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Buying real estate in Belgium

Population: 10.1m

Currency: Euro

real estate belgium property for sale in belgium

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Belgium has become more popular for foreign ownership recently due to the head quarters of the E.U being based at Brussels. This has resulted in rising property values, especially close to Brussels, although less expensive property can be found in the countryside. Main languages are French, Flemmish and German.

Capital Gains tax is chargeable on all income from the sale of Real Estate which includes non-resident companies and is liable at the basic rate, which would be 40%.

There are no restrictions on Foreign Ownership.

Real Estate Prices in Belgium

Range varies, for example:
From around 170,000 / $250,000 for a villa/house
From around 60,000 / $87,500 for a flat/apartment
From around 130,000 / $190,000 for a Maison de Maitre/Townhouse

Locations for buying real estate in Belgium

Antwerp is the largest Belgium city with a population of 500k. Brussels is popular with governmental workers and Ixelles, to the East, being popular for young commuters and residents. East and West Brussels tend to have larger English speaking areas.

Living Costs in Belgium

Living standards are high in Belgium although bottled water is used widely for drinking. Freehold property near to Brussels is generally twice the price compared to the U.S equivalent property.

Buying real estate in Belgium

A sales agreement is binding from day one - the notary will issue a deed which completes the sale but no mistake. Put your signature under a sales agreement and you have to come up with the Euro - it is often misunderstood that if you sign a sales agreement with a 10% advance payment (common practice) that you can get out of it if your loan isn't approved or that you only lose 10% if you don't go ahead with the deed after all. NO MISTAKE - you are owner the moment you sign the sales agreement! If you sent a proposal, the moment it has been counter signed by the seller for agreed, you are officially the owner of the property.
All particularities, including loan approval, building or renovation permits, etc, have to be mentioned as a suspensive condition in the sales agreement. In such case it is also advisable to hand over the advance payment to the notary, another common practice, who will keep the money until the signature of the deed (which doesn't allow any suspensive conditions).
The property transaction should always be officially registered with the governmental authority within four months of conclusion.

Solicitor / Lawyer

A Belgian solicitor/lawyer or notary should be used to draw written contracts for submission to the public notary.

Fees

The costs involved in buying real estate/property in Belgium are generally quite high.
Property registration should incur duty of 12.5% for land and buildings is payable by the buyer.
V.A.T is charged at 21% on buildings less than two years old with the same rate applicable for the renovation of old buildings.
Notary fees will cost between 0.1-0.5% of the properties value.
V.A.T is also applicable for foreign Real Estate investments at the relevant rate of their country.

Property Tax

Tax is payable on the deemed rental value of the property which is dependent on the location and use of the property as set in the "Cadastal Register". National rates are between 1.25-2.5% and municipal and provincial surcharges also apply.

Mortgages

Mortgages are available from various banking and mortgage providers. Repayment terms and the rights of the mortgager will be agreed within a written contract before a sale is agreed. Off shore companies can be an advantage depending on current rates and individual tax breaks. Click here to arrange a mortgage in Belgium.

For more information on buying property in Belgium, please contact the Real Estate Agent or visit the Belgium Governments website:

www.diplobel.fgov.be

Our guide will not cover all the legal and full financial information for your Real Estate purchase but should enable you to get an idea into the financial involvement.

For more information on Belgium Property and to arrange your viewing visit:

Belgium Property Viewing Arrangements

Belgium Embassy
3330 Garfield Street NW
Washington
DC 20008
Tel: (202) 333-6900
Fax: (202) 333-307

E-Mail: washington@diplobel.org