Expat zone
Posted on: Jul 22, 2016

Housing in Amsterdam, Lol!

By
Yota Baron
Alex Kyrkos

This post is also available in Greek

Isn't magical to search for a house in Amsterdam? You never know in what magical neighborhood you will end up, what house you'll find and if your landlord wont disappear, along with your money, when you rent it! If not then you are a very lucky person.

For about 3 months now, many crooks have taken my money, taking advantage of my need to find a decent housing in Amsterdam... or at least under the "ditch" of Noord, so that I don't have to spend my life and my earnings on the trains. So be careful about where you pick to live.

18 months ago I chose to stay in the "countryside", at beautiful Zaandam. Magnificent, I don't disagree, but I forgot to ask about the late trains, the tickets that are around 100€ per month, the buses that come by whenever they please and if they please. Welcome to the village. The ducks are floating around, the birds are chirping but if you work in Amsterdam, you suffer.

So I open up the map, put on my war paint, make a coffee, leave the coffee maker on, cause I'm going to be needed more and start to google away like there is no tomorrow.

Today I'll find a house, I told my self joyfully!

It was my 3rd time and the previous 2 I had found a house in no time because I had went to real estate agents, fearing scams. I was lucky.

Now I'll search on my own, because I don't like giving any #%[email protected]% agent a thousand euros again.

So I began decisive. My budget was classic and my demands realistic. Up to 800 euros exclusive, or 950 inclusive, with flooring, the basics in the kitchen (burners, stove or something like that, fridge, washing machine), and to be able to register and to have tram or metro access. It should be more than 40sqm so that I can at least walk in the house.

I may had taken the decision to go without a real estate agent but I wasn't really brave in the beginning. So I chose a rental agency in the area that I knew I had some hope of finding housing, around Bijlmer Arena, and went over there to make sure it wasn't a scam. +20 euros on train tickers. I went and found it, saw it, registered be paying only 40 euros, and I left happy and certain that I was being super smart and that I had made the right investment.

In a month, I'll have a house

Ofcourse it was a scam, a legitimate one with a KVK number. You had to call on a 0900 number. The charge was 50cents/minute, and if you googled really hard on forums you would find out that besides the fact that almost all callers are kept on hold for 10 minutes usually before they speak to someone, you also get into a "lottery" with other renters for houses that might not even exist. It was the moment that I realized that we had just lost our first 40 euros on them. 20 + 40 = 60 total loss.

Scam Νο1 - Agencies where you have to dial expensive 0900 numbers.

I was fooled this time, but it wont happen again.

So back to the basics and I am googling again on my own for houses. I am not complaining, I found may houses way better than what I had in mind.

I enter the first website, a friend has vouched for it, only 14€. I found 80sqm, right across Amsterdam's central station, furnished, only 600€ inclusive. I immidiatelly nudge nikola and say:

There goes 15 more.

I wont lie, I sent an email. You can see the replies I got, almost all identical, for 3 different houses and on the second one I had as a bonus the senders ID (fake).

Answer 1

Now, a little bit about myself: My name is ******* and I have 53 years old retired architect from London. Unfortunately, some medical conditions don't allow me to do any traveling for the next few months, so I will not be able to come and meet you personally for a while. However, this won't affect the rental at all. The property is managed by a very professional agency, and they will help us with the entire process.

Answer 2

Something about me: I am a British woman 39 years old, not married, no kids, and I worked as an economist in Amsterdam. My contract period there expired and now I've moved back to London-my born city, to spend some time with my family and to get a job here.

As I said, I'm in London because I live here now and I'm the only person who has the keys of the apartment, but I have a solution to solve this problem, so you can move in the apartment when you receive the keys.

Answer 3

Something about me: I am a British woman 39 years old, not married, no kids, and I worked as an economist in Amsterdam. My contract period there expired and now I've moved back to London-my born city, to spend some time with my family and to get a job here.

As I said, I'm in London because I live here now and I'm the only person who has the keys of the apartment, but I have a solution to solve this problem, so you can move in the apartment when you receive the keys.

How convenient, these stories!

Scam Νο2: Deposit the money and they will bring you the keys.

Never ever pay anyone that "will bring you the keys later". Especially if he or she lives in London and has some sort of medical condition and cannot meet you.

Here is a solution for you. A skype call for start. Then you can try to get more evidence it's not a scam.

I already know of 3 friends that lost their money this way. The first one lost 600 with the "make the deposit and I'll send the keys via courier", the second one 1100 in the same manner and the 3rd one 1100 along with 20 more people, with a "real" contract and a "real" landlord!

Finding a house in Amsterdam is the beginning of a great conversation.

Whats up?
Fine, I'm looking for a house to move in Amsterdam
(LOLZ) I heard that joke before!

Whomever I tell, they laugh. And I'm laughing at the houses I see every day. Houses that I don't even know if they will aprove me for, because I have to be right for their needs. Thankfuly I have a bunch of recomendation letters from the previous landlords, so in a way, I have at least maybe something more.

Before I began searching for a house I thought I was alone. Now I know that one of the most difficult things here is to find a house, the way I want it, and where I want it. They told me that it takes around 5 years! I hope not, other wise I still have a lot more to see!

Alex Kyrkos
Fanitraikou
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Designer, marketer & a social media karate kid (No 4). When she grows up, she wants to feed the world with Greek food & Frappe. Admires the yellow angry bird because it strikes its targets with power and precision.