I must concede that when I hear the word “mortgage”, the word “marriage” is not the first thing that comes to mind. The same surely applies to many buyers of real estate, expats in particular. But I can assure you that a marriage has everything to do with a mortgage


Buying your home

Imagine having found your Dutch dream home. You are excited to be its new owner. Before that can happen, however, the sales process has to be concluded. If required, the financing of the purchase sum via a mortgage loan must be handled. The process of applying for a mortgage loan can be exhaustive for expats, but the best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work well.


When applying for a loan, the bank will request you to provide some form of surety that you will indeed repay your debt. It will request you to have your home encumbered with a mortgage. Prior to this, the bank will check your personal details, such as the income you generate and your marital status.


What if you’re married?

Quite often, I am contacted by a married individual, who originates from abroad and whose spouse is still located in their home country. The height of their income is usually sufficient for the bank to loan them money. But the fact that they are married could be considered a cause of hesitation, also if their spouses aren’t co-buyers or


Getting married is a joyous happening. However, few spouses realize that their marriage exceeds merely solemnizing their affective relationship. It could also affect their ownership of properties prior to and after their marriage celebration.


Your marital property regime may change to your rights of ownership!

Once your marriage is solemnized in the presence of the authorities in the country in which you marry, a community of property may come into existence automatically. This means that, by law, spouses may share some (or all) property and bear some (or all) liabilities together, regardless of by whom these were acquired or contracted during or before the marriage. It is, thus, a property regime that comes to be, even though the spouses may not be aware of it.


If the future spouses wish to deviate from the legal standard when it comes to a marital community of property, they can draw up a nuptial agreement prior or during the marriage, in which spouses specify what kind of a property regime exists between them. 


Be mindful of foreign law

Married expats mainly come to the Netherlands individually. Their family members tend follow suit later on. Typically, Dutch law does not apply to the marital property regime.


Once the applicable law is determined, it must be ascertained whether the spouses keep their own property after marriage celebration. Having a nuptial agreement may shed some light on this, but third parties (such as the mortgage bank) usually aren’t informed of such agreements. 


Sometimes, not having a nuptial agreement is the right solution, as the mortgage bank may request the buyer to present a declaration made by a Dutch notary in which it is stated what the legal effects of an applicable foreign law is. 


Stay ahead and prevent problems

In conclusion, when initiating an application, you should be wary of the effects your marriage may have on the possibility of actually acquiring the loan. 


It is important to contact a Dutch civil law notary firm to prevent any legal troubles from arising as soon as you possibly can in this process. As an internationally oriented notary firm, we can guide you in this matter. 




AUTHOR: Joep Ertem LL.M.
Deputy civil law notary at Westport Notarissen

He can be contacted at:
Tel: +31(0) 6 82 05 77 80
E-mail: j.ertem@westportnotarissen.nl