Help us find an apartment in Amsterdam
October 19, 2013 7:43 AM   Subscribe

So we made this happen. Now all we need is a place to live for the first of November. And are having a heck of a time of it..

So we've registered with all the major sites that I've been told of including: Kamernet, Funda, Jacobus Recourt and we will register with Actys Wonen once we've got a bank account next week. Craigslist was obviously full of scammers, and I was told by a friend that it doesn't really exist for the Dutch here. With the so called legitimate sites it seems to be quite difficult to get a viewing, or even find an appropriate, available accommodation and November 1st is rapidly approaching.

We are a professional couple from Vancouver, brand new to Amsterdam and the Netherlands with an income well above the standard 45x the rent baseline. We'd like to live within the A10 for about €1150 max, exclusive of ultilities but inclusive of the 'service fee' (related question, what is the service fee?). We have a small well-behaved dog. Any tips, guidance or offers from Mefits would be verily appreciated.
posted by dobie to Work & Money (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Give Expatica a go. They have a page full of useful blah and rental listings too.
posted by ZipRibbons at 8:34 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks ZipRibbons, for some reason I hadn't check them out yet. I've already sent out a few applications and signed up for the Free Bike contest to boot.
posted by dobie at 9:41 AM on October 19, 2013

Service fees typically mainly cover costs for electricity, cleaning, repair etc. for the communal spaces: hallway, elevators, etc.
I think you'll find that your budget is on the low side for what you're looking for, so that might explain why you haven't easily found anything yet.
posted by Ms. Next at 2:08 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Have you considered Airbnb for the first month? It's probably easier to work with an agency to find an apartment when you're on location. I'll be doing this in December, and I found an Airbnb listing with a monthly rate at about your budgeted maximum. Check out Pararius, it's a site that aggregates rental listings. Good luck!
posted by mbrock at 2:32 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks Ms. Next and mbrock,

We're on location already and indeed used AirBnB to find it; we had the same idea as you. (Though we didn't have the same luck as you getting that monthly rate.) We've been using Pararius as well, it's lead us to the other sites that we've been using, though it doesn't always match what is actually available with the agents.

Ultimately, we're trying to avoid just throwing money at the problem, because we'd like to use our cash for trips and adventures, hence the lower than typical price tag. But I appreciate the reality check. And obviously the closer we get to the end of the month the more likely we are to raise our price range. Lots of legwork still to come.

Ah the joys of house hunting.
posted by dobie at 3:08 PM on October 19, 2013

Congrats. I'd avoid expatica. Full of whining expats, even worse, bored spouses of whining expats.

Here's a couple more sites to look at:
posted by humboldt32 at 2:36 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Welkom in Nederland!

You can try contacting some of the big real estate brokers in the Netherlands. Here are the top ten.

Some more websites to try: Van Der Linden, Inter Immo, Domica

I'd figure out the maximum distance that you're willing to live from a certain point or points (your office, a tram/metro stop, a train station, etc.) and hop on a bike and start riding up and down streets looking for te huur signs. That's the most effective strategy that I've found.

The type of service charge that I'm familiar with when renting in the Netherlands is for building maintenance: keeping the elevators running, cleaning the halls, etc. When I was renting, my service charge was about €70/month for a €1000/month apartment.
posted by neushoorn at 5:47 AM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: We got it done. Thanks all for your help!
posted by dobie at 1:03 PM on October 24, 2013

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