What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Consider the characteristics of the neighborhood, traffic in the area (for security and noise) and parking possibilities. Also note the proximity to public transport, schools, work, shops, cinemas, churches and other places you'll visit on a regular basis.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
The Hague center
City life in The Hague concentrates around the Hofvijver and the Binnenhof, where the Parliament is located. The city doesn’t have a university and, therefore, has a limited student culture. The city has many civil servants and diplomats. The number of foreign residents (especially the expatriates) makes the city quite culturally diverse with many foreign pubs, shops and cultural events.
The Hague has two distinct beach resorts. The main beach resort is Scheveningen, located in the north-western part of the city. This is a popular destination for tourists as well as for inhabitants.
Kijkduin, in the southwest, is The Hague’s other beach resort. It is significantly smaller and attracts mainly local residents.
Many expats are familiar with the Hague neighborhood of Statenkwartier. Several international organizations are located in the area: Yugoslavia Tribunal, OPCW, Europol and Eurojust. Some international groups regularly meet in the neighborhood. The focal point of the neighborhood is the shopping street Frederik Hendriklaan, which is also known as “the Fred.” This street has specialty shops and a variety of lunch and dinner spots. The shopkeepers’ organization sponsors popular events, such as the Sinterklaas parade in November and the Queen’s Birthday flea market on April 30. This area is especially popular for singles, couples and also for families with children in centrally located schools. The Statenkwartier is a stylish area with lots of charm. The houses are stylish older homes/apartments with big rooms and high ceilings.
Wassenaar is a convenient area for students at the American School. It is a village with typical Dutch charm, popular with the diplomatic community. It is the preferred location for families with children at the American school, and is also popular for the British Senior School in Voorschoten. Houses range from modest to palatial but expect to pay more than in most other areas. Wassenaar is very densely populated with expatriates. No train service or regular bus service is provided in this area.
Voorburg, Leidschendam and Rijswijk
These areas are convenient for students attending the British Junior School at Mariahoeve and the Junior School at Leidschenveen. Here you will find a generous sprinkling of expatriates of different nationalities and a good transport system.
This is a convenient area for those at the British Senior School and the Junior School at Leidschenveen. It is a charming village on the river Vliet and provides excellent train and bus services to The Hague.
This is a convenient area for students in the Rijnlands lyceum Oegsgeest English-language IB program. It is a very Dutch community, but does attract some expatriates as well. Housing and schooling are less expensive than in Wassenaar or Voorschoten, but is not convenient for public transport to The Hague.
Leiden is an old university town with charm, shopping and nightlife. Trains are available to Utrecht, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rijswijk. The outskirts of Leiden are convenient for those at the Junior School in Leidschenveen.
Delft is located between Rotterdam and The Hague. It is a town of fewer than 100,000 people and is noted for its canals and gabled houses. The historic center of Delft is a 5-minute walk toward the steeple you see in the distance.
Delft is known for its famous painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), who was born in Delft, and for its Blue Delft pottery and the Delft University of Technology.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expats tend to rent, although internationals are able to obtain a mortgage
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
Generally, one-month commission + VAT, and a one- to three-months deposit is usually paid, depending on the estate agent and owner.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Utilities are excluded in the rent of unfurnished houses. However, in the rent of fully furnished houses, utilities are often included. In this case, your tenancy agreement will state that a specified amount per month is included for utilities. If you use more than that, the landlord may ask you for an extra contribution to cover the excess.
City tax and water tax are almost always excluded.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
There are not really any security concerns specific to certain neighborhoods. Just note that you should always lock your bicycle and do not leave any valuable things in your car.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current is AC 220 - 240 volts. Frequency (Hz) is 50. Electrical appliances from the UK are compatible. However, appliances from the US (110 volts/60 Hz) need step-down transformers. For most appliances from EU countries, a simple adaptor should work for everything except the heavier appliances. These may require transformers as well.
Plug shape is the standard two-pinned type. Plug adapters can be bought in most electrical shops.
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
Remember that everything in The Hague is comparatively close to each other.
The Netherlands is a crowded country and this means properties may be smaller than you are used to if, for instance, you come from the US. Steep stairways are common, and it is unusual except in new buildings to have an elevator/lift. Parking may also be restricted, especially in central areas.
It is very common in The Netherlands to only have one bathroom, even if you have two or more bedrooms. You may have a separate WC, but only one bath or shower.
In apartments, you may only have a stove and a microwave, but there is not always an oven.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.