Finding a Home
Real estate agencies are called “makelaar” in Dutch and could be found directly on the internet. You can query for complete listings of homes available amongst all makelaars is Funda.
Common dutch terms that will help in your search are:
- To “koop” is to buy
- To “huur” is to rent
- “Nieuwbouw” is a new house
- “van x” “tot y” defines the financial range (from x to y)
Rental prices can vary from 800 Euros per month (for a small apartment) to 3000 Euros per month (for a large house). The location strongly influences cost (e.g. Bergen/Schoorl is quite popular and picturesque area and a 3-4 bedroom house can easily cost 2,000 – 3,000 Euros per month for basic rent, whereas Alkmaar is less costly. However, there is a higher inventory of larger homes in the Bergen/Schoorl area.
A family house (eengezinswoning) has two to three floors. Many of the houses have a small garden with a shed (schuur) for bikes and storage. A garage is not always available. In general, these types of houses are let completely bare which entails no flooring or curtains.
Please note that furnished accommodations (gemeubileerde woonruimte) is not common in the Netherlands and can be very expensive. Most of them are summer houses located near the seaside which could turn out to be a proper temporary solution (some yearly rental if not common could also be discussed with the landlord).
Helpful City (Gemeente links)
Bergen Gemeente (includes Schoorl)
Bergen App (community info and events)
Setting Up a Bank Account
You can open a new bank account in the Netherlands at any bank. Many home owners require a Dutch bank account to complete a rental housing contract. It is also advisable to set up accounts with mobile phone providers, landline phone, gas, water and electricity supplier. Most banks will require a local physical address in order to open an account.
Banks with local branches in the area are:
As in all European countries, it is wise to ensure that both your family and material goods are insured. In the Netherlands it is advised to get the following insurances:
- Liability Insurance (aansprakelijkheidsverzekering W.A.), which covers yourself, your family (and even your pets) for damage to third parties
- Legal aid insurance (rechtsbijstandsverzekering). In case of a legal conflict, it assures you affordable expert assistance
- Fire and theft insurance (inboedelverzekering) which covers your property in case of fire or theft
- Building insurance (opstalverzekering) if you own a house
- Various car insurances if you own a car
Healthcare and Human Services
The General Practitioner
The General Practitioner (GP) (huisarts) fulfils a central role in the health care system of the Netherlands. He or she is the first point of contact for almost everything related to health care. He treats you, but also coordinates other care, normally by means of an introductory letter to specialists or paramedics, and maintains your medical file, complete with specialists’ reports.
In the Netherlands everyone has a permanent GP. You can choose a doctor within the borders of your own town (in larger cities within a radius of a few kilometres). You have to phone the GP’s assistant and register yourself (with or without family) as a new patient. You must then always visit that specific doctor (except outside normal hours). After your registration has been accepted, the doctor you have chosen will be your main point of contact in case of general illnesses and other health related questions. Outside consulting hours, it’s likely that you will have to visit another doctor. Before choosing a GP, ask friends, colleagues or neighbors for advice. The doctor can also be visited for an introductory talk, after which you can decide whether to register or not.
When you call your GP’s office to make an appointment, the GP’s assistant (doktersassistente), will ask you some questions in order to determine the urgency of your situation. Usually a consult with your GP is limited to 10 minutes and takes place during office hours. Longer visits are charged at double rate. Home visits by GP’s are reserved for urgent cases or those who are incapable of coming to the GP’s office.
After closing hours between 5.00 P.M. and 8.00 A.M. and in the weekends you can call the doctors office (Huisartsenpost). It is preferable to give a call before going there.
In case of life or death situation, please call 112.
Local General Practitioners
De Bergense Huisartsen
JJ Kramer Huisarts
Huisartsenpost Alkmaar e.o. (Alkmaar, Bergen & Surrounding Areas
Hertog Aalbrechtweg 5a 1823 DL Alkmaar
Tel. 072 518 0618 Fax. 072 518 0654
Huisartsenpost Schagen (Callantsoog, Petten and surrounding areas)
Grotewallerweg 3-04 1742 NM Schagen
Tel. 0224 22 4040 Fax. 0224 274048
If your GP is unable to diagnose or treat you, he/she will refer you to a medical specialist. Unless the matter is urgent, you may have to wait for an appointment. Nearly all medical specialists in the Netherlands work via the outpatient departments (polikliniek) of hospitals. Your GP can make some recommendations and will send you to the correct specialist. If urgent, an appointment will be arranged quickly. It is also possible to make a private appointment directly with a specialist. However, this is not always accepted by the policy of the hospital as you first need to visit your GP, who will send you to the specialist. The specialist will always report back to the GP, providing him/her with information on the treatment. The waiting time for the ophthalmologists can be up to 2 to 3 months! Please read your insurance conditions to find out if you need a reference from your doctor
Hospital Contact Information
There are two hospitals are situated near the school, namely: Medisch Centrum Alkmaar (MCA a large hospital in Alkmaar) and Gemini Ziekenhuis Den Helder (a smaller hospital in Den Helder), but all the usual specializations are represented here as well.
Medisch Centrum Alkmaar
Wilhelminalaan 12 1815 JD ALKMAAR Tel. 072 5484444
Patient Information Desk: Tel. 072 548 3500
Gemini Ziekenhuis Den Helder
Huisduinerweg 3 1782 GZ Den Helder
Tel. 0223 696969
Patient Information Desk: Tel. 0223 69 6346
Academisch Medisch Centrum
Meibergdreef 9 1105 AZ Amsterdam
Tel. 020 566 9111
Patient Information Desk: Tel. 020 566 3355
Emma Kinderziekenhuis (AMC)
Meibergdreef 9 1105 AZ Amsterdam
Tel. 020 566 8000
Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis
Location Oosterpark Oosterpark 91091 AC Amsterdam
Tel. 020 599 9111
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (specialized in cancer treatment)
Plesmanlaan 121 1066 CX Amsterdam
Tel. 020 512 9111
De Boelelaan 1117 1081
HV Amsterdam – Buitenveldert
Tel. 020 444 4444
Patient Information Desk: Tel. 020 444 0700
Emergency first aid (E.H.B.O)
Emergency First Aid is given in each situation where there are (life-threatening) injuries or other health troubles (like breathing difficulty, shock or loss of consciousness). First responders can also treat local injuries (wounds), hyperthermia and hypothermia, electrical injuries and give first aid to people suspected of having been poisoned.
For emergency first aid you have direct access to the hospital (without intervention of the family doctor). First Aid stations are open 24 hours a day.
Emergency calls are made via calling 112. Please note that you have to mention whether you are calling for police, fire brigade or an ambulance.
Most people who live or work in the Netherlands are insured under the Wlz (Wet langdurige zorg) This Act provides for reimbursement for care that is not covered by regular health insurance. People who are covered by the Wlz scheme are legally obliged to have Dutch health insurance. You can learn more and register here.
The amount for local taxes varies depending on the municipality. The website of the municipality can provide you with more detailed information on this topic.
Waste collection levy (afvalstoffenheffing) This tax has to be paid for all the refuse that is produced and collected by the local council collectors. The amount of tax charged depends on single or multiple household at that address.
Sewage charges (rioolrecht)
The sewage charges concern all citizens and companies of a municipality. The sewage charges are collected by the local authorities at the beginning of each year and can be paid either all at once or in separate terms.
Property tax (onroerendgoedbelasting)
Owners of a house have to pay this tax. If you own a house on the 1st of January you will have to pay for
the whole year and it does not matter if you leave or sell the house. The amount of money you have to pay depends on the value of your house.
Dogs tax (hondenbelasting)
Dogs must be registered with the municipal tax department (gemeentelijke belastingdienst). For every dog owned, a dog tax (hondenbelasting) is charged. You need to inform the municipality about the number of dogs you have. The dog tax is progressive. However, not all towns or cities have a mandatory dog tax. Please check your municipality’s website to see whether or not you’ll need to pay the tax.
Water Authority Charges (waterschapsbelasting)
The land drainage rates are collected by the regional water board. For most cities and villages in North Holland the responsible authority is Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier (HHNK). For the Amsterdam region, this is Hoogheemraadschap Amstel, Gooi en Vecht (Waternet). The Hoogheemraadschap (water authority) is responsible for the maintenance of the dikes and for ensuring good water quality. The water authority charges have to be paid at the beginning of each year and can either be paid all at once or in a maximum of ten terms.
Road tax (wegenbelasting)
If you own a car, you are obliged to pay road tax. The amount of road tax is based on the weight of your car, the fuel the car uses and the area where you reside. The road tax is collected by the Road Tax Department (Belastingdienst). All mail from the tax authority can be recognized by the blue envelope. You can choose either to pay the total amount all at once or to spread the payment in terms. Pay in time to avoid any penalties.
In many Dutch cities you can have grey and green containers for household waste, and they are collected once a week or alternating weeks at the specially designated places. The green containers are used for organic waste and the grey containers for the remaining waste. In some cities or villages, you will find underground waste containers in the streets, where you can bring your waste. To be able to use them you need a special pass/ card or a key to open them.
Large pieces or large amounts of rubbish can either be collected by the local council (according to certain rules) or you can bring such waste to central garbage and recycling station. Glass bottles and plastic bottles usually are returnable, but the ones which are non-returnable (geen statiegeld) and plastics or clothing/textiles can be deposited in special containers in your neighborhood, usually located near supermarkets or next to the underground waste containers. For paint and other chemicals, see the website of your municipality for disposal rules. Please note that not all materials are accepted free of charge (furniture, building waste, etc.).