registration fees and notary fees. For the purchase of the only owner-occupied property (no new construction), 3 per cent is due since 1 January 2022. The general rate for the purchase of other than sole owner-occupied property, such as a second property or a building plot, is 12 per cent.

When buying a new-build home, you pay 21 per cent VAT on the building (including infrastructure works) and 12 per cent on the land share. But some new construction projects are temporarily sold at a favourable VAT rate of 6%.

Also in Belgium, with our real estate office in Knokke, we gladly offer our services when it comes to selling, renting - and advising on - business premises and/or other commercial property. For this, it is best to contact one of our real estate offices in Sluis or Knokke personally. Feel free to ask the estate agent. Both in our real estate office in Knokke and our real estate office in Sluis, our staff will be delighted to help you with professionalism.

The notary fees, also known as honorarium or fee, in Belgium vary according to the situation. So always enquire about the costs involved.

Financing real estate sometimes involves an additional expense. In both countries, costs are of course payable to the bank when a mortgage loan is taken out. In many cases, a deposit of your own money is required. Of course, the full purchase amount can also be financed with equity. What is most beneficial in your situation is best consulted with a financial adviser.

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