Can I get a mortgage as a self-employed freelancer?

Yes, in the Netherlands self-employed freelancers can get a mortgage to buy a house or apartment. But be aware, it can sometimes be a difficult process. A self-employed freelancer, ZZP as the Dutch call it, has no steady income in the form of a monthly salary. He or she must live off the profit his business makes. These profits can sometimes fluctuate. Mortgage providers see that as an increased risk, especially if your company has just made a little less profit for just one year. However, there are more and more freelancers in the Netherlands. The number of mortgage applications from this type of entrepreneurs grew by 29% in 2017 compared to 2016. In addition, one in three mortgage applications involves an entrepreneur. It also turned out that those entrepreneurs had a more expensive home and a higher mortgage than the so called salarymen. Self-employed freelancers can therefore get a mortgage with the right professional support.

Always look beyond the numbers

Finding a suitable mortgage for a self-employed freelancer has become the area of expertise of specialised financial consultants. Therefore, always look for a professional financial advisor who can guide you well, especially if you have just started your business. The results of your business are of course important when assessing whether you can get a mortgage. Yet there are lenders who, together with the advisor, look further than just your figures. Until recently, freelancers had to be active for a minimum of three years in order to be eligible for a mortgage. This has changed over the last years. Even if you have only been working for a year, you can already apply for a mortgage. In doing so, the sector in which you work, the required investments you need to make, your business model and, of course, the financial result of the past year, are then considered. If you are still partially employed, you can also apply for a mortgage. Even a mortgage with the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG) is nowadays an option for freelancers who have only been working for a year. Van Bruggen advisors now have a lot of experience with this group of entrepreneurs.

Come well prepared

In order to prepare yourself when buying a house or apartment, you should have or do the following important actions. Prepare well and your chances of getting a mortgage will increase significantly. Do not do this on your own, but do this together with a professional financial advisor.

  • Be sure to have saved enough money to be able to pay the buyer costs (kosten koper). These costs will include the 2% tax, the costs of the notary and the mortgage provider.
  • Have enough money saved to be able to prove that you can absorb a temporary setback of your business.
  • Write a business plan for the upcoming (three) years.