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How You Can Buy Real Estate in Belgium Wisely

July 27, 2022
If you're looking for a good investment, consider buying a new property in Belgium. Not only is the country one of the wealthiest in the world, but it's also a great place to visit or even relocate to. Whatever you use this new property for, having your own place here is pretty convenient! But how will you go about it? Purchasing real estate in Belgium is no walk in the park. You'll need lots of money and go through all sorts of processes to get it done. So how can you do it wisely? You can always due your diligence or visit the property yourself!

How You Can Buy Real Estate in Belgium Wisely

Find The Right Property For You

It's easy to get carried away with an endeavor as big as buying property. If it's your first time doing it, it's no surprise that you commit mistakes. Errors like spotting a property in Belgium for sale and buying it right away just because it's on the market and it's in the location that you want. There's no need to look any further, there's an available place right there, right? Wrong! Since you're bound to spend a lot of money, you owe it to yourself to look hard for the right home for you. Browse property listing websites and look for one that fits your specific criteria and your budget.

Hire Trustworthy People

When you plan to purchase real estate in Belgium, you will need a real estate agent, as well as a solicitor and/or a notary. Their roles are pretty important. From notarizing all the required documents to serving as your representative throughout the process, it's no wonder they'll get a good cut of the property value as payment. With that said, you need to hire trustworthy people to aid you in this endeavor. Real estate scams are more common than you think, especially when it comes to these sorts of things. Only when you hire trustworthy people to work for you that you can easily avoid such scams!

How You Can Buy Real Estate in Belgium Wisely

Do Your Due Diligence

As a buyer, you need to do your due diligence. But what does that mean, exactly? It's all about investigating the current state of the property before you purchase it. Are its legal papers in check? Is there still a mortgage attached to it? And if you decide to rent them out, how long are the leases here for? These are the sorts of questions you need to answer in your due diligence investigations. Moreover, you should also inspect the actual state of the place. Is everything fine? Does it need further renovation? What needs fixing?

Visit The Property Yourself

In relation to your due diligence, it's better that you visit the property yourself. If you're already in Belgium, that's even better. But if you're a foreign buyer coming from outside of the country and the EU, you'll need to get a Schengen Visa in order to gain entry. There's also the option of the ETIAS Visa Waiver Program but that's only if you're eligible for it. If not, getting the visa is your best bet. The process may be quite stressful, but it's necessary for you to actually see the property in Belgium in person.

How You Can Buy Real Estate in Belgium Wisely

Pay All The Required Costs

Since apartments and houses in Belgium cost an arm and a leg, it's easy to think that the property value is the only thing you'll have to pay in this process. In fact, you're probably hoping for it! But alas, it's not. Expatica explains that purchasing real estate in Belgium comes with a good number of costs. They include taxes like the registration tax (for properties older than two years) and the VAT, the valuation costs, land registry fees, mortgage costs, and more. You'll need to pay some of them up front in order to start the purchase while for others, you'll need to pay them within a certain time frame.

Deal with The Land Registry

As already mentioned, buying a property in Belgium requires the work of a notary. They will legalize all the documents related to the purchase and, at times, even serve as your legal representative. Simply put, your notary will handle all the legal aspects of the process. This also includes dealing with the land registry. As part of your due diligence (mentioned earlier) as the buyer, you'll need to check if the seller is, in fact, listed as the owner of the property in the title. And when you've paid for the place, you'll need to back to the land registry to have your name listed down as the new owner.

How You Can Buy Real Estate in Belgium Wisely

Sign The Purchase Commitment

The pre-sales contract, which is more known as the purchase commitment agreement/contract, isn't necessary but extremely common here in Belgium. Once notarized, it becomes an important document that legally binds both you, the buyer, and the seller to the transaction. When you sign it, it means you're fully committed to buying the property and seeing the purchase through to the end. On the seller's end, they'll be legally required to sell the place only to you and to officially take the property off the market. It's sort of like a 'safety net' for both parties involved.

Know The Terms of The Contract

This goes without saying but you really need to stay on top of the term of your sales contract. Not only should you read it carefully, but you can also include certain conditions that may benefit you in the long run. For instance, let's say that for whatever reason, you're unable to secure a mortgage even after you've signed the contract. You'll have an easier time getting out of this situation if you stipulated a clause where you can bow out of the transaction if this ever happens. At the very least, you won't get into legal trouble if you do!

How You Can Buy Real Estate in Belgium Wisely

Although anyone with enough money can buy a property in Belgium, not everyone can do it wisely. To ensure that you purchase real estate in Belgium with little to no problem at all, consider following these helpful tips!

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