Belgium is famous for its chocolate, beer, waffles, fries, lace and amazing comic characters. Belgium is also famous for having Brussels as its capital – which is the headquarters of the European Union. There is much to like about Belgium, which is a small nation wedged between France and Netherlands and has one of the friendliest local populations in Europe.
The Belgian cities are all marvelous. Antwerp is the diamond capital of the world, Ghent one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Bruges is a romantic city and Brussels is, of course, the capital of the European Union and so has an air of importance about it.
Should You Buy Property in Belgium or Rent One?
A lot of foreigners live in Brussels on assignment in the European Union or on business. Most don’t stay forever, and leave within a few years. So, does it make sense to rent an apartment in Brussels rather than to a buy a new property?
That depends on how long you intend to be in Belgium. If you are going to be in Belgium at least for a few years, say 3 or 4 years, it makes a lot of sense economically to buy property in Belgium rather than to rent a house.
As a homeowner, even if you’re to leave Belgium in a few years time, you can get a much higher return on your investment by selling the property. This is actually far more advantageous than paying a heavy rent, month after month as a tenant.
Also, as a homeowner in Belgium, you have the independence you seek, and don’t have to worry about rent seeking landlords. Also, buying property in Belgium is the easiest thing in the world if you are a citizen of the European Union. You can make any changes you like to the property so that it is aesthetically pleasing enough for you.
There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Belgium. After identifying a property to be bought, you enter into an agreement to purchase the property with the seller, called the compromis de vente or verkoopcompromis. This agreement would bind you as a buyer to purchase the property provided the seller acts in good faith.
It is important to hire a local solicitor to take care of the property transactions on your behalf. The solicitor should be well versed in Belgium’s property laws. You may have to hire a notary as well. Hiring the notary would cost 1.6% of the cost of the property, which, as a buyer, you will be sharing with the seller of the property.
A simple agreement will be required to be signed called the acte authentique or authentieke, and it has to meet the approval of the notary. This agreement will be drafted by your solicitor and will contain important clauses regarding the validity of the transaction.
An initial deposit of 10% of the property price is to be made into an escrow account once the property purchase has been agreed upon. Once the notarized approval has been received the full payment may be made and keys are exchanged between the buyer and seller.
The property purchase should be registered with the official registry, and a duty of 12.5% of the property price will have to be paid. Typically, it takes 2 months for a property sale to be completed in Belgium, with all the mandatory official requirements taken care of. Contact us today to buy an overseas property.