The coronavirus pandemic and the need to move mortgage applications online first led to the idea of setting up MyDutchMortgage.online, the Netherlands first fully online mortgage broker.
The result, a year in the making, is a streamlined service that covers the process from start to finish, and which can be completed by first-time buyers at a time and place convenient to them.
But is it really that easy? What are the pros and cons of using an online mortgage broker to buy a house in Amsterdam, Eindhoven or The Hague?
For a start, using an online mortgage broker like MyDutchMortgage.online is best suited to you if you are a first-time buyer in regular employment, with a permanent or at least a one-year contract. Because you have no history on the Dutch mortgage market, your case should be straightforward and easy to deal with – making a smooth, online system the obvious way forward – as long as you are internet savvy, of course.
If you are self-employed, work via an agency or have lots of cash money to spend, your situation is more complicated. A face to face meeting with a personal mortgage advisor will give you a better overview of your options.
Applying for a mortgage in the Netherlands online is also only open to people who are officially resident here. Again, a personal advisor can help you better if you are a ‘non dom’ but still looking to buy.
Applying for a mortgage online can also be cheaper than going through a regular broker. MyDutchMortgage, for example, charges less than €2,000 for the complete package – and you only pay once the deal has been signed, sealed and delivered. So you can fill in the application form and upload all your documents without paying a penny.
A regular mortgage application via a bank or traditional broker may cost around €3,000 once all the extra costs are included. Bear in mind too that a traditional mortgage advisor will offer a free initial consultation but after that the fees will start mounting up.
Of course, the biggest advantage of applying for a mortgage online is that you can fill in the forms at a time to suit you – without having to worry about completing them in one go, or about dealing with paperwork in a foreign language.
MyDutchMortgage.online, for example, is a completely English language service. Once signed up, you can go through the process in six easy steps, filling in information whenever you like – even if you have been up half the night on a conference call with the US.
And if you can’t face answering questions about the different types of mortgages on offer in the Netherlands – yes, some of the paperwork is pretty tedious but required by law – you can always move on to the next section and come back to it later.
More importantly, because all the digital paperwork is kept in one place, there is no risk you are going to lose important documents either on your desk or in the cloud.
It goes without saying that if the thought of applying for a mortgage to buy a house in the Netherlands online seems too daunting, or if your situation is more complicated because you already have a property to sell, then the traditional mortgage broker remains your best option.
However, shop around to make sure you get the best price (look out for all those added extras) and make sure that your broker is truly independent, so you get the best possible deal.
Buying a home and taking out a first-time mortgage can be stressful at the best of times, so do whatever you can do to make the process as straightforward and as convenient as possible. Online or offline – there are pros and cons to each approach.