Finding a house
Published: 13 April 2012 Modified: 09 July 2013
The Hague offers great variety in types of neighbourhood, from bustling and urban to leafy-green residential, from central to more isolated. There are many options to choose from when considering a desired accommodation. Renting, buying, houses, apartments, but above all: location.
You'll have to consider your living situation when getting settled here, including proximity to public transportation, your work, child's school and shopping as well as the availability of (on-street) parking.
As space is limited and land scarce in the Netherlands, you will find that most people live in flats or in row houses rather than in single-family detached homes. It is also unusual in a city like The Hague to have a garage attached to your home although many modern apartment buildings offer underground parking garages. Many homes, however, do typically come with a small balcony or garden.
The Hague has 44 neighborhoods and eight city districts. If you have no idea which neighbourhood you want to live in, you can get an idea of what they are like on the website Den Haag Woonstad. Click on Woonsferen to get an impression of the city's neighborhoods.
The website Expatica briefly describes the more upscale neighbourhoods in The Hague. A number of neighbourhoods are especially popular among members of the international community, including the Archipelbuurt, Belgisch Park, Benoordenhout, Kijkduin, Marlot and the Statenkwartier. Expats also choose to live in Rijswijk, Voorburg, Voorschoten and Wassenaar. Expatica offers useful tips when renting a home in the Netherlands, including reading the fine print in the rental contract.
For information about the area including links to English-language neighbourhood websites in The Hague and links to surrounding municipalities, please visit Links in and around the City.
If you'd already like to familiarise yourself with the kinds of homes available in The Hague, you may try visiting several websites specialised in real estate. First determine whether you'd like to look at homes for rent (te huur) or homes for sale (te koop). A word of warning: it is not wise to rent a property without first having seen it or sending someone you trust to inspect it. You could be in for an unpleasant surprise!
Before you sign a rental contract or purchase deed, you may first want to live in short-stay or temporary accommodation.
One of the most popular websites in the Netherlands is the website of the NVM (Netherlands Association of Estate Agents) for both home rentals and purchases. If you click on Funda, you can get a good idea of the various neighbourhoods and price ranges throughout the Netherlands; many of the rental descriptions are in English. For The Hague, type in 'Den Haag' under 'Plaats' and then click on 'Zoeken'). You can also narrow your search by filling in a price range and even a postal code for a specific neighbourhood.
Alternatively you can check the independent website of Pararius and type in 'Den Haag' under city. The rest of the directions and information are in English.
Young people can find all kinds of tips in English about finding suitable accommodation in The Hague under Study in The Hague.
Using an estate agent
In The Hague there is a multiple listing system for properties for sale and to rent. This means that you can ask an estate agent to find you a property on the market, including houses which are listed with other agencies. The agent will check daily for potentially interesting new listings.
Your agent will show you as many homes as possible which meet your requirements and he will negotiate on your behalf. Should the house be listed with another agency, the tenant is required to pay a broker’s fee amounting to one month’s rent excluding VAT.
An agent working on your behalf can save you time and, in the long run, money despite the commission, since he may be able to negotiate a better price. If you arrange to view and rent or purchase a home directly listed with a particular agency, the tenant is not required to pay the commission.
An NVM agent guarantees you expert knowledge of the market.
Example of the Nieuwe Haagse School style