Amsterdam: Housing crisis

Posted on May 3, 2006


by katie lips

I’ve been an expat in Amsterdam for nearly 12 months and our fantastic rented apartment is being sold and we have to move out.  So one of my jobs over the last few weeks has been to ‘find us a new house’.  Now I’ve moved about a bit in my time, sometimes with plenty of cash, sometimes on a tiny student budget so I expected a relatively easy time as we’re getting on a bit and aren’t exactly scraping the pennies.  How wrong could I be?  I have looked at like thirty completely unsuitable apartments in the last 10 days.  It seems, finding somewhere to live in Amsterdam really is really rather tricky.

Imagine picturesque canal houses, now imagine inside the canal houses; overpriced, badly decorated rentals.  It’s either no bathtub, no kitchen (seriously), a ‘second bedroom’ (I mean closet), or just abominable decor. I have now given up on the do-het-zelf style of house hunting and am meeting a broker this afternoon who will, for a ‘far too large fee’, show me around about 6 properties.  I’m secretly after a ‘dakterras’ – a roof terrace, but I’ll be happy with anything at the moment.

Photo via Marco Wessel and leospice