You read about how we are buying a house in the Netherlands in my last entry, in fact we’ve already closed on the property as of December 30th. I’m still in shock that we’ve gone ahead and made this leap!! But as far as you, the reader, goes, I’m still talking about the process of what it took to get to this point.
Now it’s on to the mortgage and legal documents. After filling out the information needed to get a purchase and sales document ready (our names, passport info, etc), we noticed that it said “notary”. Not realizing that a notary is different in the US than here, where they are called a notaris, we couldn’t understand why it was so costly to have someone notarize a document. It turns out that a notaris is more of a lawyer than just a notary – they are the ones that register the deeds, do the background check to make sure the property doesn’t have any liens, etc.
Notaris in place, Josh continued to work on the mortgage piece while I arrange an inspection and an appraisal (appraisal needed for the mortgage). It turns out that you are actually supposed to do these things BEFORE making an offer. Ooops!! The owner was very gracious about it and understood that we are just used to doing it differently and was fine with making the arrangements for after the offer had been accepted. I think, in a sense though, that it was understood that the offer had been accepted and therefore if there was anything that was of major issue, that it may be up to us to deal with that should we still want to purchase it. But I’m not quite sure on that piece and I supposed had it happened, we would have figured it out along the way.
On September 16, just about 3 weeks since this all started, we had our inspection and appraisal. The inspection info we got back that same day and everything was good. There are a few tiny things we’ll need to do but nothing major. The appraisal took longer which was frustrating because we didn’t want to sign the P & S (which was waiting for us) until we knew how much the house was going to appraise for (since that would affect the mortgage we could get).
We still had to meet with the mortgage / bank contact and sign our Purchase and Sales agreement. These two pieces were stressing us! And it was mostly because of a clause in the contracts here that state if you don’t obtain a mortgage by a certain date, you will forfeit 10% of the sales price to the owner. That is a LOT of money!!! My understanding is that you can extend this date so really, you shouldn’t end up in a position where you have to pay the 10% but just the idea of potentially having to give up that kind of money was stressing us! So we were doing our best to time the mortgage meeting and the signing of the purchase and sales close together.
We had to negotiate the date of the mortgage approval in our purchase and sales. Our mortgage guy just said that the original date wasn’t realistic. In the end, it turned out to be just fine. But you never know and I appreciate that our mortgage guy was up front with us. And he really was. He sat down with Josh and I one Wednesday morning at the end of September (hard to believe all of this has been in just one month!) to discuss the types of mortgages, explain the rates, review forms and make a list of any documents that we still needed to submit. It’s been a while since I had to get a mortgage in the US, but it seems to me like we had a lot more that was needed here – things like life insurance statements to prove that if one of us died, that we could still pay the mortgage; retirement account statements – both Dutch and US; a statement from Josh’s work that proved he does, in fact, have a job – a pay stub was not enough in this case… and a few more documents to add to the pile!
That Friday we went to the seller’s realtor (we did not have our own realtor and it’s really not needed by the buyer unless you want them to negotiate on your behalf – and you will need to pay them a % to do so) to sign the purchase and sales agreement. Like the mortgage guy, the realtor walked us through the agreement to make sure we understood (and we had an English translation as well) each section before signing anything. This was very much appreciated by us both! And it turns out the realtor will also soon be one of our neighbors as he’s lived in the neighborhood that we are buying in for over 10 years!
All paperwork was submitted to the mortgage contact and all we could do was wait. A few days later, at the start of October, we received an interest rate agreement for Josh and I to sign. Once this was signed, he would be able to send all of the information over to process the application and hopefully get us a mortgage. He told us on that Monday that we would likely hear by Friday on it. Much to our surprise, he sent us our approval the very next day! Given he originally told us the realtor’s date was super tight, having a one day turn around was pretty awesome and a massive relief to Josh and I!!
And once we received the mortgage information, it was only a matter of days before we received our bank guarantee. So now there was nothing left to do until December 30th other than plan out and book the contractors to do the painting and other small changes we want to do to the house before we move in and purchase some new furniture. Oh and we’ve got to pack at some point too. But after countless moves in the last 7 years, that part should be a piece of cake!
We’re still in awe and shock that this is all happening but so excited for what the future brings!!!
Knuffels en kussen,