15 Apr 2018

Before moving to Amsterdam

2 Comments Amsterdam, Moving to amsterdam


Room please!

If you are looking to arrange a room before you move to Amsterdam you are better off spending the time learning to play the ukulele. I spent a lot of time trying to find a room using kamernet, I received no responses, facebook groups (search for ‘Amsterdam rent room / house share’) were mildly better. It wasn’t until a friend rented out a room that I understood how insane the demand for property is, upon advertising on one of the facebook groups received 50 responses in the first day, room was taken by that evening. Many of the responses were from people moving to Amsterdam and trying to secure a accommodation, it was given to someone who could secure it then and there.

Being pro-active and planning your accommodation prior to arrival is the most sensible approach, less stress when you arrive, one big action item crossed of your list…. however this will NOT work in Amsterdam. Stay at an AirBnB / hotel while you organise accommodation.

Rooms typically go for anywhere from EU500 – 1000 . Stay away from anyone that says you can not Register at the local municipal (a MUST) – this is essential and means something is fishy.

In the absence of time on arrival to organise lodgings your best bet is putting on your big boy pants and spending some serious cash and renting a property.

No rooms … fine an apartment then….

When searching for an apartment (no houses in the Dam) the two websites you need are Funda  and Pararius, create notifications so you know when a new property is added, call the estate agent ‘Makelaars’ and ask if you can secure it, they will email you a form the length of half a roll of toilet paper.

Most of the rental market is aimed at expats, you will not find anything less than EU1500, most properties are unfurnished, try and find furnished with all bills and services included. The Makelaars all speak English, you will see the name of the Makelaars on Funda / Pararius next to the property, google them and see if they have added anything not listed also make sure you get on their mailing lists. The emails they send out gives you the edge over those stressed future Amsterdam dwellers who are are competing on the big sites with many equally unimaginative folk.

When calling the Makelaars, realise that they gets loads of calls, have your questions lined up. Many owners insist on themselves or the agents meeting the tenants. I got the hint after I failed to secure a number of properties and when mentioning I had a ‘pregnant’ wife that quickly changed and gave me the decorum and sensibility to land a wonderful two bedapartment on Prinsengracht for EU2200. The previous tenants apparently were in the legal professional and frequently smoked the whacky backy at home much to the owners annoyance who then repainted the place.

I was asked for two months deposit, subletting is very big no no, as is growing marijuana in your property.. there were a good two clauses going into great detail about this most educational process. If you are looking for a place with a car park you need to venture outside the center else there is a four year waiting list for a space or 50EU a day parking.

You can find some lovely high ceiling beautiful classic apartments that will make your instagram an instant hit, which is great if it can pay for your insane gas bills, personally I like a warm toilet seat… and I only have to sit on it once a day. Do not get a basement flat … there is usually a problem with damp, they are literally inverted swimming pools. Winters are looong, fireplaces are nice.

Gardens are nice, roof terraces are better. Also note that if you BBQ expect all the neighbours to complain due to open windows in summer and smoke also BBQ’s are a whole new level of dangerous and exotic cuisine that is likely to upset their culinary applecart which is based on neutral flavours and equally bland colours.

Importantly, Dutch people are cheapskates and penny pinching misers for the most part (it’s what makes them awesome!), they also do everything by the book. When arriving at my dwellings I was greeted with the cheapest bottle of plonk on offer and 8EU in change to compensate for the week it would take for the TV to be connected, still a nice gesture. They are literally the most literal and blunt Europeans other than Frankfurters I have ever met. Don’t faff about, get straight to the point and never apologise, it’s a sign of weakness! You will come to love their approach and appreciate not apologising all the time.

There were a few properties where I asked for a Skype call or a video and the agents were very cooperative, however by the time I ummmed and aaaahhd the property was gone, you can’t wait more than 24 hours. Location is key, but don’t forget everything in Amsterdam is very very close, the PijP or Niewe West is only 15 minutes, the price difference is marginal but greater availability.

  • Amsterdam by area
  • Planning on where to live – commuting
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2 Responses to “Before moving to Amsterdam”

  1. Reply David says:

    Hi Chris!
    Seems we are spiritually connected. I just thought about you in a context of where to live and checked your blog! Crazy you just posted something…
    guess what; I am in Corralejo! 🙂
    Hope you are happy with relocating. I like dutch folks, so I can understand your decision.
    Believe it or not, I thought about going on the sea again, but in other sense 🙂 would be cool if we teamed up…
    May be see you some time…
    LG David

  2. Reply Chris says:

    Hello David,

    Why don’t you head across the big pond to Venezuela? Get some inspiration from fellow bloggers, I can’t find Shelley’s page but she just sailed Las Blas in Panama.


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