Wiser by the WOZ: "Sometimes mortgage interest can be 0.6% lower"'.
AMSTERDAM - The first WOZ assessments are arriving in the mail again these days. Homeowners should expect that this year the municipality assesses their home 9% higher on average. "But a higher WOZ is not always a bad thing", says Michel Ligtlee of Vereniging Eigen Huis.
The interest group starts its campaign on Tuesday to inform homeowners about the new round of assessments. Ligtlee: "We have noticed that people are often shocked and think 'is this really true? In recent years, the value of houses has risen very quickly."
Ligtlee emphasises that it can be worthwhile challenging the decision. "The value of the WOZ is the basis for the municipal real estate tax and the owner-occupied home tax credit. "On average, each 10,000 euro reduction provides an annual saving of 50 euros," says Ligtlee. For the inheritance tax it can even save thousands of euros, because surviving relatives have to deduct from the WOZ value of a house.
But the higher house value can also generate money, notes Ligtlee. "You can take the decision to your lender and have the risk premium on your interest rate lowered."
"You can have the risk premium on your interest rate lowered."
The higher the mortgage is relative to the value of the home, the higher that interest surcharge is. A homeowner with a loan of 85% of the house value often pays 0.3% more mortgage interest than someone with a loan of 65%. Due to the increase in the value of the house, you can therefore save considerably on your monthly costs.
"Sometimes the interest rate can be reduced by as much as 0.6%", says financial advisor Oscar Noorlag of the Van Bruggen Adviesgroep. "For example, if you took out your mortgage in 2016 and haven't done anything about it yet. But since then, house prices have risen by almost two-thirds. There are many 'sleepers' who don't do anything about their mortgages and who therefore miss out on a lot of money."
For the lower interest rate, you usually have to take action yourself, according to Noorlag. "The bank will not come knocking on your door, because it will naturally cost them margin." Almost all lenders have a policy of reducing the surcharge if the loan enters a lower risk class. This advantage does not apply to NHG mortgages, as these do not have a risk premium.
The increase in value can usually be demonstrated with a WOZ assessment, but quite a few banks make it difficult by demanding a proper valuation. "That can cost 600 to 800 euros, so you have to calculate carefully whether it pays off," says Noorlag.
The WOZ value for this year is based on the house price on 1 January 2021, when the housing market was not yet as overheated as it is now. Next year will be a real shockwave through the Netherlands, when last year's price explosion will be reflected in the new assessments. Then owners will have to fear paper value increases of up to 20%. That is the percentage of the increase in value of existing houses in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago, reported the CBS on Monday.
The municipal property tax (ozb) is a percentage of the WOZ. In this election year, however, most municipalities have lowered that percentage, so that the ozb 'only' rises by 3.5%, research centre Coelo found last week.
According to Eigen Huis, there is extra reason this year to check the decision carefully. Municipalities are obliged this year to determine the value on the basis of the surface area of the house. Previously, they were also allowed to base the value on the contents of a house. "The WOZ value can also be influenced by this new measurement method."
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