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Purchase a Property in Belgium

Purchase a Property in Belgium

Updated on Monday 09th May 2016

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Buying a property in Belgium

Although purchasing a property in Belgium implies a lot of paperwork, most Belgian residents are home owners, rather than tenants, as house prices are lower in comparison to neighboring countries. 
 
Since Belgium has a high standard of living and low prices, buying a property in Belgium became a popular choice of expats in need of a holiday home, as well as for permanent residences within the country,  especially since there are no restrictions that stop foreigners from purchasing properties in Belgium. In regards to the required documents, foreign investors must prepare  for paperwork since this part is very important. There are three phases of the documents filling procedure in regards to purchasing a property in Belgium:
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  • First, the buyer must sign a purchase commitment, therefore he will officially be tied to the sale. However, the seller can back out of the deal without penalty. The second step is the sale agreement where the details of the contract are listed. This is the stage when usually a deposit is required. The third and final step, the notarized deed, transfers ownership of the property and it must be signed no later than four months after the sale agreement has been made.

The purchase contracts in Belgium

The purchase contracts signed in Belgium are written in either Dutch of French, but it is mandatory for the signatories to completely understand the details of the contract. Therefore, translation services may be needed in order to explain the contract. As English and German are international languages, it may very well be the case when the notary or the real estate agent speaks the language fluently. For other languages, a translator can be hired, but the cost is supported by the buyer.

Purchase Commitment in Belgium

Even if it is not an essential act, it is often requested by real-estate agents from the buyer as it binds him to the respective property. In some cases, a small deposit or holding fee is requested, and if the respective purchaser decides to back out of the sale, the amount will not be returned. However, the deposit is not mandatory. Exit clauses are also included in most cases, and they stipulate that the agreement can be dissolved without penalty if the buyer is unable to secure a mortgage or if the property has significant damage.

Legal requirements for buying a property in Belgium

Each transaction must be made in the presence of a notary and his fees are fixed by the state as a percentage of the selling price of the property. Registration fees apply after the property has been registered at the registry office within four months from the completion of the sale.

Funding purchase in Belgium: deposits and mortgages

Deposits must be paid into an escrow account or can be held by a notary. The fee settles at approximately 10 percent of the purchase price. 
 
As for mortgages, the respective provider requests a professional evaluation of the property, not a structural survey. In this way, an estimation of the property value of the will be made. In terms of rates, they can be both fixed or variable, and loans are usually granted for a 10 years period or more. The cost of the monthly mortgage does not have to be higher than a third of the monthly income. However, in many cases the rent fees can be higher than the mortgage rates.

Aquisitions fees and charges in Belgium

The costs of purchasing a property in Belgium are higher for the buyer than for the seller, even if they are split between the two. For more information related to taxes in Belgium please adress to us for legal advice and consultancy.

VAT cost for buying a property in Belgium 

The 21 percent VAT cost applies for new properties in Belgium, but they do not have to pay registration tax is the property is classed as new. 
 
For more information regarding purchasing a property in Belgium or any other legal issue please contact our law firm in Belgium.
 
 

Comments

  • Laura Daly 2015-05-11

    I am currently representing a British national who owns a property in Belgium. We have engaged a property agent to value the property with a view to marketing for sale but we cannot locate the original paperwork nor can we remember the name of the Notary used when the property was purchased back in 2003. In the UK, there is a central database (HM Land Registry) that records and stores all property particulars. Is there something similar in Belgium? If so, would you be able to assist me?

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