Real Estate Practices in Belgium
Real Estate Licensing Requirements in Belgium
For many, it is necessary to obtain a diploma after 3 years of studies. Then you become an IPI (certified real estate agent) with your own license number.
Housing Types Available in Belgium
- Apartments: In Brussels, many types of apartments in modern buildings (in Uccle) or in manor houses are available (mainly in Ixelles).
- Villas and Houses: Brussels is rich with a lot of city's villas including nice gardens (with 2 to 4 facades). A lot of houses have been built from 1900 till 1940 and have very nice classical elements of decoration.
- New constructions: Several departments are fully dedicated to the new buildings. New constructions have large potential for investors.
Real Estate Commissions in Belgium
The commission of 3% + VAT = 3.63% is incurred by the seller.
Mortgages and Financing Options Available to foreign investors buying in Belgium
There is no difference for a Belgian or a foreigner buyer. To obtain a mortgage from a Belgium bank, the most important is too prove a stable income that will allow the buyer to pay for the loan. Usually the bank will finance ± 80% of the value of the property (sometimes 100%).
Property Taxes in Belgium
Once a year you have to pay a tax (Précompte Immobilier) to the Town Hall, which is calculated by reference of the rental value (very reasonable tax).
Belgium Acquisition Costs for the Buyer
The taxes in Belgium are quite high in the purchase of a property. For older buildings it will be 12.5% of the sales price + notary fees of ± 1.5%. For new construction properties, you will have to pay 21% of VAT + notary fees of ± 1.5%.
Belgium Disposition Costs for the Seller
The seller will have to pay only the real estate commission of 3,63%. Usually there is no tax on Capital Gain excepted if the apartment (or house) is not your main house. In this case you must wait 5 years to avoid any taxation.
Belgium Title Best Practices
Once the offer has been accepted by the seller, the buyer will ask to his notary to write a sales agreement (usually within one month). The notary will then have to do some formalities in way to sign the final act of purchase. This will take between 2 and 4 months (maximum).